This Day in History: June 18th, 1781 The first Baptist Church In Kentucky Began

“Eighteen people (three of them black servants ‘of Jacob Vanmeter’) gather under a sugar maple tree at Severn’s Valley (now Elizabethtown), Kentucky, to form the first Baptist Church in that state. They will soon build themselves a log cabin in which to worship and conduct baptisms in a nearby stream.” John Gerrard was made pastor at the time that the church was organized. He only served a short time (eleven months) and was then ‘captured by the Indians and was never heard of afterwards.’” Polly’s (my wife) 5th great grandfather, William Taylor, became their next Elder/Preacher.
 
I like the following description of the congregation, “Imagine the male members, partly in Indian costume, leather leggings, breech cloths, and moccasins, with hats made of buffalo wool rolled around white oak splints, and sewed together, and the females in the simple costume of bed gown and petticoat, all of buffalo wool, underwear of dressed deer skin, for as yet no flax, cotton, or sheep’s wool was to be found in their wilderness home. The males sat with rifles in hand, and tomahawks at their sides, with sentry at the door; yet they feared God, and considered themselves highly favored, for they had the word of life dispensed, and sanctuary privileges. ~ Honorable Samuel Haycraft, the son of the pioneer member Judge Samuel Haycraft.”