Duck River and Kindred Associations

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by rlvaughn, Oct 4, 2003.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Here is a condensation of an article that I wrote for Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Someone might be interested.

    Though the annual meeting of this group is denominated the General Association of Baptists, they are most widely known and the Duck River and Kindred Associations of Baptists. Other names associated with these churches are the Baptist Church of Christ, The Baptists, and Separate Baptists. The primary location of the churches is middle Tennessee and northern Alabama.

    The history of the General Association of Baptists begins with the formation of the Duck River Association in 1826. The earliest church in the region was constitued circa 1790 by Kentucky ministers Ambrose Dudley and John Taylor. The Elk River Association was formed in south-central Tennessee in 1806. As most of the Baptists of middle Tennessee, the churches of the Elk River Association were strongly Calvinistic in theology. Early in the 19th century, Alexander Campbell became connected with the Baptists for a time, and began to preach Arminian doctrine among them. Some Baptists of the region found this modification of theology appealing, and began to preach against limited atonement and unconditional election, declaring that Christ died for all mankind. The new sentiment became so strong in the Elk River Association that it led to division, and the Duck River Association of Separate Baptists was formed. The original name appears to have been "Duck River Baptist Association of Christ." Others were soon embroiled in dispute over the new ideas, and other associations divided or had members withdraw from them. Some ministers and churches would complete their journey and move into the Campbell-Stone restoration movement. The Duck River Association would maintain a Baptist course. Some of the Duck River Baptists would find their way into the Tennessee Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention. But a mind of independence, coupled with opposition to the Calvinistic stance of the State Convention and other organizations (at least in 1843), would cause the Duck River Association of Separate Baptists to remain a separate body.

    The Duck River Baptists stayed their course and sought fellowship with like-minded Baptists. Through the years they developed correspondence with other Baptist associations - Mount Zion Association, Indian Creek, Union, Mount Moriah, Mount Pleasant, East Union, Ebenezer, Mount Olive, Liberty, New Liberty, and Mount Pleasant No. 2. Many of these fellowships are still maintained. In October of 1939, delegates from Duck River, Mount Zion, Union, Mount Pleasant, Liberty, New Liberty and Ebenezer Associations, and the Pleasant Hill church of Kentucky, met at Garrison Fork Church, Bedford County, Tennessee, and organized the General Association of Baptists. The stated purpose of this association is to "perpetuate a closer union and communion among us and to preserve and maintain a correspondence with each other."

    These "Duck River" churches are considered one of the "primitivistic" sects among Baptists, though they do not share the strong Calvinism of some of those bodies. They are moderately Calvinistic, retaining the teachings of total depravity and eternal security, while asserting that Jesus Christ tasted death for every man. Most of the churches have Sunday Schools, but no organized support of missionary or benevolent institutions. In addition to baptism and the Lord's supper, they observe the rite of feet washing as an ordinance. Most of the churches use musical instruments, though some do not.

    The General Association is currently made up of seven associations - Duck River Association of Baptists (TN), Mt. Zion Association of Baptist (TN), Mt. Pleasant Association of Baptists ["No. 1"] (AL), Mt. Pleasant Association [No. 2] of the Baptists (AL), New Liberty Association of United Baptists of the Primitive Order (TN), East Union Association of The Baptist (TN), Union Association of The Baptist (TN) - and one independent church - Pleasant Hill Church of Marion, Kentucky. In 1999, these represented a total membership of 10,212 in 99 churches. In addition to participation in the General Association, the local associations maintain correspondence with one another at their annual meetings. Each association is free to correspond with other like-minded associations that are not participating in the General Association, though there in no such correspondence at this time.
     
  2. Kiffin

    Kiffin
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    I use to pastor a lady who was raised in a Duck River Baptist Church (That has got to be the coolest name for any Baptist association on earth [​IMG] :cool: ). She had a book written by a History professer about her church which had the name Baptist Church of Christ. That book is still available though I don't know the name. She recently passed away in her later 90's. Will read your article. [​IMG]
     
  3. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    A minor instance in relation to this body of Baptists is that in 1884, Elm Grove Baptist Church of Valley Creek, Fannin County, Texas united with the Mt. Zion Association of Baptists in Tennessee. This was probably due to westward migration of these separate Baptists. I would certainly like to find out more about the history of this Texas church.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Had a friend that claimed "Two Seed in the Spirit Predestinarian Baptists" as his roots and that they had NOTHING to do with the Duck River bunch.

    They sound like MY kinda guys!! :rolleyes:
     
  5. Tanker

    Tanker
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    If you are interested in the Duck River Association, you might trying doing an Internet search on the name of "Elijah Hanks". If my memory is correct, he was an important leader of the Duck River Association. He was the pastor of the Knob Creek Baptist church in Maury County Tenn. until his death in about 1871. Some of his community moved to Texas in about 1836 and founded the village of Palestine in Texas. He had several relatives who were Baptist preachers, including a Thomas Hanks who was a preacher in Texas. You might try contacting Bonnie Woolverton in Palestine, Texas for more information. She did have a web page some years ago and may still have one.
     
  6. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Elder Hanks was associated with the Duck River Baptists, but maintained affiliation with the "missionary" side when the body split in the 1840's - Biography of Elijah Hanks. It was always my understanding (but I've never researched it) that the Woolvertons and Hollemans started Tennessee Colony, which is now only a community just northwest of Palestine. Some settled there and some in Rusk County.
     

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