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and ended his days among them as a preacher.”* In 1796, he was appointed to Guilford, North Carolina; the following year, to Holston, in Virginia. In 1798, he returned to the Cumberland; and from that period until 1812, his labors were confined to Kentucky, with the exception of the years 1804 and 1805, which he spent on the Ohio District. In the great revival in the interior of Kentucky, in 1801, known as the Cane Ridge revival, he was the leading spirit. During the period of his ministry in Kentucky, revivals of religion followed his labors everywhere; and in those sections of the State favored with his ministrations, either as the Presiding Elder of a District, or in the relation of a pastor, Methodism assumed a more permanent and enduring form than it had done before. He was not only an earnest preacher of the gospel, but an able defender of the truth. In the religious controversies that disturbed the quietude of the Church throughout the State, Mr. Burke bore an active part. Calvinism, deformed as it always appears, was truly hideous under his mighty touch. In his controversy with the advocates of exclusive immersion, he always put them to silence and to shame. Challenged, on one occasion, to a debate with a Baptist minister, on the subjects and mode of baptism, near Mount Sterling, Kentucky, after “occupying about four hours on the subjects and mode of baptism, he turned to the Baptist preachers, who sat behind him in the stand, and

* Western Methodism, pp. 46, 47, 48.

told them if they had any thing to say, he would be glad to hear it. They consulted together, and then replied that they had nothing to say.”* If the peculiarities and economy of Methodism were assailed, he was, on all occasions, equal to their defense. “He had become so notorious for his skill and success in controversy, as to be feared by all belligerent parties.”'† To preach the gospel to the people of Kentucky, no man was better prepared than he. The privations of frontier life could not discourage him. Bold and fearless, he was twice the leader of the company by whom Bishop Asbury was guarded into Kentucky. "He was" also “the first Secretary of an Annual Conference in America ;" I and was a member of the General Conferences of 1804 and 1808. We will here, however, take leave of Mr. Burke for the present; but we shall frequently meet with him in the prosecution of our work.

John Ball, who also came to Kentucky this year, had entered the lists as an evangelist in 1790, although his name is not among the Appointments for that year--an error in the Minutes. In 1791, he traveled the Russell Circuit, in Virginia; and in 1792, the Cumberland, in Tennessee. In Kentucky, we find him, in 1793, on the Lexington Circuit, where he only remains for one year, when he is reäppointed to the Cumberland in 1794; at the close of which year he located. Of his success on the Lexington Circuit we have no information.

* Rev. Jonathan Stamper, in Home Circle, Vol. II., p. 282.

| Ibid.

$ Western Methodism, p. 20.


He is represented by one who knew him,* as a “son of thunder. He smote with his hands and stamped with his feet. He warned the people faithfully to flee from the wrath to come.”

“He was about medium height, rather slender, but compactly built. He was tirm, independent, and opinionated. He was regarded as a pious, useful minister, of the medium grade, and was well received wherever he traveled. He was a bold, intrepid man, who never turned his back on an enemy; and, if my information be correct, he and the Rev. William Burke were two of the guards, who, in 1793, met Bishop Asbury some distance east of the Cumberland Mountains, and conducted him to the Kentucky Conference and back again.”+

The name of Gabriel Woodfield appears only for the present year on the roll of the Conference. Among the names of those "admitted on trial," that of Woodfield is omitted, and we only find him mentioned as one of the preachers on the Lexington Circuit. As a local preacher, he came to Kentucky from Pennsylvania at an early day. He was “of the first order of local preachers," I and in that capacity “labored with success.' Anxious to extend the sphere of his usefulness, he offered himself to the Conference; but, from some cause, only spent one year in the itinerant work. We afterward find him, in 1802, as a local preacher, faithfully dispensing the word of life in his pulpit labors “rising above all his clouds,” and “preaching excellent sermons."* He removed from Fayette county, where he had settled on his arrival in Kentucky, to Henry county. Previous to his death, “he removed to Indiana, in the neighborhood of Madison.” There he resided to a good old age; when, like a ripe sheaf ready for the garner, in the full enjoyment of the Christian's hope, he sweetly fell asleep, surrounded by his friends and connections.

* John Carr, in Christian Advocate, February 5, 1857. † Judge Scott. $ Western Methodism, p. 63.

Previous to this date but few churches had been erected in Kentucky, and they were humble ones. Besides the log structure at Masterson's Stationwhich was put up in 1787 or '88—a similar house had been built in 1790, in the Salt River Circuit, at Poplar Flats, and bore the name of Ferguson's Chapel-to which allusion has already been madeafter the worthy local preacher who labored so faithfully in the cause of God in that section. About the same time a log meeting-house was erected in Jessamine county, near Bethel Academy, and called Lewis's Chapel; Proctor's Chapel, in Madison county; Garrett's Meeting-house, in the forks of Dix River, and a house on Shoenea Run, had also been built. During this year Burke's Chapel was built, in Garrard county; Humphries's Chapel had also been built-at which place Bishop Asbury had attended a quarterly meeting on the 13th of April of this year. We are called


to record the death

*Jacob Young's "Autobiography," p. 69.

of Henry Birchett, the third itinerant minister, who had been connected with the work in Kentucky, to pass away—including the Rev. Samuel Tucker, who was murdered by the Indians.*

Among the pioneer preachers who came to Kentucky, no one was more devoted to the work of the ministry, or prosecuted his calling with greater ardor, than the subject before us. He was born in Brunswick county, Virginia, (the time of his birth is not known.) After laboring for two years in the State of North Carolina, he freely offered himself as a missionary to the West. In the year 1790, he was appointed to the Lexington Circuit, where, with untiring zeal, he labored assiduously and usefully for two years. In 1792, he was removed to the Salt River Circuit, where, it is said, “he was eminently useful." +

No circuit in Kentucky was more trying to the constitution than this—spreading over a vast extent of territory, sparsely settled, accommodations poor, rides long, and preaching almost every day; "requiring more labor and suffering than any other in the country.” His slender constitution necessarily gave way. At the close of the year it was the judgment of his friends that he ought to desist from preaching until he recovered. He was present at the Conference at Masterson's Station, “in a poor state of health,” and was suffering from “weakness in his breast and spitting of blood.” Owing to the scarcity of preachers, great difficulty

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* See page 75.

| Western Methodism, p. 69.

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