« ZurückWeiter »
For about thirty years he sustained this relation to the Baltimore Conference--so bright an example of meekness, patience, and of all the adornments of Christian character, that he was called “good Henry Smith."
“As he drew near his end, and was no longer able to speak, he made signs to those who sat watching by him of a desire to be placed in his usual attitude of prayer. After remaining on his knees about two minutes, he was gently laid upon his bed again, where he lingered for a short time, and then expired, in the ninety-fourth year of his age, and sixty-ninth of his ministry.
Mr. Smith, although a delicately framed man, outlived all his cotemporaries.
By order of the Baltimore Conference, held March 4, 1863, it was resolved that his remains should be removed from Hookstown, where he was buried, to Mount Olivet Cemetery, there to repose with the dust of Bishops Asbury, George, Waugh, and Emory. +
The successful termination of the expedition under Gen. Wayne brought with it the most beneficial results to Kentucky. Not only did hundreds of
persons return to the homes which they had left for safety, but a tide of emigration from Virginia and Maryland, and other States, set in, that increased the population with remarkable rapidity.
Among those who this year sought a home in Kentucky, was the Rev. John Baird. He had been for several years a traveling preacher in Maryland. In 1791, he was admitted into the itinerancy, and traveled successively the Cecil, the Somerset, and Talbot Circuits. In the itinerant ministry he had been successful in the great work of doing good. In 1795, he located, and immediately emigrated to Kentucky. He passed by the Falls of the Ohio, and declined a settlement on the fertile lands at the mouth of Beargrass Creek, in consequence of their unhealthy location; and, finding a home more congenial to his views of health, he settled in Nelson county, (now Larue,) at what is known as the “Level Woods.” Distinguished for his ability in the pulpit, as well as for his devotion to the Church, he determined to sow the seeds of Methodism in the neighborhood in which he resided. The first sermon ever preached in that neighborhood was delivered by Mr. Baird, on the 7th of August, 1796, at the house of Philip Reed, Esq. A short time afterward, a small society—consisting of the Rev. John Baird, Elizabeth Baird, William and Matthew Mellander, James and Ann Murphy—was organized by the Rev. John Watson, which gradually increased until it numbered about seventy members.* The influence exerted by the
*General Minutes M. E. Church, for 1863, p. 17. | Ibid., p. 18.
* A letter from the Rev. J. F. Redford, the present pastor, informs us that “out of this class several societies have subsequently been formed. At one time it dwindled to twenty-five members. At the commencement of the Conference-year for 1838 and 1839, it again increased to forty-two members. At the present time, (January, 1868,) this society numbers seventy-four.”
life and labors of John Baird is felt to the present time, not only in his family, but in the community in which he lived and died. In all the surrounding country, he, as an able expounder of the word of God, proclaimed its heaven-born truths. For fifty years his walk and conversation exemplified the doctrines of the gospel, and in death their hallowed principles afforded him sweet consolation.
On a marble slab, in the garden, close by where he lived and breathed his last, is the inscription:
April 17, 1846,
calling sinners to repentance.
a kind father, and faithful friend.
We report this year an increase of forty-seven in the membership. The causes of the small increase in the membership about this period will be accounted for in a separate chapter.
At this Conference the Shelby Circuit was formed, or rather detached from the Salt River-making six circuits in Kentucky.
FROM THE CONFERENCE OF 1797 TO THE CONFERENCE
The Conference of 1797 held at Bethel Academy-Bishop Asbury
Thomas Allen-Francis Poythress—Williams Kavanaugh—John Kobler - Decrease in membership - The Conference of 1798 held on Holston - Robert Wilke on - Valentine Cook- Increase in membership—John Kobler, the first missionary to Ohio.
THE Conference for 1797 was held at Bethel Academy, and met on the 1st day of May. Bishop Asbury was present, and presided.* In his journal he informs us that, “from the 9th of April to the 27th of May,” he kept no written account of his travels; that, during this period, (which embraced his visit to Kentucky,) he had “ traveled about six hundred miles, with an inflammatory fever and fixed pain in his breast.” His diet was “chiefly tea, potatoes, Indian-meal gruel, and chicken broth.” His “only reading” was “the Bible.” Why, under such severe afflictions, did he not seek for rest? Thoughts of the “charge” confided to his trust, “of the Conferences, and the Church," pressed him
“I must,” said he, “ be made perfect through sufferings.” “Cheerful” all the while, yet sometimes “forced by weakness to stop" for a short time, he expresses his gratitude for the distinguished
* Judge Scott.
kindness “shown him by families" with whom he made a brief sojourn. Truly, he was “made perfect through sufferings”-an evangelist, in the highest sense of that term.
In the Minutes of the Conference, the names of three preachers, not previously mentioned in connection with the work in Kentucky, appear in the list of Appointments : Thomas Allen, John Kobler, and Williams Kavanaugh.
Of Thomas Allen we have no information, only such as we derive from the General Minutes. The present year he was admitted on trial, and appointed to the Danville Circuit. The following year, he was sent to the New River Circuit, in Virginia. At the subsequent Conference, he was returned to Kentucky, and appointed to the Salt River and Shelby Circuit; and in 1800, to the Lexington. This year closed his itinerant labors. At the following Conference, he located.
The health of the Rev. Francis Poythress—who, since the Conference of 1787, had held the responsible position of Presiding Elder over the District in Kentucky-had, through incessant labors, so far declined as to render it impracticable for him to perform any longer the onerous duties of the office. In the Minutes of this year, he is returned as a supernumerary, and John Kobler is reported as his successor on the District.
Williams Kavanaugh,* whose name is this year * He was the father of Bishop Hubbard Hinde Kavanaugh, Benjamin T., Leroy H., and Williams B. Kavanaugh-all Methodist ministers.