Black River Baptist Association, Missouri

Some of my Graham kin in the Madison/Wayne/Bollinger Counties area of Missouri were leaders in the Black River Association of the Baptist denomination in the 19th century. The following is a mention of the association from Robert Sidney Douglass, History of Southeast Missouri, Vol. 1 (1912) pp. 476-477:

In 1850 representatives of 12 churches, formerly members of the Black River Association, met at Castor church in Madison county and organized the St. Francois Association. The churches were situated in Wayne and Madison counties and perhaps one or two in Bollinger county. The first meeting of the association after its organization was held at Little Vine church in Madison county in 1851. At this meeting Zion church in Wayne county and Salem church in Bollinger county were admitted to membership. The ministers of the association were C. T. Graham, W. W. Settle, J. Duncan, J. P. Wallis, A. Hughes, R. S. Eaton and S. M. Randoff. Other ministers who later worked in this association were L. D. Bennett, A. G. Tidwell, A. R. L. Meador, A. Land, L. Langley, S. Farr, W. H. Mattox, M. W. Taylor and E. J. Bunyard.

The association grew steadily up to the breaking out of the war when there were 29 churches, in 1863 there were only 10 churches reported at the meeting in Big Creek church in Madison county, with only 326 members in the association. In 1874 there were 37 churches in the association with 1,400 members. In 1876, 10 churches were dismissed to form the Wayne County Association. At the meeting in 1878 there were representatives present from 24 churches chiefly in Madison and Bollinger counties with a membership of 1,200. At this time the ministers of the association were J. C. Hornsby, William London, H. F. Tong, L. W. Revelle, A. Tidwell, F. M. Holbrook, M. Robins, V. T. Settle, B. L. Bowman, J. F. Rudy, and J. C. Hembree.

The oldest church in the association was Big Creek church organized in May, 1835, about 18 miles south of Fredericktown. The first church house was built in 1854; the first pastor of the church was Henry McElmurry; he was succeeded by C. T. Graham, who served as pastor for 22 years.

Castor church was organized in 1845 by Elders Graham, Settle and Eaton. Little Vine church was organized in 1846 with 21 members. Marble Hill church was organized in 1848.

The first church of Fredericktown seems to have been organized in 1870 by Elder W. W. Settle and Silas Livermore; there were 31 members at the time of the reorganization in 1872.

Among the prominent ministers of this association were the following: Carter T. Graham, who was a native of North Carolina and who came to Madison county in 1822, was a well educated man and while he preached for a great many years, supported himself principally by farming. He died in September, 1861; Anderson Hughes was a native of Tennessee but settled in Wayne county while very young; he preached for a number of years and died in 1863.

One of the most influential of the men of this association was W. W. Settle, who came to Missouri from Tennessee in 1833. He first lived in Bollinger county and later in Madison county; he became a preacher in 1839 and up to the time of his death in 1870, was a very active, energetic worker as a minister.

One of the early preachers of this association was Pinkney Graham, who was a native of Kentucky and came to Southeast Missouri in 1826 and was for many years an influential minister.

Twenty-four churches reported to the association in 1910. They had a combined membership of 2,009. They were: Big Creek, 82; Brush Creek, 87; Castor, 22; Ebenezer, 71; Fredericktown, 444; Friendship, 107; Granite View, 19; Glen Allen, 102; Little Whitewater, 136; Marble Hill, 156; Marquand, 113; Miller’s Chapel, 41; Moore’s Chapel, 46; Mt. Carmel, 43; Mt. Pisgah, 116; Mt. Pleasant, 47; New Salem, 73; Shetley’s Creek, 93; Trace Creek, 93; Twelve Mile, 116; Union Light, 119.


2 responses to “Black River Baptist Association, Missouri

  1. try a history of the baptisi t of missouri by robert samuel duncan chapter 4 page 386 387 388 389.

  2. In an article about Madison County Churches, I am trying to use a web link to get to the Black River Baptist Association Minutes and Proceedings 1871-1971. Could you supply me with this link or how to find the link.

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