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Van Wert Baptist Church

(Minutes 1840 - 1841)

 
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Transcriber’s note:
This handwritten book was discovered tucked behind the wainscoting of a house located on West Elm Street, Rockmart or Cedartown, Georgia, when the house was being razed. I have not been able to determine the age of the home or the original owner. The house was destroyed between 1955 and 1958. The property was last owned and torn down by the Seaboard Railroad. The finder turned it over to Homer Morgan who in turn gave it to Hugh Watts Randall. Mr. Randall is a descendant of the Morgans who were prominent in the church and a prominent local historian.

My name is Cassandra Robertson Newby and I am a descendant of the William Jefferson Thomas I mentioned in the church book. A copy of the original book is in the library at Rome, Georgia; I copied the copy and made the transcription to honor him, even though he strayed somewhat from the straight and narrow Baptist past.

 
THE CHURCH BOOK OF THE BAPTIST CHURCH AT VAN WERT,
PAULDING COUNTY, GEORGIA
JUNE 20,1840

The Baptist Church at Van Wert was the forerunner of the First Baptist Church at Rockmart, Polk County, Georgia.

It later became a Methodist church, and then was abandoned for decades.

Van Wert, Paulding County, Georgia, June 20,1840

Members from various parts of the Baptist denomination being settled in this place and its vicinity, and being desirous of being constituted into a Church, have agreed among ourselves that Humphrey Posey, John Holmes and J. W. Lewis be a presbytery to examine into our standing and fitness to be thus constituted and have agreed to the constitution hereunto annexed.

Humphrey Posey
John Holmes
John W. Lewis

The above presbytery having examined unto the state and standing of the persons whose names are hereunto annexed, have this day constituted them into a Church under the name of the Baptist Church at Van Wert.

Joseph Morgan, A Deacon
Hannah Morgan
Benjamin F. Morgan
Churchill Mason ( A Deacon)
Elizabeth Mason
Elisha Garrett
Nancy Garrett
Joseph D. Morgan
William M. Morgan
John Harrison
Katharine Junior
Winney Gibson
Rhody Harrison

The members accepted Joseph Morgan and Churchill Mason Deacons, and they gave their consent to serve. They also set apart the 3rd Sunday in each month, and Saturday before, as their stated time of meeting, until it may be thought fit to alter the time. The body was then pronounced as the Baptist Church at Van Wert and a door was opened for the reception of members, when Elisha Gibson was received by Experience.

John Holmes, Moderator
John W. Lewis, Clerk

Articles of Faith or Constitution for the regular Baptist Church, constituted at Van Wert, this 20th Day of June, 1840.

1st. We believe in one True and Living God, and that there is a Trinity of persons in this Godhead, The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, and yet there are not three gods but one God.

2nd. We believe the scripture of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God and only rule of faith and practice.

3rd. We believe in the Doctrine of Original Sin and Universal Depravity of the human family, and of man's inability to recover himself from the fallen state which he is in by his own free will and ability.

4th. We believe in the everlasting love of the God to his people.

5th. We believe that sinners are justifiable in the sight of God by the Righteousness of Christ imparted unto them.

6th. We believe that true believers in Christ will persevere to the end of their lives and none of them will be finally lost.

7th. We believe that good works are the fruit of faith and follow after justifications.

8th. We believe that there will be resurrection of the dead, and a general judgment, and that the happiness of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked will be Eternal.

9th. We believe that the visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful persons who have gained Christian fellowship with each other and have given themselves to the Lord and one another and have agreed to keep up a godly discipline agreeable to the rules laid down in the Gospel.

10th. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Great Head of the Church and only lawgiver and that the government is with the Body and is the privilege of each individual and the discipline of the Church is intended for the reclaiming of those members who may be disorderly either in faith or practice and must be faithfully kept up for the Glory of God and the harmony of the Church.

11th. We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are binding ordinances and are to be continued until his second coming, and immersion only is Baptism and that true believers are the only subjects.

12th We believe that no minister has a right to administer the ordinances of the Lord's House, only such as has been legally set apart to the work of the Gospel ministry.

Amanda Burke
William Willoughby
Sarah Willoughby
Joseph F. Heaton
William H. Burton (Dismissed by Letter)
Burton Crabb ( A Deacon, Dismissed)
Rachel Crabb
George W. Morgan (A Deacon, Dismissed)
Nancy Morgan
Benjamin Morgan
Francis E. Burk
Frances Burton or Barton
 
Whites, Number of Members: 58
Blacks, Number of Members 2
60
 
Dismissed by Letters: 10
Received by Letters: 6
Received by Experience: 2

RULES OF DECORUM

1st. The Pastoral supply shall be Moderator unless circumstances make it necessary to appoint another.

2nd. The first business of the Moderator shall be to invite visiting brethren to seats.

3rd. Open a door for the reception of members.

4th. (inserted) Excuses for absence. It shall be the duty of each free male member to attend the monthly conferences, and if any fail to do so, he shall render his reason at the next conference thereafter. For the second failure, he shall be admonished by the Moderator, and for the third, he shall be called for by the Church.

5th. Inquire for acknowledgments.

6th. Attend to references.

7th. Attend to matters of dealing.

8th. Attend to anything which may interest the conference.

9th. It shall also be the duty of all the members to attend Communion and partake at the Lord's Supper; any individual member neglecting either shall render his or her reason to one of the Deacons, previous to the next Communion.

10th. All cases in conference shall be decided by a majority of the members present, except such as are binding on fellowship, then the unanimous voice is required, and all cases thus decided shall be final and conclusive.

11th. The Moderator may vote in case of a tie, but not otherwise.

12th. Every motion made and seconded shall be attended to by the Moderator, except withdrawn by the member who made it.

13th. Every member, before he speaks to any point in debate, shall first rise from his seat and address the Moderator.

14th. No member shall speak more than three times to the same subject without leave from the Church.

15th. No member shall absent himself from the conference without leave from the Moderator.

16th. The Moderator may speak to any point in debate by calling some Brother to fill the chair.

17th. We agree to bear our proportionate part in all expenses necessary for the support of the Church and our Pastor, according to what we have.

18th. If any member violate any of these rules, he or she shall be reproved by the Moderator, and refusing to come to order, shall be dealt with by the Church.

19th. These rules may be altered or amended when it shall appear they are deficient according to the Scriptures.

20th. Resolved, that these rules together with the Constitution of the Church be read quarterly at our Communion Meeting.

21st. The Church agrees to meet and commence public exercise on Saturday (or Conference Day) at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, whether there be a preacher in attendance or not.

Joseph Morgan, a Deacon Dismissed by Letter
Hannah Morgan Dead
Benjamin F. Morgan
Churchill Mason, a Deacon Dismissed by Letter
Elizabeth Mason
Elisha Garrett Dismissed by Letter
Nancy Garrett Dismissed by Letter
Joseph D. Morgan
William M. Morgan Dismissed by Letter
John Harrison
Rhoda Harrison
Katharine Junior Excluded
Winney Gibson Dismissed by Letter
Eliza Gibson Dismissed by Letter
Oliver C. Jones Dismissed by Letter
Mary Jones Dismissed by Letter
Benjamin Lansing Dead
Mary Lansing Dead
Henry J. Hogue Dismissed by Letter
Gabrilla Hogue Dismissed by Letter
Charles Garmon Dismissed by Letter
Mary Garmon Dismissed by Letter
Mary A. Mason Dismissed by Letter
Elizabeth Ezzard Dismissed by Letter
Mary Walton
Jacob Scott Dead
Jincy Scott Dismissed by Letter
Elizabeth Lethers Dismissed
Rhoda Wright Dismissed
Marian McCard Dead
Allen Johnson Dismissed
Jane A. Wingfield Dismissed
Sintha Morris Dismissed by Letter
Mary C. Morris Dismissed by Letter
John Lansing Dead
Lucinda Roach Dismissed
E. D. Chisolm
Leroy McWhorter Dismissed
Mary McWhorter Dismissed
James D. Deupree Dead
Lucinda Dickerson Dismissed
Elender Camp Dismissed
John R. Heaton
Maryann Heaton
Joseph Thames Dismissed by Letter
Bethany Thames Dismissed by Letter
Thomas Weatherly Ordered May, 1847 by the Church
Fereby Crabb Dismissed by Letter
Joseph Morgan's Bill Dismissed by Letter
and Bacchus Dismissed by Letter
B. F. Morgan Letters Letter
Margaret Morgan Dismissed by Letter
Ritta Lansing Dismissed
Elizabeth Weatherly Dismissed
Catharine Childers Dismissed
John Brooks Dismissed by Letter
Jane Brooks Dismissed by Letter
Martha Ann Morgan
Harriett Pruitt Dismissed by Letter
Beby M. Tredaway Dismissed
Margaret Oins Dismissed by Letter
Monimia Davis Dismissed by Letter
Alexander Evans Dismissed by Letter
Johnson McWhorter Dismissed
Manerva Morgan
Mary Willingham Dismissed by Letter
Moses Williams Excluded
Charity Carter Dismissed
Mary Hall Dismissed
Edmund J. Spratling Dismissed
Jamima Davis Dismissed
Martha Weatherly Dismissed
Maston Kirby Dismissed by Letter
Nancy Ann Harrison Dismissed
Frances Peake Dismissed by Letter
Manerva Thomas Dismissed
James M. Childers
Hannah Dickerson Dismissed
Isaac Roach Excluded
Caroline Flanegan
William Phlippin (Flippin) Excluded
Delila Cason Dismissed
Jefferson Thomas Dead
Rhoda Kirby Dismissed by Letter
Mathew Telford Excluded
Mary Williams Dismissed
Tyloman D. Pruitt Dismissed by Letter
Diannah Pruitt Dismissed by Letter
Susan A. Scott Dismissed
James B. Carter Excluded
James Hall Excluded
Mary Burgess Dismissed by Letter
Moses McWhorter Dismissed
Sarah Johnson Dismissed
Jane Wilson Dismissed
Amanda Dupree Dead
Dorothy A. Flippin Dismissed
Hampton Junior Dismissed
Sarah Heaton Excommunicated
Thomas W. Burton, a Deacon Dismissed by Letter
Martha F. Burton Dismissed by Letter
Cancy Felton Excluded
Levi H. Carter Dismissed
Gabrielle Carter Dismissed
Jane Fortinberry Dismissed
Cornelius Fortinberry Dismissed
Absalom Fortinberry Dismissed
Frederick McGuire Excommunicated
B. F. Key Dismissed by Letter
Margaret E. Key Dismissed by Letter
William Crabb Dismissed
Martha Farmer
Martha Jane Franklin Dismissed
William B. Moore
Sion Evans Dismissed by Letter
John Holmes, Minister Dismissed by Letter
Sarah Holmes, Sr. Dismissed by Letter
Mary, a black belonging to R. McGregor
Caroline Mason Dismissed by Letter
James Scott Dismissed
Thomas Crabb Dismissed
Burrell Leverett Dismissed
John Ezzard Dismissed
William D. Crabb Dismissed
John Wynne Dismissed
Mary Kingsberry Dismissed
Charles McGuire Excluded
Clementine Crabb Dismissed
William T. York
Burton F. Crabb Dismissed
John C. Crabb
Elizabeth A. Roach
Elizabeth J. Harrison
Susannah Weatherly
James Roach Excluded
Thornton Burk, Minister Dismissed by Letter
Melinda Burk Dismissed

The Baptist Church at Van Wert

Church Book bought by W. M. Morgan.
Paid $1.50. Bought for the use of the Church at Van Wert
this 27th Day of June, 1841.

B. F. Morgan, Clerk
W. H. Harney

Transcriber's note: This page is very dark and hard to read. CRN

John T. -----
G. W. Morgan 50
L. C. Pankey 25
J. Heaton 50
J. C. Crabb 25
F. Crabb 25
N. N. Edge 25

July 18, 1840
The Church at Van Wert met in conference. Brother Holmes, Moderator. Invited visiting brethren to seats with us. Opened the door for the reception of members. Received none. Inquired for fellowship and found peace. Then called for other business and took into consideration the choosing of a preacher and agreed that our next meeting be the time that we go into a call and try to get our preacher and clerk for this church at the same time. John Holmes, Moderator Joseph Morgan, Clerk

August 15, 1840
The Baptist Church at Van Wert met in conference. Brother Posey, Moderator. Invited visiting members to seats with us. Opened the door for the reception of members and received none. Inquired for fellowship an( found peace. Then went into the choice of a preacher and invited in the call of Brother John Holmes to be our next supply for the remainder of this year and nominated Brother Joseph Morgan clerk for the Church. And we further agree that we offer our membership to the Tallahatchee Association and we have nominated our Brethren Joseph Morgan and John Harrison as Delegates to the Association and Elisha Garrett in case of failure. The letters to the Association received and adopted.

John Holmes, Moderator Joseph Morgan, Clerk

September 19,1840
The Church at Van Wert met in conference. Brother Holmes, Moderator. Invited visiting members to seats with us. Opened the door for the reception of members and found none. Called for fellowship and found peace. John Holmes, Moderator Joseph Morgan, Clerk

October 11, 1840
The Church at Van Wert met in conference. Brother Holmes, Moderator. Invited visiting members to seats with us. Opened the door for the reception of members. None. Inquired for fellowship and found peace. Called for reference and found none. Called for business. The Church agree that Brethren Mason and Harrison see Brother Garrett and inquire after the report that is out against him, and request him to come to next meeting and make known to the Church the true state of the case. Brethren Mason, Harrison and Morgan a committee and that Levy Simpson and J. C. York be requested to act with them as a part of that committee to select a place to build a meeting house. John Holmes, Moderator Joseph Morgan, Clerk

November 15 1840
The Church at Van Wert met in conference. Brother Holmes, Moderator. Invited visiting members to seats with us. Opened the door for the reception of members. Entered none. Inquired for fellowship and found peace. Called for reference and Brother Garrett came forward and made satisfaction to the Church.

December 19,1840
The Church at Van Wert met in conference. Brother Holmes, Moderator. Invited visiting members to seats with us. Opened a door for the reception of members and entered 0. C. Jones and Mary, his wife, into fellowship with us by Letters. Called for reference. None. Called for business of the Church.

John Holmes, Moderator Joseph Morgan, Clerk


The Year of 1841

January 1841
No conference.

February 20, 1841
The Church at Van Wert met in conference. Brother Holmes, Moderator Invited visiting members to seats with us. Opened a door for the reception of members. Received none. Called for reference. None. Called for the report of the committee and they report nothing done. The Church took into consideration the gift of Brother 0. C. Jones and liberated him to exercise in some suitable way, according to his own impressions in the bounds of this Church. Brother Elijah Gibson applied for a Letter of Dismission for himself and wife and it was granted. John Holmes, Moderator Joseph Morgan, Clerk

March 20,1841
The Baptist Church at Van Wert met in conference. Brother Holmes, Moderator. Invited visiting members to seats with us. Opened the door for the reception of members. None. Called for references. None. The Church requested Brother Clerk to purchase a book for the use of the Church and paid for so doing. The Church agrees to release Brother Joseph Morgan from the clerkship and appoint Brother B. F. Morgan in his place. The Church agrees to try to be prepared to contribute something at our next meeting for the support of the Gospel and also for Church purposes. John Holmes, Moderator B. F. Morgan, Clerk

April 17, 1841
The Church at Van Wert met in conference. Brother Holmes, Moderator. Invited visiting brethren to seats with us. Opened a door for the reception of members and received by Letter Brother B. Lansing and Mary Lansing, his wife. Inquired for fellowship and found peace. Called for reference. None. The Church appoints the Clerk to prepare a letter for the subscription for the support of the Gospel and Brother Mason is to hold that subscription. The Church agrees to commune at our next meeting.

John Holmes, Moderator B. F. Morgan, Clerk

May 15, 1841
The Church of Christ at Van Wert met in conference. Brother Holmes, Moderator. Invited visiting members to seats with us. Opened a door for the reception of members and received by Letter Brother Henry J. Hogue and Sister Gabrielle Hogue. Inquired for the business of the Church and found all in peace. Called for reference. None. Then inquired for miscellaneous business and found none. John Holmes, Moderator O. C. Jones, Clerk Pro Tem

June 19, 1841
Met in conference. Brother Holmes, Moderator. Invited visiting members to seats with us. Opened a door for the reception of members and received Brother and Sister Gorman by Letter. Inquired for the business of the Church and found all in peace. Whereas Brother Lansing bore a private letter, Brother Mason to write back to the pastor of Locust Grove Church to know if he was ordained deacon. Called for references. None. Then inquired for miscellaneous business and found none. John Holmes, Moderator B. F. Morgan, Clerk

July 17, 1841
The Baptist Church of Christ at Van Wert met in conference. Brother Holmes, Moderator. Invited visiting members to seats with us. Opened a door for the reception of members and received by Experience Maryanne Mason. Called for reference. None. Inquired for fellowship and found peace. Then went into the choice of delegates to represent us in the Association and Brother 0. C. Jones and Joseph Morgan was chosen. Brother Mason in case of failure. And 0. C. Jones to write the Association letter and that we send one dollar for minutes. We also authorize delegates to act for this Church in the Association as regards certain surplus found and that we so say in our letter to that body. On motion, conference adjourned.

John Holmes, Moderator B. F. Morgan, Clerk

August 13, 1841
We the Baptist Church of Christ at Van Wert met in conference. Invited visiting members to seats with us. Opened a door for the reception of members. Received none. Inquired for fellowship and found all well. Called for reference and the Association letter was read and received. Then called for miscellaneous business and a contribution was made up for unity. The Church agrees that the Clerk and Moderator names shall be inserted at the bottom of every letter. And the Rules of Decorum was read and received and also directed recorded in the Church Book. Conference dismissed. This 13th day of August, 1841.

John Holmes, Moderator B. F. Morgan, Clerk

August 14, 1841
We the Baptist Church of Christ at Van Wert met in conference. Opened the door for the reception of members but received none. Called for absentees, when several brethren made satisfaction for failing to attend.

John Holmes, Moderator B. F. Morgan, Clerk

Note in margin: Total for 1841 22

September 17, 1841
We the Baptist Church of Christ met in conference. 1. Opened a door for the reception of members. None. 2. Called for reference. 3. Inquired for fellowship, found all in peace. 4. Called for the business of the Church when Brother and Sister 0. C. Jones and Mary, his wife, applied for Letters of Dismission by the Moderator which was granted, and is dismissed from us as a Licensed Preacher. Done in conference this 17th day of September 1841.

John Holmes, Moderator B. F. Morgan, Clerk

October 16,1841
We the Baptist Church at Van Wert met in conference. 1. Opened a door for the reception of members. Received none. 2. Called for reference. None. 3. Then called for the business of the Church. None.

John Holmes, Moderator B. F. Morgan, Church Clerk

November 20,1841
We the Baptist Church of Christ met in conference. 1. Invited visiting brethren to a seat with us. 2. Opened a door for the reception of members. None. 3. Inquired for fellowship and found peace. Called for reference. None. Done in conference.

John Holmes, Moderator B. F. Morgan, Church Clerk

December 17,1841
We the Baptist Church of Christ at Van Wert met in conference.

1. Invited visiting members to seats.
2. Opened the door for reception of members. None.
3. Inquired for fellowship and found peace.
4. Called for reference. None.
5. Then called for the business of the Church when Brother J. D. Morgan applied for Letters of Dismission for Brother and Sister Garrett which was granted. Done in conference.

B. Lansing, Moderator B. F. Morgan, Clerk

 

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Last modified: Tuesday, 06-Apr-2010 18:00:00 CDT