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Dry Creek Baptist Church

The Dry Creek Settlement dates from the year 1798 when a large family came from North Carolina. As early as 1802 and 1803, Samuel Skinner and his brothers, William, Joseph, Theophilus and Wiley came from North Carolina and settled near Linton. These pioneers brought their religious traditions with them. Samuel Skinner donated the land on which the original log building of Dry Creek Church was built.

Dry Creek Baptist church is the oldest religious organization to be established in Trigg County. The congregation was established on October 25, 1805 by H.L. Craig.

The following information was compiled and written by Gayle Terrell.

Organization of Churches.

One of the first if not the first church to be regularly organized in Trigg County was the Dry Creek Baptist Church near Linton organized about 1805. The first preachers were Elders Dudley Williams, Reuben Ross and James Cox. The first “meeting house” was a log building, which stood on land donated by Samuel Skinner. This stood a long time and was afterwards replaced by another log structure, which was used until about the year 1850 when a frame building was erected. This frame building stood until a few years ago when the present building was erected, which is a very credible building and an honor to its membership.

Several notations are on the fly leaf of an old church book of the Dry Creek Church as follows:

This church book bought by H.L. Craig, who was baptized 8-17-1803 in Bartle County N.C. in the Church of Christ in Cone City, etc. This book came to my hands 8-01-1812, Thomas Woods. This book came to my hands 11-18-1816, Allen Skinner. Jesse Cox, Clerk of Dry Creek 7-07-1818. This book came to my hands 4th Thursday, October 1821, Samuel Luton. John Carr, his name. Caleb Lindsay, his name, Thomas Woods, Clerk.

On the first page of this old book we find:
A list of the Dry Creek Church as it stands 8-14-1815.
Dudley Williams, pastor.
John Tinsley and Jame McClain, deacons.

 Samuel SkinnerWilliam SkinnerTheopolus Skinner
 Allin SkinnerHarvey SkinnerMoses Larny
 Nathan ParkerThomas ScottJoseph Woods
 John MillsJohn CarrWilson Willis
 Johnathon ChandlerJohn HerdSam Luton
 Sam BrewtonJosiah SkinnerThomas Futrell
 Elizabeth WilliamsNunn SkinnerJude Skinner
 Mary SkinnerJonah SkinnerElizabeth Skinner
 Elizabeth WebsterMary RyanMary Hamilton
 Nathey ChappellJaret HubardDinah McNatt
 Milley McNattAmey Ann Land------ Vincent
 Hannah LarneyRhoda LandAnn Cox
 Lorana WoodsHannah WoodsMary McLain
 N. EzellSarah FutrellAmey Futrell
 Elizabeth FutrellMary Stilley--------- Herel
 Sarah WellsAmey ChandlerMary Bruton
 Sarah McNatMariann MillsAnn Burd
 Thomas Woods, ClerkSarah BakerRachel Hargrove
 John ReadElizabeth ReadJohn Baker
 Sarah BakerWilliam BakerSister Ford
 Silas VinsonJohn Minton (by letter)
 Moses, a black man belonging to Win. Skinner, Beb, Jo, Sail and Fan
 Parker Theopelus Skinner Tom Wiley SkinnerEliz. Bett
 Moses Lowry
 Lewis, a black man dismissed
 Tom, a black man in good standing
 Moses and Sol and Peter, dismissed
 Caleb Lindsey, deaconEphraim McLainDave Cohoon
 Drury BridgesJames ThomasJohn Tuppin
 Daniel CohoonNathan FutrellIssac Sumner
 David CohoonJohn CohoonJohn Hodge
 Stephen BorenAllen ShouldersSarah Lindsay
 Olivey McLainMargaret HollandAbagal Crage
 Mary SumnerCharity BridgesMary Lindsay
 Niome CohoonTelitha BridgesNety Brown
 Tokia LindsaySusanna HollandSarah Crage
 Charity FutrellSarah HargrovesSarah Boren
 Elizabeth ThomasMary ThomasBathsheba Colson
 Charity BorenMary BorenNancy Boren
 Sarah CohoonPatsa, a black woman

The church book shows that in April 1818 the roll was called and all names beginning with Caleb Lindsay, as deacon, were dismisses from consideration. Evidently all of these people must have been transferred to the Donaldson Creek Church and these names appear on the book of that church.

The church book has the heading:
The Church of Christ on Dry Creek, Christian County, Ky., was constituted on Sat. the 8th day of Oct. in the year of our Lord, 1805 by a Presbytery from two churches among whom were Rev. S. Jesse Brooks and Samuel Skinner, denomination up on the following plan or constitution to wit: There then follow a statement of beliefs of the church.

The heading of the minutes of the church is like reading a novel, full of good fellowship and stern discipline as numerous members were let out of fellowship with the church for many reasons, all of which were duly recorded. This old book is complete from 1805 to 1854, giving dates of all preaching services and who did the preaching and in many cases the text from which the preaching was done. The dates which all members were admitted into the church and whether by confession or by letter and names of all leaving the church and from what causes. Many instances of church trials of members not acting in strict conformity of the rules are recorded.

The names of Mount Pleasant Church and Flat Lick Church are mentioned frequently in the minutes as asking for help to ordain deacons. Committees were appointed for many purposes and all made reports. Many questions arose for discussion. One was: “What is to be done for those of our church who have a desire to exercise a public gift.” A committee was appointed to make a recommendation and reported: “Any male member of our church who thinks he is duty bound to exercise a public gift by exhorting or preaching at liberty to do so in the bounds of the church under the care and direction of the church.” This was done at a meeting in June 1812.

On the first Lord’s day in June 1813, a day of fasting and prayer was set aside.

As far back as 1811 there was considerable discussion among the members of the Baptist church concerning decorum, and at a meeting held the 4th Lord’s day in Sept. of that year, a committee was appointed to meet with a committee from the other church. The committee from Dry Creek was composed of Dudley Williams and Caleb Lindsay. A report was made the 4th Lord’s day in Dec. of 1811 as follows: “We the joint committee from both churches on Dry Creek appointed by said churches to meet in order to try to devise means and ways to bring about union of said churches have on mature deliberation recommended the following plan to bring about the much desired object: “The party who left the old church and formed a church and have taken in members by letter or experience, we have reason to believe have been faithful and as we are satisfied that a difference in principal was the cause of our seperation, and now being persuaded that those principals are held controversially and that they are such as do not appear of such a nature as to be a bar in church fellowship, we recommend that the names lower church Friday net and the meeting houses and that the names lower church members be called distinctly and the question put to the members of the lower church: “Are you willing to join the old church and come under the rules and discipline of said church and live in peace and as an orderly Baptist?” If the answer is in the affirmative, this motion is put to the old church: “Are you willing to receive this member?” If there are any objections to any, we recommend that both churches do make use of all gospel means to remove the disability, but it is distinctly understood that any difference in principal is not to be made use of by either party provided those principals be such as ought to be held by all orderly Baptist.:

On the 4th Lord’s day in March 1812, the above report came up for ratification or reflection, and we find this mention on the minutes: “This was the appointed day on which a number of the members of the lower church declined coming forward for certain and important reasons, but any of the lower church who were prepared came forward.”

This evidently had reference to the Little River Baptist Church, although not specifically mentioned, but later on we find quite a number of references to joint meetings with the Little River Church in 1812 and 1813 and later on. No further reference is found to the question of church separation and evidently this was the end of the controversy about which there bad evidently been much discussion.

Much family history of people living in Trigg County can be had my reading this old book. Many of the most prominent citizens of the county have always been numbered with its membership. It is astonishing to note the large membership of this church as early as 1805 which was 13 years before Trigg was established as a county.

The clerks of this church have always been careful to record the doing of this church in detail, which makes interesting reading as a matter of history. This book is in the custody of Elder Nuck Darnall, present pastor of this church. His father, the late J.L. Darnall, ministered to this church many years as did Elder W.H. Dwyer and other devout men who are still remembered by people yet living in the county.

Today services are conducted the Second Sunday of each month, and the annual meeting date, Second Sunday in May, continues.

Pastors of Dry Creek Church

1st pastor – Dudley Williams
2nd pastor – Samuel Skinner
Reuben Ross
James Cox
Jesse Darnall 1888-1915
D.R. Turner -3 years
J.N. (Nuck) Darnall – 1919-1979 – assisted by R.H. Hale in 1977
RH. Hale – 1977 to present
David Mattingly - called to assist RH. Hale 1991 to 2014 (Elder Mattingly died in 2014)