John W. Stevens Letter, Dec. 19, 1878

I will now give your readers a short history of the first worshipping congregation that met in this and other neighborhoods in this county.  At my first recollection the most of the settlers of this neighborhood were of the Methodist persuasion, and as there was no meeting houses at that time the meetings were held in private houses convenient for the people of the neighborhood, and my Grandmother Stevens’ was one of these places and the first meeting I recollect of being at was held at her house, this was a preaching place for the circuit riders and other preachers.  There was one whom I will name that some may remember, Louden Carroll, who has grandchildren living in this neighborhood.  There was a settlement at what is now called Cold Spring, formerly called Reese’s settlement, containing such families as Reese’s, Griffith’s, Smith’s and others, who were of the Baptist order, and they soon constituted a church called the Licking Church. It was the first in this county.   About three miles from here on four mile creek, was another settlement of Baptist, as Ware’s, Cooper’s, Boyd’s, Herbert’s and others.  They constituted the second Baptist church in the county.  Another church about three miles of here was constituted in 1809, called Brush Creek.  These were the only Baptist churches in the county until 1818. I will give the names of some of the old Baptist preachers up to that date: Nathaniel Riggs, Josiah Hubert, --- Reall, Robt. Ware, and John Stephens, who was a very pious man, although not much of a speaker, yet he was as much esteemed by the people and did much good preaching among the churches as any minister of his day. Those whom I have named were all of this county, others coming in to preach occasionally. There was a preacher from Boone county who came here about the later part of 1817.  His name was Christopher Wilson.  He preached to three churches above mentioned.   At the beginning of 1818 there was a great revival in these churches and many were invited to them, the old people as well as young, and some of the young men were soon licensed to preach and were afterwards ordained. Of all the young men who were ordained to preachers at that time there is but one yet living, namely Ferguson German.  I will name those who are gone, as they were my schoolmates:  Revs. George Graden, Wm. Morin, James Vickers, and James Spillman.   In the fall of 1818, Old Twelve Mile Church was constituted and the churches of Alexandria and Flagg Spring were shortly afterward consisted of members from Four Mile and Brush Creek churches.  


from the Newport Local, December 19, 1878