J. D. Arnold spent the last years of his life within the bounds of this Association, and was a valuable laborer in the Master’s vineyard. He was born in Macon county, Tenn., Aug. 1 2, 1839. At the age of seventeen he lost his father, and his mother could afford him but scant means of obtaining an education. He was studious, however, and acquired a fair knowledge of the common English branches. In 1855, he united with Pleasant Hill church, in Robertson county, Tenn, and was baptized by G. W. Featherstone. Here he was licensed to preach, in 1860. He shortly afterwards moved his membership to Lake Spring, in Simpson county, Ky. , and was ordained to the ministry, in 1861 , by O. H. Morrow and J. W. Self. He was pastor of Lake Spring church two years, and of Franklin, one year. In May, 1869, he moved to Owensboro, Ky. While here, he served Macedonia church, one year. Meanwhile, he moved across the river into Indiana, where he served the churches at Grand View, New Hope. Pleasant Valley, and Pigeon. In all these churches his labors were much blessed. Under his ministry, at Grand View, there were eighty-one additions to the church; at New Hope, fifty-eight additions; at Pigeon, fifty-eight, and, at Pleasant Valley, fifty-five. In 1873, he commenced the publication, at Evansville, of a paper, called the Baptist Missionary, and a Sunday-school paper called the Echo. He soon found that he had undertaken more than his strength would bear, and accordingly disposed of the Baptist Missionary. He continued the publication of the Echo a short time, when the office in which it was published was destroyed by fire. He had continued to serve Pleasant Valley church two Sabbaths in the month, and he was now, in 1874, recalled to New Hope, and Pigeon. The next year, he resigned these charges, to take the care of some churches in Daviess county, Kentucky, whither he returned and pitched his tent, for the last time. He was pastor of Bethabara church five years, during which 130 were added to its membership. He served the church at Whitesville, about the same length of time, and those at Sugar Grove, Mt. Carmel and Zion, briefer periods. In the midst of a career of great usefulness, and in the prime of manhood, he was suddenly called home. He died at the house of a brother, Giles, near Pleasant Valley church, in Spencer county, la., where he had been invited to lecture on church history, June 11, 1881. Mr. Arnold was a man of great energy and tireless industry, and succeeded in his holy vocation, in an eminent degree.
Source: A history of Kentucky Baptists: from 1769 to 1885, Vol. II. John H. Spencer, Cincinnati, 1886