Baptist Mission beginnings in Goshen Association

Goshen Association

A very precious revival prevailed among the churches of the Association, during the year 1834, under the able and zealous ministry of the two missionaries alluded to above; and 349 baptisms were reported to the Association, that fall. But the success of missionary labor, in their midst, did not stop the clamor of the anti-missionaries. They were in a small minority, but they had some respectable preachers on their side, and they continued to embarrass the Association, and to prevent the co-operation of several of the churches, in any missionary enterprise. In 1835, Hopeful church sent up the following query: “Is the Association in favor of the Mission System, or not?” The timid reply was as follows: “Agreed, That the Association do not think that they are prepared to give an answer, at this time, further than to say, that the churches should be left to their own choice upon the subject of missions; but would advise the churches not to make the joining, or not joining, of the missionary society, a bar to communion, or a matter of dealing.” This action proves that the Anti-missionary party exercised considerable influence in the body, at that period. This year, the Association answered a query, from Rock Creek church, in the following words: ” First, We believe that it is wrong to commune with unbaptized Christians of any denomination. Secondly, The general tenor of the New Testament throughout forbids it. Thirdly, The universal usage of all orderly Baptist churches forbids it.”

Notwithstanding the violent opposition, the Missionary party, who had already witnessed the happy effects of domestic missions, continued to devise such means as they could, to supply the destitution wtihin the bounds of the Association. In 1838, the church at Owensboro sent up the following: ” Dear Brethren, would it not be well for the Association to request the churches to delegate their members to meet at such time and place as the Association may think best, to take into consideration the propriety of having more preaching among the churches, generally.” Answer: “The Association do not think it their duty to appoint a day for the churches to do anything with the proposition named; but we feel it our duty to leave the matter with the churches, for their own consideration, to act as they think right upon the subject. The Association further renew the request for the ministers to visit, and preach to the churches in this Association, two and two.” Some of the churches acted upon the suggestion of Owensboro church. A convention was called, and, although we have not the particulars of its proceedings, we are assured that it resulted in much good. A general revival pervaded the churches, and it is estimated that not less than 500 were converted, and the missionary spirit was widely diffused.

Source: A history of Kentucky Baptists: from 1769 to 1885, Vol. II. John H. Spencer, Cincinnati, 1886