Karn’s Grove Church

This Church is the outgrowth of a tent meeting which was held on the site, or near it, of the present Church. The meeting was conducted by Rev. A. N. Whittinghill in a tent owned by the Association. A chapel was erected as the result of the meeting, and on February 24, 1898, a Church was constituted with thirty-four charter members, most of whom were dismissed from the Hopewell, Whitesville, and Bethabara Churches for this purpose. Elders A. N. Whittinghill, E. W. Coakley, I. L. Rice, and R. E. Jones composed the council of ministers at the organization of the Church. The names of the charter members were as follows:

  • Sarah Karn
  • G. C. Karn
  • Bettie Karn
  • Agnes Karn
  • Ambrose Cundiff
  • Lizzie Cundiff
  • Remus Cundiff
  • Florence Cundiff
  • Ezra Cundiff
  • George Cundiff
  • Bertha Cundiff
  • James Ashby
  • Dosia Ashby
  • L. N. Bristow
  • Mollie Bristow
  • Sarah Fuqua
  • Albert Pate
  • Charles Nutall
  • Lillie Nutall
  • Jeff Jones
  • Frona Jones
  • J. W. Ashby
  • C. T. Densford
  • M. F. Densford
  • D. M. Bailey
  • Charles Bailey
  • Dora Watkins
  • M. E. Jones
  • Maggie Gordon
  • R. E. Morgan
  • Asa Sullivan
  • Emily Whalen
  • Delia Short
  • Ora Jones

Brother L. N. Bristow was elected as the first Moderator of the Church and Brother D. C. Karn was elected as the first Clerk. Brethren R. E. Morgan, M. E. Jones, and Jeff Jones were elected as the first deacons. The name Karn’s Grove was adopted as the name of the new Church because the original land owners in this territory were named Karn. The Church called Elder I. L. Rice as the first pastor and Brother R. E. Morgan was elected as the first Sunday School Superintendent to organize a Sunday School.

The Church became a member of the Daviess County Association in August, 1898, through her petitionary letter borne by Messengers L. N. Bristow and G. C. Karn. She was cordially received and has remained as a member of the Association to this day.

The Church made plans immediately after her organization to erect a house of worship. The land was given by Brother Ambrose Cundiff. The building was dedicated in August, 1898, and has been in constant use by the Church to the present day. Additional land was later purchased to provide parking space. The cemetery is across the road from the Church.

On April 20, 1899, the Church ordained Brethren John Horseman, Joe Stockton, J. T. Jones, L. N. Bristow, and J. A. Karns to the office of deacon through a presbytery composed of Elders B. F. Jenkins, I. L. Rice, E. W. Coakley, and R. T. Bruner. Nothing is said in the records about the ordination of the three brethren elected at the initial meeting of the Church and it is presumed that they declined to serve the Church in this office. Eugene Jones was recognized as a deacon in June, 1915, as he had united with the Church by letter. In June, 1920, Brethren J. L. Bannon, W. V. Lewis, and N. M. Crutcher were ordained as deacons by Elders H. S. Wiggington and O. M. Shultz. In the latter part of the year 1936 Brethren Carl Philpot and H. N. Eaty were ordained to the office of deacon.

The Church has been served by the following pastors and clerks since her constitution in 1898:


Pastor Year
I. L. Rice 1898-1899
J. J. Cloar 1900
J. C. Craig 1901-1903
C. S. Maddox 1904-1905
J. W. Leighton 1906
T. J. Ratcliff 1906-1908
T. A. Sutherland 1909
Frank Farmer 1910-1915
O. T. Cole 1916-1917
H. S. Wiggington  1918-1921
Virgil A. Polk 1922-1924
D. Arthur Dailey 1925-1930
Ernest Honts 1931
George C. Lovan 1932
A. H. Freer 1933
I. L. Baughn 1934-1937
J. L. Waldrop 1938
B. B. Sawyer 1939-1940
J. L. Henderson 1940-1942
Robert Lashbrook 1942-1943


Clerk Years
D. C. Karn 1898-1901
W. A. Steward 1902
G. C. Karn 1902-1903
A. S. Coones 1904-1906
N. M. Crutcher 1907-1909
Zada Bristow 1910
Henry Coones 1911-1914
Vernon Farme 1914-1915
W. V. Lewis 1916-1932
Jewell Bannon 1933-1937
Preston Matthews 1938-1943

This Church has never been very strong numerically as she is surrounded by other Baptist Churches and her territory is therefore limited. Her present membership is about 85 and has never been over 100 for any considerable length of time. A Sunday School has functioned almost annually since the organization of the Church and for a time the work of the Young People was fostered. The Women’s Missionary Society has also been functioning well for several years. This Church has been consistently missionary all during her history and has contributed to the work of the denomination commendably.

Source: A History of the Daviess-McLean Baptist Association in Kentucky, 1844-1943. Wendell H. Rone, Messenger Job Printing Co., Inc., Owensboro, Kentucky, 1944.