Macedonia Baptist Church

A very thorough and informative history of this Church was written, read, and published in the minutes of the Association in the year 1894 by Elder W. H. Dawson, the pastor. That sketch has been used extensively in preparing the record of the Church given in these pages.

From the History of the Bethabara Baptist Church of Habit, Kentucky, we are informed that in the early part of the year 1849 some differences that had arisen between certain brethren, over the propriety or impropriety of Baptists belonging to Free Mason Lodges, reached such proportions that several of the members including the pastor, Elder Reuben Cottrell, were excluded from the membership of the Church. Several efforts at reconciliation were attempted with little or no success until at the June meeting of the Church Elders V. E. Kirtley, Darnell Dowden, and John G. Howard visited the Church and united their efforts to bring about peace and harmony. After a protracted effort it was agreed that the excluded members should be restored to fellowship on the condition that they take letters of dismission and form themselves into another Church. Also the Church agreed to give the restored members, after they were constituted into a Church, the sum of $116.66 and two-thirds cents, this being one-half of the estimated value of the Church property, to aid them in erecting a new house of worship. All parties being satisfied with the arrangements thus made, the excluded parties, twenty-one in all, took Letters of dismission, and with the addition of four other interested persons, constituted Macedonia Baptist Church on August 11, 1849. These members we as follows:

  • Jerry Barnhill
  • Miranda Birkhead
  • Elizabeth Cottrell
  • Samuel Cottrell
  • Dorcas Vandervor
  • Sarah Cottrell
  • James B. Stone
  • William Hemingway
  • Elizabeth Kirk
  • James L. Kirk
  • James A. Kirk
  • Elizabeth Lacklin
  • H. O. Vandervor
  • Enoch Stone
  • Elizabeth Hemingway
  • Amanda Sanders
  • John Stout
  • Tinson Stout
  • William Stout
  • Mildred J. Stout
  • Susan Kirk
  • Elder Reuben Cottrell
  • Syann Hazelrigg
  • Elizabeth Stout
  • Sarah Johnson

By previous appointment these brethren and sisters met on the above mentioned date at the home of John Stout. Elders V. E. Kirtley, Thomas Downs, I. R. Allen, Darnell Dowden, and H. H. Ellis were present as the council of recognition. No reason is given for the selection of the name given to the new Church but it is to be presumed that it was chosen because of its Biblical connections. The Church also appointed a building committee to see into the matter of the erection of a suitable house of worship.

At the first regular meeting of the Church Brother John L. Kirk was elected as the Moderator and Brother William Stout was chosen to serve as the first Clerk. The Church also voted to prepare a letter and to send messengers to the Association. She was received into the fellowship of the Association in October, 1849, and has remained a member in good standing to this day. The annual sessions of 1863 and 1888 were held with the Church much to the benefit of the Association as well as to the congregation at this place.

The building committee appointed at the last meeting reported that they had secured a suitable parcel of ground five miles southeast of Owensboro on the Miller’s Mill road for the purpose of erecting a house of worship. This parcel of ground was donated to the Church by the grandfather of the late Brother Rollie D. Bryant. A neat and small frame building was soon completed and dedicated free of debt in the month of March, 1850. Elder Cottrell then made a deed to the Bethabara Church after the settlement had been effected in the division of the Church property. The Church has been faithfully served by the following pastors and clerks since her organization:


Pastor Years
John G. Howard 1849-1852
William Morrison 1853-1855
Frederick Tanner 1855-1858
James M. Dawson 1858-1869
J. D. Arnold 1869-1870
H. T. Lampton 1870-1874
Daniel E. Yeiser 1874-1875
W. H. Dawson 1876-1881
R. S. Fleming 1881-1882
W. W. Williams 1883-1884
W. H. Dawson 1884-1886
J. A. Bennett 1887-1889
L. H. Voyles 1889-1891
W. H. Dawson 1891-1899
J. J. Cloar 1899-1901
J. D. Hocker 1902-1905
J. H. Cowarts 1905-1906
Norris Lashbrook 1906-1907
T. J. Ratcliff 1908
Frank Farmer 1909-1910
E. O. Cottrell 1910
T. T. Willett 1911-1913
T. C. Wyatt 1913
N. F. Gabbert 1914-1916
John Barker 1916-1918
Roy N. Gabbert 1918-1920
J. N. Jarnagin 1920-1922
Clarence Pittard 1922-1926
George D. Parks 1926-1928
B. F. Waite 1928-1930
John W. Kincheloe 1930-1934
James B. Leavell 1935-1937
Wendell H. Rone 1937-1939
Gave L. McGlothlin 1940-1942
Howard D. Olive 1942-1943


Clerk Years
William Stout 1849-1853
J. S. Newton 1853-1863
Minor Stewart 1863
T. B. Stone 1864-1876
F. D. Stone 1877-1881
Ben T. Field 1881-1899
Herman D. Riddle 1899-1903
Rollie D. Bryant 1908-1927
I. O. Emrich 1927-1943

The work of Elders Reuben Cottrell, James M. Dawson. and William H. Dawson was of the greatest value in building up this Church in her early days and the others have entered into their labors and have reaped the harvest of seed sown by them.

Brethren H. O. Vandervor and William Hemingway were ordained as deacons in November, 1849. Brethren Enoch Stone, John Stout, and J. L. Kirk were ordained in August, 1851. Brother J.B. Stone was ordained in September, 1865. Brethren Elijah Griffin and George W. Gabbert were ordained in October, 1867. James L. Owen was ordained in April, 1871. Since that time the following deacons have been ordained or recognized by the Church: J. H. Cottrell, J. A. Miller, and M. H. Gabbert in 1876; J. W. Balee, C. E. Taylor, and George W. Bailey in July, 1886; Patmon Tichenor, W. D. Napier, R. A. Sosh, and Phocian Harris in September, 1899; W. D. Waters in May, 1903; E. J. Brooks, Ira W. Dawson, and George Newbolt in October, 1906; I. E. Lyons in September, 1918; I. O. Emrich and John M. Taylor in April, 1921; Charles Emrich and James Quesnell in December, 1940.

The first house of worship served the Church well until the growing congregations resulted in the erection of a new house of worship in the year 1868. This new building was of frame material and was 36 by 50 feet in size, and was erected at a cost of about $1,700.00, about one hundred and twenty feet east of the site where the old structure stood. This is the same building that the Church worships in today with the exception of repairs to the foundation, roof, and interior. The Church was completely remodeled on the interior in the year 1941 at a cost of $400.00. This house of worship is one of the oldest in the Association at present.

In the month of May, 1851, the Church purchased a small plat of ground adjoining the Church property to be used as a cemetery. This is the old cemetery to the southeast of the Church. After the year 1890 a new cemetery was opened by a private group of individuals to the west of the Church. This property was given to the Church and is now used as the regular Church cemetery. Elder Reuben Cottrell was buried in the old cemetery in 1863 and Elder James M. Dawson was buried there in 1873.

As early as April, 1850, the Church voted to raise an amount for support of the pastor and also for Missions. Thus this Church began very early in her history to give to the cause of spreading the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth. She has given almost $5,000.00 to his cause alone during her history and may thus be called a Missionary Baptist Church. The pastor’s salary has ranged from $50.00 to as much as $600.00 per year for one-half preaching. A stipulated amount has been paid to the pastor since 1857.

Numerous revivals have been held during the years by the Church. The first protracted meeting was held in the winter of 1850. The revival of 1876 lasted for sixteen days and nights and the results were ninety professions of faith and eighty-five additions to the Church membership. The Church reached her highest membership in 1877 as there were 233 members in the fellowship at that time. The present membership is about 105. With the organization of other Baptist Churches the size of the field in which this Church labors has decreased.

In the year 1859 this Church dismissed several of her members to organize the Zion Church on the Owensboro-Hartford road. Again in 1861 she gave of her members to help to organize the Sugar Grove Church. Yellow Creek Church received some of her members after the year 1889. The organization of Hopewell Church in 1894, Dawson Church in 1905, and Friendship Church in 1910, also took members from her midst. Thus she has had a part in the organization of six Churches which caused a decline in her own membership. Since the year 1900 her membership has declined considerably as many of her members have moved away to the cities to leave her with depleted strength.

William H. Dawson was received into the Church by experience and baptism in April, 1866. He was licensed to preach the following June and on March 22, 1867, a presbytery of ministers composed of Elders J. M. Dawson, J. C. Maple, and D. S. Colgan set him apart to the work of the Gospel ministry. He therefore became the Church’s first son in the ministry. He later served the Church as pastor on three different occasions for a total of sixteen years and three months and the most fruitful period of the Church’s history was experienced while he held the pastorate. By request of the Church he delivered two discourses on “Modern Sanctification” on the fourth Sunday in May, 1892, in answer to a Methodist preacher who had been preaching on the same subject and setting forth the Wesleyan doctrine of Sanctification. It is estimated that over 1,500 people heard these discourses and dinner was served on the grounds to this large host. The Church licensed T. J. Ratcliff to preach in April, 1886, and in June of the same year he was ordained to the ministry.

Since the year 1924 a Women’s Missionary Society has functioned in this Church. The Young People’s work was fostered for a while in the 1920’s only to die out and be revived in later years. The Church has had a Sunday School almost continually since the year 1855. She was among the first Churches in this Association to sponsor such a method of teaching the Word of God.

The last living constituent member of this Church died in 1904 at the age of seventy-nine. She was Mrs. Miranda Birkhead. Brother E. J. Brooks has served this Church in the office of deacon for over thirty-eight years and as Moderator since 1922. Brethren C. E. Taylor and J. L. Kirk served the Church as deacons for thirty-five years each. Brother Ira W. Dawson served as a messenger to the Association for twenty-three years and led the singing for over forty years in this Church.

Even though her numbers are few and her territory is now limited the Church is still enjoying much of her former glory and is still carrying on faithfully in the cause of the Lord. In some respects she is now enjoying some of the best days in her history, especially, from a financial standpoint.

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