We are pleased to post the following record of the Minutes of the Muddy River Baptist Association. Our thanks to Ron & Doris Nelson for permission to use the printed copy for transcription. Its a treasure to come accross records this old that have survived. Its also great to see one's own ancestor involved in the church as a messenger. We hope you enjoy these records of the minutes and hope you find someone you know listed in them. Some of those involved traveled to other churches in southern Illinois to visit & report and keep the churches in the doctrine of the association.

Transcribed by James Gholson/John Gholson webmaster


Minutes of The Muddy River

Baptist Association


1820 - 1840


Ronald L. and Doris Nelson


1821 1823 1825 1827 1829 1831 1833 1835 1837 1839
1822 1824 1826 1828 1830 1832 1834 1836 1838 1840






Began and held at Bankston's Fork Church, Gallatin County, Illinois on Friday before the 4th Sunday and days following in


The messengers from six churches met with the following elders from Little River Association who were sent to assist in our Constitution, viz. W. Buckly, W. Bradley, F. Wolf, and J. Malory, to form themselves into an Associated Compact; and being thus met, an introductory sermon was delivered by Elder Fielding Wolf from Ps. CXXVI.1. "Except the Lord build the house, &".

The convention then formed and chose Elder William Buckly, Moderator, Elder William Bradly, Clerk, and Elder John Wren, Assistant Clerk. Letters from six churches were read, and the Messengers names enrolled, to wit.


1. Bigg Creek S. Stilley, S. Modgelin, F. Wallace 32 $2.00
2. E. F. Muddy River J. Wren, R. Cantrell 31 $2.00
3. Bangstons Fork W. Henderson, Jos. Newton, S. Henderson 36 $1/00
4. M.F.M. River Carpenter, J. Hill, E. Webb 13 $1.25
5. Bethels C. George Burkhart 16 $1.00
6. Lusk C. Charles Johnson 11 $1.00
7. Ten Mile C. Letter, No Messengers 11  
  TOTAL 150 $8.25


Appointed Elders Stilley, Henderson, Wren, Carpenter and B. Cantrel, with the elders from Little River Association, a committee, to prepare a Constitution and abstract of principles for the Association, and decorum or the government of an association, and also arrange the business for tomorrow. Requested Bro. Malory to occupy the stand tomorrow, and then adjourned till tomorrow, nine o'clock.

On motion, the names of the messengers were called, the Committee appointed to prepare a Constitution, and present the following which was unanimously received. To wit.




PREAMBLE. From a long series of experience, we the churches of Jesus Christ, being regularly baptized upon the profession of our faith in Christ, are convinced of the necessity of a combination of Churches, in order to perpetuate a Union and Communion amongst us, and preserve and maintain and keep the order and rules of an Association according to the following plan or form of government.

ARTICLE 1. The Association to be composed of members duly chosen by the churches in our Union, and sent to represent them in the Association, and producing letters from their respective Churches certifying their appointment, shall be entitled to a seat.

ARTICLE 2. The Letters from the different Churches, are to express their number in full fellowship, those baptized, received by letter, dismissed, excommunicated, and dead since last association.

ARTICLE 3. The members, thus chosen and convened, to be denominated, The Muddy River Baptized Association, who are to have no power to Lord it over God's heritage, nor to infringe any of the internal rights of the Churches in our Union, nevertheless, it becomes necessary in some cases to have a uniform rule of proceeding, that is, in cases where an offence may be committed, either by an individual Church or an individual member in a Church, which affects any of the Sister Churches in the Union, that the Church or individual so offending, may be brought to trial and their cases determined upon by rules prescribed in the Gospel referred to Mat. XVIII, and other scriptures, concerning discipline, for bringing to trial, and determining upon the case of an individual in an individual church.

ARTICLE 4. The association when convened is to be ruled and governed by a regular and proper decorum, which it is hereby authorized to form for itself.

ARTICLE 5. The association to have a Moderator and Clerk, who are to be chosen by the suffrages of the members present.

ARTICLE 6. New Churches may be admitted into this association who are to petition by letter and delegates; and if, upon examination, are found Orthodox and Orderly, may be received by the Association, and manifested by the Moderator, giving the delegates the right hand of fellowship.

ARTICLE 7. Every Church in this Union is entitled to representation in the Association, but is to have only three members from each Church.

ARTICLE 8. Every query presented by any Church in the Association is to be read, and before it is debated, the Moderator shall put it to vote, and if there be a majority for its being debated, it shall be taken into consideration and be deliberated, but if there be a majority against it, it shall be withdrawn.

NOTE. (We advise the Church not to send any query to this Association but what has been debated in their own Church and cannot be determined with satisfaction.)

ARTICLE. 9. Every motion made and seconded is to become under consideration of the Association, except it be withdrawn by the member who made it.

ARTICLE 10. The Association is to endeavor to furnish the Churches with the Minutes of the Association, the best method of effecting this purpose to be at the discretion of the Association.

ARTICLE 11. We think it necessary that we should have an Association fund, for defraying the expenses of the same, for the raising and supporting of which, we think it the duty of the Churches, in the Union, to contribute such sums of money as they may think proper, and send it by ;the hands of their messengers to the Association; and the moneys thus contributed by the Churches, and received of a Treasurer appointed by the Association, who is to be accountable to the Association for all moneys received by him, and paid out by the direction of the Association.

ARTICLE 12. There is to be an Association Book kept, wherein the proceedings of every Association are to be regularly recorded by a secretary, appointed by the Association, who may receive a compensation yearly for his trouble.

ARTICLE 13. The Minutes of the Association are to be read, and corrected if need be, and signed by the Moderator and Clerk, before the Association cises.

ARTICLE 14. Amendments to this plan or form of government, may be made at any time by a majority of the Churches, when they may think it necessary.

ARTICLE 15. It is the business of the Association;

1st, to provide for the general Union of the Churches;

2nd, To observe invisably, a chain of communion among the Churches. In order to attain this desirable end, we think it most advisable that the Churches be constituted by presbyteries, from at least two Churches in the Union, amongst these are to be at least two ordained; and that ministers be ordained by at least two misisters in the Union, who have the pastoral care of Churches, or who officiate in the office of Pastor; and that ministers, whose gifts have been suspended by excommunication, are not to be restored but by a Presbytery from at least two Churches, amongst whom there are to be at least two ordained ministers.

3rd, To give all necessary advice to the Churches, in matters of difficulty; and if the Church, to whom the Association gives such advice, cannot receive it, they may send it back to the next Association, with the objections, and it is to be reconsidered;

4th, To enquire into the cause why any Church does not represent itself, at any time, in the Association;

5th, To appropriate the monies contributed by the Churches for an Association, to any purpose they may think proper;

6th, To appoint any member or members, by and with their consent, to transact any business they may ;think necessary;

7th, The Association has power to withdraw from a Church, which may in this Union, violate the rules of this Association, or deviate from the Orthodox principles of religion, which determination is to be by a majority of the members present.

8th, To invite any of the ministering brothers who are present and in good standing to seats with us.

9th, This Association agrees to do all its business by a majority except in reception of Churches, but in that case by an unanimous voice.

10th, The Association has power to adjourn to any future time or place they may think most convenient to the Churches.


1. We believe in only one true and living God, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. 2. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the words of God, and the only rule of faith and practice.

3. We believe in the doctrine of Original Sin

4. We believe in the doctrine of Election; and that God chose his people in Christ before the foundation of the world

5. We believe in man's impotency to recover himself from the fallen State he is in by nature of his own free will and ability.

6. We believe that Sinners are justified in the sight of God, only by the imparted righteousness of Christ.

7. We believe God's Elect shall be called, converted, and regenerated, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

8, We believe the Saints shall persevere in Grace, and never fall finally away.

9. We believe that Baptist and the Lord's Supper are ordinances of Jesus Christ; and that true believers are the subjects: and that the true mode of Baptism is by immersion.

10. We believe in the resurrection of the dead and a general judgement.

11. We believe that the punishment of the wicked, and the joys of the righteous will be eternal.

12. We believe that no ministers have a right to the Administration of the Ordinances, only such as are regularly Baptized, called, and come under the imposition of hands of the Presbytery.

The Convention was then dismissed.

* * *

1st. Resolved, that Churches which have represented themselves here by Letter & Delegates, be now formed into an Associated Compact, to be designated and known by the name of "Muddy River Baptist Association".

2nd. Chose Elder Wilson Henderson, Moderator, and Elder John Wren, Clerk.

3rd. Called for the rules of Decorum which were unanimously received.


1st. The Association shall be opened and closed by Prayer.

2nd. A Moderator and Clerk shall be chosen by the suffrages of the members present.

3rd. the Moderator shall be deemed a judge of Order, and shall have a right to call order at any time.

4th. Only one person shall speak at a time, who shall rise from his seat, and address the Moderator, who he is about to speak.

5th. The member thus speaking shall not be interrupted, unless he depart from the subject in hand, or use words of heat or personal reflection; and every motion made and seconded, shall come under the consideration of the Association except withdrawn by him who made it.

6th. Every case, taken up by the Association shall be first decided on, or withdrawn before another is offered.

7th. When anything is taken up by the Association - after allowing time for debate, the Moderator shall take the question by raising the right hand or otherwise, and the Moderator shall pronounce the decision.

8th. No person shall depart the Service of the Association without liberty.

9th. No member shall speak more than three times on one subject without leave from the Association.

10th. The names of the members shall be called as often as the Association may direct.

11th. The Moderator shall have the same privilege of speech as another member, provided his seat be filled, but shall have no vote unless the Association be equally divided.

12th. No person shall be allowed in any practice that has a tendency to interrupt in time of public speech.

13th. Any person violating any of these rules shall be reproved at the discretion of the Association.

* * *

The Committee of Arrangements (with the foregoing report) makes its report and is discharged.

Appointed Bros. Carpenter and Cantril a committee of Finance, who report that they have received from the Churches as their contribution $8.25.

Brother Richard Cantril is appointed our Treasurer. Agree to correspond with Little River Association and that Elder Johnson and Stilley be our Messengers, and that the Clerk prepare a letter of correspondence, and assign the proper names thereto.

Resolved, that our next Association be holden at Big Creek Church, Pope County, Ill., to commence Friday before the first Lord's Day in October 1821.

Requested Elder John Wren to preach the introduction in case of failure of Elder Henderson.

Elder Carpenter to prepare a circular letter the next Association. Appointed Elder John Wren to prepare these minutes for the press, have 100 copies struck and distribute them amongst the Churches in proportion to the number of members in each Church, reserving 12 copies for the use of next Association.

Requested Elders Buckly and Bradly to fill the stand tomorrow, and that meeting begin at 10 o'clock. After prayer by the Moderator, adjourned to the time and place appointed. (Signed) Wilson Henderson, Mod.

(Attest) John Wren, Clerk.

Lord's Day, E. Buckley preached from Isaiah 32nd Ch. and 2 v. "and a man shall be as an hiding place," &. Bro. Bradly concluded worship, and we hope the word preached will be attended with a Divine blessing.

W. H. Mod.

J. S. Clk. (For the printing 100 copies $12)