Two Cane Ridge Revival items, 1852 and 1889

A few days ago I blogged James Trader’s want-list for the archives at Cane Ridge.  Two items on the list are available on Google Books.  I am pleased to learn of them as I do not recall seeing reference to either.  Here are two points in the history of memory of this momentous event.

First, the Magazine of Western History, December 1889 issue has this long article by Isaac Smucker:

Second, Henry Howe, Historical Collections of the Great West in 2 vols.  Vol. 1 notes the exercises; vol. 2 notes Cane Ridge in particular.

From vol. 1, pp. 189-190:

Volume 2, pages 215ff

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Name Authority for Nashville, Tennessee Stone-Campbell Congregations

Name Authority for Nashville Tennessee Stone-Campbell Congregations, September 2012

Click above to download a document listing 319 variants of time-, place- and character-names for the 227 known congregations of the Stone-Campbell movement in Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee from 1812 to September 2012.

To my knowledge my work in this area is the only such compilation, and therefore, the most complete.  The initial publication of the list to this blog was in May 2010 as a first step in my research toward a book on the Restoration Movement in Nashville.  I blogged then:

With over 200 congregations in this county, the congregational research alone will take years, perhaps the remainder of my life.  If I live to be 100 I may not finish even a rudimentary survey.  It may be too much:  too many congregations, too many preachers, too much ‘story’ to tell.

But this is where I am at the present.  I publish the list here to generate interest, additions, subtractions, corrections and clarifications.  Look it over and if I need to make changes, please let me know.

While congregational history is only one aspect of this project, this is where it all played out…on the ground in the congregations on a weekly basis.  Few congregations have attempted more than a list of preachers or a narrative of the expansion of the church building.  What I propose, as I wrote above, may be too much…too far to the other extreme.  But that fact changes not one whit the necessity of it being done.

The story of these churches in Nashville needs to be told.  I ask for your help in telling it.  look over my list; I solicit your critique. Contact me at icekm [at] aol [dot] com.

(The first version of the name authority, from May 2010, can be found here.)

Today in Restoration History: 14 August 1842

Pardon that this is three days late, but just this evening saw the below reference in John R. Howard’s Bible Advocate:

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Nashville, Ten. Aug. 14, 1842.

Bro. Gist–I was at Gallatin* at a meeting held by bros. J. T. Johnson, G. W. Elley, and R. C. Rice.  Some 40 or 45 made the good confession.  Bro. Johnson will be in Nashville in Oct., on his way to the south.

Your bro. in the Gospel,

NICK HACKWORTH.

–>Cannot our beloved brother Johnson visit us as Paris, and at Dresden, [both are west/northwest of Nashville, MI] when he shall have left Nash?  He has been frequently solicited; and it cannot be much out of the way going to the south.  We are rejoiced to hear that he is going to the south, and hope he will spend the winter there.  He will no doubt effect much, particularly at Russellville, Ala., and Columbus, Miss.  Can he not on his rout [sic] also visit Tuscaloosa and Marion, Ala.?  J. R. H.

—–

*This town was a few years since the scene of one of the celebrated Mr. Maffit’s “revivals.”–But we believe that the effects, like those of the rest of his revivals, have since vanished away like the morning vapor before the sun!–And so do all such mere animal excitements.  J. R. H.

______

“Progress of the Gospel, News &c.” Bible Advocate 1:3 (October 1842), 44.

Gist is C. H. Gist, one of a committee of three who publish Bible Advocate.  J. R. H. is John R. Howard, editor.  Nick Hackworth is a new name to me.  Who is he who rides up to Gallatin to hear preaching by Johnson and company?  An evangelist?  An elder or deacon in the Nashville congregation?  Whence and whither?  All good questions.

Gallatin is northeast of Nashville in Sumner County, a principal city of that county.  Even in 1842 that area has a half-century of ‘history’ under its belt…or at least a half-century of Anglo presence.  Young Barton Stone held forth in the very same neighborhood in 1796.   By 1842 Restorationist preaching was certainly not unknown in those parts.  Tolbert Fanning was active in and around Gallatin and Castalian Springs in the 1840’s.  On John Rogers, The Biography of Elder J. T. Johnson. 2nd ed. (Cincinnati: Author, 1861), 188 mention is made of Gallatin and Hopewell, among others places on this very preaching tour.  Details, however, are lacking as Rogers moves quickly to other matters and does not even mention the Nashville visit.  It may be that Johnson did not visit Nashville as Hackworth expected…perhaps plans changed..doors closed or opened.  Perhaps he held forth from the Nashville pulpit with eloquence and power and Rogers just did not record it.  We’ll see what else may turn up.

Understanding Cane Ridge: Some Suggestions for First Reads

In keeping with the spirit of this occasional series, I present here a few first-reads for inquiry concerning the revival at Cane Ridge, Kentucky, in 1801.  This list is in no particular order.  I hope it is helpful; feel free to post additional suggestions in the comments.

1. Anthony L. Dunnavant, Ed. Cane Ridge in Context: Perspectives on Barton W. Stone and the Revival. Nashville: Disciples of Christ Historical Society, 1992.

2. Paul K. Conkin, Cane Ridge, America’s Pentecost. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1990.

3. John B. Boles, The Great Revival, Beginnings of the Bible Belt. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1996.   This is a paperback reissue; originally published as The Great Revival, 1787-1805: The Origins of the Southern Evangelical Mind in 1972 by the same press.

4-6. Discipliana 65:3 (Fall 2005) contains papers presented at the Kirkpatrick Seminar at Shaker Village, KY, June 2005.  It was the scholarly journal published by Disciples of Christ Historical Society, Nashville, TN, and contains these papers: Rick Nutt, “Controversy in Christ: The Background and Context of Western Frontier Presbyterian Revivalism and the Movements Which Grew Out of It”; Stephen J. Stein, “Taking up the Full Cross: The Shaker Challenge to the Western Christians”; and Thomas H. Olbricht, “Rallied Under the Standard of Heaven.”

7. Lon D. Oliver, A Guide to the Cane Ridge Revival. Lexington Theological Seminary Occasional Studies. Lexington: Lexington Theological Seminary Library 1988.  Oliver did yeoman’s work in producing here an annotated bibliography of 194 entries plus fine excerpts from selected primary sources. Paperback, 54pp.

8. D. Newell Williams, Barton Stone, A Spiritual Biography. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2000.  There are earlier biographies (Ware, West…get them if you can), but this is easily accessible and includes information others lack.

9. Bernard A. Weisberger, They Gathered At the River: The Story of the Great Revivalists and Their Impact Upon Religion in America. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1958.

10. Charles A. Johnson, The Frontier Camp Meeting: Religion’s Harvest Time. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1955.

11-12. Franklin Reid McGuire, “Cane Ridge Meetinghouse” and D. Newell Williams, “Cane Ridge Revival” in The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004.

13. Leigh Eric Schmidt, Holy Fairs: Scottish Communions and American Revivals in the Early Modern Period. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989.

14. Richard C. Goode, “Floating at Random Between Liberty and Obedience? Backgrounds to the Second Great Awakening’s Emotional Exercises” Discipliana 62:3 (Fall 2002).

15. Leigh Eric Schmidt, “‘A Practical Remembrance’: Cane Ridge in Historical Memory” Discipliana 61:2 (Summer 2001).

16. D. Newell Williams, “Barton Stone in 1804: From Port Tobacco to Cane Ridge” Stone-Campbell Journal 7:2 (Fall 2004).

Update:

17. Richard McNemar, The Kentucky Revival is available on Kindle; see http://www.amazon.com/The-Kentucky-Revival-ebook/dp/B0059CJGSQ and on Google Books http://books.google.com/books?id=Vx7f0s4zLXcC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false and archive.org: http://archive.org/details/kentuckyrevivalo00mcne

18. Catharine C. Cleveland, The Great Revival in the West, 1797-1805. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1916. Also available on google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=Q4VoMqJ3_dMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=mcnemar,+kentucky+revival&source=bl&ots=am7zQ6y3Nh&sig=t2dZbUaThdLqua9TIvVj397F3Ms&hl=en&sa=X&ei=LBsUUN3AN4TO9QTL9YGgBg&ved=0CEEQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=mcnemar%2C%20kentucky%20revival&f=false

19. C. Leonard Allen, Distant Voice:s Discovering a Forgotten Past for a Changing Church. Abilene: ACU Press, 1993 has a chapter on Communoin Festivals in Kentucky by which he frames Cane Ridge.

 

Willard Collins Preaches at Lischey Avenue Church of Christ, April 26-May 10, 1942

A friend gave me this card about a year ago while I was teaching a class on Stone-Campbell history. While his mother attended Lindsley Avenue Church of Christ as a child, she occasionally visited family across the river in North Edgefield at Lischey Avenue Church. Going through an old scrap book he found this card and graciously gave it to me, knowing it would be a treasured part of my collection (which it is!).

Collins’ meeting-card opens a window into the life of one congregation seventy years ago. It helps us understand how this congregation (Lischey Avenue) and this evangelist (Willard Collins) prosecuted a “gospel meeting.”  All but forgotten now in most urban and suburban churches, ‘gospel meetings’ or ‘revivals’ were common across Protestant denominational lines generations ago.   They are part revival (for those already members of the congregation), part evangelistic or outreach event (for those who are not members of the congregation) and part teaching event (for all concerned).

This meeting begins Sunday April 26th and goes through two full weeks to Sunday May 10th.  Collins preaches twice on Sundays and nightly at 7:40pm.  I am not sure exactly how he handled the two Sunday services since only one title is given on the card.  Nevertheless, judging from the titles alone, Collins’ sermons are at once evangelistic, moralistic, doctrinal and hortatory. He initiates the meeting by first laying out the gospel before proceeding through several conversion stories in Acts. The middle sermons are moralistic: he draws a bead on hypocrisy and congregational life and then addresses the ‘household code.’  I am unsure of what he means by ‘addition problem.’  Collins addresses what appears to be the basic life situation for most of the his auditors at Lischey: church-going working and middle-class families with children.  How ought these folk live?  What is good and right, what is noble?  It appears that these are his overarching moral concerns for the middle of the meeting.

The final three sermons conclude the meeting on a decisive note.  Why should visitors to this meeting seriously consider the Lischey Avenue Church of Christ rather than, say, North Edgefield Baptist Church a short distance away? By 9 May 1942 the United States had been at war with Japan right at six months.  Given the circumstance of spring 1942, how should we live as citizens of a nation at war?  Finally, in what must have been a powerful conclusion: the title is telling: “The Burial of Those Who Die Out of the Lord.”  His last sermon moves his hearers to decision.  Collins’, if anything, was persuasive and moving.

By April 1942 Collins, age  26, preached for Old Hickory Church of Christ about three years.  Old Hickory is a few miles east of Nashville (it is now in the city limits of Metro Nashville), right on the banks of the Cumberland River.  Old Hickory was a thriving little hamlet and Collins’ church was an active, thriving, aggressive congregation.

Lischey Avenue Church of Christ began in 1907 through the door-to-door efforts of two women who canvassed the neighborhood around Joy’s Flower Gardens in North Edgefield.  Joe McPherson preached a tent meeting on James Avenue in August 1909.  By May 1910, thanks to the generosity of T. S. Joy’s donation of a lot, the little church had a frame meetinghouse on Jones Avenue.  They outgrew the building and moved to 1310-1312 Lischey Avenue in May 1923, completing a new building in January 1925.  They then outgrew that building, and in early spring 1942, seventy years ago this week, completed a $20,000 facility.  They arranged for Willard Collins, a dynamic young evangelist, to hold the first two-weeks’ meeting in the new building.  In March 1942 Lischey Avenue was a congregation of about four hundred members.  Collins, writing in his report of the meeting to the Gospel Advocate, says, “The Lischey Avenue meeting, in Nashville, closed May 10, with six hundred fifteen present.  The previous largest crowd in the history of the church was five hundred nineteen.  Fourteen were baptized and one was restored.  This is an active congregation and a pleasant one with which to work.”

While Colllins held forth in East Nashville, Old Hickory was equally busy in a meeting of their own.  In the midst of the Lischey Avenue meeting Collins wrote this report for the Advocate: “One hundred eight have been baptized here and thirty-eight restored in the past eight months.  Nine hundred fifty-two attended Bible classes Sunday for an all-time record.  Hulen L. Jackson just closed a meeting here….”  Collins left Old Hickory in 1944; two years later he began preaching at Charlotte Avenue Church of Christ in West Nashville when Athens Clay Pullias accepted the Presidency of David Lipscomb College.  Collins would soon direct the Lipscomb Expansion Program in the late 40’s, helping DLC move from a two-year Junior College to Four Year Accredited Senior College status.  After years of decline, Lischey Avenue moved out of the neighborhood and, with Parkwood Church, formed Northside Church of Christ in 1976-1978.  Lipscomb College expansion and East Nashville decline, though, are topics for further research reflection.

A single ephemeral handout card, as I have demonstrated here, can be quite helpful.  From this item we have open before us a window into one two-week period in the life of Lischey Avenue Church of Christ.  From it we have some idea of their theological commitments and the program of preaching and teaching they pursued in their community at that time.  In tandem with a few other sources, we are able to see a bit more clearly.  In the fascinating world of research, at times some questions are answered, while new ones are posed, and still altogether different questions surface.

There may be other such cards out there somewhere that may give us additional understanding.  Maybe not…maybe a good deal of the history of this congregaion is lost to time.  There is a lot of history to be written, if only the primary source materials are available.  Do you have any old paper from Lischey Avenue, or any other Church of Christ or Christian Church in Nashville?  If so, I’d like to talk with you about how those important materials can be preserved.  For my plea along those lines, see my 3 July 2009 post, Save the Paper.

Bibliography:

Willard Collins’ meeting reports:

       Gospel Advocate, May 7, 1942, page 450
       Gospel Advocate, May 21, 1942, page 498

More about Lischey Avenue history and work:

“Lischey Home-Coming in New Building,” Gospel Advocate, March 5, 1942, page 237.
Batsell Barrett Baxter and M. Norvel Young, Eds. New Testament Churches of Today, Volume 1. Nashville:                       Gospel Advocate Company, 1960, page 237.

For a helpful study of the intersection of local history and congregational history, with a focus on the Old Hickory Church of Christ, see:

C. Philip Slate, Du Pont’s Old Hickory Employee Movement and the Spread of Churches of Christ” Restoration Quarterly 39:3 (1997) pages 155-174.

——-

Lischey Avenue Church of Christ’s 1942 (with a ca. 1959 classroom building) building yet stands at 1312 Lischey Avenue.  This is as it appeared about two years ago:

Walter Scott on ‘Meeting’, Preaching and Exhorting

MEETING.

Agreeably to appointment, a four day’s meeting was held at Mayslick, on the 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st ult.  It was supposed that on Lord’s day, fifteen hundred persons were present: five brethren engaged actively in the business of the meeting, and ten or eleven individuals were immersed.

We would just notice that the economy to be observed at such a meeting ought to be maturely considered, for very frequently our best wishes and most zealous efforts are rendered abortive for want of a proper plan, and a few moments deliberation.

The fact of commencing operations at the spur of the moment without any preconcerted plan, frequently proves injurious to our cause.

I very well recollect of three of us, a while before the actual restoration of the Ancient Gospel, standing up and in succession, with only a few minutes intermission between the last two, delivering three set speeches of from two to three hours in length each, and then sitting down without ever affording the audience a single opportunity obey the Son of God.  Things, however, are very much changed since that time, and now we meet to preach the gospel that it may be obeyed by those who hear us.

How then ought the ministering brethren, who are present on such occasions, to proceed, in order to produce the greatest possible effect?

Experience suggests the following to me as the best plan to be pursued.  The laboring brethren who are to be engaged should have the sole direction of this matter, and should then pitch upon one brother who is capable of handling a distinct topic.  When he has enlightened the audience, and has stated, defined, and illustrated his subject, let him give an invitation to the people and be succeeded by his fellows in the character of exhorters.

Exhorters, it ought to be observed, should never introduce new topics, but only new and striking ideas on the same topic.

Exhortations should consist of such things as have a tendency to move the affections of those who have believed but not obeyed; they should be elevated, violent, or tender according to the state of the case; bold & lively, striking and animating, containing great and beautiful images, calculated to move the soul and win the world to God.

The person engaged in delivering the leading discourse should not, I think, be called on to immerse; it is on some occasions too much.  The-man-at-the-fountain should be one of the other brethren.

[Walter Scott] “Meeting” The Evangelist, 1:6, June 4, 1832, p. 139.