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134– May 14 – This Day in Baptist History Past


134– May 14 – This Day in Baptist History Past



Remove Not the Ancient Landmark


Smith Creek Baptist Church was constituted on August 6, 1756, before the United States was a country (1776) and before New Market was a town, incorporated (1796). The area was originally known as the Cross Roads as two well-known Indian trails crossed here. It is the third “regular” Baptist church started in Virginia.


Three well-known men (Samuel Eaton, Benjamin Griffith, and the Preacher/Revolutionary War Chaplain, John Gano) were known to have preached here on occasion at least 11 years prior to our constitution. The charter members were the Aldersons, Newmans, and Harrisons. John Alderson had purchased approximately 200 acres from Samuel Newman northeast of Cross Roads and bordering the Smith Creek. The saints established their assembly on a portion of land donated by the first pastor, John Alderson, Sr. (1699-1781) and a portion of which was donated by Samuel Newman. The church having been built near Smith Creek, and the fact that they used the creek for baptism of converts, explains their name.


Anderson Moffett, the third pastor, was born in Fauquier August 28, 1746. He is best-known here because he began preaching at 17 years of age and preached 70 years, of which 50 were as Pastor at Smith Creek.  The stained glass window in the front foyer of the church is in memory of him. It is documented that he began preaching in the Valley in 1781


He also spent some time in the Culpeper jail. He died May 14, 1835. Pastor Moffett is buried in the family cemetery on Plains Mill Road, approximately 1.9 miles West from I-81 down highway 211 .6 miles to Plains Mill Road.


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: History of Smith Creek Baptist Church: (www.smithcreekbaptistchurch.com/History.html)



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Reminiscences of a Long Life

James M. Pendleton was born is Spotsylvania County, Virginia, on November 20, 1811. The Pendleton family moved to Kentucky when James was a year old. Having trusted Christ as Saviour in the loving environment of his home, J. M. Pendleton was baptized on April 11, 1829.  He began to preach immediately, and was trained at a seminary in Hopkinsville.  He was ordained on November 1, 1833, and served two churches as pastor.  On March 13, 1838, J. M. married Miss Catherine Garnettt, and they made their home in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  For the next twenty years the man of God served the Baptist church there.  J. M. stood strong against Baptists opening their pulpits to non-baptized believers who had not obeyed the Lord’s command.  He wrote his views in a booklet entitled “An Ancient Landmark Reset.”   On January 1, 1857, J. M. left Bowling Green and moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to teach preacher boys at Union University.  In 1862 in sympathy with the Northern cause, moved to Hamilton, Ohio, where he served as pastor for a short period.  His Last pastorate was the Upland Baptist Church in Pennsylvania, and while there, he assisted in founding Crozer Theological Seminary. Pendleton was an excellent writer, and his “Baptist Church Manual” was used for years by many Baptist churches as their guide.  On his seventy-ninth birthday, Pendleton began to write a volume entitled “Reminiscences of a Long Life,” and he completed the task within two months.  The life of the man of God terminated on March 5, 1891, and his funeral was conducted by T. T. Eaton of Louisville, Kentucky.  He was buried in the Fairview Cemetery in Bowling Green.

Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III”  David L. Cummins. pp. 133  – 134.

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