Lulbegrud Baptist Church
The Lulbegrud Baptist church was established by 20 unnamed “United Baptists” somewhere near the headwaters of Lulbegrud Creek the third Saturday of March 1793. The church was relocated about a mile away on Jilson Payne’s property in the early 1800s when a new church was built.
Before delving into the Lulbegrud church itself, a review of its founder's previous church memberships may be helpful. The majority of its founders previously attended the Baptist church on Lower Howard's Creek as discussed under the tab for Bush Settlement. As mentioned in that discussion, it adhered to the beliefs of the Separatist Baptists.
It should come as no surprise that when some of those same families moved eastward near the headwaters of Lulbegrud Creek at Anderson's Station, they promptly established a new Baptist church based on those same beliefs.
There is no indication based on the Lulbegrud's minutes that Nicholas Anderson was a member, although that may be because he didn't involve himself in any church matters requiring an entry in the minutes. However, the Williams were very active in the church, as was John Allen and his family.
Prior to moving to Kentucky, we find the Andersons, Williams, Harpers and Summers and their wives at the Chopawamsic Baptist church in Stafford Co., Virginia. That church was constituted Nov. 22, 1766 by a number of members from the Broad Run Baptist church in Fauquier Co., VA, including Betty Harper.
The Broad Run Baptist church had been constituted Dec. 3, 1762. While its minutes don't mention the Andersons, Williams or Summers, an Elizabeth Harper was dismissed to be part of the new church at Chopawamsic. It seems likely this is the same Betty Harper who was one of the founding members of the Chopawamsic church.
John and Elizabeth Summers joined the Chopawamsic church Mar. 3, 1767. Edward Williams and Nicholas Anderson joined Nov. 24, 1767. Jemiah Williams Dec. 3, 1767 and Barbery Anderson May 21, 1768.
Other interesting names at Chopawamsic include; Sary Summers, Samuel Summers, Thezeah Summers and Elizabeth Folkner.
It is interesting that the Chapawamsic and Broad Run churches were not part of the Separatist movement but were Regular Baptists. Of course, Stafford and Fauquier counties were in old Virginia, whereas the Separatist movement took hold in the remote areas of Appalachia.
John is first mentioned in the Lulbegrud church’s minutes when he and John Summars, Sr. were appointed elders the third Saturday of March 1794. Since John is not previously mentioned in the minutes as being “received”, we can assume he was one of the founding members when the church was established a year earlier.
That first year, John’s daughters Catey and Sally Allen are mentioned in the minutes when they are received by experience and baptism December 1793.
But even more interesting is the Sister Hannah Allen that had been received by letter a few months earlier in July 1793. Some researchers have wondered if Hannah was John Allen’s wife or mother. Others have thought she was probably John’s daughter Hannah, although she would have only been 7 years old at that time.
The reference to Sister Hannah tells us she had been previously baptized and had been a member of another Baptist church that had given her a letter of dismission. We are fairly certain Hannah was in fact our John Allen's wife who apparently died by Jun 1794 when John married Ann Griffin.
While the minutes tell us the church was founded March 1793 by 20 “United Baptists, there isn’t a list of just those 20 founders. There is a lengthy list at the front of males, females and blacks, however these names appear to have been listed some years later in no particular order. There are a number of men and women referred to in the minutes as Brother and Sister without having been mentioned as being received by the church. I believe those would be among the founding members and are listed below.
John Allen, James Anderson, John (Joshua?) Bartlett, Winnefred Bartlett, Samuel Denny, Martin Dewitt, Richard Griffin, Anthony Griffin, Moses Lacy, Jonathon Landers, William Payne, Edward Payne, Edward Williams and Daniel Williams.
It might be noted that the wives of some of these Brothers, i.e., Mary Griffin, Hester Griffin, Vilolet Williams, Jemimah Williams and others are never mentioned in the minutes at all. It is highly unlikely a husband would be a member without his wife being a member. The fact that they are not mentioned simply means they were probably among the 20 founders but were not in a leadership role or did anything requiring mention. We only find men asking questions and giving answers in the minutes.
On the other hand, we do see a few Sisters being accepted by the church without mention of a husband. This reverse scenario may not have been too unusual.
There are also numerous people in the lists at the front of the minutes who were never mentioned within the minutes. That simply means those people didn’t do anything requiring them to be mentioned.
John Allen is not mentioned in the minutes after 1794. John’s second wife Ann is never mentioned at all, but neither was Ann’s mother, Mary. It is possible Ann and her mother were among those 20 founding members.
The Lulbegrud Baptist church was originally built on the banks of the Lulbegrud Creek not far from Anderson Station in 1793. Within a few years, though, the congregation was meeting in the Lulbegrud schoolhouse, presumably near its final location a mile west near Jilson Payne's Pleasant Hill estate.
Creeks and places shown on this map are: Aaron's Run, Bald Eagle Cr., Bald Eagle Cr., Beaver Cr., Beaver Pond, Blackwater Cr., Boon's Cr., Brush Cr., Brush Cr., Buck Cr., Cane Cr., Catamount Cr., Clear Cr., Cow Cr., Donaldson's Cr., Dry Fork, Dry Fork, Dry Fork, Fleming Run, Fleming Run, Fletcher's Br., Furnace Forge, Greenbriar, Harper Cr., Hendrick's Cr., Hinkston's Fork, Indian Cr., Indian Fields, Indian Town, Indian Valley, Iron Works, Jonetts Farm, Lane's Br., Little Slate Cr., Long Br., Lulbegrud Cr., McIntires, Mount Sterling, Mud Lick / Olympian Springs, Mud Lick Cr., Myer's Mill Cr., Narrows, Owingsville, Plumb Lick Cr., Prickly Ash Cr., Red River, Rockbridge, Slate Cr., Small Mountain Cr., Spencer Cr., Stepstone Cr., Stillwater Cr., Stoner's Fork, Summersett Cr., Swift's Cr., Sycamore Fork, Triplett's Cr., Upper Howard's Cr., Whiteoak Cr.
This cemetery and site of the former church are located about 6 miles southwest of Mt. Sterling just off Prewitt Pike. The original church is said to have been a mile to the east on Lulbegrud Creek but was moved near the site of this cemetery in the early 1800s.
The Lulbegrud Baptist Church Cemetery is just off Prewitt Pike near Pleasant Hill Estate
Jilson Payne donated land for the relocated Lulbegrud Baptist church and the cemetery. His Mount Pleasant home can be seen from the cemetery.
Jilson Payne's Pleasant Hill Estate is located along Prewitt Pike, about 3 miles southwest of Mt. Sterling, KY, July 2009
Our transcription of the Lulbegrud church minutes from 1793-1804 is located under the documents tab and mentions many names of importance to a history of John Allen. A transcription of the [Kentucky] North District Association of Baptists listing the messengers and the churches they represented is also stored under the documents tab. It offers an excellent list of early Baptist churches in that area.
Elder John Sparks' 2005 book "Raccoon John Smith: Frontier Kentucky's Most Famous Preacher" may be the most authoritative source of information about the Lulbegrud church, as well as its early preacher Daniel Williams and the later churches he founded.
Although the Lulbegrud's minutes don't reflect this, it is likely John and Ann Griffin became members of one of Daniel Williams' subsequent churches when they moved to their 510 acres on Slate Creek.
Spencer and Sycamore churches were two strong possibilities. Unfortunately, no membership lists or minutes have been discovered. Both were near what is now Jeffersonville and John's 510 acres along Slate Creek. Sycamore is especially interesting. It would have been closest to John's home. From Sparks' book, page 153;
"As it happened, around this time or certainly within the next two years, Daniel and Violet Williams and several members of both Sycamore and Bald Eagle Churches, including Ambrose and Martha Jones, William and Elizabeth Coffee, William and Catherine Ferguson, John and Margaret Hammond, Archibald and Sarah Prater, and Randal Fugate, migrated to the headwaters of the Licking River in what is now Morgan and Magoffin counties, Kentucky, and resumed their lives far away from the hustle, bustle, and religious intrigue of the Bluegrass."
That was around 1803. John Allen's son Richard married Daniel Williams' daughter Edy in 1820 and lived at first among Williams family at Caney.
The Blue Ash church is another possibility, since it was founded in 1795 by Elijah Summers who had married John and Ann in 1794. It was later called Bethel and was said to have 80 members by 1796 of which we have found no list. This church was in what is now Bath Co., but its exact location is not known. Another associated church in Bath Co. was Bald Eagle, but it appears to have been a bit too far for consideration.
Reference pages 140 through 143 and 153 through 154 in Sparks' book for more information on some of these churches and their preachers.