Franklin County, Kentucky GenWeb

          Methodist Episcopal Church

In 1784, the Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in America.  It had been in existence one hundred and seventy-seven years. The Baptist Church for one hundred and forty-five years and Presbyterian Church seventy-nine years.

At a conference held in the city of Baltimore in 1786, Bishop Asbury sent James Haw and Benjamin Ogden to the Kentucky Circuit. They reached the territory of Kentucky in the latter part of the summer of 1786.  In 1787, the work in the west divided into two circuits, one of which was known as Kentucky and the other called the Cumberland.  In that year James Haw was returned to the Kentucky Circuit and Thomas Williamson and Wilson Lee were appointed his colleagues.  A report of the conference of 1787 showed a membership on ninety in Kentucky.  In 1788, the conference was again held at Baltimore.  Thomas Williamson, Peter Massie and Benjamin Snelling were sent to the Lexington Circuit, with Francis Poythress as the Presiding Elder.  At that time there were no stationed Methodist preachers in the western county.  The Lexington Circuit embraced the section of the country afterwards known as the counties of Fayette, Jessamine, Woodford, Franklin, Scott and Harrison.  In 1790, the first conference held in Kentucky was at Masterson Station, five miles from Lexington.  There were only six members of the conference present.  Henry Burchett was sent to the Lexington Circuit, where he remained until 1793, when John Ball and Gabriel Woodside were sent for two years.  In 1796, Aquilla Sugg was in charge, but in the latter part of the year his health failed, so Thomas Scott was sent to take his place.  The circuit at the time included Lexington, Versailles, Frankfort and sixteen other stations.  Organizations or societies had been previously formed at each of these points and the Reverend Scott reported the most of them were in healthy condition.  Thomas Scott afterwards left the ministry and practiced law and held political positions for the rest of his life.

John Buxton was sent to the Lexington Circuit in 1798.  In 1800, James Haw, one of the first Methodist preachers in the western country had some trouble with Bishop Asbury and withdrew from the Methodist Church.  He later became a preacher in the Presbyterian Church.

Methodist Preachers sent to Frankfort, while in the Lexington Circuit 1800-1820

WILKINSON, Thomas  *                                      1800
HUNT, Lewis 1801 - 1802
HARPER, Miles.  1803
SALE, John 1804 - 1806
HAYS, Joseph 1807
CLOUD, Caleb W. * 1808 - 1810
STAMPER, Nathan 1811
PORTER, Thomas D. 1812
PATTERSON, William 1812 - 1813
PORTER, Thomas D.   1815 - 1817
ADAMS, William 1818
WHITTIKER, Josiah 1819
GRAY, David * 1820

* Thomas Wilkinson was on of the greatest preachers of the day, dressed in plain homespun clothes, never black. He would often have his whole audience in tears. 
* Caleb W. Cloud left the ministry and practiced medicine in Lexington, Kentucky for many years.
* David Gray was the last of the Circuit Riders

Preachers stationed at Frankfort, Kentucky

HARRIS, Nathaniel   *                                                      1821 - 1822
HOLMAN, Josiah William 1822 - 1825
CROUCH, B. T. 1826 - 1827 & 1830
LIGHT, George C. 1828 - 1829
DUKE, Henry S. 1831
CHANDLER, Thomas W. 1833
CROPPER, Thomas C. 1834
KELSO, George W. 1835 - 1836
VANDICK, Henry N. 1837
FOX, A. D.    *   1838
TAYLOR, Peter 1839 - 1840
HOLDING, James D. 1842
PARSONS, C. P. 1843
ANDERSON, W. H. 1844
WELBURN, Drummond 1845
WATTERMAN, Joseph A. 1846 - 1847
BUSH, George W. 1848 - 1849 & 1852
SMILEY, George 1850 - 1851
LINN, John H. 1853 - 1854
BONNELL, John M. 1855
HARRISON, John C. 1856 - 1858
RAND, John 1859
ABBETT, William McD. 1860 - 1861
PATTERSON, Robert 1862
ROBERTSON, W. S. R. 1863 - 1866
HENDERSON, H. A. M. 1867 - 1869
DODD, T. J. 1870 - 1872
HINER, Robert 1874 - 1875
MITCHELL, J. W. 1876
MILLER, C. W. 1877 - 1880
EVANS, Morris 1882 - 1883
KELLY, Gilby C. 1884 - 1887
MORRISON, H. C. 1888 - 1889
HENDERSON, H. G. 1890 - 1893
MEANS, George H. 1896 - 1897
TALIAFERRO, T. F. 1898 - 1899
SAVAGE, J. R. 1900 - 1901
VAUGHT, O. A. 1902 - 1904
NUGENT, C. J. 1905 - 1906
SIMS, J. S. 1907 - 1910
TURNER, H. G. 1911 - 1912

* Nathaniel Harris first pastor stationed in Frankfort, Kentucky.
* A. D. Fox died 1838, while serving in Frankfort, Kentucky.

The History of Franklin County, Kentucky, by L. F. Johnson, 1912

Anne H. Lee


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