History of Campbell County, Tennessee

Time Line


By Dallas Bogan

Reprinted with Permission from Dallas Bogan.  This article was published in the LaFollette Press.


     The following accounts are taken from J.J. Burnett's, "Sketches of Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers" by J.J. Burnett, dated 1919.


     Lindsay Cooper was born in Campbell County, Tenn., November 1, 1833. He was a son of John Cooper, who was born, at Ellicott's Mills, in the state of Maryland, and served in the War of 1812. In May, 1850, young Cooper professed faith in Christ and was baptized into the fellowship of Indian Creek Church, in his native county. December 21, 1856, he was married to Miss Mary Gaylor. To this union were born nine children, seven sons and two daughters. In December of 1860 he moved to Morgan County. At the outbreak of the Civil War he "refugeed" for a time in Kentucky. August 8, 1861, with Capt. Joseph A. Cooper, who afterwards became General Cooper, and three other brothers, he was mustered into the service of the Union army, as a member of "Company A, First Tennessee Infantry," He served in the war three years and seven months. Returning from the war he changed his church membership from Longfield Church, near Coal Creek, to Liberty Church, in Morgan County. By this church he was "licensed to exercise a public gift," and in 1866 Pleasant Grove Church "ordained" him to the full work of the ministry. He was pastor of Union, Liberty, Pleasant Grove, Indian Creek, Coal Hill, Pine Orchard, Crab Orchard, Emory, Black Creek, New River, Cooper's View, Pisgah, Glen Mary, and other churches. He was chiefly instrumental in the constitution of five new churches and in the erection of two new meeting houses. He did a great deal of missionary and evangelistic work, and baptized hundreds of people. His ministry was mostly in Campbell, Scott, Morgan and Roane counties, extending over a period of forty-nine years, and, for the most part, was pioneer work, laying Baptist foundations and fostering weak Baptist interests in a comparatively new and undeveloped country. His mission was to preach the gospel to the poor, to supply "destitute" places with the Word of God. He had good evangelistic gifts and was an uncompromising Baptist ', contending always and under all circumstances, conscientiously and earnestly, for the "faith delivered once for all to the saints," never shunning to "'declare all the counsel of God."

     From the home of one of his daughters, near Wartburg, Morgan County, February 171, 1916, Elder Cooper departed this life, being in his 83rd year. At the time of his death he was a member of Cooper's View Church. Funeral services were conducted by Elder John Wilson, who drew lessons for the living from the respective and divinely contrasted character and destiny of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). The remains of the deceased were the first to be deposited in the new church yard of Coopers Chapel, a meeting house just built and named in honor of the chief builder, Brother Cooper.

     Elder Cooper is survived by his widow and six children, twenty-eight grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, an only brother, Sylvester Cooper, who is upwards of 90, and two nephews, deserving of special mention on account of their marked service to the denomination: Dr. D. H. Cooper, formerly of the East, at one time a schoolmate of the writer, now of Oklahoma, and W. R. Cooper, since 1874 a deacon of the Broadway (or McGee Street) Church, Knoxville, for nineteen years clerk of the Tennessee Association, and for other "nineteen years" the efficient and stalwart moderator of that body.



     Alvis, son of Jacob and Huldah Stooksbury, was born April 20, 1845, near Loy's Crossroads (now Loyston), Union County, Tennessee, Robin Stooksbury, came from Virginia to Tennessee, with his family, early in the last century. His great-grandfather, Jacob, was the son of Wm. Stooksbury, who was the only son of Lord Stooksbury, of England, and came across the waters to seek a home in the new world before the War of the Revolution.

     The subject of our sketch was brought up on a farm, and in early life had few educational advantages. In fact, the only school education he ever received was obtained at two or three short sessions of the public schools of his native county; the rest of his equipment he got from the school of life and experience. In this school he acquired the virtue of self-reliance and self-help.
In August of 1862, in a meeting held by Elder Reuben Green, he professed faith in Christ, and was baptized, uniting with Big Springs Church, Union County.

     In July, 1871, his church licensed him to preach, and December 20, 1873, ordained him. He was pastor of this, his home church, twelve years. He was also pastor of Alder Springs. Liberty, Big Valley, Loy's Crossroads, Powell's River, Fincastle, and Maynardville churches; for a number of years, serving them faithfully and well.

     In addition to his pastoral work, he obeyed Paul's injunction to his son Timothy, "did the work of an evangelist." This he did extensively and successfully, not only among his own churches but on destitute fields and assisting his fellow-pastors. There were few more successful revivalists than Alvis Stooksbury. He was a tender, winsome, persuasive preacher; popular with all denominations, popular at funerals, popular with the young people.

     In October, 1865, he was married to Elizabeth Duke, a daughter of William Duke, of Union County. To this union were born seven children, five sons and two daughters, all of whom were converted and became working members of Baptist churches. One of his sons, Prof. W. L. Stooksbury, at one time professor in the American Temperance University, at Harriman, later a professor in Carson and Newman College, and now of Knoxville, is one of our most successful educators; and another of his sons, Dr. J. M. Stooksbury, is a successful physician.

     That Alvis Stooksbury was a trusted citizen and had the confidence of the people was evidenced by the fact that he was elected Trustee of his county (Union) and served in that capacity from 1872 to 1874, with entire satisfaction to the people of the county. For six years he tried his hand and head at the mercantile business, along with preaching, but did not succeed, for the reason that his heart was divided - he was not wholly following the Lord. He gave up the "goods business" and gave himself wholly to preaching the gospel. This brought him peace of mind and a good conscience, and the Lord "added the living," which had been previously withheld.

     On September 1, 1892, he was made a "Master Mason,", and was "chaplain" of his lodge at the time of his death.

     February 15, 1895, he left home for an evangelistic campaign. He was preaching in a successful revival at Sharon Church, Knox County; on the second Sunday of the meeting he preached three times, and at night was stricken with pneumonia, from which he never recovered. Lingering nine days on the border-land between earth and heaven, he passed to his reward May 5, 1895. His body was taken to his home in Campbell County, where "hundreds of friends from Campbell, Anderson, Knox and Union counties thronged to see the face of and pay the last tribute of respect to one whom they had loved in life and now delighted to honor."

     The love of Christ constrained him, and his consecration deepened to the end. His life-motto still speaks from above his grave: "The longest talks and the longest walks I ever made were for Jesus."


     Joel Bowling, a son of Larkin H. Bowling, was born in Anderson County, Tenn., May 2, 1817. His grandfather, Joseph Bowling, was a native of Virginia. Joel was the son of a farmer, and was brought up to farm life. He was converted in North Carolina, in this twenty-eighth year, but uniting with Brasstown Church, Georgia, this church licensed him to preach, soon after his conversion.

     August 8, 1838, he married to Adaline M. Carroll, of North Carolina, to which union there were born eight children.

     About the year 1857 he was ordained by the Longfield Church, Anderson County - Thomas Sieber, Wm. Lindsay, Paul Harmon, and J. C. Hutson serving as a presbytery. At the close of the war he "refugeed" some three years in Kentucky, preaching to Mt. Hebron, Macedonia, and Pleasant Ridge churches. Returning to his native State, he was active in the organization of the Coal Creek Church, becoming its pastor and serving as such for about six or seven years. He was also pastor of Pleasant Hill Church, Anderson County. He also labored extensively in the destitute sections of Campbell and Scott counties, and other places.

     He was a great admirer of Joshua Frost, and claimed him as his "spiritual father." His associates in the ministry were Paul Harmon, the two Sieber brothers, Thomas and John, Jonathan and William Lindsay, J. C. Hutson, and Joshua Frost.

     He was rather fond of preaching from Old Testament subjects, and was considered by some of his brethren a "law preacher," and not as strictly evangelical and as fervently spiritual and evangelistic as they would like.

     He considered himself a "landmark Baptist," and when I last met him he had been a reader of the Tennessee Baptist for forty years. He was getting up in his "eighties," had not been able to preach "much" for a year or so, and was not quite able to get himself reconciled to some "financial troubles and reverses" that had befallen him. 

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