Transcribed by Diane Payne and Danene Vincent
NOTE: Not all church minutes are included.
No attempt was made to correct spelling.
Feb. 24, . . . Mr. Henry DOBBINS Rachel, a servant being a member of the church had bin guilty
of adultery. She having bin previously cited . . . therefore suspended.
Signed by order of session
R. W. GUTHRIE, S. C.
Publick fame loudly proclaimed that Wm. EVENS is in the habit of drinking wine to excess and acting in a way unbecoming a christian, he requested to meet the session at the Dry Fork church on Saturday the 11 April 1835 . . . he acknowledged that he had frequently bin intoxicated and acted in a way unbecoming a christian . . . he was continued as a member . . .
Miss. Betsy NEAL . . . have bin in a state of pregnancy, you are hereby cited to appear at the Dry Fork church on the 13th day of August . . .
Betsy NEAL met the session . . . which was composed of the following members to viz--Rev. Francis JOHNSTON, Thos C. BEARD, Henry DOBBINS, James MARTIN and Robt GUTHRIE . . . and James KIRKPATRICK from the Beach congregation . . . the charge was red to the accused . . . she is suspended from the privileges of the church until she gives evidence of her repentance.
Mr. John W. WRIGHT-- you are hereby cited to appear at the Dry Fork church . . . the 13th of August . . . to answer unchristian conduct towards BETSY NEAL also for unchristian conversation with Mr. B. J. NEAL last January in the woods. Also for unchristian conversation with Mr. PATTEN BELLS last fall at the corn heap.
Mr. W. WRIGHT appeared . . . the charges red . . . a part of which he acknowledged, the
balance he denied . . . Testimony was produced to establish the charges. The witnesses being
sworn stated as followings:
Betsy NEAL stated that some time in April last John W. WRIGHT at the house of B. J. NEALS one night lay down on the bed by the side of her, for the purpos of holding her head which was akeing very bad. After her head became easy, she fell asleep. When she awoke he was in the act of pulling down her clothes which was conciderably above her knees. That he frequently interegated her to know what was the matter with her. She told him she did not know, only that she had the headake and was sick. He told her she might well tell him for time would prove all things. That three or four months ago he had become very devlish, but he had got his ends accomplished and he was satisfied.
Susan NEAL stated that one night at the house of B. J. NEALS, Betsy NEAL observed to John W. WRIGHT that she did not know what she would do if it was not for him, because by his hand holding he had given her stomac ease. (S)He observed he did not know, perhaps she would do better without him then with him in the long run. She also stated that John W. WRIGHT said that he had felt very devlis but he had got his ends accomplised and he had felt very good about it ever since. She also state that he said to her one day that he wanted her to make him a pare of panteloons and that he was owing her some money and he would pay her shortly, that he did not know what day he would be ordered to start and he wanted to have all things ready.
John A. KILPATRICK stated that John W. WRIGHT came to the fields one day where he was at work and said he suposed the fuss was over between him and Susana, but he was determined to have revenge.
B. J. NEAL stated that some time last January him and John W. WRIGHT were in the woods choping. WRIGHT asked him if a woman in a sickly situation as Betsy was would breed. He told him they frequently did. He then asked him if a woman could be got with child when she were asleep. He told him he did not think she could. He then asked him what would put a young one out of the way. He told him he did not know.
Robt. GUTHRIE stated that last fall at the house of Patton BELLS, John W. WRIGHT told Richmond MARTIN in the presence of Mrs. BELL not to wet on the shucks, and other foolis converstation.
P. GILBERT stated that last fall the house of Patton BELLS, John W. WRIGHT told Richmond MARTIN the presence of Mrs. Bell not to wet on the shucks.
After examination... said John W. WRIGHT is guilty of unchristian conduct as charged . . . thereupon suspended from the privileges of the church. August 13, 1835.
Sept 24, 1835 Whereas Mr. B. J. NEAL (an elder) was knowing to the conduct of his sister BETSY and kept the same conceled, and by his own acknowledgment intended to so do . . . He was afterwards conversed with by a community of three, but could not bring him to repentance . . . He confessed it was wrong to conseal offences--yet he thought he was doing for the best concidering the circumstances connected with the affair. The session after considering his case was unanimous in suspending him from the priviliges of the church . . .
...A coloured woman belonging to Mr. John MCMURRY, by the name of Hannah, was suspended for pregnancy.
Whereas, Wm EVENS acknowledged to one of the session that he had bin drunk, he was thereupon requested to meet the session at James MARTIN'S on Thursday 15 day of Jan. 1836. . .In as much as Mr. EVENS had bin guilty of like offence and had previously bin called to account and promised amendment, the session . . . suspended him from the privileges of the church . . . Jan 14, 1836
August, 31, 1836 Whereas publick fames says Mr. Henry DOBBINS as bin guilty of unchristian
conduct in the sale of cirtain sorrel horse with a ball face to John TYREON the 8 day of April
1836 . . . After deliberation the session resolved to give him a citation . . .
Mr. Henry DOBBINS--Whereas publick fame loudly proclames that you were guilty of unchristian conduct in the sale of the horse to John TYRE and other circumstances connected with there you are hereby cited to attend at the Dry fork meeting house on Wednesday 31 of August at ten oclock . . .
Mr. DOBBINS attended . . . the session . . . was composed of the following members to viz: Rev. Francis JOHNSTON, James MARTIN, and Robt. W. GUTHRIE from the Dry fork church and Abram BRADLEY from Mt. Moriah church. The charge was red . . .
In the sale of the horse to John TYRE on the 8 day of April 1836 you recommended his eye to be good as any other horse, but publick fame says his eye will not rum up to the recommendation . . . Pleasant TYRE being sworn stated he examined the horse . . . and he considered the eye not good . . . John PENTECOST being sworn stated the Henry DOBBINS said that the above named horse had one eye as good as any other horse and could see the darkest night . . .
Thomas C. BEARD being sworn stated that he examined the above named horse the next Monday morning . . . he considered his eye not good . . .
Sarah ALLEN being sworn stated she had road the above named horse boath day and night in the months of Sept. , Oct, Nov., and Dec., 1835 and he performed as well as any other horse of one eye.
Thomas C. DOBBINS being sworn stated he had the above named horse in his possession in Nov. 1835, had used him boath day and night and he discovered no deficiency in his eye.
After the examination . . . Mr. DOBBINS guilty as charged and also unanimous in suspending him from the privileges of the church.
Brother B. J. NEEL having been suspended from the communion of the church, . . . the session resolved to ask the advice of Presbytery, and the Presbytery recommended that he be restored to his former privileges . . . 9 Nov 1836.
Hannah a colored woman belonging to Capt. John MCMURRY haveing been suspended . . . hereby excuminated from the communion of the church/
The session of Dry fork church met at the Dry fork meeting house April 30, 1837 . . . Izabella C. PAINE and Elizabeth J. BEARD was examined on experimental religion and received to the communion of the church.
...May 28, 1837 . . . Sarah NEEL and Isabella A. CLINTON applied and recd letters of dismission and reccommendation.
...16 Oct. 1837. . . Mrs. EVENS and Nancy J. BEARD was examined on experimental religion
and recd into the communion of the church and recd baptism.
Also Reuben HUNTER applyed and recd a letter of dismission and recommendation.
Report on the state of religion
During the past year we have injoyed stated and circuit preach. In the general good feeling and brotherly love is felt, but no revivle. Eighty members in communion.
...Oct 22, 1837 . . . Joseph W. BEARD applied and recd letter of dismission and recommendation
for himself and Lourinna his wife.
Whereas the Rev. Francis JOHNSTON haveing applied to this session for an Elder to set with him in the Franklin synod which is to meet at Lebanon, Wilson County, Tenn. the 9 of Nov. 1837. reslv. that T. C. BEARD be and is hereby appointed and B. J. NEAL to his alternative.
...Dec. 10, 1837 . . . Allen B. And William P. GUTHRIE was examined on experimental religion
and recd. into the communion . . .
James MARTIN (a ruling elder) applied and recd a letter of dismission and reccommendation for himself and Elizabeth MARTIN, his wife.
Also David JOHNSTON'S Cele (a servant) applied and recd a letter of dismission and recom.
...March 25, 1838 . . . B. J. NEAL be appointed to attend the Chapman Presbytery which is to
meet at Hartsville, Tenn on Friday the 30 . . .
Whereas Mr. Wm EVENS haveing bin suspended . . . whereas he has joined anther denomination of Christians, on motion resolved that the advise of the Presbytery be taken in his case.
...the advice of the Presbytery in the case of Wm EVENS which was that he be regularly excuminated. On motion Resolved that Wm. EVENS is hereby excuminated from the privilges of the church.
...28 Aug . . . T. C. BEARD be and is hereby appointed to attend a called meeting of the Chapman Presbytery which is to meet at Lebenon Wilson county on the 4 Sept next . . .
...Oct 17, 1838 . . . On motion resolved that Robt. W. Guthrie be and is hereby appointed to attend the Chapman Presbytery which is to meet at Smerny meeting house Jackson Cty. Tenn on Friday 19 . . .
...Nov 4, 1838 . . . Brs. Francis and Jas. F. JOHNSTON having applyed to this session for each of
them as elder to set with them in the middle Tenn. Synod which is to meet at Cairo Nov 8, 1838 .
Margaret HANES was examined on experimental religion and recd to the communion of the church her name transferred to the Gallatin church.
Br. Joseph W. BEARD haveing it in contemplation to remove without the bounds of this congregation applied on the 29 Oct. 1837 and recd a letter of dismission and recommendation for himself and wife but haveing declined presented his letter to the session was recd. Lourinna his wife died Oct 2, 1838.
...Jan 6, 1839 . . . Thomas J. EVENS applied and recd a letter of dismission and recommendation for himself and Mary EVENS his wife . . .
....Feb 11, 1839 . . . Nancy A. BEARD applied and recd a letter of recommendation.
Also a letter was granted to Mrs. Mary BEARD'S Hagar (a servant) . . .
....April 21, 1839 . . . Br. B. J. NEAL be and is hereby appointed to attend the Chapman
presbytery which is to meet at Salem meeting house, Smith Cty., on Friday 26.
Whereas Br. Henry DOBBINS' Rachel ( a servant) haveing bin suspended . . . resolved therefore that the advise of Presbytery be taken in her case . . .
....14 Sept, 1839 . . . Br. B. J. NEAL reported that he attended Presbytery as ordered and also
that he obtained the advise of Presbytery in case of Br. HENRY DOBBIN'S Rachel, which was
that she be excuminated which was done . . .
Mary BLACKARD applyed and recd a letter of dismission and recommendation.
Martha MONCRIEF was examined on experimental religion and recd. to the communion of the church . . .
....Oct 16, 1839 . . . on motion resolved that Thomas C. BEARD be and is hereby appointed to attend the Chapman Presbytery which is to meet at Wartrace meeting house, Jackson, Cty., on Friday 18.
...March 15, 1840 . . . On motion resolved that T. C. BEARD be and is hereby appointed to attend the Chapman pr. which is to meet at Hartsville Sumner Cty., April 3rd, 1840 . . .
...April 12, 1840 . . . Mrs. Ellenor NEAL presented and letter of dismission and recommendation
from M. E. church at Cairo.
Robt. NEAL presented a letter from the Oak Grove church C. P. C. whereupon they were recd. to the communion of this church.
Mary E. And Martha A. NEAL were examined on experimental religion and reced. to the communion of the church.
Elizabeth A. DOBBINS and Wm. F. GUTHRIE were examined on experimental religion by the session and admitted . . . the former on the 2 of August 1840, the latter on the 15.
....Oct 1840 . . . Robt. W. GUTHRIE was appointed to attend the Chapman presbytery which is to meet at Smurney meeting house, Jackson Cty., Tenn. on Friday 16.
Report on the state of Religion
We have had stated and circuit preaching through Sumner. Had a camp meeting which resulted in the convertion of three precious souls, six access to the church. Love and union prevales. 55 members in Com.
...granted letters of dismission and recommendation to Francis JOHNSTON and Kitty JOHNSTON his wife. Also to Robt. E., Martha K., and Wm. McHenry JOHNSTON their children. Session adj. Nov. 10, 1840.
..Aug 22, 1841 . . . Betsy NEAL, James THOMMAS, James WRIGHT, Wm. WRIGHT and Gideon WRIGHT were examined on experimental religion and recd into the communion of the church, the three latter not haveing bin baptised in infancy, then recd. The ordiance.
...Oct 10, 1841 . . . On inquiry it was ascertained that Br. Thomas C. BEARD attended Presbytery as ordered. Jane A. BEARD, Wm. S. PAYN, and James I. GUTHRIE were examined and recd . . .
...Nov 21, 1841 . . . Wm. BEARD, Mary C. DOBBINS, and Lamira J. NEAL were examined on experimental religion and recd.
...17 Apr, 1842...On motion B. J. NEAL was ordered to attend the Chapman Presbytery which is to meet at Lime Creek meeting house, Jackson Cty., Tenn. on Saturday 23 April 1842. Nancy NEAL and Sopiah WRIGHT presented letters of dismission and recommendation from the Hopewell Church . . . David M. BEARD requested and recd, a letter of dismission and recommendation.
....7 Aug, 1842 . . . Hannah BEARD presented a letter of dismission and recommendation . . .
...May 21, 1843 . . . Whereas Samuel BEARD has requested that his name to be taken from the Session book, giveing as a reason he thought he had no religion. On motion therefore resolved that his request be granted and that the same be published.
...4 Sept, 1844 . . . T. C. BEARD, J. W. BEARD, A. D. DOBBINS, J. C. DOBBINS, Wm A. DOBBINS. S. C. NEAL, N. E. GUTHRIE and J. B. NEAL were examined on experimental religion and recd . . .
....6 Aug, 1844 . . . Br. Robt. PAYNE applied to the S. C. and obtained letters of dismission and recommendation for himself and Sarah PAYNE his wife, also for Jane C., Elizabeth A., Polly C., Isabella C., and Wm. S. PAYNE, their children, and the same was approved . . .
...14 Sept. 1845 . . . Wm. BEARD, Francis J. BEARD, Samuel H. BEARD, Sarah J. BEARD, Nancy DOBBINS, Richard B. DOBBINS, Sarah J. GUTHRIE, Robt. H. GUTHRIE and Nancy C. NEAL were examined on experimental religion and recd . . . Martha VALENTINE formerly a member of the Methodist Church requested to be recd as a member of this church . . . the session being satisfied as to her piety recd.
...18 Oct., 1846 . . . R. W. GUTHRIE was appointed to represent this church in the Chapman
Presbytery which is to meet at Lebanon, Wilson Cty., Tenn . . .
Report on the state of religion. We have stated supplies of preaching but no special outpouring of the Spirit. 60 members in communion.
...29 March 1848 . . . 55 members in communion.
...24 Nov. 1850 . . . The following persons were recd into the church by experience and baptism. John FUQUA, his servant, Charlotte, Carson DOBBIN'S Lee, and R. GUTHRIE'S Angelina. The following children were baptized: Sarah E., Wm. L, James B., and Mary J., John L, and Thomas M. FUQUA, children of John and Mary FUQUA. Evaline J. daughter of S. C. and Mary C. BEARD . . .
...29 Dec. Baptism administered to Wm M., Lourinna A., and Mary, children of Aaron S. and Nancy NEAL by Rev. Francis Johnston.
Oct. 5 . . . Susan NEAL and Mary HARPER were examined on experimental religion and admitted to the privileges of the church, the latter recd baptism and the former having been baptised in infancy.
Oct. 8 . . . The following persons joined the church (viz) Martha A. DOBBINS, Nancy J. DOBBINS, Nancy L. BEARD, and Louisa B. HARPER. The last named recd baptism . . .
Report on the state of religion during the past year. Monthly preaching with good and serious congregations. Prayer meeting regular and well attended. Sabbath school during summer months. Camp meeting in Oct. 1850 and 51 which resulted in 50 convertions, 21 accession, 5 adult and 16 infant baptisms -- 75 members in communion, living in peace and love.
Oct. 29, 1851 . . . At the request of the Dry Fork church, Robt W. GUTHRIE attended Chapman Presbytery at Hartsville, Oct 1851 and ingaged Rev. J. C. BOWDEN to preach at Dry Fork Church on Saturday and Sabbath in each month for one year for which we promised him one hundred dollars.
.....recd to the communion of the church by experience and babtism, Priscilla Turner's Anne (a servant). At night at Joseph W. BEARD'S recd. by experience July A. DOBBINS, Margaret A. BEARD. They haveing been baptised in infancy. Baptism administered to John MCHENRY, David PORTER and _ S. NEAL, children of Thomas and Polly NEAL. Also to Almedrious B. BEARD, son of Wm. and Isabella BEARD.
Feb. 14, 1852 In consequence of the death of Brother Thomas C. BEARD, the removel of Bro. Briten NEAL and the resignation of Bro. Henry DOBBINS, all elders of the church, leaving the congregation without a sufficient number of elders, the congregation held an election of persons to supply the vacancies. The following named brethren: viz -- Henry DOBBINS, Joseph W. BEARD, Aaron S. NEAL and James I. GUTHRIE . . .
...Feb. 15, 1852 . . . Wm., James W. and Sarah A. BEARD -- Thomas and Polly NEAL, his wife, applied and recd. letters of dismission and recommendation . . .
...March 20 . . . Rev. Mabon A. MARLOW being preasant was chosen Mo. . . .
...April 15, 1852 . . . There being no special business before the session they went into free consultation concerning the interest of the congregation- endeavoring to find out the best means for promoting piety and zeal in the church . . .
Report on the state of Religion in Dry Fork Church
No of conversions 2, Accessions 3, Baptism, adult 1, infants 4 . . . love prevails and the church is blest with peace among her members.
...May 15, 1852 . . . On application B. J. NEAL (ruling elder) Ellenor his wife, John B. and Sarah NEAL, also Martha A. and Susan PERDUE their children recd letters of dismission and recommendation . . .
...June 20, 1852 . . . James F. JOHNSTON applied and recd a letter of dismission and recommendation. Whereas the Session clerk has been somewhat deficient in recording consequently several names of members are not to be found on the book. Therefore be it resolved that it is the opinion of this session it is me__rly a neglect without any intention to deprive any of their rights and be it futher resolved that all names not found in the book haveing a right, be now inserted . . . Whereas it is the wish of this session that the circumstances that gave rise to the organism of this church, the names of its first members, from whence they came, the means used for their spiritual improvement should be known . . . Therefore be it resolved that a committee consisting of the following: Rev. J. C. BOWDON, H. DOBBINS, J. W. BEARD, and R. W. GUTHRIE, be appointed to collect all information in their power . . .
...August 14, 1842 . . . Mary L. MCLIN applied and recd a letter of dismission and recommendation . . .
Session met at Philip E. DRANE'S Sept. 22, 1852 . . . Mary and Louisa B. HARPER applied and recd letters of dismission and recommendation . . .
...Oct. 1st, 1852 . . . The committee appointed to prepare a history of Dry Fork church, reported which report was recd and adopted and on motion the Mo. was appointed to transcribe the history and send a copy to the historical Society at Lebanon . . .
...Oct. 7, 1852 . . . Samuel C. BEARD, David CAMPBELL, and L. E. OLDHAM were examined on experimental religion and received into the communion of the church. The last named received baptism and was dismissed at her request and recommended by letter. Baptism was administered by Rev. J. C. BOWDEN to Polly A. Y. daughter of Samuel C. and Mary C. BEARD. Also to John B. son of Wiley W. and Mary E. JONES . . .
This Indenture made this tenth day of October in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight
Hundred and Thirty four between Frances JOHNSON, Robert STEWART and R. W. GUTHRIE
of the County Sumner and State of Tennessee of the One part and the Trustees of the Dry Fork
Congregational _ and their successors inoffice of the other parts. Witnesseth that for and in
consideration of the respect which we have to the said Congregation have donated to the __
Trustees a certain tract or parcel of land lying on the waters of Dry Fork Creek including the Dry
Fork Meeting House begining on R. W. GUTHRIE'S west boundary line at a rock thence north
west twelve poles to hickory Sapling thence north six poles to a hickory thence east seven poles
to an elm, on JOHNSONS, east boundary line thence North fourteen poles to a white oak thence
east eighteen poles to a black ash and Sugar tree thence south thirty one poles to a white oak on
R. W. GUTHRIES north boundary line thence west with said line twenty six poles to an elm,
twelve poles to the begining, and we the _ Frances JOHNSON, Robert STEWART, and R. W.
GUTHERY do for ourselves and for our heirs and assigns, warrant and forever dependable the
right and title of the above named land and premises be the same more or les to the _ Trustees of
the dry Fork congregational now being and to their successors hereafter forever as long as there is
a congregation of the Cumberland Presbiterian, who desired to assemble at the place, against the
claim and demand of every person or persons whatever. And whereas the above named land, and
premesis cease to be a place of worship for the Cumberland Presbiterian the above named land
and premesis to return to the tracts from whence it was taken and the tents or other property on it
belonging to individuals to be removed off at their Leisure, in witness whereof we the said Francis
JOHNSON, Robert STEWART and R. W. GUTHRIE have hereunto set our hands and seals the
day and year written.
Signed and sealed and delivered in the presence of
John W. WRIGHT
Robert W. Guthrie
State of Tennessee, Sumner County
August Term 1836, deed of Bargain and Sale from Francis JOHNSON, Robert W. GUTHRIE and Robert STEWART to the Trustees of the dry Fork Congregation was proved by the Oaths of John W. MCMURRY and Robert PAYNE two subscribing witnesses thereunto and ordered to be registered.
Thos. DONOHO, Clerk of the Sumner County Court