By Fred Engle
“How Firm a Foundation” by Dennis Brewer, Harry Johnson and Glenn Roberts is an excellent reference book for Baptist churches in Madison County. These bits of information come from this book.
There has been a Baptist Church at Hays Fork (in the Kingston area of the County) since 1813. At first it was called the Bethel Church of Old School Baptists. Over the years a lot of interesting things happened to this congregation. Here are a few items.
The first church was located between what is now Old US 25 and Hays Fork Creek. This location is now a part of the Blue Grass Army Depot. In 1819, the church dissolved and reorganized under the name “Baptist Church of Christ.” The first pastor was Josiah Collins.
In 1849, the church again dissolved after much discussion. At the last moment the dissolving was canceled and the Baptist Church at Hays Fork remained. Pastors were paid by a members’ subscription. In 1896, the word “United” was dropped from the church name. At the time most of Baptist churches in the county were United Baptists. The local association was United Baptist. When Regular Baptists joined Separate Baptists, they became known as United Baptists. In 1907, fellowship was withdrawn from those attending Campbellite or Christian churches.
The official name of the church is now the Hays Fork Baptist Church of Richmond, Kentucky Inc. Very soon the Baptist worship begun in the Hays Fork area (1813) will be 200 years old.
PUBLICATION NOTE: Readers are reminded that a compilation of some 60 Richmond Register articles from over the last 40 years written by Dr. Grise and myself are now available in the paperback book “Madison’s Heritage Rediscovered.”
Combined with relevant photographs selected from Eastern’s Archives by my granddaughter, Kathryn Engle, who edited the volume, this book is available for $19.99 plus tax. Autographed copies may be found at the Richmond tourism office (Irvinton) on Lancaster Avenue, Clearsight Optometry and Baldwin CPAs on Main Street in Richmond.
Autographed copies are also available by calling Kathryn Engle at 893-0947 or 623 1150. These books make excellent birthday or Christmas gifts for family or friends.