The Richmond Register

December 18, 2012

Valley View, Viney Fork and Wallaceton churches have illustrious histories

Madison's Heritage

By Fred Engle
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — Two churches in Madison County celebrate V for Victory (for the Lord), Valley View and Viney Fork.

Christine K. Coates wrote the history of Valley View Baptist Church.

In 1907, a group met at the old Miller schoolhouse. The first pastor was Robert J. Daughtery. This congregation split over Campbellism. Valley View was once a booming lumber town. The Richmond, Irvine, Nicholasville and Beattyville Railroad crossed the river there. The piers supporting a long gone rail bridge are still there. The ferry still operates and the church is doing well.

The Viney Fork Baptist church is an old church, dating back to 1797. A detailed history of this congregation is provided in the book “How Firm A Foundation” (pp. 175-178). At this church we find historical ties to Virginia, Primitive Baptist doctrine, Speedwell, Dreaming Creek and TatesCreek. This church helped found Goodloe’s Chapel — a well-known, predominantly African-American church in the Bybee-Speedwell area. Viney Fork lost members to the Campbellites, the Civil War and the Bluegrass Army Depot which took much of the land where the church’s congregation lived. Mrs. Thomas (Jean) Turner has written a more complete history of the Viney Fork church.

Wallaceton Baptist church also has a long tradition in the county. While earlier Baptists and other denominations held worship services at what may have originally been called Wallacetown, Baptists set up on their own on April 25, 1896.

The first elders (leaders) there were G.D. Hendrickson and F.P. Bryant. In 1898 G.D. Hendrickson became the first pastor. That same year, the church joined the Tates Creek Baptist Association. A building went up in October 1898 — complete with a pot-bellied stove and coal-oil lamps. Pastors were annually called. Arguments were had about baptism, foot washing, the Lord’s Supper, expelling (“churching”) members and missions.

A.F. Caldwell and his son, William C. Caldwell, provided leadership for the church from 1901 until 1982. This must be some kind of record for church service.

In the 1940s, church finances were handled by the Paint Lick Bank. I note that Louis W. Arnold is listed as a pastor. Would this be the same Louis Arnold who became well known as an evangelist and the pastor of a large Independent Baptist church in Lexington?

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.