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History of the Absolute Mt. Enon Association PDF Print E-mail
Written by Montgomery/Wiggens   

Dear Friends,

I will present to you in several installments: "The History of the Absolute Mt. Enon Association" which was written circa 1922 by E. I. Wiggens. Even though Bro. Wiggens gives the "Absoluter" side of the Association's story, this is a very interesting and informative work. Please do not delete these posts or save them in some soon to be forgotten directory--read them!

The book is full of spelling and grammatical errors and was written in the colloquial speech of the day. I have left it as is so to give you the full flavor of its writing.

DM


TO THE MT. ENON ASSOCIATION

Dear Brothers:
As you have appointed me to write up this Association, I will endeavor to do the best I can.

In the first place we want to find out who built it and what foundation it was built, upon, a rock or upon the sand. We know that Christ Jesus is the foundation, and chief corner stone of the building, and God, the Father, prepares the material, through him, Christ Jesus that is to be built upon this foundation and Paul says no other foundation can be laid and every man's work that builds upon this foundation is tried as Silver and Gold is tried and if it fails to stand the test it is burned up, let it be wood, Hay or Stubble. So let us look up the material that this Association was built of and how it all came about. We will look up the builders and see if they were orthodox Predestination Baptist or not.

Now my Fother was borned in 1813 and Mother in 1818. Mother's maiden name was Raulerson, she had two own Brothers, named Rabon and John. Two half brothers and three half sisters. Those people were borned and reared in South Georgia and when they grew up to be men and women, a man by the name of John Thomas married one of Mother's half sisters. John Futch married another one and a man named Curry married the third one. Uncle Rabon married a Miss Whitten and Uncle John married a Miss Friar. Now those people always followed up the Frontier and lived close to the Indians and after the Indians had been driven out of Georgia back into Florida and were peaceable, those people moved over to Columbia County Florida about where Lake City now stands. People kept moving in from Georgia and settling in that section until finally they moved in enough old Primitive Baptist to constitute a Chuch in that neighborhood and Father, Mother, Uncle Rabon and Uncle John Thomas and their wives became members of that church. Uncle John Raulerson has not joined any church as yet. This church prospered and grew in number as people kept moving over there from Georgia but finally the old Missionary split struck that church and they had division. Part of them went off with the Missionaries but Father, Mother, Uncle Rabon and John Thomas and their wives stood with the old Predestinarian Baptist. Uncle John Raulerson by this time had joined the Missionaries and they ordained him to the Deaconship of their church and appointed him to take up a collection and he refused to do so and bid them to take his name off of their church book for he had no further use for them and left them right then.

Now in the meantime the Indians broke out and went to war with the Whites and they had to fight Indians from there to the Everglades in South Florida. After this war was over and the Indians were at peace again, Father, Uncle Rabon, Uncle John Raulerson and Uncle John Thomas decided to move to the frontier in South Florida, so in 1844 they gathered up all of their stock and drove them down to South Florida and stopped them about twenty five miles east of old Ft. Brook where Tampa now stands. There were a few people who settled around the old Fort and had one or two stores there and gave it the name of Tampa. Now after they got here they turned their cattle loose on the range and rode over the country for a few days looking for the best location but they decided that they had stopped in as good a place as they could find so they went out and each one selected his place for settlement as Uncle Rabon Raulerson brought his family with him when they came. Father, Uncle John Raulerson and Uncle John Thomas left their stock in his care and went back to Columbia County after their families. So after they got back and fixed up all their business, they went to the church and called for all their letters which was granted, six in all. In 1845 they landed back in South Florida and each one drove out to his selected place for settlement and unloaded their families and furniture out in the wild woods without a shelter or a tent to keep them dry. The forest was full of wild beast such as Bear, Panther, Wolves and other smaller animals but they went to work and soon had up shelters and Log Cabins, then they commenced clearing and fencing in land and penned their cattle on their land at night in order to protect them from the wild beast while it made their land rich and they were soon having nice gardens and plenty of sweet potatoes and rice. As for milk, butter and wild honey, they had more than they could consume and as for meat, it was no object, Wild Turkey and Deer were in abundance and plenty of fish. Their Hogs and cattle were fat and increased while the Bear, Panther and Wolves caught some of the young stock, but they protected them pretty well with their dogs and old flint and steel rifles. They soon had good size fields and making plenty of corn and sugar cane. They cut down live oak and sawed blocks off and put them up in a frame and truned out mill Rolers and ground their cane on wooden Mills.

People kept moving down from Georgia, Alabama and other places from year to year and being mostly stockmen they settled pretty far apart, from five to ten twenty and forty miles apart so every year they kept adding more settlers to those little settlements and up to 1856 they had little settlements started all about over the country but the Indians got mad and went to war and the people in each settlement had to come together at one place or kind to fort up so the Government could put guards around them while the army pursued the Indians and after this little war was over, the country settled up more and more every year, from Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina and in the meantime a few more old Baptist moved down and settled some twenty or twenty five miles farther on south of us and by this time the Missionaries and Methodists had churches established in different settlement all through the country and the Missionaries put in to win over those few old Baptists to join in with them but they could not move them. They would tell them that they had just as well join in with them for there would never be Hardshells enough in this country to have a church but they could never discourage them. They stood firm in the doctrine and contended for the Faith. Father was pretty well informed in the scriptures and takened the signs of the times and was ready for them. It didn't take him long to put them to flight. They would get mad and say to him: "If it is like you say, then God is an unjust God, then they would flirt off and leave him but they would not give it up, they would send others to see him to persuade him to join in with them. They told him that he was in the way, that he was keeping others from joining but if he would join, a good many others would join but they would get their dose before they left and go off mad. I have seen him follow them to the yard gate and preach to them as far as he thought they could hear him but they would go right on and never look back. The Missionaries increased more every year and the more they increased the harder they worked to convert those few old Absoluters over to join them but they stood unmovable. They stood ever ready to contend for the Faith that was once delivered to the saints and put the Missionaries to flight.

Now in 1861, the old Civil war came upon us and by this time many of the children that were brought here had grown up to be men and women and had never heard a Gospel Sermon preached in their lives. They never heard the truth advocated only when they heard those few old Absoluters contending against Missionarism. Now the old Civil War lasted four years but in 1864 those few old Predestinarian Baptists had been living here for twenty years and had not heard a Gospel Sermon during the time and many grown young men and women had never heard an old Primitive Baptist sermon preached in their lives but the Lord, God of Heaven had not forgotten those old Brethern that had dwelt in the wilderness for twenty years tempted of the Devil through Missionarism. His time had now come to send the Gospel unto them and he had prepared the hearts of many that had never heard the Gospel to receive it as truth when it did come so he had an old servant back in Alabama, and old Absolute Predestinarian Gospel minister by the name of James Moseley. He was an old bachelor, had no family to leave and the Lord put it in his mind to go South. He told Father how he was impressed to go South, he said it came into his mind to go South and he tried to get it off his mind but it pressed him harder and harder. Something kept saying go South, go South and he didn't know how far nor where to but just go South was all he could get out of it. He said that it became such a burden to him, he decided to fix up and travel south until his mind was relieved. He had a small pony horse and a buggy so he went to work and built a top to this buggy and covered it with raw deer skins with the hairy side turned inside so he got up what few clothes he had and a little money, hitched his pony to the buggy and started south, not knowing where he would stop. His mind just said, Go South, so he traveled south as near as he could all the time. He came on through Alabama and on into Georgia. He said after he got in Georgia he found a good many old Primitive Baptist and he preached at their houses and at their churches. He said that they were so good and kind to him and wanted him to stay with them. He thought maybe he had gotten to the end of this journey but it was not so, he got no relief of mind, his mind said go on, don't stop here, go south, so he traveled through Georgia preaching wherever he was called on and sent some appointments on ahead and finally he struck Florida and he traveled on as near South as he could, not knowing where he would stop nor what he was going for but his mind says go on south. After he got into Florida he stopped finding any old Primitive Baptist. He inquired at every place he stopped in if they knew of any old Primitive Baptist any where in South Florida and the answer was, No, every time but he kept on traveling on and when he got away down I suppose about the lower part of Hernando County he met a man and stopped and asked him if he know of any old Primitive Baptist any where in the country. He said no, but there used to be three or four on below here but they are all dead and not a one left. Well, it was discouraging, news but his mind says go on and after a while he met another man. He must have been some where near the Burnt Bridge on the Hillsboro River, he stopped the man and asked him if he knew of any Hardshell Baptist anywhere in the country. "Yes I know of one, he said. Can you tell me his name, yes his name is John Thomas. Can you give me directions to find his place, yes, so he directed him how to go and he bid him good day and drove on. He said that gave him more encouragement than anything he had heard since he left Alabama. He thought maybe he was getting to the end of his journey. It was the first time that he had felt any relief of mind since he had left home. Said he could not help shoving up his horse a little but he drove on and on until he began to think he had surely gotten off of the route but way long in the afternoon he came to a place that suited the discription the man gave him of the place, so he drove up to the gate and a man came out and said, "Get out and come in," the first man that had met him in this manner since he struck Florida. Well I am hunting old Hardshells, well get out, give me your name first, my name is John Thomas. Well you are the man I was trying to find, I met a man that told me of you and gave me directions how to find your place. You are an old Primitive Baptist are you not, Well I used to have a name among them but I have been away from them so long I don't know whether they would have me now or not. How long have you been away from them? Twenty years, I have not heard an old Hardshell sermon preached in twenty year. Then Elder Moseley made known to him that he was an old Primitive Baptist Preacher then they grabbed each other by the hand again and greeted each other with kisses from the Heart. They were both made to rejoice with tears running down their cheeks, the oil of gladness, so Uncle Thomas put a boy on the horse and sent him to let Father and Uncle John Raulerson know that there was an old Hardshell Preacher at his home, so they got off early the next morning and went to see him and when they met him there was more glad hearts and greeting with Heart kisses. Elder Moseley said he felt that he had gotten to his journey's end. Said he felt he had gotten home his mind was easy, they staid with him all day and had a rejoicing time. They got an old Log House that was built for a Missionary church and put seats in it and sent word around that there would be preaching out there on a certain day by an old Primitive Baptist Preacher. So when the day came for the meeting, those old Hungry Baptists all went out and takened all their families and a few missionaries went out and some that had never heard an old Hardshell preach, went out just to hear one preach and while some of them had never heard the Gospel preached before. Some of them believed it as the truth but those old Baptist that had been here for many years had a great feast. They could not behave themselves while the old man was preaching. They would look at one another and nod their heads and speak right out to each other, endorsing the Doctrine. After the meeting was over Elder Moseley came home with Father and Uncle John and made their places his headquarters or home as long as he lived. He had the same little old pony and raw hide buggy top that he started with. His little old horse had a bad case of Glanders. We had to feed him off to himself in order to keep him away from other stock so Uncle John and Father went to Elder Moseley and told him if he had no objections they would kill his pony and buy another one that was healthy. He said do whatever you think is best and I will be satisfied. Well they thought it would be better to kill him than to have the Glanders scattered among other Horses. He said do what you think is best. So they got a young man to take the horse off and kill him and they bought another good healthy pony but he kept the old raw hide top buggy. Now they had nowhere to hold meetings only at their houses but Father and Uncle John hired a man by the name of Elbert Sloan to build a Log House for a meeting house and he soon had it ready for the seats and Pulpit which they had ready for putting in so the house was soon ready and Elder Moseley made an appointment to preach there once a month. Now Uncle John Raulerson and wife joined Elder Moseley at the first opportunity and were baptised, and what few old Primitive Baptists that had moved down and settled in the different localities of the country heard of Elder Moseley and that he was holding monthly meetings near old Brother Wiggin's. They came up to the meeting from Twenty to Twenty five miles and even fifty miles so those Brethern asked Elder Moseley if they would make appointments in their neighborhood would he come and fill them. He said, yes, to the best of my ability. They lived a good way apart and they gave him a line of appointments from the South Prong of the Alfia River to the head of Peace Creek and other places when sent for.

Sometimes he was gone two or three weeks but was always back on time for this meeting at Mt. Enon. Now Elder Moseley and those old Brethern that had been here so long and had been through the Missionary split decided that as they could not constitute into a church that they would organize themselves into a body. So in 1865 they organized themselves into a body, appointed John Sweat as Deacon, Elder Moselev served them as pastor. They didn't need a clerk as they did not hold conference but they received members and Elder Moselev baptised them. They went on this way up to 1867. Elder Kickliter from Bullock county Georgia moved down and bought a place on the South Prong of the Alifia River some twenty miles or more below Mt. Enon. He heard of Elder Moseley holding monthly meetings at Mt. Enon so he came up to the meeting and preached with Elder Moseley. So they made arrangements to constitute them into a church at their next meeting time and made it known to all concerned. Now by this time there had moved in a good many old Baptists and settled in different parts of the country and Elder Moseley had baptised a good many during the time he had been here so in May 1867 they met and constituted them into a church and gave it the name of Mt. Enon.

Now this is the covenent that they were constituted under just as Elder Moseley drew it up and endorsed by those old Brethern that came through the old missionary split. We the undersigned Brethern and Sisters give up our souls to God that gave it and our body to the earth from whence it came and our selves to one another in love, we furthermore promise before God and witnesses that we will endeavor to keep Gospel order and a strict Gospel discipline, and, renounce all other Institutions, furthermore promise that we will watch over one another for good and not for evil. We believe in one only True and Living God and the trinity of persons in the God Head the Father, Son and Holy Ghost and yet there are not three but one God. We believe the scriptures of the old and new testaments are the word of God and only rule of Faith and Practice. We believe in the Doctrine of Eternal and Particular Election of a definite number of the human race chosen in Christ before the Foundation of the world that they should be Holy and without blame before him in Love. We believe in a covenant of redemption between God and Father and God the Son. We believe in the fall of man and the communication of Adam's sinful nature to his posterity by ordinary generation their impotency to recover themselves from the fallen, state they are in by nature by their own free will and ability. We believe that all chosen in Christ shall hear the voice of the Son of God and effectually called Regenerated and Borned again. We believe that sinners thus born again are justified in the sight of God alone by the righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to them by Faith. We believe that Faith is the gift of God and good works the fruit of Faith, and justifies us in the sight of men and angels as evidence of our gracious state. We believe that all the saints of God are justified by the righteousness of Christ and shall perservere in Grace and none of them finally fall away so as to be lost. We believe in a general judgment of both the just and unjust and that the joys of the righteous will be eternal and the punishment of the wicked everlasting and as for Gospel order we believe that the visible church of Christ is a congregation of true and faithful persons who have gained Christian Fellowship with each other

DM NOTE: There appears to be two pages missing, though all the pages in my original copy are in sequence. The pages must have got left out when the book was published. Too bad.

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.