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Home arrow Historical Documents arrow Church and Association Histories arrow Mt. Enon Association -- Part 2
Mt. Enon Association -- Part 2 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Montgomery/Wiggens   

Dear Friends,

We pick up the Mt Enon Association history.

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.


Storm Clouds Gather

<Missing info>.......twenty five miles, yet they were faithfully to attend conference. Now Mt. Enon is the mother church of this Association and has and is regarded as such by all the sister churches in the association. If they get into difficult trouble, they come to the old mother church for council. Now the first conference was held June 1867. They ordained Brother John Sweat to the Deaconship of the church, elected J. G. Blanton churches' clerk and called Elder Moseley to the pastoral care of the church. Now about this time J. W. Swain of Georgia moved down and settled in the southern part of Sumter County some fifty or more miles northeast of Mt. Enon church. He and wife were both old Primitive Baptist and he was a licensed preacher. They heard of Elder Moseley and the constitution of Mt. Enon Church so in March 1868 they come to church at Mt. Enon and he preached with Elder Moseley and when the conference opened up they presented their letters for membership and was received into the full fellowship of the church, now as brother Sweat, the deacon called for his and wife's letters and moved back to Georgia, the church had Wm. Wiggins and J. B. Raulerson ordained to the deaconship of the church and at their next meeting in April they ordained J. W. Swain to the full work of the ministry and licensed J. M. Keen, John Futch and G. Griffin to preach where ever they thought it might be profitable. Elder Kickliter called for ministerial aid to constitute a church on the head of Fallon creek near where he lived which they did and gave it the name of Shiloh. Now in the latter part of this year 156-9 Elder Moseley died. He was 80 years old. He must have been borned in 1788.

I don't reckon any man ever suffered any more persecution than he did outside of Paul and if it had not been for the laws of our Land and country he would have been stoned and east into prison. He was called all kind of disrespectable names compared to a dog, accused of preaching a dangerous doctrine, 'said he ought to be drumed out of the country and was threatened to be stoned with rotten eggs at one place if he came back there and preached such stuff as that again, they would not let their children go to hear him preach, said he preached infants in hell but he went right on with his old raw hide buggy top and filled all his appointments and wherever he was sent for he never spoke a harm word against anyone and if they did not like his doctrine he could not help it, he never preached to please man he declared the whole truth of our God regardless of man. He was like John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness preparing a people and making a way straight for the foundation of this association and while this association has been through many trials and troubles and had two divisions she now stands as one man upon the foundation that she was built upon, the doctrine of Gods absolute Predestination of all things in both the good and the bad. Shiloh church takened up correspondence with Mt. Enon and held the first annual meeting in July, 1869 and called Elder J. W. Swain to the pastorial care of the church for eight or nine years, ordained J. M. Keen and T. S. Evers in 1870. Elder J. W. Swain called for his and wife's letters and ministerial aid to constitute a church in Sumpter County near where he lived which was granted and named it Empire which is in Lake County at present, in 1871. Also in the same year 1871 Elder Keen called for his and wife's letters and help to constitute a church near his place on the South Prong of Alifia River and gave it the name of Bethlehem. Now they had five churches, Mt. Enon, Empire, Shyloh Bethlehem and Peace Creek. They now formed themselves into an Association and held their first association in November of the same year 1871 and gave it the name of Mt. Enon Association. Now this was a big meeting and a big time not only with old Baptist but with every body. It was the first old Hardshell Association ever held in South Florida. There were people there from six countys, Hillsboro, Hernando, Sum-ter, Orange, Polk and Manatee. How well I remember those old time Horse Carts and Oxens with Yokes on their necks and so many horses with saddles on and I saw so many old grey headed men with long white beards, that had come from far and near ail dressed common, most of the old men had on the old fashion flint and steel britches and old fashion hunting shirts and home made shoes and hats. There were not any "big I's or little you's' among them, how well I remember how happy they looked when they were shaking hands with each other manifesting their love towards each other. It seemed that everybody enjoyed the meeting. There were but few old Baptists that lived near the church to take care of the people both the neighbors and friends opened up their doors to any body and every body that would go to their houses, t remember how it was at Father's house on Saturday night. He had a large double pen Log House and took all the house room for the women and children. The men and boys took blankets, quilts and slept on the porches in the woods and corn cribs but every one seemed to be lively and enjoyed the meeting. I never had such a time helping to feed horses. We had just gathered corn and the fields were open and we fed them on corn and then put them in the field at night but everything went on nicely, I think there were about 45 or 50 heads of horses to feed that night, they preached after supper was over. I think of the old white headed Brethren set up and talked very near all night. How well I remember those days while I was a boy I can see with an eye of memory those old Brethren and Elder Moseley just as plain as if it had been only yesterday. I am 68 years old and I am going to the same old church that Elder Moseley constituted at Mt. Enon. I know of two members that are living that was in the constitution. I do not see those old common dressed Brethern and sisters any more. I don't see those old horse carts and Ox carts scattered around the old church and the horse and oxen tied to the trees everything is different now days. The old church yard is covered with Automobiles and keeps up such a noise that you can hardly hear the singing and preaching, they spoil the enjoyment of the meeting. Some are uneasy about their children, afraid they might get run over and some are afraid that children or some one else will get in their car and they keep up an uneasiness and their minds are more on the car than on the preaching and they keep up such a noise that those who want to hear cannot half hear. Everything is different in these days. I remember seeing old Brethern when they traveled with vehicles and horses, when they met each other they would stop and talk for a half hour or more, never in too much hurry to stop and find out how each other was getting along but now a little flirt of the hand is all that you get. No time to tarry, gas is nearly out. Now after the first Association the churches all got along in peace and love and kept up their annual meetings and Association up to 1876 the association was composed of seven or eight churches, I think seven, but some time in 1876 an old colored man by the name of Isaac Berry received a hope in Christ and began to enquire if he could join the Primitive Baptist Church. He did not know whether the white Brethren would receive a Negro into the fellowship of the church or not. So Elder Kickliter and Elder J. M. Keen took up a stand against the church receiving negroes into the fellowship of the church. They said they would not fellowship a negro and preached to their church that if they received negroes into the church they would have to treat them the same as white Brethren put them up to the table to eat with white brethren and in the bed just the same but the old mother church. Mt. Enon, and four other churches stood on the grounds that they had no right to reject any nationality of people regardless to color and if a negro came to the church with the evidence that he had received a home in Christ, they would receive him and baptize him into the fellowship of the church and give him free access to the ordinances of the church and treat him as a brother in the spirit but not in sociality as a man which is contrary to the laws of our country. So it brought division, I think it was in 1877 or 78. Elder Kickliter and Elder Keen cut loose from the association and carried the majority of their churches which left the association with four churches out of seven to the best of my recollection. Elder Kickliter was pastor of Shiloh and Elder Keen Bethlehem. I remember that the few that stood with the association came and asked membership of Mt. Enon and was received by confession of faith, in the year of 1879. Now in the year of 1881 those same brothers and sisters called for their letters and ministerial aid to constitute a church on the south side of the River near Bro. John Altmans. The letters was granted, eight in all, names John Altman, Nancy Altman, B. T. Altman, John J. Altman, D. C. Lancaster and wife, Tim Alderman and wife and I think Martha Handcock. They were constituted into a church and named it Mt. Olive. I do not remember just when Fellowship church was constituted but it stood unanimous with Elder Kick-liter and Keen and Elder Kickliter served that church as long as he lived but it was not long after he split off from the association. He was afflicted with Cancer and died and it was not a great while after he died, I don't just remember, Elder Keen died also and their churches went down to nothing and their members began to return back to the churches and was received by confession of faith. They finally all came back except two or three. Now all the churches of the association was in order and at peace again. They prospered and grew in number. They constituted churches and ordained Elders and Deacons. In the year 1890 the association was represented by eleven or twelve churches but about this time or in 1891 there seemed to be a little discord existing among some of the Elders and some Brethren in regard to the doctrine. They began to find fault with the old signs of the times, said it advocated a two seed Doctrine or a Doctrine that made God the author of sin and a good many traveling preachers came through preaching that churches would not prosper under Doctrine preached to them all the time, said you might preach doctrine to a church until it would become dormant and loose all zeal and go down to nothing. They advocated that if the preachers would leave off so much doctrine and preach more practable doctrine the churches would have a greater zeal and prosper and grow and wake up to duty would make brotherly love abound more and more. I think it was in 1895 there were eighteen traveling preachers came through this association all preaching on this same line, advocating that the churches should establish treasuries in each church, that they would always be ready to meet the wants of the needy.

Now about all the old ministers of the association had passed on and the most of the preachers in the association were young in the cause and were easily led into the trap and it was not long before the association had more duty preachers than it had Gospel ministers and the Association began to prosper in churches and membership, they ordained elders and deacons a plenty. Most any brother that had zeal and could talk duty pretty well was ordained to the ministry. Duty was easily preached and was about all the kinds of preaching we had, and the old Hardshells became popular with the world and multiplied fast in membership. In 1896 the association was represented by 13 or 15 churches they now began to come out more boldly against the doctrine of God's Predestination of all things said if God Predestinated all things he predestinated men to kill, steal, get drunk and commit adultery which would make him the arthur of sin. So it went on this way and as they increased in number the more boldly they came out against the doctrine, The association was composed of seventeen or eighteen churches and thirteen or fourteen Elders. Now about this time conditionalism developed in full and sprung the doctrine of conditional time salvation and began to fight the doctrine of God absolute predestination of all things and kept up the fight until they brought division which will be given below.

Next Installment: "The Absoluters Strike Back"

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