Monday, September 22, 2008

Jesse Stewart -- Baptist Preacher

Our direct ancestor, Jesse Stewart, of Tennessee was a Baptist Preacher.
The following is from the book, History of Middle Tennessee Baptists: With Special Reference to Salem, New Salem, Enon and Wiseman Associations by John Harvey Grime (1902). (Published by Baptist and Reflector, 1902)
Pages 275-276

ELDER JESSE STEWART

This father in Israel is a grandfather of Elder J. M. Stewart, of Boma, Tenn. But little can be gathered concerning him. The first authentic information we have concerning him, he was a member of Roaring River Church, in Overton County, Tennessee. This is one of the oldest churches in Middle Tennessee and was in the constitution of Stockton's Valley Association in 1805. Elder Stewart was probably ordained by this church. At least he was an ordained minister in this Association when the mission controversy arose. He took the side of missions, and the majority of his church took the other side. The war waged, and finally the church excluded him for his mission views. His exclusion was publicly announced in the Association, A. D. 1843.

The controversy in this (Stockton's Valley) Association on the mission question assumed a serious aspect as early as 1836, and this meeting in 1843 was the culmination of the long-strained condition of the body. And those parts of the churches which had been dropped from the Association, including those who had been excluded for their principles, with other sympathizers, met at Beech Grove, Monroe County, Kentucky, on the first Saturday in November 1843, and constituted Freedom Association. This Association had six churches, aggregating 216 members. (See History of Kentucky Baptists, by J. H. Spencer, Vol. 2, p. 217).

Elder Stewart most probably remained a member of Freedom Association until some time in the fifties. Then he became identified with the great mission movement of Salem Association which swept over the mountain counties, taking Putnam County as a center. Later, he became identified with Johnson Association.

When this author (Rev. J.M. Stewart) was a small child, Elder Stewart was wont to visit his father's home, in the southern part of Putnam County, Tenn. This was in the fifties (1850's) and I remember him as a feeble old man and very badly palsied. He is perhaps the first minister I remember to have seen, though I have no recollection of hearing him preach. It seems that I can now feel his trembling hand on my head and hear his faltering voice as he pronounces his blessings upon a whitehaired haired boy. It is said he was a good, old-fashioned preacher. I am told that he moved to the State of Kentucky and went from there to glory. This occurred about the time of the Civil War. Where he sleeps is unknown to this author, but God will keep watch over his dust and bring it forth in that DAY.

3 comments:

Cathey said...

I have enjoyed reading about the Stewart family. I've been doing a little research on my father's heritage in Putnam County Tennessee. Dad's grandmother was Lovie Stewart daughter of John Stewart, son of Preston Stewart , son of Jesse Stewart. It's been relatively easy to find information on the Stewarts, but I'm having trouble tracing his Kirklin family. You've done a very nice job with your research, pictures and writings. Thank you.
Cathey Wilson Stott,
daughter of Ezra Young Wilson, son of Jennie Irene Kirklin, daughter of Lovie Stewart - All of Putnam County!!

Anonymous said...

I descend from Jesse Stewart through his son, Harrison.
I love the part about Jesse placing his hands on the head of his grandson and giving him a blessing. For his grandson to remember it all those years later, it must have been a very special experience for him. Too bad grandfathers of today don't give blessings to their grandsons.

Anonymous said...

My husbands great great grandfather is harrison stewart. We have the entire family tree traced back to the 1600's.