Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers
JOHN D. ACUFF
John D. Acuff was born in Grainger County, Tenn., near Washburn, August 8, 1813, and died June 10, 1898. He was ordained somewhere between 1835 and 1840. His ministry was in Grainger and adjoining counties. He was pastor of Puncheon Camp, Big Valley, Alder Springs, Hickory Valley, Elm Springs, Rock Castle, Caney Valley, Cedar Spring, Beech Grove, and other churches. He was a "deep thinker, and in a sense was well educated - educated himself, in fact, by reading and continuous, close study. He was one of the best informed men in Grainger County. He had the care of many churches, and was a good pastor. He had the reputation of being one of the ablest doctrinal preachers in the Northern Association. He was at the same time spiritual and sympathetic, able in prayer and a good mixer." (Dr. J. W. J.). I have also been told that John D. Acuff was a strong advocate of ministerial education of a missions, and that he "stood almost alone" in his community in favoring a revision of the King James Version of the Bible. He endured hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, and was faithful to the cause of his Master and the things for which Baptists stand.
In his young manhood he was maried (sic) to Miss Winnie Kitts, and reared a large and respectable family. Two of his sons, W. S. and Joel A., are Baptist preachers of ability and influence, the latter having the reputation of having preached more "funerals," the last quarter of a century, than any man in Grainger County.
Elder Acuff "served his Master faithfully, and the churches of which he was pastor, till by reason of the infirmities of age he was no longer able to serve; and this service, like that of many other Baptist preacher of his day, was a sacrifice on this part, the churches paying him little for his pastoral and other labors." His earthly toils and labors of love are ended. His bright, rich reward in heaven, we doubt not, has begun.
Burnett, J .J. Sketches of Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers. Nashville, Tenn.: Press of Marshall & Bruce Company, 1919.
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