Sketches Of

Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers


(pages 70 - 71)

Joel Bowling, a son of Larkin H. Bowling, was born in Anderson County, Tenn., May 2, 1817.  His grandfather, Joseph Bowling, was a native of Virginia.  Joel was the son of a farmer, and was brought up to farm life.  He was converted in North Carolina, in this twenty-eighth year, but uniting with Brasstown Church, Georgia, this church licensed him to preach, soon after his conversion.

August 8, 1838, he married to Adaline M. Carroll, of North Carolina, to which union there were born eight children.

About the year 1857 he was ordained by the Longfield Church, Anderson County - Thomas Sieber, Wm. Lindsay, Paul Harmon, and J. C. Hutson serving as a presbytery.   At the close of the war he "refugeed" some three years in Kentucky, preaching to Mt. Hebron, Macedonia, and Pleasant Ridge churches.  Returning to his native State, he was active in the organization of the Coal Creek Church, becoming  its pastor and serving as such for about six or seven years.   He was also pastor of Pleasant Hill Church, Anderson County.  He also labored extensively in the destitute sections of Campbell and Scott counties, and other places.

He was a great admirer of Joshua Frost, and claimed him as his "spiritual father."   His associates in the ministry were Paul Harmon, the two Sieber brothers, Thomas and John, Jonathan and William Lindsay, J. C. Hutson, and Joshua Frost.

He was rather fond of preaching from Old Testament subjects, and was considered by some of his brethren a "law preacher," and not as strictly evangelical and as fervently spiritual and evangelistic as they would like.

He considered himself a "landmark Baptist," and when I last met him he had been a reader of the Tennessee Baptist for forty years.  He was getting up in his "eighties," had not been able to preach "much" for a year or so, and was not quite able to get himself reconciled to some "financial troubles and reverses" that had befallen him.


Burnett, J .J.  Sketches of  Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers.  Nashville, Tenn.:  Press of Marshall & Bruce Company, 1919.


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