Sketches Of

Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers


  (pages 86 - 87)

The writer knows very little of the life and labors of Elder J. A. Bullard.  From the records of the First Baptist Church of Knoxville are gleaned the few facts contained in the following brief sketch:  Elder Bullard was "sent by the Baptist Home Mission Society" of New York to do missionary work in East Tennessee.  In looking over the destitution in "this section of the country," in 1842, he found some brethren in Knoxville who were anxious to be organized into a Baptist church.  In the courthouse, on Sabbath evening, January 15, 1843, a bunch of Baptists adopted articles of faith and an abstract of principles.  The next Sabbath (January 22) they were constituted The (First) Baptist Church of Knoxville, of twelve constituent members.  The council of recognition was composed of Elders James Kennon, Robert G. Kimbrough, Elihu Millikan, William Billue, John S. Coram, James Ray.  The fourth Saturday in February the church voted to "invite Elder Bullard to be pastor" of the new organization for "one year, beginning January 1, 1843."  Some time during the year the church sent Pastor Bullard and other messengers to the East Tennessee Baptist Convention, meeting at Jonesboro, reporting a membership of forty-six individuals, "white and colored," and asking aid from the Convention.  This same year the Knoxville church was admitted to the Tennessee Association; and January 27, 1844, the church "invited William Billue, James Kennon and J. S. Coram to supply pulpit till a regular pastor could be secured."  The one year pastorate had expired, and Elder Bullard, perhaps, had returned to the North.  In two months the church had a new pastor, and was going ahead with its work.


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


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