Sketches Of

Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers


(pages 116 - 117)

"A very interesting and remarkable man is the faithful Shepherd of Mount Zion, James B. Cogdill. The church was constituted in 1853. Brother Cogdill has been its pastor for twenty-two years. During that time he has baptized into its fellowship 200 persons. The church is located in the Grassy Fork District of Cocke County, and is 300 strong, with all ever-green Sunday school. When Brother Cogdill commenced his work with this mountain people he had to make his way afoot, through underbrush and laurel thickets, creeping along Indian trails and hog path, to reach his appointments. Many a time has he waded Pigeon River, braved snow and ice, wind and storm, in order to preach  the gospel to the poor of the mountains, a people "after his own heart," and over whom he had a wonderful influence. He has been a father to them, and in his twenty odd years of ministry among them has wrought a great change, witnessed many marked improvements. In the mountains of Cocke and Sevier he has powerfully preached the plain "old story," and baptized 1,200 people into the fellowship of Baptist churches. Great changes have taken place. The roads are better, the population has increased 200 per cent, the morals and manners of the people have greatly improved, much of which is due to, the efforts, the influence and the spirit of Brother Cogdill." (Contributed to the E. T. B. by J. J. B.).

"Grassy Fork is as notably Baptist as it is unanimously Republican. The Baptist Church, Mount Zion, is 300 strong. Elder James B. Cogdill has received from the church twenty-six annual calls to be pastor, and has accepted them all. He has baptized for the church some 300 candidates for membership. He is a tower of strength to the Baptists of this mountain country and to the cause of God. He is pastor of six churches. With two of them, Bethany and Gess's Creek, Sevier County, he has recently held successful meetings, resulting in some fifty conversions and forty accessions to these two bodies." (Author's note in Baptist and Reflector.) Brother Cogdill is a spiritual son of Elder Joseph Manning and the Big Creek (Del Rio) Church, and was set apart to the ministry by that body, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery


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


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