Sketches Of

Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers


(pages 157 - 158)

These two men seem to have been brothers in the flesh; anyway, they were brothers in the Lord and labored together in the gospel ministry. Their names stand together and are conspicuous on the pages of some of our oldest church records. The Bent Creek (Whitesburg) records of May, second Friday, 1790, give this: "Jesse Fears upon offering his impressions of mind to preach is tolerated to preach upon trial." Some differences unfortunately occurring between him and some of his brethren, the church felt constrained, November, second Friday, 1790, to take the following action: "Under consideration of some difficulties subsisting between Brother Jesse Fears and some members in this church we suspend the public improvement of his gift till further labors." These difficulties were satisfactorily straightened out, we presume, since a few months later the church granted Brother Fears a "letter of dismission." November 10, 1792, the Mouth of Richland Church "chose James Fears to act as their minister for the present." February 10, 1798, the above church "approbates" Brother Robert Fristoe's gift "in the preaching line," and "do request Brother Barton, Brother James Fears and Brother Jesse Fears to act as a presbytery." May, first Saturday, 1796, James Fears "takes the pastoral care" of Lower French Broad (now the Dandridge) Church. This church (August, 1897) called for the ordination of Brother Duke Kimbrough, and petitioned Brother Richard Wood and Brother James Fears to attend on the occasion, the fourth Friday in October following. This exhausts my notes on these men of God. But little of their history has been preserved. Their record is on high.


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


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