Sketches Of

Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers


(pages 292 - 293)

Isaac, second son of Elder Duke Kimbrough by his second wife, a Miss Susan Hunter before her marriage, a daughter of Isaac Hunter, of Washington County, Tenn., was born in Jefferson County, Tenn., April 26, 1788. He made a profession of religion at the age of fourteen and, uniting with the French Broad (now the Dandridge) Baptist Church, was baptized, most likely, by his father, Elder Duke Kimbrough, who at that time was pastor of the church. Isaac Kimbrough served the church as clerk and deacon for a number of years and, as shown by the minutes, was often appointed on committees to "wait on" delinquent and erring members. On Monday following the date of a regular meeting day, "March, fourth Saturday, 1842," invited ministerial brethren being present, to begin a "protracted meeting," the church "concluded to have Brother Isaac Kimbrough ordained, which was done by the following presbytery, day and date as above: Duke Kimbrough, John Lockhart, Caswell Tipton, Robert G. Kimbrough." He continued a member of the Dandridge Church for some years after his ordination, frequently serving the church as a supply pastor and as acting "moderator" in the absence of his father, the old pastor now nearing the termination of a fifty years' pastorate of the church. In 1849 he moved to Polk County, where he organized a church on his own farm, to which he ministered efficiently for a number of years. Belonging to a family of preachers and living in an atmosphere favorable to the development of preaching tendencies, it might be considered natural, in a sense, that he should become a preacher. In addition to this his brethren put him forward, encouraged and used him, until the matter of preaching providentially assumed in his mind the form and character of duty and a divine call to the ministry. He entered formally into the ministry late in life, with little equipment except native ability and great familiarity with the Word of God. In his preaching he quoted, it is said, a great deal of Scripture, comparing Scripture with Scripture, and so making his preaching strictly biblical. He was a "living concordance" to the Scriptures.

He rode one year as a missionary: of the Tennessee Association, preached to many churches, and did good work for the Lord and the Baptists, but his most lasting work, perhaps, was the foundation work which he did in the community where he was brought up and the church of which he first became a member.

He was married, in young manhood, to Miss Mary Randolph, a daughter, I assume, of James Randolph, a constituent member of the Dandridge Church, and a sister of Henry Randolph, who became a Baptist preacher of ability, joining his fortunes, in 1839, with those of the old school or so-called "Primitive Baptists."

Isaac Kimbrough reared a large family of well-to-do children, and has at least one grandson who is a preacher, Isaac Z. Kimbrough, who has held good pastorates in Tennessee, Arkansas and other states.

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


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