Sketches Of

Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers


(pages 316 - 317)

James Lacy was born in Virginia about the year 1799. His wife, who before her marriage was Nancy Moody, a daughter of George Moody, was also born in Virginia, on the James River. At the time of their marriage both the families lived in Grainger County, Tenn. They became the parents of twelve children, nine sons and three daughters. About the year 1829 or 1830 Brother Lacy was ordained by the Blackwell's Branch Church, of which he was a member, Elders C. C. Tipton and H. Woodson Taylor acting as a presbytery. He served as pastor the following churches: Blackwell's Branch, Buffalo Creek, Central Point, Kidwell's Ridge, New Prospect, Sulphur Spring, Beech Grove, Locust Grove, County Line, Head of Richland, and others. He was a messenger of Blackwell's Branch Church to the Nolachucky Association from the year 1830 to 1855, rarely, if ever, missing a meeting. The next few years his name appears on the Association minutes as a messenger from the Head of Richland Church, where he continued to hold his membership as long as he lived. He was a successful missionary of the Nolachucky Association for a number of years. His report as missionary for the year 1851 was: "Labored forty-four days; preached thirty-nine sermons; baptized forty-two persons; assisted in the ordination of three ministers and one deacon; spent six days of my time in destitution." Another annual report reads: "Attended eleven protracted meetings; preached 113 sermons; baptized fifty- five persons; helped ordain three deacons and one minister; witnessed many conversions and "donated" so many days of labor. The minutes show that he preached the "introductory sermon" at three different times, his subjects indicating a practical turn of mind and a progressive spirit. His last sermon before the body, in the year 1861, the year before his death, was from the text: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." He was active in the Association and in many ways a most useful member of the body. His good sense, tact and conciliatory disposition made him a suitable member to serve on committees appointed by the body to adjust differences, etc., and so promote the peace and harmony of the Association. In the records of church councils, over a wide territory, one of the familiar names is that of James Lacy, one of the rewards of whose ministry was the benediction of his Lord and the brethren, "Blessed is the peacemaker." He was called to the pastoral care of the Mossy Creek Church in its infantile days, "October, first Saturday, 1846."

"His style of preaching was exhortation and doctrine, revival meetings being his greatest delight. His associates in the ministry were C. C. Tipton, H. W. Taylor, T. J. Lane, James Greenlee and Samuel Jones."

He "departed this life August 21, 1862, being about 63 years of age," the clerk of the Association further adding, "That gospel which he had so ably preached for thirty-three years was his stay and comfort in a dying hour."

He died in Grainger County, where he had lived most of his life, and was buried in the family graveyard on the W. M. Moody farm, near the Holston River. He has a large posterity, at least sixty-five grandchildren and a great number of great-grandchildren. He had a preacher son, James K. Lacy, a useful minister, who moved to Texas years ago, and from Texas to Missouri, where he died. His youngest and only living child is A. T. Lacy, of Lenoir City, now an old man and a brother beloved.

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


[ Return to Index ]

HTML presentation of this material is
Copyright 2002  by Rose-Anne Cunningham Bray.
All rights reserved.