Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers
R. H. TALIAFERRO
(pages 501 - 502)
Richard, popularly known as Dick Taliaferro, was born in North Carolina about the year 1800. He was a son of Charles Taliaferro, and his mother, before her marriage, was Sarah Burrows. In the early settlement of the "Hiwassee Purchase" he was a preacher and an evangelist. He was a messenger of the old Sweetwater Church to the Hiwassee Association in 1827, and, as shown by the Minutes, was a "licensed" preacher. The next year he attended the Association as a delegate from Prospect Church, a new church which he had doubtless helped in founding. The next year this church was represented in the Association by Charles Taliaferro, and in 1830 by the two brothers, Charles and Richard; a third brother, Hardin, was also a preacher. In the Sweetwater Association Minutes for 1835 the name of R. Taliaferro appears in the list of "ordained ministers," and as a member of Sweetwater Church. In 1837 he attended the Hiwassee Association, and the record of the Sunday service is: "On Sabbath, at 10 o'clock, R. H. Taliaferro led four willing converts down into the water and baptized them in the good old way. J. H. R. G. Gardner and C. Taliaferro preached to a large and well ordered, and seemingly well affected congregation, and R. H. Taliaferro closed by exhortation, calling for the anxious, and several, both men and women, came forward and bowed before the Lord." In 1880, Elder C. B. Martin, of Philadelphia, Tennessee, contributed this brief paragraph sketch of R. H. Taliaferro for Borum's "Sketches": "Elder Richard Taliaferro, familiarly known as Dick, was a brother of Charles, and was equally as good and useful a man. Dick was an evangelist, traveled extensively and held revival meetings. His success was wonderful. He was a fine exhorter and a splendid singer. He baptized a greater number of converts, perhaps, than any other minister who has ever labored in East Tennessee. He moved to Alabama a few years before his death, and died there during the Civil War."
Burnett, J .J. Sketches of Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers. Nashville, Tenn.: Press of Marshall & Bruce Company, 1919.
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