Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers
The two Websters, John and William, father and son, had the pioneer spirit and were active and influential ministers in the Clinton Association in the seventies and eighties of the last century. John Webster came from North Carolina near the close of the Civil War. He preached in Knox County for a while, then bought a farm near Clinton and settled down on it., He was pastor of New Bethel Church in Roane County, New Salem and Poplar Creek churches in the Clinton Association, and did a great deal of protracted meeting work with weak churches and in destitute places in the region round about. He died about the year 1875 or '76, leaving his impress upon the churches and the people within the scope of his ministry. His son, William, took up the work he left off, and was his successor in a sense. He became pastor of New Salem, New Hope and other churches, and with the spirit of evangelism went into destitute fields and out-of-the-way places to declare the counsel of God and invite men to be saved upon the terms of the gospel. He passed to his reward about the year 1884 or '85. Both of these men were good soldiers of Jesus Christ, and deserve a place in history. They sowed where others are now reaping. They preached the great doctrines of grace with great force. They visited the homes of the people and are gratefully remembered for having turned many to righteousness and for having led some who were nigh unto physical and eternal death to the Savior, and down into the waters of baptism and into the blessed fellowship of the people of God. Happy are such spiritual guides and watchers for souls; they have many stars in their crowns.
Burnett, J .J. Sketches of Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers. Nashville, Tenn.: Press of Marshall & Bruce Company, 1919.
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