Sketches Of

Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers


(pages 533 - 534)

Elder Whitsitt was born in Williamson County, Tennessee, July 25, 1816. He professed faith in Christ in his eighteenth year, and was baptized by Elder Peter S. Gayle into the fellowship of Mill Creek Church, Davidson County. His church made him clerk and deacon, which offices he held as long as he lived in the bounds of the church. In 1839 he was married to Miss Nancy Jane Morton, a daughter of Dr. Samuel Morton, and settled on a farm given to his wife by her father, near Concord Church, in Williamson County. Uniting with this church lie continued to fill the two-fold office of clerk and deacon as he had formerly done at Mill Creek. Having embarked in the profession of teaching he pursued that calling for a time. But his church urged upon him the more important work of calling sinners to repentance. Accordingly, in the fall of 1843, he was licensed to preach. The following year the church called for his ordination, which took place on Saturday before the second Lord's day in July, 1844 - Elders James Whitsitt (his grandfather), John Morton and R. W. January constituting the council. His venerable grandfather, who had been for many years, the pastor of Concord Church, was now bending under the infirmities of old age and was wanting to place the burden of caring for the church on younger shoulders. The new situation furnished him the opportunity he had been looking for to resign his charge and have his grandson for his successor. So the Concord Church, for twenty years, became the field for the younger Whitsitt's labors and usefulness. He was also pastor of Rock Spring, in Rutherford County; of Arrington and Harpeth, in Williamson County; of Antioch, McCrory's Creek, Gethsemane, Smith's Spring and Old Mill Creek, in Davidson County. In nearly all these churches he had glorious revival.

His first wife died in the tenth year after their marriage, leaving an only daughter. On the 14th day of January, 1850, he was married to Miss Malinda Weatherly. No children were born to the second marriage.

Elder Whitsitt, like many other ministers of his day, was not adequately sustained by the churches to which he ministered. Some of his churches at times would support him well; at other times the same churches failed to minister to him in temporal things as they should have done. The last churches served by him as pastor were Antioch and Smith's Spring, and it was his purpose to spend all his Sabbaths within the bounds of those two congregations. When old and decrepit with age his desire was still strong to be a watchman upon the walls of Zion, and his earnest prayer was that his last days might be his holiest and most useful ones. (Condensed from Borum.).


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


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