Jessamine County Historical Society

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   Stanford, Kentucky

The Traveling Church


Lewis Craig, Baptist minister, along with his six brothers and anywhere between 100 to 600 followers, depending upon the source, emigrated from Virginia to Kentucky in 1785 to remove themselves from religious persecution.

The following information has been provided by Nancy Perry, an experienced Jessamine county researcher. The book, "A Story of Four Churches and Reminiscenses of Possey Ridge" by Forret Calico published in 1946, mentions the Traveling Church and Lewis Craig who preached in 1785. The church called the Traveling Church came from Orange and Culpepper Co., Va and consisted of about 200 members. The entire company was said to consist of over 600 people. They stopped at Gilbert's Creek in Lincoln county, Kentucky which had a settlement called St. Asaphs 1 mile west of Stanford, Kentucky . Additional references to this Traveling Church can be found at this website: A History of the Baptists, Chapter 1 Kentucky.

Additional references from the DAR Magazine vol. 31 extracted here: Lewis Craig, leader of the "Traveling Church," with his six brothers (all Baptist preachers) and two hundred followers left Spotsylvania county, Virginia, in 1781, emigrating to Kentucky and holding religious meetings all through the wilderness communities on their way.

DAR Lineage Book 28 extracted: Lewis Craig, (1740-1825), was a Baptist minister, who suffered for liberty of conscience, in Virginia. In 1781 he led his congregation of over one hundred through the wilderness to Kentucky and it was known as "The Travelling Church." Tolliver Craig was a soldier in the Virginia militia and a defender of Bryant Station. Polly Hawkins Craig was the oldest of twenty women at Bryant Station, 1782, who brought the water from the spring and made the defense possible,

Read an additional account in the book, "The Traveling Church; an account of the Baptist exodus from Virginia", by George Washington Ranck. You can read this book online at Google Books by clicking the link above.

Additional reading, Kentucky Encyclopedia, Lewis Craig and the Traveling Church.


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