CEDAR CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH
A memorial plaque was dedicated October 11, 1981 to honor the 200th anniversary of this pioneer church. The plaque reads as follows:
One mile south, site of the first Cedar Creek Baptist Church, second Baptist church constituted in Kentucky, July 4, 1781, fifth anniversary of Declaration of Independence. Pioneer settlers of nearby Rogers Station, 1780, Col. James Rogers, first judge of Nelson County, Atkinson Hill, Judge James Slaughter and Matthew, William, Jonathan Rogers among founders of the church.
Organized July 4, 1781 as Cedar Creek Baptist Society constituted by Joseph Barnett, first pastor, assisted by John Gerrard and John Whitaker, early members and trustees included Col. James Rogers, Atkinson Hill, Evan Williams, Anthony Foster and others from nearby Rogers Fort.
Land for first log church deeded by William and Nelly Abell, located on Beech Fork River at the mouth of Cedar Creek.
Hosted the Salem Asssociation in 1786.
1827, second log church built opposite present church under direction of trustees William Abell, James Rogers and Daniel Brown.
Present church built 1854 by Matthew Jupin and James M Brown using brick made on second church lot across the road, supervised by John Troutman, B Summers and building committee, Samuel Ross, Peter Abell, Reason Barnes, Robert Wortham and Gideon Barnes.
Excerpt from the Cedar Creek History Booklet:
Several of the first members at Cedar Creek were important in the community as well as in the church. James Rogers, was born to Irish parents in 1742, probably in Virginia, and was one of the pioneer settlers in Nelson County, Kentucky.
He was married May 21, 1766, in West Augusta County, Virginia, to Martha Blackburn. Eight children were born to this marriage: William, Matthew, James, Polly, Evan, Jonathan, Nancy and John. After his marriage, he lived for a time in Hampshire County, then Virginia, now West Virginia.
James Rogers had a distinguished record of military service being a member of Captain Daniel Smith’s company of Fincastle Militia, during the Revolution. He was appointed a Lieutenant Colonel of Nelson County, Kentucky, Militia, by Governor Patrick Henry of Virginia.
Rogers came to Kentucky about 1780, acquiring 1000 acres of land lying on Cedar Creek. He and some of his brothers built Rogers Fort, about four miles west of today’s Bardstown. Rogers became a justice of the peace in 1785. At the same time he was also appointed “to direct the place” where stocks, pillory and whipping post were to be erected for the use of the court.
Rogers practiced the gift of preaching from time to time. In this role he was not eloquent, but he was sound in doctrine. He was also an author. He wrote several pamphlets that varied in themes from topics on the Holy Spirit to Closed Communion.
Evidently Rogers was strong willed with regard to his convictions. Rogers and Atkinson Hill, another Cedar Creek Church member disagreed over religion. As a result Hill moved from Rogers Fort to Goodin’s fort. He did not leave the church; eventually Rogers did. Rogers strongly opposed slavery, and apparently left the church for that reason. Since there were church members who were slaves with the last name of Hill, it is assumed that Atkinson Hill was a slave owner.
When Rogers left Cedar Creek in 1787, he started the Lick Creek Baptist Church. He was not able to escape the problem over slavery however, for the Lick Creek Church was greatly tormented by this issue. Consequently, the church dissolved in 1812, and once again Rogers became a member of Cedar Creek.
On March 11, 1794, Rogers was granted “on his own motion’ a license to perform marriages within Nelson County. He performed a good many marriages including that of his son, Evan, and his daughter, Mary.