The Stiths And Religion;A Humorous Story about Nancy Stith An Exerpt from Methodism In Kentucky Vol. I by Rev. A. H. Redford, Southern Methodist Publishing House, Nashville, TN 1868
Return to Stith Valley, return to Big Spring Methodist Church, return to Big Spring, return to Jesse Stith farm.
The following is a transcription from pages 457 - 460.
"These Churches were established as the result of
a great revival which took place in December, 1808, commenced by the Presbyterians, in
connection with two or three local preachers, who had settled in this part of the country.
"The first and leading local preacher connected with this work was Thomas Traylor, a man of more than ordinary ability and decisive character; and, through his influence, the masses of the converts were led into the Methodist Episcopal Church.
"Associated with him was Lodwick Davis, also a man of good preaching ability; also Joshua Barnes, of ordinary talents.
"During the Conference-year commencing in the fall of 1804, this circuit was blessed with extensive revivals of religion. They swept, like fire in dry stubble, all over the country. The people went from far and near to attend them - were awakened, and converted to God." *
These early societies were a nucleus, from which went out a fine religious influence into all the surrounding country. From the time of their first organization to the present, they have prospered, being the scenes of many revivals of religion. * *
During this year, Mr. Walker entered Breckridge county, and organized a society at Thomas Stith's, on the road from Hardinsburg to Louisville, sixteen miles from the former place. The names of the members who composed this society were: Thomas and Rhoda Stith, William and Nancy Stith, Richard and Betsy Stith, Matthew Sanders, MRs. Jordan and her two daughters, (Lucy and Katy) Little Dick Stith and his wife, and Betsey Hardaway - thirteen members.
"A few years afterward, Stith's Meeting-house, a log church, was built, at an obscure point, four miles west of Big Spring. The first camp-meeting in this county was held on Sugar-tree Run, sixty years ago, under the supervision of John Craig." * **
In this community Methodim has always prospered, and at the present period presents one of the most interesting fields in the State.
The original thirteen members were burning and shining lights. Without a single exception, they all died in holy triumph. The last of the number, Katy Jordan, (first the wife of Rev. W. F. King, and, after his death, of the Rev. Pleasant Alverson, both itinerant ministers in the Methodist Episcopal Church,) survived the toers, have died in hope of eternal life, in Breckinridge county, in 1867.
The most of them were remarkable for their zeal, but none more so than William and Nancy Stith. Mrs. Stith, before her conversion, had been fond of the gayeties and amusements of the world; and when she embraced religion, she was equally zealous as a Christian. At home, in the family circle, as well in her private devotions, she frequently praised God aloud. In the house of God her feelings often overcame her, and she shouted his praises.
On one occasion, the minister, interrupted by her shouts requested her, in a private interview, to restrain her feelings until he could close his sermon. Unwilling to be a source of annoyance to any one, the old saint readily promised, and requested him, if he should observe any signs on her part of an intention to shout, to wink at her, she should repress her feelings. At the first meeting after this interview, he thought he discovered indications of her purpose to shout, and he gave the promised wink. In a minute she was calm, but it was only for a moment. He winked again, and again her feelings were subdued. Once more her countenance, beaming with joy, told too plainly of the pent-up emotions struggling to be free; and once more the preacher winked, but it was in vain. She arose from her seat, exclaiming, "Brother, you may wink, and you may blink, as much as you please, but I must shout!" Her end was joyous and triumphant.
| * Letter from the Rev. H. C.
McQuown, of Hartford, Kentucky.
** The society at Goshen now worships in a neat and commodiuos frame church, numbers nearly eighty members, and enjoys an average degree of spirituality. The society at Bethel enjoyed a fine revival of religion last spring, in which thirty-five were converted, and thirty-eight added to the church. Class-meetings are kept up by them.
They have a neat frame house of worship. The society at No Creek, three miles north of Hartford, had a good revival in January. Its fruts were thirteen conversions and twenty-one additions. It numbers now about ninety. They have a new, large, frame church - the best in the country - and keep up class-meetings. There is also a society ten miles north-east of Hartford, (time organized not known.) They have a large frame church, one hundred and sixteen members, and enjoy an average degree of spirituality. A society, seven miles east of Hartford, with twenty-nine members, in good condition. They have a new frame church. Six miles north-east of Hartford is the Union society, numbering twenty-eight. They worship in a log house. In Hartford the society numbers sixty-five. - Letter to the author from the Rev. H. C. McQuown, dated Hartford, Kentucky, January 23, 1867.
*** Letter from the Rev. H. C. Settle to the author, dated Big Spring, Kentucky, June 11, 1867.