Church holds unique place in history

Severns Valley Baptist Church will have its 240th birthday on June 18, 2021. We believe it is notable for numerous reasons.

The first reason we would list here is faithfulness to the Great Commission. The church is historically known as the “Mother of Churches” because it went into surrounding areas and helped to gather many local congregations and constitute churches where no churches were available to include Nolin, Middle Creek, Youngers Creek, Rhudes Creek, Mill Creek, Mt. Zion, First Baptist, Gilead, Berean, Northside and others. Church history says that down through the decades, the church has continued working to fulfill that mission.

Secondly, history tells us the church has changed courses when change was needed. In 1796, when Josiah Dodge was pastor, the church voted “No” on the resolution: “Can we as a church have fellowship with those that hold the righteousness of perpetual slavery?” At another time, the church would change associations to disassociate itself with slavery.

In addition, the church produced two pastors, Joshua Carman and Josiah Dodge, who founded the first abolitionist churches that arguably helped to keep Kentucky neutral during the Civil War.

Thirdly, the church held steadfast when it was appropriate. It was able to steadfastly maintain its position in the community during the Civil War when the community was divided. The church held services throughout the war, except for a brief time when it was occupied by soldiers. The membership and attendance never significantly diminished as both sides worshiped together. The Rev. William C. Jones was pastor. He changed the emphasis on church discipline to gathering and assisting the members.

These are just three examples from the 240 years of the church’s history. Severns Valley Baptist Church occupies a place in religious and civil history like no other.

Don and Glenda Patterson

Elizabethtown

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