Multiples ~ How Many Preachers Does it Take? ~ 52 Ancestors #9

In preparation for this week’s prompt, I had a lot of different “multiples” on my mind. There several sets of twins in my paternal side, one I wrote about for this prompt we had last year so I eliminated that one. My maternal Great Grandmother married 5 times, but I have also written about her! I decided to try to move in a different direction and I spent the morning scanning through my trees and voila!, there it was.

I noticed that there were a lot of ministers in my family. Not just on one side but on both sides. My paternal side had the most at 34, however my maternal side had the most in one family. Joseph Warder Sr. born in Charles, Maryland on December 5, 1752, was my 5th Great Grandfather. He had been raised as a Quaker, and his family faithfully attended services at the Third Haven Meetinghouse, also known as the Great Meetinghouse, in Easton, Maryland. It hosted one of the two annual Quaker meetings every year in the state of Maryland. It later became the site of all such meetings. It is the oldest church in Maryland, and one of the oldest churches in continuous use in the United States. On June 8, 1773, his father, William Warder died. 10 days later Joseph married Esther Ford (1755-1816). The newlywed couple immediately packed up and moved to Facquier County, Virginia.

Here Joseph felt the call of God on his life, but he shunned the religion of his father. He and Esther became Baptists, and were under the care of John Monroe, pastor of Thumb Run church. They raised six daughters and five sons. Joseph became a lay Pastor in the church, filling in for Reverend Monroe when he was out of town. His example touched 3 of his sons to also enter into the ministry, and they all 3 became Baptist Ministers. Two of his sons emigrated to Kentucky, so he followed them, with all the rest of his family, and settled in Barren county, about six miles from the present site of Glasgow, in the year 1807. Here he and those of his family who were professors of religion united with Dripping Spring Church.

John, the oldest son of Joseph Warder, was born in Virginia, on September 9, 1774. He united with Thumb Run church in his native county, and was baptized by the well-known William Mason. In early life he married Annie Elliot (1778) on December 24, 1794 , and they had eleven children. Their family moved to Kentucky in 1805. He was ordained a minister in 1811, and he took over as Pastor of Mount Pisgah Church. Annie died in June 1819, and John married Keziah Renick (1795-1870) and they also had 11 children! In 1825 he moved to Lafayette, Missouri, where he became pastor of Big Sni-a-Bar Church of “Regular Baptists.” In this position he was much loved and respected by his people, till he finished his earthly course, in great peace, November 16, 1857 at the age of 83. He lived a church member, without reproach, sixty-three years, and a preacher of the gospel forty-six years. His son Joseph became a respectable preacher, occupying the field left vacant by the death of his father.

William, the third son of Joseph Warder, was born in Virginia on January 8, 1786. In his 19th year, he came with his brother John to Barren County, Kentucky. A year later he gave his life to the Lord. He stayed there for about 2 years, then he returned to Virginia to help his parents and the remaining 9 children make the move to Kentucky. In 1809, he was licensed to preach by the church at the Mount Pisgah Church, and on March 24, 1811, he was ordained into the ministry. For about eight years after his ordination, he devoted himself to the work of an evangelist, with great zeal and activity, and he traveled and preached almost constantly, from Franklin, Tennessee, to Maysville, Kentucky. He preached in school houses, meeting houses, courthouses and, in warm weather, at “stages” erected in the woods, but even more common in the cabins of the settlers. He preached at all the principal towns in Kentucky and Middle Tennessee. In going from one of these to another, he would preach almost every day and night. Immense crowds often attended his services. In 1817, William Warder was sent as a messenger from the Kentucky Missionary Society, to the Baptist Triennial Convention, in Philadelphia. He made the journey on horse-back, in order that he might preach on the way. The distance was more than a thousand miles. In March 1820, he was called to the pastoral care of the Russellville Church, and soon afterwards accepted this same call to churches at Glasgow and Bowling Green. On December 25, 1821, he was married to Margaret A. Morehead. They had 2 sons. He now settled near Russellville, where he continued to devote himself to his holy calling. About 1830, William was thrown from a rig, and his ankle was so crushed that he had to preach, sitting on a chair, the remainder of his life. He died of a congestive chill, August 9, 1836, at the age of 50. His youngest son, Joseph continued his fathers ministry as an evangelist.

Walter, the fourth son of Joseph Warder, was born in Virginia, on December 13, 1787. He came with his father to Kentucky in his 20th year, where he began teaching school. His education was very limited, but while teaching it improved greatly. He and his brother William became Christians in the latter part of the winter, in 1807. They were both baptized the same day in April 1808. Walter came up out of the water a preacher. On December 7, 1808, he was married to Mary Maddox, and they had 1 son and 1 daughter. They joined the Mount Pisgah Church, where he was soon licensed to preach, and in 1811, he was ordained and became pastor of Dover Church, in Barren County. After preaching here and in the surrounding country for about three years, he accepted a call to Mays Lick Church, in Mason county. There is too much that is written and said about Walter to include it here. He is credited with stirring up a revival in Mays Lick where his church grew to over 800 people, an astounding amount for that time and location. In March of 1836, he made a trip to Missouri to visit his older brother John. While there he became ill with pneumonia and died on April 6, 1836, at the age of 48. He was buried in a Lafayette County cemetery. His congregation paid to have the body exhumed and it was brought back to Kentucky, and he is buried in the burial grounds in Mays Lick. His son also followed him into the ministry.

From this one family came multiple preachers. Each following generation up to our current time has had a descendant of Joseph Warder who became a minister.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.

This Old House # 6 ~ Strother Meeting House

Once again I was searching through my family trees and I noticed that there were quite a few photos of the homes that my ancestors had lived in. Some of them were built way back in the early 1600s. They varied in size, style, and construction material. They are all as equally unique as each of my ancestors! I decided not to limit it to dwelling places, but to also include the occasional “house” of worship.

Strother’s Meeting House, the “cradle of the Methodist Church in the West”, was erected near Cottontown in Sumner County about 1800. The church held the distinction in 1802 of housing the first Middle Tennessee Methodist Conference. At that meeting Bishop Francis Asbury was in charge, and one of the most valuable relics in the church today is the chair in which the bishop presided. Also, there today is one of the rude log benches hewn by a Sumner county pioneer for the Methodist chapel.

The single candle that was the only illumination for the church is on display as well as a circuit rider’s trunk, rusty and worn, bears on it the explanation that “Bishop McKendree used this on his journeys through the undivided bounds of American Methodism. There are many other relics–pictures, Bibles, books and gavels–all telling the story of the early days of a denomination that now has millions on its membership rolls.

It must have been a very impressive meeting there, according to the accounts that have been handed down by several who attended. The membership reported for that year the Cumberland Circuit was 588 white and 39 Negro members. William McKendree, was the presiding elder and John Page and Thomas Wilkerson were the preachers on the circuit.

As Methodism grew in Sumner County the tiny one-room chapel was not large enough so another building was erected and it was dedicated in 1857 as Bethel Church. Prior to this, however, Strother’s Meeting House had been moved from its first location one mile away to Red River Pike.

When the Methodists began using their new church, the old meeting house, then located on the Hassell farm, was used for many years as a corn crib. The church remained as a crib under an eave of the barn on the farm, but one reason for the excellent condition of the logs was the fact that it was thus protected from the weather.

This small log cabin has often been referred to as the “Traveling Church” because it has been dismantled and moved numerous times. The church was finally moved to an honored place on the Scarritt Bennett Campus located in Nashville in 1931.

Monday’s for Me ~ Isn’t That Special?

Me1Remember the Church Lady from the early days of “Saturday Night Live”? She definitely was a little strange. I do remember a couple of women at the church I grew up in resembling this character. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only strange thing about the church. As a young girl, I didn’t realize it. We had only attended this one, so it wasn’t until I was 19 and started going to a totally different style of church that I realized how different it was.

We started attending Park Ave Disciples of Christ Christian Church in Tucson, AZ right after my family moved there when I was 11 months old. Of course, I don’t remember much about it until I was about 5 years old. My first memory was sitting in the second-row pew with my parents and sister. The young kids had to wait until the singing, oldladys singing 2offering, and communion was completed before going off to our Sunday School class. On this day we had a “special music” time and two women in the congregation got up to sing. I have to be honest, as a kid, I thought the music and songs we sang were boring! I had high hopes that this would be different. The music began and it really wasn’t that bad. Then one of the ladies began to sing….she hit a high note that could break a glass and it was way off-key. By instinct, I threw my hands over my ears and my face cringed. My mother tried to pry them off, but I was determined that I would do anything to protect my ears from this noise. My mother was so embarrassed. I knew I was going to be in trouble, but I didn’t care. Those extreme high notes these women were singing literally hurt my ears.

The second memory was when I used to go with my Dad to the church on Saturdays. He did this for quite a while and as a 6-year-old I really didn’t care what he was doing, I just enjoyed being away from the house. I knew he was constructing a small building out of brick in the south parking lot, but I didn’t know the purpose of it. After a couple of Drive in churchmonths, we quit going on Saturdays. Each Sunday we would drive into the parking lot and see the little building just sitting there. We had been raised not to ask questions, so I never asked what it was for. One Sunday morning my mother woke us up early and said, “Go get in the car.” My sister asked her if we needed to change out of our pajamas and she told us no. My dad was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and my mother had on her housecoat and slippers. Bewildered, we just rode in the backseat watching for a sign as to where we were going. Imagine my surprise when we pulled into the church parking lot! We drove toward the little building and we saw that someone had installed polls with speakers on them, just like at the drive-in movies! We were going to church service in our car. When my dad placed the speaker in the car window I could hear the pastor talking through it. It was standing inside the building talking on a microphone. A man came around handing out hymnals and we sat in our car and sang to the music coming through the speakers. Then he came back around and took up the offering. We had a bag of coloring books and other things to keep us entertained in the back seat, so my sister and I pulled it out and began to play. I could hear the pastor talking but I didn’t pay attention. After he finished, they gathered up the hymnals and we drove home. We had been to the new Drive-in Church! From that day on we only went inside the church for services during our hot Arizona summers. The rest of the year we “went to the drive-in”. My parents loved it as they could smoke during service and I can tell you one thing, I got a lot of reading time in.


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.