Transcribed from the appendix (Pages 197 & 198) of
Bradley – Gibson – Jenkins Allied Families by Deward C. and Ruby Y. Williams, printed in1966.

Updated with comments by Ruby’s granddaughter, DeeDee

Contact her at:


“Hill Grove Church”

History of the Origin and Progress of the Old Hill Grove Baptist Church


Written by RICHARD JENKINS (b. 1808, d. 1893)

This article was originally published in 1886 and republished on November 16, 1898.


Clipped From an Old Meade County News Published Twelve Years Ago (Note from DeeDee, I am not sure if this means the article was republished in the 20th century??)  


“Taking my memory to be correct, I was in my tenth year, about 1818, which is now 68 years ago.  My father, John Jenkins, resided on the farm which is known to this day as the “old John Jenkins farm,” which lies in Meade County, Ky., about two and one-half miles a little southwest of where the present Hill Grove Church stands.

The time of which I am now speaking, 1818, there was a wedding took place at my father's residence.  My fourth sister, Elizabeth, was married to Robert Phelps, Rev. David Thurman, a Baptist minister, solemnized the marriage rites.  After neighbors and friends who had assembled to witness the marriage ceremony had partaken of supper, the Rev. Thurman preached a sermon to the audience.  At the conclusion of his sermon the following named persons came forward and united with the Baptist Church, my Father, John Jenkins, my Mother, Sallie, John Shacklett my uncle, and his wife, Rachel.  These four had to go to West Rudes Creek, about 25 miles distant, in order to join a church at which they might worship.”


“Shortly after this Jesse Shacklett, my uncle, and Sallie, his wife, joined the church at West Rudes Creek, dating their conversion back to the sermon which was preached at my fa ther's house at the time of the wedding.  The s ix members whose names I have given, applied to the church at West Rudes Creek for their letters, to enable them to form a church at Hill Grove.  This, to the best of my memory, was about 1820.  The minister that officiated in the organization of Old Hill Grove Church was Warren Cash and David Thurman, and the delegates sent from West Rudes Creek, to be present at the organization were John Hicks, father of Rev. George Hicks, and his brother Walker Hicks.”


“I can only remember one of the officers of the new church, my father, John Jenkins, was made clerk, and acted in that capacity for many years.  Rev. David Thurman was pastor of the new church, and preached to the little flock regularly once a month for the first year.  Rev. Warren Cash preached occasionally.  Thurman continued to minister to the wants of the little vine he had assisted in planting for several years, always riding on his gray horse, ‘Pilgrim’.”


“The house in which the old Hill Grove Church was organized stood on the upper side of the road near a spring about half-way between the farms of Dan Fulton and Dan Wimp.  After worshiping at this place for some time the church became dissatisfied with its location, so they tore down the old house and hauled the logs to what was then known as the Jake Hayden farm, now Meadeville, where they reared another house out of the same old logs. At this last named place the church got along well, all things ran smoothly and harmoniously and its membership increased in number and influence until the year 1836.  There was a ripple on the clear still waters. The church divided against itself.”


NOTE by D.C. Williams:  Here follows a rather detailed account of the events leading up to the separation of the congregation into two groups, one in possession of the church building and the other group churchless.  Then the story continues:


“The houseless element now organized under the name of the United Baptist Church in Christ and elected as Trustees: Armistead Barnes, John Williams, John Cain, and Daniel VanMeter was chosen as moderator and Armistead Barnes was also chosen clerk, the first one to succeed John Jenkins.  My memory if it serves me right, tells me that James Ross and Rachel, his wife, donated and deeded to the above named Trustees the land on which the present Hill Grove Church now stands and they went forth and immediately began the erection and soon completed the church house where it now stands.”


“I left Meade County in 1864 and came to Perry County, Indiana, and since that time all I know of Hill Grove Church is what I have heard from time to time.  I was in Brandenburg, it was either in '65 or '66 and I saw and conversed with Elder George H. Hicks for the last time, he told me, if my memory is not at fault, that Hill Grove Church then numbered about 300 members.”


“Now go back to the wedding party at my father's in 1818, think of David Thurman preaching to the guests.  Think of the four souls that united with the church on that night.  This was the nucleus, morning star of the present Hill Grove Church.  I can by taking up memory’s chain, one by one count the links all the way back.  I, in imagination, can see old Bro. Thurman and his gray horse, Pilgrim.  I am now an aged tree, but my heart beats warm and my blood hurries up a little when I think of Hill Grove, and the many friends I have had and still have there.  But enough, I could tell your readers many a story that might appear fanciful about old Meade and Hardin Counties, but they would be as true as Holy Writ.  God continue to bless old Hill Grove and all that worship there is the heartfelt prayer of

Dick Jenkins,

Aged 78.


NOTE by D.C.W.  In the summer of 1960 Richard's great granddaughter, my wife, Ruby Yvette Jenkins, and I visited old Hill Grove Church, hoping to find the graves of some of her ancestors but were disappointed when we found only two graves that bore names we could associate with her Jenkins-Shacklett families.  It was a pleasant experience, however, to know that we were treading where Richard, and his beloved Mary had trod in going up to the house of the Lord to worship.  We did pause at their graves in the little Flower Point Cemetery near Alton, Indiana, high above the sweeping curve of the beautiful Ohio River, directly across from Meade County and Old Hill Grove Church.


The above article was given to me by Mrs. Fast, the wife of the Mayor of Brandenburg in Meade County.  It was first published in 1886 and republished on November 16, 1898.

(DeeDee’s note:  Frances (Shacklett) Fast and D.C. Williams were trading genealogy information while D.C. was researching this book)

For more Jenkins Genealogy see: Jenkins Paternal Lines

For more McCarty Genealogy see: McCarty Family Genealogy