1801 Cane Ridge Communion Festival (August 6-8) The crowd numbered as high as twenty-five thousand according to some estimates. (Largest town in KY – 1,800). Estimated that 2,500 were Presbyterians that came to take communion.
“Hundreds fell prostrate under the mighty power of God, as men slain in battle. Stands were erected in the woods from which preachers of different Churches proclaimed repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and it was supposed, by eye and ear witnesses, that between one and two thousand souls were happily and powerfully converted to God during the meeting. It was not unusual for one, two, three, and four to seven preachers to be addressing the listening thousands at the same time from the different stands erected for the purpose… It was said, by truthful witnesses, that at times more than one thousand persons broke into loud shouting all at once, and that the shouts could be heard for miles around.”
– From the autobiography of Peter Cartright, 1856
Introduction of the “invitation” into religious assemblies. (mourner’s bench, mourner’s tent, praying tent, praying circle, altar, “the pen”, “anxious seat”)
1804 Barton W. Stone found himself at variance with Presbyterian officials over his teachings and was finally excluded by the Transylvania presbytery. He, along with several other ministers formed the independent Springfield Presbytery. Stone and his followers rejected party names and sectarian creeds, adopting the name Christian. Even so they saw that their own presbytery was prone to be sectarian in that it separated them from the body of Christ at large. So they drew up The Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery, in which they said,
“We will that this body die, be dissolved, and sink into union with the Body of Christ at large; for there is but one body, and one Spirit, even as we are called in one hope of our calling.”
Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery given and signed at Cane Ridge by Robert Marshall, John Dunlavy, Richard McNemar, Barton W. Stone (1772-1844), John Thompson, and David Purviance.
Cane Ridge church took the name “Christian.”
Purviance began to teach that infant baptism was not authorized by the word of God. Two women baptized. First man known to be baptized was Wm. Rogers in Stoner Creek near Paris, KY.
By 1811, only Stone and Purviance were left. McNemar and Dunlavy joined the Shakers, while Marshall and Thompson went back to the Presbyterians.
Ten thousand Reformers like so many moles
Have plowed all the Bible and cut it in holes
And each has his church at the end of his trace
Built up as he thinks of the subjects of grace.
“One thing I know, that wherever non essentials are made terms of communion, it will never fail to have a tendency to disunite and scatter the church of Christ. It is certainly making the door of the church narrower than the gate of Heaven, and casting away those whom Jesus received.” Rice Haggard