Rock Creek Church Cemetery "The Old Burnt Church Cemetery"

Rock Creek Baptist Church Cemetery
(The Old Burnt Church Cemetery)

Excerpts from the book "Pioneer Baptist Church Records of South-Central Kentucky and the Upper Cumberland of Tennessee, 1799-1899" by C. P. Cawthorn & N. L. Warnell. Published 1985 offer a glimpse into the history of Rock Creek Baptist Church. 

 "On October 1, 1802 the first organized religious body in present day Grayson County, Kentucky made application to the Salem Baptist Association and was admitted as a member.  They had organized in the latter part of 1801 or early in 1802, with seven charter members." 

The story that has been passed down for generations claims that a dispute broke out among the members of the congregation and eventually led to one side burning the church.  It is believed that the event took place about 1871.  The cemetery marks the general area of where the church likely stood. 

Though the majority of the interments at The Rock Creek Baptist Church Cemetery are unmarked, the few that show engravings offer invaluable genealogical information.
                                    
      Engraved Head Stone Markers at
The Rock Creek Baptist Church Cemetery
"The Old Burnt Church Cemetery"

Aaron Downs
Born:
September 1, 1798
Died:
September 1, 1846
Parents:
Richard Downs and Rachael Downs
 Marriage:
Elizabeth Stuteville
about 1822


Benjamin E. Phillips
Born:
May 13, 1789
Died:
May 18, 1864
Parents:
Benjamin Phillips Sr. and Peggy Edmunds
Marriage:
Mary Jemima Phillips
April 11, 1822



James H. Moore
Born:
November 28, 1836
Died:
February 1, 1862
Parents:
Cyrus H. Moore and Sarah A. Moore

Company D, 2nd Kentucky Cavalry
A Union Civil War Soldier


Cyrus H. Moore
Born:
April 30, 1811
Died:
March 5, 1882
Parents:
Marriage:
Sarah Ann Phillips
about 1834

(Cyrus Moore was gifted the name Cyrus Henry Moore and offers that he was born in New York in 1811 on each census record.  After the death of Sarah Ann, Cyrus H. united to Mary E. Elliott)



David C. Phillips
Born:
February 12, 1815
Died:
December 12, 1850
Parents:
Edmund Phillips and Elizabeth "Betty" Cleaver

Sarah Ann Moore
Born:
May 18, 1814
Died:
September 13, 1845
Parents:
Edmund Phillips and Elizabeth "Betty" Cleaver
Marriage:
Cyrus H. Moore
about 1834

(Early in Rock Creek Baptist Church history a William Cleaver was listed as a messenger for the congregation and some researchers claim David C. Phillips was gifted the name David Cleaver Phillips)


Cassandra Stuteville
Born:
May 12, 1823
Died:
July 20. 1852
Parents:
Benjamin Phillips and Mary Jemima Phillips
Marriage:
Richard H. Stuteville
about 1839

(The death record listing Cassandra Stuteville offers her death occurred from Consumption on July 20, 1852.  She was the daughter of Benjamin and Mary Phillips and that she was widowed.  Cassandra was the daughter in law to Charles H. Stuteville who had pastored the congregation of Rock Creek for several years.  A copy of the 1850 Grayson County census record can be viewed below)



James B. Stuteville and family
(image taken about 1897)






Sarah E. Pearman
Born:
June 14, 1828
Died:
February 12, 1854
Parents:
Surname Elliot

Marriage:
Benjamin C. Pearman

(Sarah E. Pearman died just 5 days after the birth of son Charles Winfield Pearman.  The 1850 Federal Census records list Benjamin C. Pearman as a 22 year old member of the household of his parents with no wife at that time.  A Grayson County, Kentucky birth record is available that lists a child born February 5, 1854 to Benjamin C. Pearman and Sarah E. Elliott.  Benjamin C. Pearman marries his second wife Sarah J. Smith on July 10,1855.  They gift their first born the name Sarah E. Pearman.)





See Video of Rock Creek Baptist Church Cemetery taken October 5, 2012 below:



Early members included the families of the Skaggs, Meredith's, Down's, Watkins', Snyder's, Rhodes, Brady's, Doran's, Stuteville's, and Cleaver's, among others.  By the year 1810 membership was numbered at 30 with its largest congregation counted in 1825 at 87 members.  The Messengers for the church were recorded to be M. Utterback, C.H. Stuteville, J. Rhodes, and J. Doran at that time.  The previous year the congregation is listed as the fourth largest church in the Goshen Association of which they had been associated since 1818.

The Beaver Dam Church in August of 1828 records where "a call for help came from the Rock Creek Church to settle a matter of internal difficulty".

Martin Utterback pastored The Rock Creek Baptist Church until he removed to Richland County, Illinois about 1834.  He was replaced by Charles H. Stuteville who ministered over the congregation until 1842.  Charles H. Stuteville was the father of Richard F. Stuteville.  Richard F. was the husband of Cassandra Phillips one of the few internments at Rock Creek Baptist Church Cemetery that have an engraved head stone (See Video Above).  

It was during Charles H. Stuteville's tenure as pastor of the congregation that at the 1835 Goshen Association session that it was recorded:

"Query from Rock Creek Church" _ "It is contrary to the Gospel of Christ, for members of the Baptist Church to commune with other denominations of Christians, who hold the principle doctrines of the Baptists, except baptism, and, if so, where will it be found." Answer: "first we believe it is wrong to commune with unbaptized Christians of any denominations.  Secondly, The general tenor of the New Testament throughout forbids it.  Thirdly, the universal usage of all orderly Baptist Churches forbids it."

The church rejoined the Goshen Baptist Association in 1868.  Membership was recorded at 18 members and O.W. Phillips is listed as the only messenger for the church.  The pastor at that time is recorded to have been T. W. Pierce and the clerk, A. Payton

Any records containing membership or services of The Rock Creek Baptist Church ends in 1871. 

The Rock Creek Baptist Church Cemetery rests quietly rarely visited or tended but always a reminder of pioneer days in Grayson County where the congregation had been created nearly 10 years prior to the county's formation.


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