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Barton W. Stone

Barton W. Stone

      Mr. Stone's father died when he was a little child. In 1779 his mother moved with her large family of children and servants to the backwoods of Virginia, in Pittsylvania County.

      In 1790 he entered Guilford Academy, in North Carolina, and determined to acquire an education or die in the attempt. There he completed the academic course. While there, in much agony of soul, he turned to the Lord, uniting with the Presbyterians. With it came the desire to preach the gospel.

      The Osage Presbytery licensed him to preach in 1796. He was presented with a Bible, not the Confession of Faith. Then he started on a preaching tour over the mountains that brought him, at the close of the year, to Caneridge and Concord, Kentucky. With these churches his ministry was richly blessed. In the fall of 1798 the Presbytery of Transylvania met to ordain him to the pastorate of the two congregations. He declined to subscribe unqualifiedly to the Confession of Faith, but answered, "I do, as far as I see it consistent with the word of God."

      The next year, Mr. Stone formally withdrew from the Presbyterian Church. Thus the ship of the common, catholic gospel, whose compass had been lost for fifteen centuries, was again launched upon the wide sea of human life. Mr. Stone continued an earnest student of the Scriptures; so after a time he was immersed, as were many of those associated with him.

      Mr. Stone, after his removal to Lexington, Kentucky, made a trip to Meigs County, Ohio, for the purpose of immersing a Presbyterian minister named William Caldwell. While there he preached, on its invitation, to the Separate Baptist Association then assembled there.

      He was a finely educated man, speaking the French language, reading the Hebrew and teaching the Greek and Latin. He was a most successful teacher, and often turned to this profession for the support of himself and family.

      Mr. Stone is justly entitled to far greater credit and honor for his work in the Restoration movement than has ever been given him.

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