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243 –August 31 – This Day in Baptist History Past

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You Cannot Hide From God

               To Tidance Lane, born on August 31, 1724, goes the honor of establishing Tennessee’s first Baptist church in 1779. Eighteen years later, Garner McConnico moved from Virginia to Tennessee, and he too made strides for the Baptists. Hearing of the beauty of the Cumberland Valley in Tennessee, Garner and his wife Mary, made their way toward the west. Young McConnico was attempting to flee God’s call to preach. One day his horse strayed, as he sought the horse he spied a small, venerable -looking man approaching. Garner asked the gentleman about the community. “Any Baptist preaching in it?” The elderly gentleman responded, “There will be Baptist preaching next Lord’s Day.” Garner asked, “Are you the preacher?” “I try to preach sometimes for want of a better preacher,” he replied. Garner was present to hear the old man who proved to be the well-known preacher, Elder Dillahunty. When Sunday next arrived, they met at the Richland Meeting House, where McConnico was present, and he tried to beg off of preaching. However, the old preacher would not allow it, and in time Garner rose to preach. Before he had concluded the message, Elder Dillahunty threw his arms around Garner, and Thanked God for sending young Timothy to the frontier to assist him.  In 1797, Elder McConnico moved to Franklin, Tennessee. There he lived and served the Big Harpeth Baptist Church for thirty-five years. On one occasion when he went to preach, the river had flooded and he could not get over to where the crowd was gathered. He raised his hands and asked for silence. Then he lifted his voice a little above its usual pitch and preached his message with power. It was said that he had a voice like a trumpet.

 Dr. Dale R. Hart From: “This Day in Baptist History III” David L. Cummins pp. 505 – 507

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