McCormack Christian Church

Historical Marker #1590 in Lincoln County commemorates McCormack Christian Church, one of the longest practicing congregations in the county.

When the early setters came to what became Kentucky, many believed that it was as important to bring their spiritual beliefs as it was to bring weapons for defense or tools to clear the land. Early churches of various faiths met in forts, stations, family cabins, and log churches.

One frontier church—originally a log cabin—was located about four miles southwest of Stanford. It practiced the Baptist faith and likely originated sometime in the 1780s. As more pioneer families made their way to that part of Lincoln County, the church outgrew the log structure. In 1820, a brick church building was constructed on the grounds where the log church once stood.

Daniel McCormack, an early Lincoln County settler, was the generous benefactor of the land where the new church was constructed. McCormack had stipulated that his gift was for a church, graveyard, and school. He also demanded, “When the house is built it is to be free for all denominations and people to worship in.”

The year after it was constructed, the McCormack's church was excluded from the South Kentucky Association for Separate Baptists due to practicing "open communion." Several years later more controversy ensued when the congregation split over the teachings of Alexander Campbell. Campbell advocated a simplified and independent church that answered only to God and sought out the scriptures for answers to theological questions. Campbell's followers became known as the Disciples of Christ or the Christian Church, and are often called Campbellites by other denominations. Since the 1830s, the McCormack congregation has been associated with the Christian Church and continues to serve its community today.

Images

Cane Ridge Meeting House

Cane Ridge Meeting House

Barton W. Stone, who preached at Cane Ridge Meeting House (shown here) and Alexander Campbell had similar understandings of the scriptures. The two men help popularize the Christian Church in Kentucky. Courtesy of the University of Kentucky. View File Details Page

Alexander Campbell

Alexander Campbell

Followers of Alexander Campbell's doctrines were often referred to as Disciples of Christ or Campbellites. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. View File Details Page

Thomas and Alexander Campbell

Thomas and Alexander Campbell

Alexander Campbell and his father Thomas Campbell are included in this collage of nineteenth century religious reformers that influenced the formation of the Christian Church. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. View File Details Page

Mulkey Meeting House

Mulkey Meeting House

Most of the early church buildings in Kentucky were constructed of logs. Mulkey Meeting House near Tompkinsville (shown here) is an excellent example. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Tim Talbott, “McCormack Christian Church,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed May 23, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/573.

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