Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers
William Johnson was the first Moderator of the Tennessee Association, as appears from the following: "Minutes of a conference of nineteen Baptist churches, being assembled at Beaver Creek meeting-house on the twenty-fifth day of December, in the year of our Lord 1802. 1st. Brother William Johnson was chosen Moderator and Francis Hamilton Clerk." He was a messenger of Boyd's Creek Church. The next year he was also chosen Moderator. He continued a member of the Boyd's Creek Church as long as he lived, representing his church almost every year at the annual meetings of the Association. In October, 1814, the Association met with the French Broad (afterwards the Dandridge) Church, when a request came to the body from the East Fork of Poplar Creek "to perpetuate the memory of Elder William Johnson, deceased," and it was voted to publish "a piece" sent up by that church, as follows: "We have to mourn the loss of our elder brother, William Johnson, who, in the cause of his Great Master, on the 26th day of February, 1814, after an illness of more than twelve months, encountered his last enemy with all the courage and fortitude of a Christian, and carried with him all the evidences and tokens of a conqueror, triumphing forever in that great prize obtained for him through the blood of the lamb, having been in the ministry nearly fifty years and leaving behind him for an example an unspotted character. "His bow abode in strength; a conqueror he left the globe." (Genesis 49 :24. )
Burnett, J .J. Sketches of Tennessee's Pioneer Baptist Preachers. Nashville, Tenn.: Press of Marshall & Bruce Company, 1919.
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