Marsh Creek Area of Whitley County


Sunrise by: James E. Lawson

The Marsh Creek area of Whitley County, KY (McCreary County since 1912) was  being opened up by land speculators as early as 1813. By the 1860's and 1870's many early families had homesteaded land and settled in the marsh Creek area.

They had to travel some distance to attend a church or their "home church" of Jellico Creek, Red Bird, Pleasant Hill, etc. they saw a need for a local Baptist Church and sometime in 1869 a group of them met and planted the seeds of that church.

It is recorded that it was legally organized at the residence of Jabe Perkins on Saturday April 2, 1870. The church was given the name of Bethel, from the Hebrew word meaning house of God. The area has become known as the Bethel Community after the name of the church.

William Henry Manning (born 1837 died 1896) was church clerk at Bethel in the 1870's. Preserved in an old trunk that belonged to him, were thirty six of these church letters of dismission in good standing from various area churches. We can only assume that these individuals joined Bethel church since their letters were in the possession of the church clerk.
These individuals and the year their letters were granted:
Daniel Davenport from Wolf Creek - august 1870
Willis Worley from Jellico Creek Church - August 1870
Jemima Worley from Jellico Creek Church - August 1870
John W. Swain from Marsh Creek Church - 1872
Polly J. Swain from (wife of John W.) from Marsh Creek - 1872
William Shepherd from Marsh Creek Church - 1873
Louisa Shepherd (wife of Wm.) From Marsh Creek - 1873
Sary Jane Smith from Marsh Creek - 1873
Lindy Smith from Marsh Creek - 1875
Sarah Ann Worley from Marsh Creek - 1875
Armelda Manning from Clear Fork Church - 1877
John Bryant from Pleasant Hill Church - 1878
Amey Bryant (wife of John) from Pleasant Hill church - 1878
Stephen Cox from Pleasant Hill church - 1878
Elizabeth Cox (wife of Stephen) from Pleasant Hill - 1878
Emely E. Perkins from Freedom church (Wayne Co.) 1878
Ryley Privett from Marsh Creek Church - 1878
James A. Privett from Pleasant Grove church (TENN) - 1878
James Ball from Pleasant Hill Church - 1881
Alcy Kidd from Pleasant Hill Church - 1881
Elias Kidd from Red Bird Church - 1881
Solomon Sumner from Jellico Creek Church - 1881
Susie J. Sumner from Jellico Creek - 1881
Lucretia Stephens from marsh Creek Church - 1883
Parmelia Strunk from Jellico Creek Church - 1884
Mark Sumner from Wolf Creek Church - 1886
Jane Sumner (wife of Mark) from Wolf Creek Church - 1886
Calvin Patrick from Pleasant Hill Church - 1887
Wife of Calvin Patrick from Pleasant Hill - 1887
Rachel Kidd from Pleasant Hill Church - 1888
Nancy Davenport from Red Bird Church - 1895

From the book: History of Bethel Baptist Church, McCreary Co., KY 1870-1996