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Potts Family

(from the previous Clark County site)


Posted by J.P. Downard
on Wed, 22 Jul 1998 Surname:
Smith Vivion POTTS Elder Smith Vivion Potts was born August 22, 1814, and died March 27, 1893. He was the eldest of nine children of Thomas Potts and Martha (Marrietta) Vivion who were united in marriage in Clark County, KY, June 21, 1813. Martha Vivion's father was Thacker Smith Vivion.

Smith V. Potts married Elizabeth Hunt June 17, 1839. The 1860 Estill Census lists Smith V. Potts as a resident and his occupation as a miller. His wife, Elizabeth, and three children: Edward, Mary E., and Thomas I. are listed as members of the household.

The first known about Elder Potts' ministry is found in S.J. Conkwright's "History of the Churches of Boone's Creek Baptist Association of Kentucky". He was called as pastor of Mt. Olive Church in Clark County about 1845. Under Salem Baptist Church of Estill County, it is stated that Smith V. Potts came as a missionary from Boone's Creek Association about the year 1846 and held a series of meetings "which resulted in accomplishing an agreement of the remaining members to go into the organization of the United Baptist Church at Salem." Apparently some of the members of Primitive Baptist persuasion had left the church. Elder Potts served Salem as pastor for about four years, during which time he was assisted by Elder Edward Darnsby.

May 24, 1848, Smith V. Potts amd Thornton I. Wills were called as pastors of Ephesus Church in Clark County where they served until April, 1851. They were called again as pastors in September 1851; T. I. Wills resigned in March 1853, but S. V. Potts remained to serve the church until 1855.

In October 1855, Smith V. Potts was called as pastor of Union City Church in Madison County to succeed Elder Joseph Ambrose who had resigned after serving the church since September 1846. Brother Potts served the Church until December 1858.

After resigning as pastor of Union City Church, Elder Potts apparently became pastor of the Irvine Church where he remained until about 1864. S.V. Potts was called as pastor of the Beattyville Church July 15, 1861, where he served until 1862; at that time the church was located in Owsley County. In 1863 he was again called as pastor, but after serving for one year, Smith V. Potts was excused from the pastoral care of the church "owing to the condition of affairs," presumably the Civil War.

On the third Saturday of October 1859, Irvine Association was constituted at the Drowning Creek meeting house (Panola) in Madison County with Providence, Woodward's Creek, Irvine, Cow Creek, Clear Creek, Salem and Drowning Creek Churches present. Elder Smith V. Potts was chosen moderator and Elder James Richardson was chosen clerk; they were the only pastors present in the organization of the Association. At the 1860 session, a board was appointed to be located in Irvine, and S.V. Potts was chosen missionary to labor in the territory of the Association. Elder Potts apparently served as missionary until 1864 when he was excused from the pastoral care of the Beattyville Church. In 1865 Elder Pott's address was Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, KY, and he was listed in the Irvine Association minutes as conducting monthly meetings at Bethlehem Church in Madison County and Flat Lick Church. Bethlehem was in Irvine Association and Flat Rock is presumed to have been in Tates Creek Association.

Between 1865 and 1870, it is believed S.V. Potts pastored several churches in Tates Creek Association, but, unfortunately, minutes of the Association are unavailable. S.V. Pott's address is listed in Irvine Association minutes as Speedwell, Madison County, in 1867, 1870, and 1871; his address is listed as Kingston, Madison County, in 1869 and 1872.

Although some of the minutes of the Irvine Association for the early years are not available, Smith V. Potts was moderator of the Association at least eight years; 1859, 1860, 1863, 1865, 1869, 1870, 1871, and 1872. He attended the Association as messenger from Boone's Creek Association in 1875 and 1876. The 1875 session was held at Newman Church, Winston, KY on Thursday before the 4th Saturday 1875 and the two days following. S.V. Potts offered a resolution "requesting each member of the served churches composing the Association to give twenty-five cents to sustain our missionaries this year."

In October 1871, Elder S.V. Potts, assisted by Elder Elias H. Brookshire, held a series of meetings twelve miles southeast of Winchester, KY, on the waters of Upper Howard's Creek which led to the constitution of Corinth Baptist Church near Trapp, KY, and where Boone's Creek Camp is now located. Conkwright's History has the following to say about the results: The results . . . were ten by experience and baptism, who together with five others, signed a church covenant, agreeing to constitute a church on the truth of the Gospel as laid down in the Old and New Testament. By request, a council was called in December, 1871, and after singing and prayer, they entered into the organization by selecting Brother Frank S. Allen clerk of the meeting. The charge to the church was delivered by Elder N. B. Johnson, prayer by Elder S. V. Potts . . .

Benjamin C. Fox was elected clerk, and Jesse Powell and James A. Fox trustees, who purchased an interest in a two story building owned by the Masonic Lodge . . . the church using the lower room and the Lodge the upper room.

Brother Potts was called as the first pastor of Corinth Church and served until 1877. He was called as pastor of Macedonia Church, Clark County in 1874 and served the church eighteen months. Between 1872 and 1875, S.V. Potts is credited with constituting nine churches, all of which had ceased to exist by 1879. With one exception, all were located in the poorer sections of Powell and Montgomery Counties.

The following churches and dates of constitution are given: Zion, 1872; Slate Valley, 1873' Snow Creek, 1874; New Salem, 1874; Friendshiip, 1874; Mt. Zion, 1874; North Fork or Red River, 1875; Spruce, 1875; Laurel Springs of Menifee County, 1875.

Conkwright's History has the following to say about the above nine churches: These churches all united with Boone's Creek Association in the year of their constitution. Two of them never reported again, some reported for two or three years, and none of them after 1879. Judging from the records of the association, it seems to have been enthusiasm with lack of judgement, as is sometimes the case, which led to the constitution of these churches.

Smith V. Potts was instrumental in gathering Jeffersonville Church in Montgomery Co., KY, in 1876. The church united with Boone's Creek Association in the same year it was constituted, reporting a membership of ninety-seven. Brother Potts apparently served as pastor of the church until 1880. The church reported to Boone's Creek Association the last time in 1889 and is presumed to have ceased to exist around that time. Perhaps it is encouraging to note, however, that there is presently a Jeffersonville Church in Montgomery County which was organized in 1959 and is a member of the Boone's Creek Association. The church reported a membership of 145 in 1976.

In October 1889, the pastor of Macedonia Church, Rev. Perry Hammons, held a series of meetings in which he was assisted by Rev. S.V. Potts. That is the last information we have of Brother Potts ministry. At that time he was 75 years old.

Although Smith V. Potts was never pastor of Providence, he preached at the church on different occasions. On June 2nd, Saturday, 1867, the church minutes record that Brother Potts preached to the congregation and then served as moderator of the business meeting, On May 3rd, Saturday, 1871, the same is recorded.

Elder Smith V. Potts died March 27, 1893, and both he and his wife, Elizabeth Hunt Potts, are buried in the Winchester Cemetery, Winchester, Kentucky. Note: This information was entered into the computer by J.P. Downard. His grandmother was Lillie S. Potts, the d/o David Dillard Potts, brother of S.V. Potts. Rev. Potts married my grandmother and grandfather Archibald Downard May 11, 1892, at his home in Estill County, KY. I have the wedding license in my files.

J.P. DOWNARD, 838 Perennial Drive, Louisville, KY 40217 ab4rx@iglou.com 502-635-5304 Home Pages: KYGENWEB Perry Co. Homepage http://www.rootsweb.com/~kyperry/index.htm


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