John Telemachus Johnson
John T. Johnson was born on November 5, 1788, in Scott County, Ky. His parents were of Welsh descent and moved from Virginia to Kentucky. They were members of the Baptist Church, and they trained their children in principles of honor, virtue, and patriotism. John T. Johnson was reared amid the dangers and privations incident to pioneer life in Kentucky. His education was the best that could be had in that country. He spent two years at Transylvania University. He then studied law with his brother, who was a distinguished politician and lawyer. He married at the age of twenty-three and settled on a farm on South Elkhorn. In 1813 he was honored with the place of volunteer aide on the staff of General Wainson at Fort Meigs. In 1814 he began the practice of law and was elected to represent his county in the State Legislature. He was re-elected for several terms. He became very prosperous and successful both in his farm and his law practice.
He realized the truth of the proverb, "He that is surety for his friend shall smart." He became surety for some friends, and for this voluntarily gave up all that he had made to pay the debts of others. He says: "I never felt happier than when the burden was lifted, although it cost me fifty thousand dollars of fine real estate." He did not try to escape paying the debt. He had said by becoming surety for his friends that if they did not pay their debts he would, and this he did. He was not discouraged, but cheerfully resumed his business career and soon became prosperous again. In 1820 he was elected to Congress, and was re-elected in 1822. At the height of a successful business career and at a time when he was rising rapidly in political affairs, much to the regret of his friends, he retired to private life. He says: "A sacred regard for domestic life moved me to take this course I had so long desired." It seems that in the providence of God he was being led into a different field of labor.
He was trained in the Baptist faith, and early in life received an impression that he ought to be a Christian. However, the affairs of life crowded upon him and he did not attach himself to the Baptist Church until he was thirty-three years of age. Mr. Campbell was publishing the Christian Baptist at that time. He became disturbed in his Baptist faith and determined to examine it in the light of the Bible. He says: "My eyes were opened and a new interest awakened in Christianity." He further adds: "I was convinced, won over, and contended with all my might in the private circle."
He soon began to preach the gospel. He thought that he should instruct, enlighten, and restore the Baptist Church, of which he was a member, to the New Testament order of work and worshiRogers p. He was now forty-two years old, in the prime of his manhood. He was cool, courageous, and collected under the most trying circumstances. He never became excited, but moved about in a most stately way amid the most exciting scenes. He was unable to get the Baptist Church at Great Crossings to accept the New Testament as its only creed, so he resolved to establish a church on the Bible alone as containing the infallible rule of faith and practice. He succeeded in doing this. He gave up everything in order to preach the gospel. He lived in the county with Barton W. Stone. He soon joined Mr. Stone in editing the Christian Messenger, and he continued this work for three years, or until Stone moved to Illinois. He was a clear, forcible writer, and his editorials added much to the cause of Christ at that time.
There were two groups of religious people at that time. One group had been taught by B. W. Stone, and the other had been led to see the truth by Alexander Campbell. Those who had been taught by Stone were called "Christians," while those who had been taught by Mr. Campbell were called "Disciples." These two groups soon began to overlap in territory and in interest. They had started without any knowledge of each other; but as they both believed the same thing and practiced the same thing, they were united in faith and in the Lord, but did not recognize this union in their relation to each other. John T. Johnson was a great factor in 1833 in bringing together and getting each to recognize the unity, which already existed between the two groups. He says: "I was among the first, in cooperating with B. W. Stone, to suggest and bring about a union between the church of Christ and that large body of Baptists which had renounced all humanisms in religion." He was so impressed with the Bible teachings on unity that he made the theme of unity paramount in all of his preaching. He reasoned well, that he who does most to unite the followers of Jesus does most for the conversion of the world.
It has been said that of all the pioneers of the Restoration, John T. Johnson was the most devoted, zealous, self-sacrificing. He could well say, like Paul, to his fellow apostles, that he had labored more abundantly than they all. There were few States in the Union at that time in which he did not preach the gospel and establish churches. Most of the large cities at that time were visited by him, and nearly always a church was established before he left. He was a man of marked individuality. He was apparently a delicate man. His bearing was gentle, refined, and dignified. His address was pleasing, his enunciation clear and distinct, and his reasoning convincing. He spoke rapidly. He was calm, self-possessed, and his deep, earnest manner of tone, gesture, and expression of countenance aroused the human soul to action. The audience always listened with rapt attention to him. He labored incessantly as an evangelist for seventeen years and became known as "The Evangelist of Kentucky."
While Mr. Campbell was in Nashville, Tenn., preaching, John T. Johnson visited Nashville, and, with his usual zeal, at once began a series of meetings. Mr. Campbell and Mr. Johnson visited Murfreesboro and Clarksville, and churches were established in these towns. This was in 1854 or 1855. John T. Johnson then visited Hopkinsville, Ky., and delivered eight discourses there, then passed on north to Louisville, and then to Indianapolis, Ind.
While in a meeting at Lexington, Mo., in December, 1856, he fell sick of pneumonia, and passed away on the evening of December 24. Mr. Campbell said of him: "I presume no laborer in word and doctrine in the valley of the Mississippi has labored more ardently, more perseveringly, or more successfully than has Elder John T. Johnson, during the whole period of his public ministry. How many hundreds, if not thousands, of souls he has awakened from the stupor and deathlike sleep of sin and inducted into the kingdom of Jesus, the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, the living know not."
The venerable Walter Scott, upon hearing of his death, wrote in the Christian Age that the sadness of his death, "carries to the bosoms of the brethren and relatives of the deceased so great a burden of grief, of woe, of wailing, and tears, that any effort on our part to increase or intensify it by words would be equally indiscreet, unfeeling, and unavailing. The stroke has fallen on our hearts with the unexpectedness of a jet of lightning from a cloudless sky."
John T. Johnson was a plain and simple preacher of the gospel. He presented the facts, commands, and promises of the gospel in a simple way. He was well suited to present the gospel to a plain and simple people. He was direct in all that he said; he used no circumlocution in reaching the point; he attacked sin and error directly. It is said that he never attempted ornamentation in any speech that he ever made, that he was the most practical preacher in his day; he never quoted a line of poetry in any of his discourses. Like Paul, he was determined to know nothing while in the pulpit, "save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." The desire of his soul was to enlist soldiers in the army of the Lord and to make them feel that they must fight the good fight of faith. John T. Johnson did much for the cause of Christ, and many in the great day will have cause to rejoice because of his labors.
-From Biographical Sketches Of Gospel Preachers, H. Leo Boles, Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, Tennessee, 1932, pages 42-46
Letter To Alexander Campbell On The Death Of Mrs. J.T. "Sophie Lewis" Johnson
Obituary of Mrs. John T. "Sophie Lewis" Johnson
"GEORGETOWN, Aug. 23, 1849.
Beloved Brother Campbell:—
This day closes the earthly career of my companion, the dearest object to me upon this earth, and has been for thirty-eight years. She was the youngest daughter of one of the most respected and beloved families residing on Townfork, Fayette county, near Lexington, the late Judge Lewis. The father and mother were highly respected members of the Baptist Church, and exerted a most salutary influence on all around them.
My wife was born on the 13th October, 1796. We were married on the 9th October, 1811. She was the mother of ten children, five of each sex. We lost four in infancy, a little girl and three little boys. Three of our daughters are married; and the four are members of the Church of Christ.
In the year 1821, I united with the Baptist Church at the Great Crossings, my birth place; and had it not been for the unfortunate teaching of that day, my wife would doubtless have commenced her religious race with me; for she was remarkably pious, and gave me every encouragement to persevere. In due time the Christian Baptist made its appearance, and dispelled the traditions of the fathers. The glorious light of the Bible began to dispel the dark clouds of ignorance and superstition. These matters were brought up for investigation; I became a convert to the great principles of this reformation, which you advocated go ably against a host of opposers. Fired with the truth, on the second Saturday in February, 1831, in conjunction with two others, I constituted a church, at the Great Crossings, on the Bible alone, with a determination to spend my life in its advocacy. I knew the thorny road I had to travel, and the sacrifices that would have to be made. I have realized all that I anticipated; as the Lord is my judge, so far from regretting the step taken, it has been, and is a source of the profoundest gratitude and highest joy. At that same meeting, I had the unspeakable gratification of immersing my wife, my brother Joel, and his wife. How could I feel otherwise than grateful to you, as the man who had been the means of so much happiness to me! These mighty principles have grown with my growth, and strengthened with my strength.
My friends knew that I had made great sacrifices in money and time, in the advocacy of this cause; but I have never had cause to regret it. For some eight years, the sacrifice of personal happiness, owing to my absence from home, preyed heavily upon my wife, and seemed to be more than she could bear. But the cause was dearer to her than life. She knew it had to be advocated by some one, and that sacrifices were indispensable. We conversed freely upon the subject, and with a truly noble and self sacrificing spirit, she rose superior to everything earthly. From that time till her death, she manifested the most entire resignation and Christian cheerfulness.
My beloved brother Campbell, I have enjoyed with her a heaven upon earth, for thirty-eight years! It seemed to me an one bright, sunny day, except when she was assailed with disease. She was ALL IN ALL to her little family. She was a favorite with all her connections—loved most by those who knew her best. Our entire domestic circle has sustained a loss that can be better felt than expressed. I believe I can truly say, that I have the sympathies of our entire population, for so great a loss. This is to me more precious than the gold of Ophir. This was the twenty-sixth day of her sickness—the typhus fever. She bore it with Christian fortitude, as all can testify who ministered to her in her affliction.
For ten days, there was an alternation of hope and fear on our part. On three or four occasions, I gave up, and apprised her of her approaching dissolution. What perfect resignation! What a desire to depart and be with Christ! She called for her children on each occasion, and I shall never forget the affectionate and interesting interviews she held with them! All the beholders were astonished and delighted. So full of faith, and hope, and love! She exhorted them to lead a godly life, and meet her in heaven! Her constant theme was heaven as her home. Not a cloud intervened. She seemed to reserve her last parting blessing for one who she knew was faithful to her during life, and doted upon her with an undying affection. 'My dear husband, farewell; the Lord will take care of you.' I thank the Lord it is my privilege to feel, and weep, and unbosom myself to my friends. For twenty-six days I had the happiness of being by her bedside, anticipating her wants. The Lord gave me strength to bear up under it. I shall never forget those friends who gave me their assistance during that trying period, and all, for there were many, who proffered assistance.
I can never sufficiently express my gratitude to Drs. Barlow and Desha, for their kind, unwearied, constant and eminent services. All was done that physicians could possibly do, for her restoration. Her feeble constitution gradually declined, although she was relieved of disease more than ten days before she died. It is due to her to say that she submitted, without a murmur, to the sacrifices I made in the good cause. And it is to me a source of unbounded gratification that she was not only an active member of the Female Sewing Society of Georgetown Church, fur the benefit of the Female Orphan School at Midway, but a subscriber of $100, and that she lived long enough to pay $20. the first installment, and to participate in transmitting $60 on behalf of the Society.
I feel indebted to the Lord beyond expression for his great kindness, and I feel more resolved to be active in his cause. I hope to meet you in Cincinnati at the grand convocation for mutual congratulation, mutual encouragement, mutual advice, and mutual effort for the advancement of this best of all causes. Most affectionately yours in the good hope, J. T. Johnson".
—Sources: Millennial Harbinger, 1849, pages 599,600; Biography of John T. Johnson, by John Rogers, pages 295-297
"J. T. Johnson"
"This venerable and veteran evangelist is spending a few days with the church at Midway, Ky., continuing a meeting commenced by John Rogers, sr, whose engagements called him away after he had, by his earnest, eloquent, and lucid proclamation of the gospel, awakened a deep interest in the hearts of many. We have had also the company of Jacob Creath, sr. now near seventy-seven, and wrapt in 'ever during darkness, he still loves, he says, to 'see' his brethren, and to join them in the services of the sanctuary. We can well imagine that this is, indeed, his chief delight He occasionally speaks still, and though the eye has lost its fire, and the once manly and commanding voice its melody, his listeners still weep, while he talks to them of that hope which illuminates the soul, and cheers with the prospect of his soon entering upon the rest remaining for the people of God, where his long, dark night will have become eternal day.
Our meeting has been one of much interest. Thirteen have been added to the congregation, and the religious affections of our community, generally, have been reawakened and strengthened.
We rejoice with our brethren at Athens, Mount Zion and Republican, in their recent prosperity. They, too, have enjoyed seasons of refreshing, and numbers have been added to their communion. Candor compels the confession, however, that fifteen years' experience in the ministry has done much to abate our joys over returning prodigals. How often, alas! does the lapse of only one short year, bring sorrow to the hearts of the earnest and true, on account of apostasies and alienations from the Lord and his cause. For this dreadful issue of evangelical labor, there is no remedy but in faithful, energetic pastoral labor. But we intended a sketch of John T. Johnson, for the gratification of such of our readers as have never seen nor heard this laborious servant of our Lord.
He is now in the sixty-fifth year of his age, and a few weeks since made, in our hearing, this remarkable statement: 'I have been at a protracted meeting for the last three years, and during the last three weeks, I have spoken twenty-seven discourses.' In illustration of his devotion to the work to which, for twenty-three years, he has given his entire time, it will be sufficient to state, that during the unparalleled winter of '51-2, he continued preaching night and day, in the villages of Mason and Fleming counties, Ky_. The mercury, for days together, remained below zero, the piercing winds whirled the light snow high through the dense air— the cattle sought the sheds, or remained trembling behind any defense that offered against the cutting Wast—fowls remained on the roost, or dropped from it dead; even the crows ventured not abroad against the double terror of frost and storm. The labors of servants were limited to the care of stock, and the piling of fuel upon the heated and blazing hearths. Still, J.T. Johnson was traveling from point to point, preaching to the perishing the unsearchable riches of Christ. His stature is about five feet ten inches, his form remarkably slender and erect, his hair, once jet black, is now sprinkled with white, has become thin, and much of it has fallen; yet we never could think him bald. His general complexion, the color of his eyes and hair, indicate a decidedly bilious temperament When introduced to him in the private circle, you recognize at once the well-bred, high-toned gentleman. No length of acquaintance-ship, no amount of fatigue, ever tempt him into the clownish in manners. His conversation easy, perfectly familiar, sometimes with his intimate friends even chatty, is still chaste, dignified, and almost wholly of things pertaining to the kingdom and patience of the Saviour. The necessity of greater liberality, commendations of such churches and individuals as he thinks have 'acted nobly'—the interests and prospects of the Orphan School, of Bethany College, of Bacon College, the movements of his preaching brethren, the necessity of preserving labor, paid or not paid—such tire some of the themes that employ his tongue, and rest constantly upon his noble and generous heart. When he rises in the pulpit, his movements, countenance and utterance, imply slight embarrassment—the result of unaffected diffidence; and although abundant courage will appear before he closes, and a becoming confidence in his ability to propound and illustrate the gospel, yet his respect for his audience never forsakes him.
His manner is difficult of description. You will think, likely, on hearing him for the first time, that his 'preparatory remarks' are rather extensive, and you may, perhaps, wonder when his sermon will commence. He is into his sermon from the first word, and after speaking of various matters pressing upon his attention, if he thinks the great object he has in view will be secured by such a course, he will return to the first point and make it the last Though eminently capable of arranging and delivering methodical and logical discourses, yet, to do this is not his object, but to bring his hearers to believe, and to feel, and to obey the gospel.
He may be thought, by those who do not know him, a 'revivalist.' Such he is not—at least not in the usual meaning of the term revivalist, but the farthest from it imaginable. There is no can't, no affectation—his speech being merely earnest conversation. It never enters his mind to play the orator. His addresses are characterized by devotion to the teaching of the New Testament, by obvious sincerity and an all-pervading desire for the salvation of his hearers He is speaking of moral courage, or its importance, its propriety, its congruity with manliness. 'If there be, he remarks, 'an object on this earth supremely pitiable, one is almost tempted to say contemptible, it is a man who, in days of prosperity and health, stops his ears to the gospel of Christ, and, through fear of his fellow-worms, refuses to obey the Saviour, but who, when death stares him in the face, will cry out, and implore the prayers of the people of God. And will the Lord hear the cry of such? What does it say in effect? 'Lord I have lived in sin, I have done thy cause what harm I could, but I can do no more, I can serve satan no longer, now, O Lord, receive my poor soul.' 'Because I called and you refused, I will laugh at your calamity, and mock when your fear cometh.' Remember these fearful words. We do not limit the power or benevolence of God, but he will not be mocked Beware! Beware!!' Or he is speaking of the inherent demerit of sin, of sowing to the flesh. Turning toward the female portion of his audience, he will, perhaps, speak thus: 'I am declining, and know it. A few more years will probably close my career, and yet I sometimes hope to see the day when no female will be found on the dark side, sowing to the flesh. "When I see a noble, generous-hearted female, whom all admire, advocating the cause of sin by her example, I blush inwardly.' But though we might give, perhaps, the precise words, it is impossible to give any notion of the speaker's manner so entirely his own, and on which so much depends.
But John T. Johnson is passing away, and we ask: who shall take his place? Upon whom will his mantle fall? It is a cause of endless thankfulness to the infinite Father, and a source of highest joy, that for the weary there is a divine rest appointed, for the faithful warrior an unfading crown, and that the saints shall all met at last in their home above."
-L.L Pinkerton, As Recorded In The Biography Of J.T. Johnson, by John Rogers, pages 327-330, Also Recorded in the September, 1853 issue of Millennial Harbinger, pages 524-526.
Chronology Of The Life Of John T. Johnson
Robert M. "Robin" Johnson, father of JTJ was born in Orange County, Virginia
Jemima Suggett, mother of JTJ was born in Richmond, Orange County, Virginia
JTJ was born at the Great Crossings, Scott County, Kentucky. He was the eighth of eleven children, 9 males and 2 females, Rogers p.12
Sophie Lewis is born. "She was the youngest daughter of one of the most respected and beloved families residing on Townfork, Fayette county, near Lexington, the late Judge Lewis. The father and mother were highly respected members of the Baptist Church, and exerted a most salutary influence on all around them." Rogers p.295
JTJ attended the Great Revival at Cane Ridge. He was 13 years old., Rogers p.13
JTJ meets Sophie Lewis while in college at Transylvania College. He boarded in the home of the Lewis family. Unbeknownst to him at the time was that he would marry that little girl. Rogers p.14
Married Sophie Lewis. She was 15 years old. He was 23 years old.
1st child born to John and Sophie: Elizabeth J. Flournoy
He became a volunteer aide to Gen. W.H. Harrison. Harrison then commanded the Northwestern army at Ft. Meigs. Rogers p. 15
His horse was shot out from under him while in a battle. Rogers p.16
Jemima Suggett Johnson, mother of JTJ, passed away at Great Crossings, Scott County, Ky. Burial in Great Crossings Baptist Church Cemetery
Became a candidate for the Kentucky State Legislature, was elected with ease. Elected several years in succession until 1819, Rogers p.16
Col. Robin Johnson, father of JTJ died at Warsaw, Gallatin County, Kentucky. Burial followed at Great Crossings Baptist Church Cemetery.
Lost a handsome fortune because he backed some friends in a banking investment — about $50,000.00 and 550 acres of land near Georgetown.
Became a candidate for the U.S. Congress, with merely nominal opposition.
Professed religion and joined the Baptist Church at the Great Crossings. This was just before he left to go to congress.
Again a candidate for U.S. Congress, but this time with formidable opposition, was elected by the people with a majority of 800 votes, Rogers p.18
Appointed as judge of a new Court of Appeals, occupying that position for 9 months. He earned $1500 during that time, and gave it to the orphan school at Midway.
Reformation begins among Baptists with the publishing of Alexander Campbell's Christian Baptist
During presidential election between Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and William H. Crawford of Georgia, no clear lead in the electoral college was obtained by the candidates. This was the only election that had to be determined in the House of Representative, of which John T. Johnson was a member. As unpopular as it could be since Clay was from Johnson's home state of Kentucky, he voted for Andrew Jackson, believing it to be the will of the people — a sign that J.T.J. was a man who did the right thing, though John Quincy Adams ended up winning the election.
Was elected to the U.S. Legislature for the last time. Rogers p.20 After fulfilling his obligations, he retired from public life, giving the reason of being because of neglect of family.
When JTJ began preaching the gospel to his neighbors, Rogers p.21, and about this time that he withdrew from the Baptist Church, Rogers p.25
On the second Saturday, B.S. Chambers, W. Johnson, and J.T.J. began a congregation upon the word of God alone, at the Great Crossings, place of his birth. He baptized his wife, brother Joel and his wife. Rogers p.22, Rogers p.25 Repeats on Rogers p.296.
J.T.J's brother Joel becomes obedient to the faith.
1st Unity meeting, in the days leading up to Christmas in Georgetown, KY, of which JTJ was involved.
2nd Unity meeting, in the days leading up to New Years in Lexington, KY, at Hill Street church. Formal unity took place between Stone and Campbell movements. John Rogers (Christian) & John Smith (Reformer/Disciple) traveled together for a year telling churches of this union. J.T.J. held the purse to see that these men and their families were supported for their efforts.
Began co-editing the Christian Messenger with B.W. Stone. Rogers p.27. He quit in 1834, when Stone moved to Illinois
During the year J.T. Johnson and B. W. Stone co-produced a song book for further uniting the churches. (Rogers p.59)
The editors report in CM, Rogers p. 124, "Our meetings at Georgetown and neighborhood are of an interesting character. Many are seriously affected by the truth. On Friday last, we immersed five, and on the day following one more, in Georgetown."
JTJ & BWS report in Christian Messenger (Rogers p.125) that 20 had been baptized for the remission of sins, (Rogers. Rogers p.55)
JTJ, with Philip S. Fall was at the Forks of the Elkhorn, witnessing five baptisms,
JTJ immersed one person at Georgetown.
JTJ immerses nine people. (Rogers p.55)
Begins a meeting at Cane Ridge in which some estimate that marked JTJ's coming into prominence among all the churches. In addition to JTJ "the chief speaker," other teaching brethren included F.R. Palmer, J. Irvin, R. Batson and John Rogers. (Rogers p.57,58)
JTJ reports in the Christian Messenger that since the last issue that John Rogers and John Smith had baptized 114. (Rogers p.56).
Cholera epidemic rages through Kentucky taking the lives of thousands, but also a remarkable year for the plea of the union of Christians. (Rogers p.65)
Later in the summer John Smith reports that in the weeks following June 26th that he had seen 185 baptized. (CM, Aug. 1833, Rogers p.251) Rogers records that cumulatively through his work and that of JTJ, Smith, Coons, Hon and others there were a total of 650 immersed during the mid summer weeks. (JTJ, Rogers p.85)
Sept. 13 — Friday - Sunday
J.T.J's first trip out of the area. He was invited by Walter Scott, who had never met him, to come to Carthage, Ohio for a meeting. He was there for a three day meeting. Reported seven baptisms during his time there. Rogers p.81. Later Scott reported 30 being baptized due to the meeting.
Began a Christian School in the Georgetown congregation, meeting every Sunday morning one hour before worship to commit the words of the New Testament to memory. Perhaps the first Sunday School program among RM churches. (Rogers p.87)
May 30 — June 3
Debate with Dr. Sleigh, a Baptist, in Cincinnati. The debate was on the subject of conditional salvation. B.F. Hall attends with him. See Rogers p.89ff
Attends to a three-day meeting at Stamping Ground with B.F. Hall, resulting in six baptisms
Attended to a three-day meeting at Mt. Vernon. With him were J.Smith, B.F. Hall, and F. Palmer. Rogers, 4 baptisms Rogers p.96
4th Sunday, Sept.
JTJ and B.F.H attend to a meeting near Harrodsburg, at Shawney Run.
With the departure of B.W. Stone to Illinois, JTJ and B.F.Hall begin a paper in Georgetown called, The Gospel Advocate, though Johnson continues another year as associate editor of The Christian Messenger
Walter Scott visits Georgetown and Lexington, Great success and encouragement to churches
A. Campbell visits Georgetown and encouraged great the church, and efforts of JTJ
Fifteen day effort into Madison and Garrard Counties involving the 2nd and 3rd Sundays of the month. Only one baptism = smallest response he had in his ministry for such and effort, but he never complained, but glorified God
Back at Georgetown — 4 baptisms
Three-day meeting at Lawrenceburg — 11 additions
At Lexington — 26 additions
T. Fanning at Georgetown encouraging the saints.
January to October
The Gospel Advocate is moved from Georgetown to Lexington
Confronts Dr. James Fishback, a strong resistant to the reformation, but later a convert, in the pages of The Gospel Advocate
Writes to the Advocate, "I have just returned from Warsaw, and from eighteen to twenty persons came to the true foundation, and I constituted them into a Church of Christ."
Reports at trip to Bethel, Ohio in which he baptizes 5
Writes of a trip Owen Co., Ky, and to Ghent, Warsaw, New Liberty, immersing 60 people. At a 12 day meeting at Pond Church, near Richmond, he reported "Twenty-nine good soldiers came under the government of the Lord Jesus Christ."
He reports a tour with Jacob Creath, Jr. to New Liberty, Ghent and Warsaw where there were 21 immersed.
Reports that Walter Scott, John Gano and JTJ were at Leesburg where there 9 baptisms, and at Madison Cty. For 10 days with 20 baptisms
Works during the end of 1836 to procure a charter for Bacon College, making several trips to Frankfort, pulling what strings his political background could pull in order to have charter granted.
JTJ and Walter Scott (president pro tem, of Bacon College) entered into a co-editorship for one year of a magazine called "The Christian."
JTJ's first article in the Christian is, "Bacon College," giving some historical information, and the struggle in having the legislature of Kentucky to grant the charter for the college in view of great opposition among the denominations."
Held a debate with Rev. J.C. Styles of Versailles, Ky, a Presbyterian minister, "of considerable ability," on the subject of the influence of the Holy Spirit on the sinner," Rogers p.128,9
Writes in The Christian of a tour in Montgomery and Bath Counties where there were for baptisms.
At Shelbyville, 7 additions
Someone writes in from Richmond where JTJ's debate took place and writes that 20 additions were accredited to JTJ's influence in the debate.
Reports in The Christian, in September issue, On a trip to Madison County, Ky., at the end of June where 20 are immersed in a 10 day meeting.
Reports in The July edition of The Christian of a meeting in Mason County in June where 27 were added, most of which were at Mayslick.
A trip to the Pond church in Richmond, commenced a meeting, and by the following Friday, the 18th, there were 36 baptisms. He sent for B.F. Hall, J. Creath, Jr, John Morton and D.S. Burnett for helRogers p. Within 3 weeks the number had risen to 185 new souls for Christ.
Reports in The Christian of a meeting at Nicholasville — 26 additions. B.F. Hall worked with him here. Finally was joined by D.S. Burnett, and total after the work completed brought the number of additions to 65.
March 4, 1837 – March 4, 1841
Richard Mentor Johnson (1780-1850), brother of JTJ served as Vice-President of the U.S.A. under President Martin Van Buren (1782-1862).
In a brief report of JTJ's labors in 1838, he wrote that he had personally assisted in the baptisms of over 700 persons for the year. (Rogers p.133)
Planted a congregation in Harrodsburg with 35 additions, a total of 81 believers among the grouRogers p.
Successful meeting at Lexington, - 16 or 17 additions.
A meeting at Clintonville, 10 miles from Paris, 6 days, 40 additions
A meeting at Leesburg, 10 miles from Georgetown, 7 days, 59 additions. On the 4th of July he says, "sixteen bowed to the Lord."
In a letter to J.A. Gano, JTJ reported 30 recent baptisms with desires to meet Gano for meetings at (Eagle Creek) Sugar Ridge and Union.
Letter dated report to MH, '38 Rogers p.332 of a successful meeting at Mt. Carmel in Bourbon County, 50 additions; On Rogers p.572, W.H. Whittington reports on a meeting with J.T.J. at Grassy Springs, Woodford Cty., Ky. Where 54 additions took place.
Reported to MH p.284, of a meeting JTJ had at Mt. Vernon with 4 additions. A young preacher in the person of L.L. Pinkerton assisted him in the work.
JTJ's letter to MH reporting eight additions at Shelbyville; Meeting in Jefferson County at Chinoweth's Run and Middletown, near Louisville, 49 baptisms resulting. L.L. Pinkerton helping in the work.
Letter to MH p.337, Two weeks in Louisville brought about 44 additions.
Letter reporting work in April, 16 day tour of New Albany and Charleston, Indiana. Said in first seven of the nine day meeting at New Albany there were 77 additions.
Letter reports one married woman immersed at Georgetown, a meeting at South Elkhorn where 14 were added. Also 30 added in a meeting at Republican
Letter to MH appearing on Rogers p.380,1, of an undertaking of JTJ in helping to endow Bacon College, that had moved its campus to Harrodsburg. Suggested that if 1000 people would commit $100 to the cause, it would endow the school. Johnson took a lead in raising the money. Also John Rogers reported to have help to raise $25000 himself. Projected to be completed by the end of 1839.
End of June
Meeting at Caneridge with 4 additions, MH p.469.
At Millersburg — 22 additions.
Meeting at Cave Spring where 48 were baptized. Rogers p.470 MH.; Also another meeting at S. Elkhorn, 3 more additions, w/ at total of 51 baptisms for the triRogers p.
Letter reporting a three week meeting at Mt. Sterling, resulting in 48 additions; Then a Lancaster, Garrard county for 7 days with 40 additions; then Givens meetinghouse in Lincoln, with 13 additions
Letter to A. Campbell, telling that about three weeks previous his eight month old son, bearing his name, took ill and died. He had been on a trip to Cynthiana, and was called back, but too late as the child had died, most grieved.
Letter from JTJ to MH, 1840, Rogers p.30 report on trip to Millersburg and Carlisle. Reported on preaching in the presence of Governor Metcalfe, who was so moved by the preaching left the house weeping; to Flemingsburg 10-12 days with B.F. Hall, 23 converts; Then on to Mayslick and Maysville then home, reporting 42 converts total in three weeks travel.
Letter reporting work around Georgetown, home, for four or five weeks with about 30 to 40 additions.
JTJ reported that for the year of 1839 over 500 additions resulted under his preaching.
Letter to MH, 1840, Rogers p.184,85 — Five week tour with Brother Moss, to Dover, Minerva, Germantown — (80 additions), Augusta (11 additions) with congregation of 20 established with J.M. Holton as elder, Flag Spring in Campbell Cty. With 120 total additions — (Rogers p.159)
MH Rogers p.230 - 10 day trip to Cynthiana, with 15 additions, (Rogers, Rogers p.163)
MH p.277 — Ret. From Antioch w/ Gano & Scott involved. 21 additions. On ret. Stop two days at Union, with 2 more additions
MH p.335 — trip to meeting in Harrodsburg, best he ever attended with 40 converts. He reckoned that the number of disciples in Kentucky would not fall little if any below 30,000. (Rogers p.165)
MH p.422,23 — Ret. From five week trip to South of Green River, as far as Bolling Green and vicinity — 129 additions from the trip, (Rogers, Rogers p.165)
MH p.478 — Cynthiana trip to assist Bro. Gano. Gano had 13 additions before having to leave. In all when he left there 24 in all. Said that since March Cynthiana had enjoyed 100 additions. (Rogers p.166)
MH p.519,20 — Report that he had returned from a meeting at Danville where there were 41 additions. Mtng. In Gerrard Cty, on route to home, had 10 additions.
MH p.514,25 — Had a meeting at Dry Run in Scott County. 20 additions
MH p.565 — Report that they had just closed a meeting in Georgetown, with Gano and Pinkerton, with 25 additions. Had just completed a 12 day outreach at Nicholasville and Providence, with Pinkerton, Scott and JTJ involved, 53 additions "Oh! It was a most joyful event." Said Allen Kendrick was presently involved in a meeting in Lexington, that he was having a great success. Supposed 100-120 had been gained as a result.
MH, 1841, Rogers p.88 - Just finished two week outreach at Paris (11 additions) and Providence (9 additions);
MH, 1841, Rogers p.90 — 10 day meeting at N. Middletown — 23 additions. Dr. A.A. Adams helped. Also bro. Raines was there to help, as he was the regular preacher.
MH, 1841, Rogers p.91 — Trip to Paris, Caneridge area assisting Gano. He preached at Caneridge with help of Bro. Ricketts, Gano at Millersburg. In all there were 39 additions.
April 2 — Friday morning.
MH, 1841, Rogers p.258-60 — Big unity meeting called for the Lexington area churches. All the denominations were invited to be represented. Began on Fri. am, JTJ explained purpose of meeting by saying: "Resolved: That Christ Union is practicable." Dr. Fishback was only rep from denominations. A. Campbell, James Shannon, J.T. Johnson & Rogers p.S. Fall. The meeting adjourned on Monday night with the resolution: "That the Bible, and the Bible alone, is the sufficient foundation on which all Christians may unite, and build together. And, that we most affectionately, invite the religious parties to the investigation of this truth." (Rogers p.172)
MH, 1841, Rogers p.209-212 JTJ has been at Mayslick with J.A.Gano. The dates of the meeting was beg. Feb. 19th. Ricketts is the preacher. They were there 7 days and gained 81 additions to the astonishment of them all. Gano
MH p.333 — Just returned from Cynthiana and Falmouth. 13 converts.
MH p.288 — JTJ and Bro. Holton had a meeting at Colmansvile, Ky., 19 immersions. Then, while on a visit to Madison Cty., immersed 8.
MH p.439 — Taken two excursions. 1st with Bro. Shannon, 5 additions, then with A. Kendrick and R. Rice 4 days and gained 17 additions, 16 of them at Somerset, where John Smith labored, and one at Flat Rock on the return home.
MH p.521, Bro. Joel Ellis from Hartford, Ohio wrote of a visit of JTJ and G.W. Elly, to his community in the last days of July — 33 additions.
MH, 1842, Rogers p.141, Report that during 1841 there were 100 people added to the church at Cool Spring in Green River Country by labors of G.W. Elly, A. Kendrick and JTJ.
MH, 1842, Rogers p.40, JTJ writes of just reaching home after 19 day trip to Harrodsburg, with help of A. Kendrick. 20 additions, 5 of which were students of Bacon College. Reports that 20 of the students at Bacon are members of the church and 5 are in the preparatory department of the college. Then to Louisville, with Bro. Hall, and in a place 6 miles east preaching. 28 additions, making 48 in less than 3 weeks.
3 congregations sustain JTJ, Dry Run, Hebron and Georgetown.
Meeting at Turkey Foot (Scott's County) meeting until Lord's day following 17 member added.
MH p.142, Ret. From a trip to Mayslick and Minerva, laboring 19 days. Gano with him at Mayslick, and gained 24 additions, then Minerva 7 days gained 8 additions, in all 32 additions. Since Jan.1st he had seen 71 additions.
MH p.186, Just closed a 10 day meeting at New Castle, 48 additions, J.W. Morton and J.W. Roberts with him. To date 120 additions since Jan. 1 (Rogers p.183).
MH p.237, Last 14 days at Shelbyville — 7 days w/ 5 additions, Mount Eden — 3 days, and near New Town 3 days in this county with Gano — 9 additions, 40 miles in all.
MH p.237, Just returned from Jeffersonville, opposite the city of Louisville, accompanied by R.C. Rice. 50 additions. In a meeting at Grassy Spring, Woodford Cty., 2 additions
MH p.274, In a meeting at Lawrenceburg, Ky, accompanied by R.C. Rice. He had a pain in his teeth that caused him to have to leave early. By his departure their were 13 additions. Rice stayed until Saturday and gained 17 more. — 30 in all. Said, "I rejoice that we have such young evangelists engaged in the cause, as R.C. Rice, A. Kendrick and C. Kendrick. Their labors have been greatly blessed."
MH p.323, 4th Lord's day in May at Lexington, at Macedonia 1 day — 2 additions, returned home then to State annual meeting on Thursday, by Following Wed. had 26 additions.
MH p.478,9, An 8 week trip south with R.C. Rice. Went to Hopkinsville, over to Red River area, down into Tennessee to Gallatin and Hopewell, Dripping Springs and Salem. 238 additions
MH p.527, Meeting at Providence where L.L. Pinkerton and William Morton worked together in a meeting. 6 Day meeting, 33 additions. JTJ signed the letter to Campbell, "John T. Johnson, Evangelist" Rogers comments that this was the first time he referred to himself as "evangelist," as a title. He said that once a brother of eminence among us said to him, Rogers, that JTJ may be styled emphatically, "The Evangelist of the Reformation."
MH p.562, A trip 21 miles from Georgetown where 18 additions were made. Brother Latimer was preaching, that 14 additions were made.
MH p.562, A trip of 21 days to Madison, Indiana, Mt. Byrd, Ghent, Warsaw & Liberty, Ky., 14 additions.
JTJ reported 582 additions for the year of 1842.
MH. Rogers p.142, JTJ and John Smith 11 day tour to Sharpsburg and Owingsville, 28 additions
MH p.142 JTJ to Flemingsburg — 51 additions
MH p.190, 10 days at Maysville at home of Bro. Ricketts — 10 additions; 4 days at Mayslick — 3 additions; 40 additions in all.
Letter to J.A. Gano, planning a trip to depart on the 17th of April for St. Louis
Left for trip to Missouri with John Smith. 35 accessions within 3 Lord's Days. Went from St. Louis to Palmyra. Met J. Creath, Jr., there 6 days with 12 accessions to the church. To Hannibal, 8 days with 10 additions
MH p.377, Made trip 110 to Barbourville in Knox Co., relatively new work, w/ Judge Ballinger. He was converted there. Says there is a fine congregation of 45 there.
MH p.428, Made a 12 day trip to New Castle, Point Pleasant, Harrodsburg, Campbellsville, Bethany & Clear Creek Academy. 12 additions to the cause.
MH p.474, Just returned from 15 trip to Bath Co., KY, Owingsville (no conversions) & White Oak (24 additions),
MH p.526, 12 day trip to Garrard County, Antioch (Annual meeting took place w/25 additions), and Lancaster (9 additions), 34 total for tour.
MH, appears in Christian Journal, 10 days in Covington, KY, with J.N. Payne, no totals -
Rogers p.205, said he recalled back to winter of 1819,20 when he went to school in Georgetown, to the venerable, B.W. Stone.
During 18 days debate with N.L. Rice and A.Campbell the preachers met in the afternoons for edification. During one of the sessions, JTJ reads a treatise he had written on supporting evangelism. Rogers p.207-212, (also appeared in the 1843 Christian Journal, Rogers p.250-53). JTJ sets a proposed standard for congregational giving. It is passed by those in attendance.
Christian Journal, 1844, Rogers p.395, Letter to Bro. Ferguson, preaching tour to Jefferson County. L.L. Pinkerton in attendance, 3 weeks at Middletown (34 add. 4 or 5 by letter), Goose Creek, Bear Grass, and Newburg (9 add.)
MH p.178, Letter to churches of Christ in Scott County, Labored in Paris 10 or 12 days, 3 additions. To Caneridge 3 days. 21 additions in all
MH p.287 Letter to churches in Scott Cty. Just returned from a tour of 5 weeks, 10 days Brunerstown, 8 souls; to Mt. Washington. R.C. Rice joined him there — 12 days, 7 souls added; to Bedford in Trimble Co., Rice was already there. Labored 10 days w/ 10 additions;
Christians Journal — Rogers p.210; - Need to go to Harrodsburg for next meeting. Need for endowing the school
Encourages that in the cooperative efforts they may determine the destiny of millions.
MH p.334, Last 2 weeks he had been in Henry and Shelby Counties with R.C. Rice. Est. a new congregation about 40 members about 6 miles SW of New Castle, gained 5 valuable additions. Then six days Shelbyville, Clay Village at the schoolhouse with Dr. Thurstons.
MH p. 381,2 — Just finished tour of 5 ½ weeks with J.N. Payne in Woodford County, Travelled upward of 500 miles, not by cars or by stage, but by horseback. Attended Harrodsburg meeting the last of May; Stays about 5 days — 13 added before leaving. After he left it continued a few more days w/ a total of 36 additions. Several students of the college were added. He and Payne arrived at Barbourville on Friday, then preached through Tuesday and had 6 additions. Returned through Monticello and Somerset on Wed. morning. During travel toward Athens, Tennessee, his horse became lame and unable to proceed. Bro. Ballinger loaned him a "fine riding animal." Arrives at Athen to work with Bro. Samuel, who operates an academy, Labored in Athens, 8 days including the 2nd & 3rd Lord's Days in June. Had 13 additions, one of whom was a Baptist preacher. He organized a church of 22 members. The following Monday morning early he preached, baptized 3 more people and got on his way home. Reached Barbourville on Thursday evening. Then to Manchester, held meeting on Lord's Day, added 2, one of which was the wife of Col. Garrard. Went to London, to Tuesday at Mr. Pearls, and baptized the 67 year old man. Went to Harrodsburg, and heard Shannon and Dr. Fishback preach at graduation.
Christian Journal Rogers p.321, 4 day trip with Thomas Smith at Republican, 5 mi. south of Lexington. Gained 14 additions; All together 39
MH. Rogers p.478,9 — To churches in Scott; Past 12 day in Henry and Oldham Counties with R.C. Rice, spent several days at Port Royal, to West Port 7 add. Then 4 days at Republican for annual meeting, with a number of preaching brethren in attendance. 6 additions;
To J.A. Gano — JTJ writes of receiving intelligence of the death of Brother Stone at his daughter's in Hannibal, Missouri. "A mighty man— a good man— one of the true-hearted and valiant soldiers of the cross, has Fallen."
M.H. Rogers p. 140 — From Maysville, Ky, said he had had 4 confessions the night before, making 13 from the 1st. Embraced two Lord's Days, Leaving the 16th. He says he is 57 years old. (Rogers p.223)
Left For trip to Little Rock, Arkansas. Arrived the last day of Jan. Started the meeting on Sat. night until the 26 of February, total of 26 days in L.R. 90 additions even with much opposition. Ricketts remained a few more days and gained 5 more. 95 total. JTJ's brother Judge Johnson and family were converted. Then left for Princeton, Miss. where wife and children were visiting with his son-in-law. Stayed a few days, then to New Orleans. There a few days preaching, no additions. Reached home. This was reported to the M.H. Rogers p.274,75 in a letter he wrote on May 1 from Georgetown. Trip costed $124.00. In a subsequent article to the Christian Journal, (editors Ayers and Raines), that he proposed a united program where churches give to the needs of evangelism, (some of the early writing to promote a missionary society.)
Christian Journal, to churches of Kentucky, proposing a practical way for churches to fund local work, evangelistic work and college work. Uses as proof of good that can come of it as the 95 that were added at Little Rock. Said while he was at New Orleans he had made the statement that no church had given him one cent since the previous October. One brother called him on it saying he understood that Georgetown was paying him $800 per year. JTJ responded that they (Georgetown) had been good to support him in the past, but that they were building a church building, and that he was receiving nothing for his labors. (Rogers p.231,232)
Christian Journal, in a letter to Brother Ayers, He wrote that after returned from Little Rock, he was involved in a cooperative work at Midway for about 3 months, 93 additions, delivered 78 discourses, besides exhortations, devotionals, conversational exercises.
Christian Journal, writes that the completed a 13 day tour of Mt. Gilead (7days-3 additions & 5 by letter) and Bethany (17 additions and 2 by letter) near Nicholasville
Christian Journal Sept. 20 edition, wrote to Bro. Ayers, spoke of Brother Willington and the elders at Grassy Springs, of Woodford County, commenced a meeting at Gleens Creek Republican Meetinghouse on the 6th. A. Kendrick was with him, 2 added; Monday, preached 3 times with 6 more add.; Tuesday preached 3 times and gained 9; making 17. R.C. Rice joined him. They continued the meeting up until Saturday. Gained 60 "noble choiced spirits."
Letter in Nov. Christian Journal, Just closed a meeting at Dry Run, about 4 miles from Georgetown, 4 additions;
Rogers p. 514,15 Christian Journal, 1845 — To the beloved Brother Kendrick. JTJ said he was 57 years of age, and labored more that year than any year preceding. Speaks highly of A. Campbell, (Rogers p.236d). Said that since the 95 in Little Rock that several hundred had been added through the year under his preaching in Kentucky.
From Frankfort to Christian Journal, speaks highly of J. Henshall who had come through. Spoke of how some were still speaking about the great Lexington Debate with A.C. and N.L. Rice. Again speaks highly of Alexander Campbell. (Rogers p.241).
From Anderson Co., he and R.C. Rice had ministered to seven churches in Scott, Henry & Shelby Counties: Grassy Springs, Midway, New Union, Georgetown, Shelbyville, Macedonia & New Castle. (At Blue Lick the 3rd-11th with James Henry Rice & John R. Hulett, Walter Scott,
From Shelby Co., to Christian Journal, Continued from the end of Blue Lick mtng. To the 14th, had 13 additions
From Georgetown, to C. Kendrick, Christian Journal, of the intention of having the state meeting at Georgetown beginning the 4th Lord's Day in May
To the Christian Journal he wrote that in less than 18 years there were not less than 200,000 in the brotherhood. - (Rogers p.244)
Early April, began trip to Virginia to labor
State Meeting at Georgetown, but Johnson not present. He was in Virginia evangelizing.
MH p.300, A.Campbell wrote about JTJ's trip to VA. Labored in E. Virginia, and spoke of his intention of going through Pittsburgh and Bethany
MH p.358, Letter from Bro. McChesney to A.C., reported that 36 additions had been made in Richmond — said JTJ was to remain at Old Dominion 6 weeks yet.
Letter to Pendleton, MH, 418,19 — 42 additions at York, 26 at Antioch & Bowling Green, in Caroline; 2 additions at Louisa Cnty; With the work of all involved the number of additions in Virginia during the trip was 117.
Joel Johnson, younger brother of JTJ died in Lexington, Ky. JTJ discovers it when returning from his tour to Virginia. MH, 1846, p.479 - Also he makes corrections on previous report saying there were 42 additions at Richmond, 16 at Hanover, and 28 or 30 at York, at Caroline 26, - 148 additions total.
MH, p.477, JTJ reported as being in Bethany. = Preached at Wellsburg while there. 1 addition. A.C. reported, "The great secret of brother Johnson's great success, is his evident sincerity, honesty, and great earnestness— gifts of transcendent value— superadded to good sense, and a clear perception of the gospel facts, arguments, precepts, and promises, and a plain, clear, and emphatic expression, of them, in a familiar and intelligible style." (Rogers p.256)
Returned home after about 3 months absence
Letter to MH, saying he had returned home; and was shocked to hear of the death of his brother, Joel Johnson, upon his return. Said Joel had become a Christian in March, 1831 — Makes corrections on trip totals as being a total of 148
Letter to C. Kendrick, of labors in Cynthiana with J.A. Gano, labored 5 days with 13 additions. Annual mtng.
Letter to C. Kendrick, Annual mtng. At Caneridge had just ended. Josh. Irwin, B.F. Hall, John Rogers, J.A. Gano, 34 additions. $67 raised to help Bro. McChesney go to West Indies to hopefully get better from sickness. Later dies. At Midway a few days, 34 additions.
Letter to C. Kendrick, 11 days meeting at Georgetown with 22 additions
Letter concluded a meeting at Leesburg, with J.A. Gano, 15 additions
Letter to C. Kendrick, JTJ, JA Gano & John Smith together finished a meeting at Old Union in Bourbon Cty., 5 days, 5 additions. Intended to start meeting on 16th at Mt. Sterling.
Letter to T.C. Kelly, Spoke of Meeting at Mt. Sterling, 52 additions up to last night.
Meeting in Covington, Arthur Crihfield was in Covington, editing the Christian Journal, as the successor of Carroll Kendrick. — He reported on the progress of the meeting in the pages of the Christian Journal. (Later Arthur Crihfield had left for the Roman Church. Rogers calls it that "silly movement." Then says, "Poor Arthur!"
Letter to Crihfield, Just returned home, had 9 additions at Lexington. = 31 all together.
To Crihfield, CJ, six additions at Georgetown with preaching of J.A. Gano
To Crihfield from Louisville, just finished a meeting at Louisville with assistance of A. Kendrick and Begg. At the first Church of Christ in the city, 9 additions, eight of which were baptized. Five of those were from the institute of the blind. 4 more additions w/A. Kendrick from the second church during that time.
Holds a meeting at Versailles, C.J. Smith is preacher, J.N. Payne & Enos Campbell resided there, 10 day meeting, 12 additions, Expects to accompany Bro. Morton to Alabama during the Spring. On Rogers p.270 Rogers says we don't know if JTJ made that trip, but says there was a 3 month gap where there appears to be no account of him.
Beginning of month JTJ is in Covington, Kentucky with S.J. Pinkerton, 4 additions
Letter to A. Crihfield, successful meetings in Elizabethtown, Boston, Bridgeport, Turkey Foot, in August, - 19 additions
Meeting at New Union — Co-laborers were Samuel J. Pinkerton and Church, 15 additions
Meeting at S. Elkhorn with Jacob Creath, sen., William Morton & Church - 31 additions
Meeting at New Castle — 3 additions, S.J. Pinkerton was there
From Van Buren, ARK, to A. Campbell, J.T.J. is in his 60th year, in a trip 1500 miles away from home in Arkansas, Organizes a church at Fayetteville of 50 members, Brother Robert Graham with him there, organizes a church at Oakland with 40 members, to Little Rock, 7 or 8 additions, Van Buren 1 week, 12 additions; Rogers Rogers p.276
From Georgetown, a letter to Bro. Kendrick. Just finished meeting in Bourbon Cty., at Parker's Stand and Caneridge. Trip to Midway to Female Orphan School, Elder Samuel Rogers is with him at that meeting. Talks about S. Roger's financial situation. (Rogers p.279)
Letter to E. Reformer, to C. Kendrick about a completed meeting at Grassy Springs, Woodford County, Jacob Creath, Sr. there. Dr. B.F. Hall there; Dr. C.J. Smith there; S.J. Pinkerton there — 12 additions. (Rogers 282-284 gives a good bio on Jacob Creath, Sr.)
A cooperation meeting at S. Elkhorn.
Letter to E. Reformer, C. Kendrick, at Flat Rock, Bourbon Cty., 7 additions.
From Baton Rouge - Letter to MH, Feb. 1849, Rogers p.120, with J.A. Dearborn, Bethany Graduate, they had 38 additions to the cause. He was there for a month, and wrote of his intention of staying in the south for the winter working among the churches.
To A. Campbell — Had been preaching in the area of Baton Rouge, LA. Had 67 accessions to the cause. On Rogers p.287 Rogers
From Midway, Ky to A.C. — just finished 10 day meeting at Midway. 38 additions — Pinkerton doing a good job. Reported that the building is nearly finished to start Midway College. States that he was going to act as agent to raise money to endow the school. — Suggests that 50 congregations in the area could give $1000 each to do the job.
Sophie Johnson dies of Typhus Fever after a 26 day illness in the 53rd year of he age. Rogers p.295 — (On bottom of Rogers p.298 writes a letter to his children — Powerful!) Her last words were, "Farewell my dear husband. The Lord will take care of you."
Wrote to A.C. about Sophie's life. Appears on MH, 1949, Rogers p.599. Said she had given birth to 10 children — 5 sons, 5 daughters, 4 dying in infancy, a little girl and three little boys. They had been married 38 years.
Attends local annual meeting. 23 additions with the help of brothers Gano and Dearborn
Labors at Campbellsville, Clear Creek, Grassy Springs and Macedonia with cooRogers p. of various preachers — 36 additions
Parts of these months spent at Covington, 6 additions, $400 or $500 to the Midway College; At Maysville with R.C. Rice, had 7 additions — raised offering to Midway to $700;
Labored in Millersburg w J.G. Tompkins and J.I. Rogers — 8 additions
A.Campbell was in Georgetown with JTJ.
JTJ in Memphis according to letter from B.F. Hall to A. Campbell that appeared in MH. — Said 16 were added
Letter to JTJ's daughter, Mrs. Flournoy — That he intended to go south to Little Rock. Had been preaching every night for two churches with 13 additions.
JTJ is on a steamer, The "Mohawk" bound for Baton Rouge to his daughter. In letter he is overwhelmed with loss of his wife. Says he's staying busy with life, but his home is now in heaven, "where she is whom I loved, as life itself." Spends a lot of time along onboard, "My moments of deep feeling are to myself, how freely do the tears flow!" Rogers p.303
Letter to A.C. — Said he had a meeting in Louisville with both congregations — 13 additions in all; Subscriptions for endowing Midway had amounted to $1200. A Bro. Crawford is traveling with him.
Letter to A.C. — onboard the "Peytonia" — Says that since departing his company in January, he had enjoyed good health. Reports on 13 additions at Louisville; At Baton Rouge one month — the legislature was in session and it was opportune. B.F. Hall was with him — 18 additions, making about 120 strong in Baton Rouge. Planning to stop 2 days in Princeton to visit children then to Little Rock, Arkansas
Letter to A.C. — from Fayette, Mississippi — JTJ reports he'd been there for last three weeks. Reported on successes at Jackson (with Bro. Clark as host — this would be General William Clark), then to Brandon and Raymond (6 additions) before coming to Fayette. Said he had 20 additions at Memphis
Letter to Daughter — Said he had completed his mission to the south — Returned to KY in early May = attended annual meeting at Lexington
Letter to A. Campbell saying he'd just finished a 6 week tour adding 42 in the congregations at New Castle, Campbellsburg and Bloomfield. Assisted by different brethren.
Letter to A. Campbell from Bear Grass, KY, Had meeting at Jepthah in Shelby County. Assisted by B.F. Hall & John R. Hulett & R.C. Rice — 23 additions
JTJ at Carrollton, KY — In a letter from there from C.B. Tharp to A. Campbell is a report that says, "A few weeks ago we were favored with a visit from our good brother Johnson, who spent some days with us; and, while he was laboring with us, we had thirteen additions to the churches at Carrollton and Ghent. Brother Johnson, although sixty-two years of age, appears, in his preaching, to possess the vigor of thirty. He often preaches twice a day, for weeks, without the least apparent exhaustion, or without growing hoarse, although he speaks with great earnestness. Indeed, he is a remarkable man. 'His eyes are not dim,' nor does his natural 'force seem to be abated.' His praise is in all the churches." Rogers p.306
Report In Millennial Harbinger, December, 1851 edition, Rogers p.713 on work of JTJ had done for the year of 1851. JTJ says, "Of the last twelve months, half my time has been spent in the South, and the remainder in Kentucky. I had many pleasant meetings in conjunction with other evangelists, and formed many friendships, which are a source of great gratification. The result has been upwards of 100 additions in the South, and about 150 in Kentucky—making, in all about 250. The Lord be praised for all his goodness! Including the sum pledged at Mt. Sterling, I have obtained subscriptions amounting to about $3000, in Kentucky, for the Female Orphan school at Midway. Of this sum, between $400 and $500 have bean collected and paid to the Treasurer."
Letter from brother Henshall to A. Campbell says he went to Georgetown to meet Bro. Gano. On arrival he found JTJ. Continued meeting for 10 days. Hard weather of winter. Good attendance — 20 additions.
Letter from Elizaville, Kentucky, a report to A.C. that he had gone to Minerva & Dover at the end of 1851— 18 accessions
Report to A.C. from Poplar Plains, Ky. - Opens year at Fleming County with Samuel Rogers as co-laborer — During January w help of John I. Rogers, working at Flemingsburg — 20 additions, Mill Creek — 12 additions; & Elizaville, — 19 additions; 24 additions at Poplar Plains — During the month of January he said he had spoken 50 times, not counting exhortations, singings, etc.
Report To A.C. from Maysville — Speaks of successes at Beasley and Lawrence Creek — 10 accessions —
JTJ reports in a letter to A.C. that from February 29 — March 10 he commences meeting with S. Rogers at Flat Rock, Bourbon County. Cane Ridge brethren helping — 84 added: 5 restored; 8 or 9 by letter; 65 immersions. Rogers reports that JTJ did most of the preaching, while he and his brother Samuel did most of the exhorting, singing and praying. Rogers p.311
Goes to Mayslick — Writes a letter to Bro. Gano to attend. Says he's labored so hard for the last three months that he needs relief.
Letter to his daughter. Said he had enjoyed good health for last three months, except one day. Spoke about every day, often twice a day. Received over 200 additions.
Letter to MH, reports about the meeting at Versailles, Gano assisted in the meeting — 37 additions
James Henshall, in writing in a letter to the MH in September, speaks of a trip to Georgetown in May to assist JTJ. There were 32 additions
From Lancaster, Ky, JTJ writes a letter to A.C. that appeared in the MH of that year on pages 468,469, a most charitable letter of encouragement both to A.C. and Jesse B. Ferguson under the title, "The Last Letter On The Spirits In Prison." A.C. had just exposed the errors of Jesse B. Ferguson on his promotion of Spiritualism, and JTJ encourages Ferguson to repent. Most charitable! See also, Rogers p.315ff
Issue of the MH reports of 3 months labor by JTJ. 28 additions at Union; 3 at Richmond, Madison County; 1 additions at Rush Branch; 6 at Givens'; 6 at Crab Orchard; 21 at McCormick's; 19 at Houstonville; 117 at Milledgeville, Lincoln county; 10 at Lawrenceburg, Henderson county; 43 at Sommerset in Pulaski county; 47 at Monticello in Wayne county; and 6 additions at South Elkhorn — totaling 307, a hundred per month. He writes: "What a triumph!" Rogers p.323 = For the year not less than 500 additions.
Lawrence Creek & Germantown with 44 additions. Rogers p.324
A letter to JTJ's daughter. Says he's in going to Dover, Washington, & Maysville in the next few weeks. Traveling with W.C. Rogers & E.Y. Pinkerton.
L.L. Pinkerton reports that JTJ stated while in a meeting at Midway, "'I have been at a protracted meeting for the last three years, and during the last three weeks, I have spoken twenty-seven discourses.' In illustration of his devotion to the work to which, for twenty-three years, he has given his entire time, it will be sufficient to state, that during the unparalleled winter of '51-2, he continued preaching night and day, in the villages of Mason and Fleming counties, Ky." Rogers p.328, Also appeared in MH, Sept. 1853.
In a letter from JTJ from Ruddell's Mills to John Gano — Mentions — had five additions. Planned to go to Indian Creek
End of September
State Meeting at Harrodsburg, reported that JTJ had worked in the western district w/ R.C. Rice, resulting in 47 additions; also that in the same area, subsequent work on JTJ's part brought another 100 additions. — late in the fall.
Spends winter of 1853 and Spring of 1854 in the south.
Report, MH, 1854, says that W.C. Ford of Hickman, reported and addition of 20 under the preaching of JTJ
MH, June issue, records a letter from JTJ, from Jackson, La. From JTJ. Had spent 4 or 5 weeks there with William Baxter and Dr. D.L Phares of Newtonia. Spent time in Woodville, Miss. with 20 additions; went to Newtonia and Consolation for 15 days with 23 additions. Not good results at Jackson. He comments on the great need in Jackson, "All that is wanting to build up the cause in this place is a faithful, fearless and affectionate presentation of the truth, by some one who is able to do justice to it, and who will never faint by the way. The more I see of sectarianism—its utter hollow-heartedness—its wretched skeleton appearance—its cadaverous countenance—its tomahawk and scalping-knife spirit—I am more and more disgusted. Yet a false charity can cover it up, and console its patrons with the panacea they are doing a wonderful work for the Lord." Rogers p.334
Letter from Stanford, to daughter saying he completed a meeting at Hillsborough with 61 additions. "In ten weeks I have spoken upward of 100 times, with 215 additions to the cause." — Rogers p.339.
Fall & Early Winter
According to reports in the MH in March/April, 1855, JTJ spends a great deal of time in the Green River country
From Hopkinsville, appearing in the Feb. 1855 issue of MH, says that JTJ was in a District Cooperation Meeting with 23 additions
From Macedonia, had been with brethren Day and Mulkey with 9 additions; Hopkinsville — 22 additions; Harmony Grove, 5 additions; Eurgesia — 4 additions; and Clarkesville — 12 additions;
From Russelville, report to MH, March, 1855, says John N. Mulkey was involved with him at Russelville, and had 9 additions; - Said congregation had 75 members, and were planning to erect a house of worshiRogers p.
JTJ reports to MH — preached the last 8 weeks at Cadiz, Concord, Lebanon, Lafayette & Lebanon — preached over 100 times, besides exhortations and singing. Baptized over 250
Attended a meeting of the Bible Revision Association at St. Louis.
JTJ reports to MH — speaks of work with Pinkerton, Ricketts. Worked 10 days and had 20 additions.
JTJ reports to MH from Lexington, visited Ruddels Mill with R.C. Ricketts, J.I. Rogers. He had a bad cold there and Brother Ricketts preached. Had a total of 60 accessions
Spends the month working in Madison County
At meeting in Winchester, Ky, resulting in 62 baptisms.
For the year of 1855 JTJ had over 300 baptisms for the year
Successful meeting at Mayslick. Bro. Henshall was the minister there at the time. Reported in May issue of MH. During meeting 48 persons were added.
JTJ reports to Benjamin Franklin in the American Christian Review on the general work in Kentucky, Bacon College, Midway College, etc.
JTJ reports to Franklin about a meeting he had just finished at Leesburg. Assisted by Bro. Gano. 8 additions. Also mentions that before this meeting that he had a meeting in Nicholasville with Elder R.C. Rice, reporting 4 additions.
MH has a report of JTJ's work of about 4 months in the Green River country. The letter was written in August 14th from Woodville. Lists a number of towns on Rogers p.360 in Rogers book. Worked some with brothers Mulkey and Larue. Over 100 additions on the tour. On Rogers p.361 Rogers reports on a man who was withdrawn from by the church, and the process that brought them to doing it.
Writes letter to Benjamin Franklin reporting on works around Fayette, Missouri. Rogers p.377,378
Around same time
Writes his daughter telling of his work the year of representing the state board of missions and determination to do so the following year, Rogers p.378.
Goes to Lexington, Mo, surprises brethren where Allen Wright preached. Wright was ready to preach, but gives over to Johnson — there 3 weeks, 24 additions, Rogers, p.379
Preaches his last sermon in Lexington, Mo
Felt a severe pain in his left side. Was put to bed, never to rise.
Thursday, 6:15 pm, breathes his last breath after ten days in bed. His remains were temporarily interred in Lexington, MO until finally being removed to Lexington, KY where a brief funeral was held in the Christian church there with R.C. Ricketts presiding, and then he was buried in Lexington Cemetery next to his wife Sophie who had preceded him in death seven years.
John Rogers writes the preface for the book, Biography of John T. Johnson
Gospel Advocate, Nashville, Tennessee, reprints the Biography of John T. Johnson by John Rogers
Key: MH = Millennial Harbinger
Page #'s or Rogers = Biography of John T. Johnson by John Rogers
Directions To Grave: Lexington Cemetery is one of the most beautiful old cemeteries in America. It is located on West Main Street heading away from downtown Lexington toward Leestown Pike. Turn right into the main entrance past the office. Once inside the gates take the second turn to the left that leads up to the front of the Clay Monument. Then turn left onto West Main Avenue. Follow the road on around past Section "D & H" On the left is Section "I." When you reach the end of Section "I" the graves will be the last on the corner. Just across from "Raccoon" John Smith
or D.Min.M N38º 03.494' x WO 84º 30.648'
or D.d. 38.058231,-84.510826
27 Ft. Accuracy
Grave Faces Northwest
Section I, Lot 45
JOHN T. JOHNSON
Dec. 18, 1856
Aged 69 Years
After 25 Years
Devoted Service To His
Savior's Cause, His Whole
Life Was Truly A Labour
Of Love. And His Works Do
Follow Him. Long Well He
Lives In The Hearts Of
Those For Whom He
Laboured. Thanks Be To
God Who Giveth Us The
Victory Through Our
Lord Jesus Christ.
Married, Oct. 13, 1811;
Died, Aug. 23, 1849
"She Left To The World A Strong
Example Of Christian Piety,
Fortitude And Resignation.
May We All Profit By It."
Buried At Lexington, Kentucky
Special Thanks: In May, 2011 C. Wayne Kilpatrick, Tom L. Childers and your web editor traveled through south and central Kentucky locating graves of Gospel Preachers of yesteryear. The photos on this page were taken on this trip. Thanks to all for their contributions.