History of the Restoration Movement

Jonathan Mulkey


Long-time Baptist Minister & Father To Two Great Evangelists: Philip and John Mulkey of Tompkinsville, Kentucky and grandson, John Newton Mulkey

Buried At Gray, Tennessee

In June, 2001 Daryl and Cookie Smith, friends and members at FC/C, went to visit some family in Elizabethton, Tennessee. While there, I sent them on a fact finding mission to find the grave of Jonathan Mulkey. Having never been there myself, they had only a name and a the town of Gray. Their return brought some things far greater than my expectations. Not only did they find the grave of the father of John Mulkey, but they took the wonderful pictures below, and wrote down excellent directions to find the original old Buffalo Ridge Baptist church location where Mulkey is buried, as well as the later location of the Buffalo Church in the town of Gray, that now is used as a funeral home. Special thanks to them for making these available.

Though not personally involved in the Restoration Movement, during the last couple of years of his life (died in 1826), he saw the effects of the movement change the size of his Buffalo Ridge congregation. Between 1824 and 1829 Buffalo Ridge Baptist went from a membership of 174 to 23, due largely to the influence of the ";Stoneites."; Nearby Baptist churches suffered as well: Sinking Creek Baptist dropped from 158 to 65 members (1824,25); Cherokee Creek Baptist dropped from 82 to 50 members (1824-1829). So, the Restoration Movement was highly influential in the area.

Excerpt From History Of Washington County, Tennessee

Jonathan Mulkey was a preacher in the tradition of Paul, going from small settlement to small settlement in the wilds of Eastern Tennessee country to found small congregations of Baptists.

Jonathan Mulkey was born in Halifax County, North Carolina, a son of Philip and Ann (Ellis) Mulkey. Philip Mulkey (May 14, 1732 - c1801) was among the Baptists in South Carolina led by rev. Morgan Edwards. Philip was a grandson of Eric Pallson Mulca and wife, Ingebord Helm. Eric Pallson Mulca or Mulkey accompanied Colonel John Printz, third Governor of New Sweden (Wilmington, Delaware, to the ocean) to the New World. Ann Ellis, mother of rev. Jonathan Mulkey was the daughter of Lt. Colonel Robert Ellis of Wilmington District, North Carolina.

Jonathan Mulkey married first, Nancy, a daughter of Obediah Howard by his wife, Priscilla Avery Breed. The children of Jonathan and his first wife were: Elizabeth, married John Murray; Nancy married ______ Billingsley; Mary married _______ Means; Philip, born 1775, married Ruth O'del/Odell; Isaac, preacher of Washington County, Tennessee; Rebecca married William Slaughter; Sally married ______ Bayless; and John Mulkey, born Fair Forest, South Carolina, 14 January, 1773.

The Rev. Jonathan Mulkey began preaching in South Carolina, and in 1780, he, William Reneau, and others from Carolina and Virginia migrated to East tennessee and organized a church on Boones Creek, subsequently known as Buffalo Ridge.

J.G.M. Ramsey, Annals Of Tennessee, page 144, stated: ";The westernmost settlement, late in the fall of this year, (1776) wa in Carter's Valley. Mr. Kincaid, Mr. Long, Mr. Love and Mr. Mulkey, a Baptist preacher, were the pioneers . . . .

On or about March 3, 1818, in Washington County, Jonathan Mulkey married, as his second wife, Anna Lacey.";

Directions To Jonathan Mulkey's Grave

In East Tennessee take Exit 42 off I-81 going East toward Gray. Go to the 1st traffic light and turn right on Old Gray Sta. Rd. Go 7/10 of a mile and take a right onto Hales Chapel Rd. Go 1.6 miles (7/10 mile past Hales Chapel Christian Church on left) & take a right onto Holly Lane. Then immediately turn right on Freeman Lane. Buffalo Ridge Cemetery is on the right on top of hill just before Freeman Lane dead ends, 2/10 mi. Mulkey's grave is next to the 2nd large tree on the right.

GPS Location
36°23'21.4";N 82°27'53.6";W
36.389282, -82.464876

Monument Of
1762 - 1826
First Baptist Preacher In Tennessee

Restored By
Tennessee Baptist Historical Society
Central W.M.U. Johnson City, TN.
October 26, 1938

Source: Find-A-Grave

In Memory Of
Jonathan Mulkey, Sen.
was born
October 16, 1752 and
Departed This Life
September 5, A.D. 1826
After Having Been A
Preacher Of The Gospel,
Than Fifty Years.
Of The Baptist Order

Here Stood
Buffalo Ridge Church
First Baptist Church In Tenn
Pastors: Tidence Lane - Organizer
Jonathan Mulkey

Baptist Historical Society B.E. Tenn
W.M.U. Golden Jubilee Memorial 1938

Directions To The Second Buffalo Ridge Church

From the cemetery where Mulkey is buried come back out to Old Gray Sta. Rd. and go back to the intersection you turned onto Old Gray Sta. Rd. in the first place. Continue straight on Old Gray Sta. Rd. and go 4/10 mile and take a left onto Gray Sta. Rd. Then take 1st right on Chapel St. Then Gray Funeral Home will be on the right on the far corner of Chapel St. & Oak St. The funeral is the second location for the old Buffalo Church.

See John Mulkey's Site (Jonathan's Son)

See John Newton Mulkey's Site (Jonathan's Grandson)

See Mulkey Meetinghouse, Tompkinsville, KY

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