After a group from the church attended the famous 1801 Cane Ridge revival near Paris, some of the members began believing as Barton Stone, pastor of Cane Ridge. He believed in open communion in which all denominations participate; baptism by immersion only; and was against infant baptism. He also thought his followers should be known as Christians. This caused a disagreement among members.
In 1807, "A General History of the Baptist Denomination in America" lists McCormack Church with 101 members and Jeremiah Vardman as pastor.
By 1819, McCormack Church had outgrown its log building and plans were drawn for a larger brick building which continues to be used today. The newer brick structure is located on the same ground as the old church.
An agreement between William Chestain, bricklayer, and Charles Carter, Richard Hocker and George Helm states: "It is agreed to pay Mr. Chestain six-hundred dollars for laying the bricks." However, on Aug. 14, 1820, Chestain signed a document stating: "Pay to the order of Phinehas G. Rice Co. one hundred thirty nine dollars and 63 1?2 cents which shall be considered as so much for my services in the building of the above meeting house."
The congregation decided the church was free to all denominations for worship.
Bricks from the site were used to build the two-brick thick walls. Members of the congregation and their servants did all the work with the exception of placing the brick.
A gallery at each end of the church provided a place for servants to worship.
By 1829, two congregations were meeting at McCormack's Church as the result of the Cane Ridge meeting and the beliefs of Barton Stone and Alexander Campbell and his father, Thomas, who had the same beliefs as Stone. One used the old church and the other used the new brick structure.
An entry made Oct. 24, 1829, in the church records states, "Terms which the two churches at McCormack's formerly known as United and Separate Baptists agree to consolidate. Those agreeing to unite and live as a church of Christ, to be governed by the laws, rules and regulations of the Lord Jesus Christ as written in the New Testament, are: Nathan Waters, George Helm, Phillip Hocker, James Montgomery, Moses Helm, Merdith Yowell and Robert Smith.
Records from Campbell's "Millennial Harbinger" show that in 1842, the church added 96 members in seven days. Six years later, "The Christian Register" shows the membership at McCormack's Church as 202 members and listed member J. Warren as a prominent man.
In November 1852, the church got 21 additions.
The church continues to have services each Sunday. The building has seen several changes. Kerosene lamps are gone. Balconies have been removed. Modern heating and air conditioning have been added and the old oak pews have been padded. Entrance doors were moved to a different location at the side of the church.
The church continues to be a New Testament Church and members are known as Christians. It's open to all who chose to worship.
Men and women are allowed to sit on the same pew and guards are no longer posted to prevent Indian attacks.
Research for the article was done by Eva Martin of Stanford.
Sanders to speak at McCormack foundation lunch
STANFORD — Stuart W. Sanders, community services administrator and Civil War Heritage specialist for the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort, will be the speaker for the Foundation for the Historic McCormack Meetinghouse Inc. annual luncheon meeting 11:30 a.m. Sept. 5. The meeting will be at Kentucky Depot in Stanford.
A graduate of Centre College, Sanders is the former executive director of Perryville Battlefield Preservation Association. He has written numerous essays about the Civil War published in magazines, quarterlies and other publications.
He and his wife, Jenny Neighbors Sanders, live in Danville with their three children, John Adair, Anne Wallace and Elizabeth Stuart.
Reservations are necessary and should be made by Sept. 3 with Charles D. Carter, 628 Grabruck St., Danville, 40422. Cost for the lunch is $17. The non-profit McCormack Foundation maintains the church grounds, insurance and provides physical security to the church and cemetery grounds.
The foundation also is attempting to mark graves of veterans buried in the cemetery. Seven veterans — Daniel McCormack, George Helm and Robert Elder who served in the Revolutionary War; Col. George Dooley, War of 1812; Col. William Hill, pre-Civil War; Philip Minton and Capt. B.F. Powell, Civil War— are buried there.
Anyone who knows other veterans buried in the cemetery are asked to call Carol Hill, foundation president, at (606) 365-8888.