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Church with Jeff and Polly

The Primitive Baptist Church was an important part of Jeff and Polly's lives, and it is a legacy that continues to the present day in their family.

A family member has the September 12th and 13th, 1879, minutes of the 68th Session of the Washington District [Virginia] Primitive Baptist Association. The Washington District, formed from the Holston Baptist Association,* included as a member church the New Garden Church in Russell County, Virginia.

1879 minutes from the Washington District Primitive Baptist Association

It is from that area of Russell County that Ephraim and Annie McKinney Musick Bundy Hatfield and their family migrated into what is now Kentucky and West Virginia.

The Mates Creek Association Regular or Primitive Baptist Association, formed in 1849, became a sister association of the Washington District. Three churches in the Mates Creek Association have been particularly important to Jeff and Polly's family: Old Pond Primitive Baptist Church in Belfry, Kentucky; Samaria Primitive Baptist Church in Ransom, Kentucky; and Columbus Primitive Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio.

The Old Pond Primitive Baptist Church was organized in 1843 and Adron Runyon, Polly Margaret's grandfather, became the first clerk.** Her great-uncle, Nathaniel Brown Lowe, was a prominent member of the Old Pond Church. Later, Adron willed one-half acre of land for the church and cemetery. Adron's son-in-law, Anderson Hatfield [Jeff's father], joined the Enon Primitive Baptist Church on July 5, 1853, but moved his membership to the Old Pond Church on April 2, 1868, and he was ordained in 1869.***

Jeff's name on the 1920 Mates Creek Minutes

Anderson served as the moderator of the Old Pond Church from 1869-1909. Polly Margaret's father, Thomas Wallace Runyon, and Jeff were both clerks of the Church.

In 1890 the Old Pond Church gave an arm to the Samaria Church on Blackberry Creek. This was the church of Jeff and Polly's children. Estil, LeEttie, Jeanette, Bob, Melda, Guy, and Katherine were all faithful members of this church. Estil served as the Church's clerk. Today, Jeff and Polly's grandson, Leslie D. Hatfield, serves as clerk of the Church and Mates Creek Association.

Beginning in the sixties, as many as seven of Jeff and Polly's grandchildren moved to the Columbus, Ohio, area. Several members of the family have joined the Columbus Primitive Baptist Church. Paris, the husband of Phyllis Hatfield Blackburn, is an elder in the church, as is their son, Roger.

In addition to the importance of the Primitive Baptist Church in the lives of Jeff and Polly and their descendants, the minutes kept by these churches are an important genealogical record of members. The minutes often provide dates of birth and death, as well as information about parents, spouses, and children. The minutes have proved to be very helpful to Jeff and Polly's family in the documentation of those buried in the Anderson Hatfield Memorial Cemetery.****


* History of the Washington District Regular Primitive Baptist Association 1811-1951, Elihu Jasper Sutherland,

**Charlotte Sanders, "Old Pond church 153 years old," Williamson Daily News, September 30, 1966. Adron later became a member of the Big Creek Primitive Baptist Church in Canada, Kentucky, after its establishment in 1857.

***Minutes of the Pond Creek Regular Baptist Church; A Digest by Clyde Runyon; Belfry, Kentucky; privately printed, 1985.

****Minutes used in preparation of this article and research on the Anderson Hatfield Memorial Cemetery provided by T.C. Hatfield, Phyllis Hatfield Blackburn, and Leslie D. Hatfield.


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