Licking Baptist

The Licking Church was constituted with eight members, October, 1794, in the home of William Decoursey, in what is now Kenton County.  The church as first named Mouth of the Licking, but was changed to Licking in 1820, and retained that name until 1942, when it was changed to Cold Springs [sic], after the town in which the church is now located.  The church under the name of Licking united with the Elkhorn Association in 1795, but withdrew in 1803 to aid in forming the North Bend fraternity; and in 1827, under the name of Licking went into the Campbell County Association, to which a membership of seventy-three was reported.

John Smith, who lived in Columbia, Ohio, was the first pastor and probably served only a few years, and was soon succeeded by Bethel Riggs, who preached much in the adjacent communities.  John Beal was the next pastor and according to tradition handed down by older members, he served about ten years, from 1807 to 1817, which embraced the time of the War of 1812. During this ten years there were twenty-one members received by baptism.  After a period of twenty-three years, the church numbered only twenty-eight members.  From 1817 to 1827 there were received ninety-four members by baptism, and total membership was seventy-three.  During this period some of the pastors were Christopher Wilson, John Stevens, and Robert Ware.

From 1827 to 1840 fifty converts were received by baptism, and the total membership was seventy-two.  About 1832, Elder James Vickers settled in the community and became on of "the most distinguished" pastors, and served the church for a number of years.  Brother Vickers attended the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky in Louisville in 1857 and A. W. LaRue thus described the actions of that body" Old Brother Vickers, from North Bend Association, closed up, on one occasion, with one of his peculiar exhortations.  Such a flood of tears, and such an old fashioned shakehands, many people present never witnessed before.  All were impressed with the true greatness of the man.  Some frozen-hearted Christians, who had not shed a tear in twenty years, wept like children.  In short, it was a feat to hear his simple melting eloquence."

During the two decades of 1840 to 1861 one hundred and ninety-eight persons were baptized into the fellowship of the church.  In 1876 there were eighty-seven members of the Licking Church.  In 1846, the church under the name of Cold Springs [sic] reported two hundred and fifteen members to the Campbell Association and Rans Hill, Pastor.


From Frank M. Masters, A History of Baptists in Kentucky, 1953