Denton, Sr. (1776-1848)
In 1798, Rev. Isaac
Denton, Sr. was the first preacher to enter this Transmontane wilderness. He became
a distinguished, prolific, pioneer preacher and leader in South Central Kentucky and North
Central Tennessee. He established the first churches and first school in the
frontier territory. He was Clear Fork Baptist Church's founder and first pastor
until his death in 1848. He ministered in Kentucky and Tennessee for over 55 years.
He and his three sons preached a total of about 175 years.
From "History of
Kentucky Baptists" by Spencer: "With the aid of Henry Cooper and Matthew Floyd,
he gathered Beaver Creek Church in Wayne County -- probably the first gathered in that
county -- and served it a number of years."
From "A Lighthouse in the Wilderness" from Gaskins, Womack Printing Company,
1972: "The obituary of Rev. Denton, written by Rice Maxey, states that he had two
daughters and three sons, without naming them but it stated that one of them was a regular
Baptist preacher with the same name."
From "Some Descendents of Rev. Richard Denton" Edythe Whitley: "Sometime in
the year 1798 a man came to Kentucky who was destined to play a very important part in the
early religious life of the county and indeed of a large area of Southern Kentucky. This
was Rev. Isaac Denton -- Clinton County's first preacher. At the age of 18 he moved with
his parents to Tennessee. Here he made a profession of religion and was baptized in 1792.
He was ordained to the ministry soon after and spent some years preaching among the
churches of the area. Through the persuasion of friends he left TN and came to Clinton CO,
KY. He was instrumental in organizing Beaver Creek Baptist church in Wayne CO, probably
the first in that county, and served as its pastor for a number of years. When the news
went out about his death, it created an outpouring of sympathy and sadness throughout the
county and surrounding area where he had labored in the ministry for so many years. He was
buried immediately in front of the church door -- the church building at that time faced
more to the east than the present building.
He was given a grant of 200 acres on "the north side of Wolfe River" near Thomas
Stockton, Jr. He also had 200 acres "on Spring Creek" surveyed on December
1798." Most of the families which had preceded Rev. Denton to Stocktons Valley were
Baptists and Denton soon began to call the settlers together and preach to them. We are
told that he preached the first sermon ever in Clinton County. On April 1, 1801, at a
meeting of some of the settlers, a church was organized under the name of the Stocktons
Valley Baptist Church, the first church in Clinton County. Rev. Denton, later in the year,
accepted the pastorship of the new church, a charge he held until his declining health
made it impossible to continue his duties -- a pastorate of forty-six years.
William Bean, Joseph Crouch, Isaac Denton, Sr. and George Noland lived on Bean Creek in
Washington CO, NC which later became Washington CO, TN.
Clear Fork Church
April 1, 1802, the church was constituted. Page 411 of the
original record book shows the following charter members:
In July of 1802, it united with Green River Association, at which
time it had 25 members. The church changed its name to Clear Fork.
Isaac Denton was called to the pastoral care in June of 1802.
Henry Cooper, Matthew Floyd, and Isaac Denton gathered Beaver Creek church,
in Wayne county and Mr. Denton served it a number of years.
William D. Sewell united with the Clear Fork Church in 1820.
Joseph C. Denton, son of the above Isaac Denton, united with the church,
in December, 1838.
He was put into the deaconship in 1842 and served until 1850.
In 1850, he was licensed to preach and ordained in 1853.
Micajah Lowhorn was accepted at the Clear Fork Baptist Church of Clinton County