Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Stanley Folmsbee

Committee Members

J. B. Sanders, J. Healey Hoffmann


Conclusion: The Primitive Baptists, as stated in the foreword, are a controversial people. They have lived up to that description in East Tennessee. They are, as we have seen, divided now into many small bands, called after the names of their various leaders, holding or not holding to this, that or the other in such a way as to brand them as 'secret order' Baptists, 'bar' Baptists, 'soft side,' 'hard side,' 'Two-Seeders,' and 'Progressives.'

How much longer they will be able to maintain their identity as a people holding distinctive doctrinal views following certain rules of practice and decorum is hard to say. Some of them are organizing Sunday schools, some lean toward the revival spirit, conducting revival or 'protracted' meetings at frequent intervals. Others, fearing the trend in this direction, withdraw further into their stern predestinarian doctrine and lose themselves in a maze of doctrinal controversy and disputation.

They are not strong in numbers in any one sect, as can be seen by examining Appendix C; but if all groups are included the number is not a small one, especially when it is remembered that they do not seek to expand their borders but wait for voluntary membership.

It is to be hoped, for the benefit of writers, too, that the Primitive Baptists prove to be better record-keepers. Their history is such a tangles mass of bits of data that it is hard to do justice to every phase of their growth and conflicts.

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