Monday, May 5, 2014

Opening Bedford County Tennessee

Middle Tennessee Conference
Bedford Co., Tenn. SHRD SHRDS
Shelbyville, Bedford Co., Tenn
May 10, 1895
Editor Church and Farm:
With some eight other Elders, I left Salt Lake city on April 28, 1894, and and after a pleasant trip across the country, we arrived in Chattanooga, Tenn., on the 1st day of May. Here we were assigned our fields of labor, Elder [E.S.] Larsen and I being assigned to Middle Tennessee. Arriving there we were given companions who had some experience in missionary labor. We labored in the counties of White, Dekalb, Coffee, Davi[d]son, Warren, and Moore. The 24th day of November when Elder Larsen and I were called to go into Bedford county, where we have since labored with very good results. This country has never been visited by our Elder as before, save in one corner, and that was years ago. We find many who are ready to accept our teachings, and last Sunday we had the privilege of taking two1 of these down into the waters of baptism, the first fruits of Bedford county. But the harvest has just begun. Since coming to this county we have held forty meetings, visited 903 families, distributed 733 tracts, and walked 1,112 miles. Of our forty meetings about ten were held in private houses, and the others in public houses. We have found the people in the South very hospitable in all the counties where we have labored, and it has been very easy, in most instances, to obtain buildings in which to hold our meetings. Taking all in all, our labors have been a source of pleasure.
In the last two years our conference has increased from six to eighteen Elders, and it is getting much easier to get the principles of the Gospel before the people than it has been in years past. The rich as well as the poor are beginning to listen with more interest than they have done heretofore, and our meetings are very well attended.
Last Wednesday Elder Larsen started for Nashville, and Elder Kennington has taken his place in this county as my companion. He arrived in Tennessee October 16, 1894, and labored in Rutherford county until he was assigned to this county, the labors of the Elders in Rutherford county being now finished.
From your co-laborers in the vineyard,
Jonathon H. Hale
W. H. Kennington

1. Francis Collins & Sarah Durham on May 5 1895. By the end of summer Francis' wife Mary would be baptized as well as nine members of Sarah's family.

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