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During the period of 1780-1790, there was a great migratory movement from Virginia to Kentucky.  A group of Primitive Baptists left Virginia in December 1780, with their minister, Robert Elkin.  Also in this group were Peter Woods and Christopher Harris, Sr., along with his 17 children.  Because of Indian raids in Kentucky, the group rested at Holston until 1783, raising three crops of corn.  They then moved to Craig Station in Lincoln County, Kentucky.

The group separated in 1785, with a few going to southwestern Kentucky, but with most moving to the waters at Lower Howard's Creek in Clark County, not far from Boonesborough.  In 1787, the Clark County group constructed a log church building, probably the first built in Kentucky by white settlers.  A two-year revival added to the membership.  Among those baptized were Christopher Harris and Squire Boone, Jr. 

Christopher Harris, Sr., moved his family and a large number to slaves to Madison County, taking land on three creeks:  Silver, Muddy and Drowning.  His son, Christopher, became a member of a church at Dreaming Creek in Madison County.  He married Elizabeth Grubbs, daughter of Higgason Grubbs, an early pioneer, who lived at Fort Boonesborough.  He later (1792) became an ordained minister of the Primitive Baptist Church.


On January 22, 1797, eighteen person met and appointed a messenger to visit Tates Creek and Dreaming Creek churches and ask for help in building a new church.  The Primitive Baptist Church at Viney Fork (near present day Speedwell) was organized March 25, 1797, under the guidance of Peter Woods and Christopher Harris from Dreaming Creek and Andrew Tribble and Isaac Newland from Tates Creek.  On the second Saturday of August 1797, Elder Christopher Harris was called as pastor, serving this church until November 1813.


The first church was probably of logs, but in 1802 the congregation moved into a new structure made from large sandstone blocks, gathered in the area around the church location.  This old stone church building is still standing.  In 1799 the church representatives at the Tates Creek Association were listed as the United Baptist church of Christ on Muddy Creek.  the group continued as a Primitive Baptist group until 1845, when it became a Missionary Baptist Church.  The upstairs balcony was used as a school during the week and as a place for slaves to worship on Sunday.  The school closed in 1870.  The balcony was torn down during a church remodeling in 1866.  After the Civil War, Viney Fork helped build a church for the freed slaves.  It is known as Goodloe's Chapel and is an active black Baptist church today.  It is located four miles from Speedwell on Bybee-Brassfield Road.  


The Viney Fork has a rich history in the Brassfield and Speedwell communities.  Even with her rich history, as the membership of Viney Fork, we are even more excited about what God can and will do with His willing servants in our current age to reach a lost and dying world with the same gospel that Bro. Harris would share so many years ago at her establishment in 1797.

Viney Fork Baptist Church

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