Salem Baptist Church
This 1918 view includes the Cemetery, the largest in the County.

The two earliest churches in the county were both Baptist, and both were established by the same young man, Cantrell Bethel. Born December 17, 1779, in North Carolina, Cantrell Bethel was only twenty-two when he and his parents helped constitute the Brush Creek Baptist Church in Smith County on May 29, 1802. Cantrell Bethel served as the first pastor at Brush Creek from 1802 to 1810. During the time that he was pastor there he helped establish at Liberty in DeKalb County (Smith County at the ti me) an arm of the church, which in August 1809 was organized with 31 members in Salem Baptist Church. Cantrell Bethel also served as first pastor of Salem Church.

A number of Cantrell Bethel's relatives had moved onto the newly opened land near Sink Creek in what was then Warren County. On June 26, 1809, Cantrell Bethel and Thomas Burgess organized the Bildad Baptist Church on Sink Creek. Cantrell Bethel is t hought to have served as Bildad's first pastor, from 1809 until 1814. It was posible for him to serve three or four churches at the same time because each church only met once a month. Some of Cantrell Bethel's brothers and several of his Cantrell cousi ns were among the early members at Bildad.

The above was taken from "A Bicentennial History of DeKalb County, Tennessee" by Thomas Gray Webb, With his permission.

Thanks to Mary Bryant Park for furnishing the "Membership List" from the Salem Baptist Church.

"Salem Baptist Church Minutes 1809-1908,
Membership List"

NOTE: Spelling of names was not changed

Cantrell Bethel Adam Dale William Dale Berry Yong William Bratten
Joseph Evans Richard Cantrell Constancy Cantrell Rebecky Yong Polly Bethell
Betty Brunage Jacob Truit Nancy Truit Whitefield Elage Moses Garrison
Robert Shelton Isiah Daniel Samuel Forster Joshua Leakey Jery Leakey
Alexandria Bleakly Sister Duncan Brother Boren Nancy Roberts Brother Benjamin
Ally Allen Charty Lawrence John Fite Charles Lawrence Pricilla Allen
Jane Gobt Jane Stanford Martha Fite Joshua Leakey Jonathan Hendrickson
Molley Hendrickson - - - -


John Lewis Mary Lewis Letty Pistole Caty Bethel Judith Brazel
William Givan Cyrus Hendrickson Nancy Hendrickson Eliza Bratten James Brown
Benjamin Hall Mary Parson Sally Brown Mathew Hunt Nehemiah Garrison
Martha Candler Polly Hail Phiby Dillen John Sellars Nancy Hamilton
Pricilla Brazel John Jenkins John Heas Polly Evans Betsy Griffith
William Chaney John Scot Caty Scott John Ashford Bety Bratten
Elizabeth Estes Nancy Hendrickson Betsy Evans Henry Dillon Moarning Melton
David Benton - - - -


Charlotte Sellars John Candler Samuel G. Gibbons Simon Adamson Nancy Philips
Maryan Adamson William Estes Jincy Ashford Mollie Given Elizabeth E. Dale
Malley Warren Betsy Dale (colored) Peggy Allen Deanna Bledsoe Jesse Adamson
Nancy Gossett Polly Boren Lewis McClendon Nancy Lewis Kaziah Perry
Thos. Bratten Thos. Lewis Selah Benton Cloak Melton Susanna Snow
Betsy Benton Marin Sellars Sally Jinkins Polly Bratten Bessy Adamson
John Horn Jessie Adamson Joseph Mullinix Patty Bratten Jacob Perriman
Margret Perriman Edmond Parsons Betsy Griffin Edith Parsons Polly Bratten
Polly Allen Susana Lewis Hana L. Overall Creasy Williams Akis Philips
Molley Griffin Caty Haas Jency Garrison Archabald McIntire Nancy Adams
James Evan Peggy H. Dale Sister Horn Susan Griffith Betsy Buckley
Nancy Philips Hannah Lewis Thos Allen John Philips Abraham Gossett
Elizabeth Gossett Moses Alexander Betsy Alexander Elizabeth Knight Sarah Welch
James Lewis Sally Tinney Jacob Perier Nathaniel Ferier Nancy Ferier
Francis Benton Cooper Melton Sister Melton Lucretia Sellars Menney Haanead
Hanal Lewis Rachel Floyd Mary Knight - -


John Shencer Mary Shencer Cloe Sellars Tilmon Bethell Daniel Burford
Lucinda Reynold ? Shelton William Allen Lyda Allen Peggy Bledsaw
Jamima Findley Margret Knight Thos Pistole Lousia Pistole Anna Pistole
Nancy Hicks Susana Dehart Joshua Garrison John Warford Mary Warford
Nancy Lewis Besey Adamson Sarah Mullinx John Lawrence Josha Bratten
Sarah Bethell Nancy Given - - -


Sister Porter Susanah Lewis Hannah Pistole Ebe Burton Nancy Burton
Polly Evans Caleb Preston Ephraim Evans James Pendleton Polly Pendleton
Elizabeth Lamberson Polly Evans Polly Allen James Heflin Ellizabeth Heflin
Richard Champin Darcas Champin William Hullet Rachel Hullet Caty Evans
Bethanea Gossett Peter Lamberson Elizabeth Lamberson Joseph Hays James Boren (Bryan?)
Nancy Chapman Sarah Neal Sister Brown Rebecka Whaley Thos. Strong
Milcha Strong William Evans Druna Sellars Ruben Evans W. D. Evans
Anna Bethell Betsy Parson Betsy Owen John Evans Sarah Crips
Allen Mullen Zachriah Seward Sister Seward James Seward Sister Seward
? Hayes J. Jenkins Francis Seward Sucky Hayes William Hayes
Br. Carey John Gossett - - -


Betsy Strong Polly Lewis William Cely Edward Lewis Richard Wilson
Rachael Cooper Jame Hayes Patsy Phillips Betty Jenkins Lona Beshears
Mary Seward Charles Watson John Dale Nancy Parker Polly Rhey
Thos. Williamson Sally Allen Moses F. Garrison Moses Fite Thos. Bratten, Sr.
Rebecak Mainer Jacob Hollansworth Henry Fite Benjamin Blades Emila Evans
Ellizabeth Evans Daniel L. Rhey Suckey Allen Jincy Johnson Polly Mullinah
Robert Celley Kitty Bratten Pheby Cooper Charlotty Griffin Eliza Overall
John Garrison Francis Scott Nancy Dale Susanny Garrison -

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