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Montgomery, Isaac

Posted by MarthaCrossSargent 
Montgomery, Isaac
March 13, 2007 03:25PM
A History of Kentucky Baptists From 1769 to 1885, Including More Than
800 Biographical Sketches, J. H. Spencer, Manuscript Revised and
Corrected by Mrs. Burilla B. Spencer, In Two Volumes. Printed For the
Author. 1886. Republished By Church History Research & Archives 1976
Lafayette, Tennessee. Vol. 2, pp 134-135 [Garrard County]

ISAAC MONTGOMERY was born of Irish parents, in what is now Garrard
county, Ky., Feb., 1780. His mother was a Baptist; but he grew up a
wild, thoughtless boy, and was especially fond of playing the fiddle and
dancing. He married early; and as soon as his first child was able to
walk, he took much pleasure in teaching her to dance. When he was in
his 26th year, an old colored man had a meeting near his home. Mr.
Montgomery thought this an opportunity to have some rare fun. Taking
his wife and children, he went to the meeting. Soon after the old man
began to preach, a new class of reflections came into the mind of the
pleasure seeker. "This pious old negro," soliloquized he, "is on his
way to Heaven, while I am going to Hell. Then, my poor, little
children! I am teaching them to follow me. What shall I do?" An
overwhelming sense of guilt and condemnation seized upon him. For
several weeks, he was almost in despair. But, at last, he found peace
in Jesus, and united with Forks of Dix River church. He applied himself
to reading the Bible, and to prayer, as diligently as he had to
"fiddling and dancing." After serving the church as a deacon, some
years, he was licensed to preach.
In 1818, he moved to what is now Boyle county, and, by the hands
of Joel Gordon and Joseph Whitehead, was ordained to the pastoral care
of Doctors Fork church. Of this congregation, he was pastor, about 20
years. He also preached much in the surrounding country. Like many
others, of his day, he conscientiously refused to receive any
compensation for preaching. His preaching gift was below mediocrity.
But he was a good exhorter, and was pious, zealous and faithful. His
death, which occurred in October, 1840, was very triumphant. He said to
a minister who visited him shortly before his departure: "Leave off
your secular business, my brother, and give yourself wholly to the
gospel: it is worth everything." He called on his daughters to sing
the old hymn:
"On Jordan's stormy banks I stand,"
and attempted to join them. But his voice failed, and a few moments
afterward he breathed his last.

Montgomery Gordon Whitehead

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