Ebbing Springs Call



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In 1772 the Congregation of the Ebbing and Sinking Springs Presbyterian Church (near Abingdon, VA) "called" Parson James Campbell to be their minister. Campbell died soon thereafter, and a second call was made, this time to the Reverend Charles Cummings. [1]

The Call To Reverend Cummings

A call from the united congregations of Ebbing and Sinking Springs, on Holston's River, Fincastle County, to be presented to the Rev. Charles Cummings, minister of the Gospel, at the Rev'd Presbytery, of Hanover, when sitting at the Tinkling Spring: Worthy and Dear Sir: We being in very destitute circumstances for want of the ordinances of Christ's house statedly administered amongst us under distressing spiritual languishment, and multitudes perishing in our sins for want of the bread of life broken among us; our Sabbaths too much profaned, or at least wasted in melancholy silence at home; our hearts and hands discouraged; our spirits broken with our mournful condition, so that human language cannot sufficiently paint. Having had the happiness, by the good Providence of God, of enjoying part of your labors, to our abundant satisfaction, and being universally well satisfied by an experience of your ministerial abilities, piety, literature, prudence, and peculiar agreeableness of your qualifications to us in particular as a gospel minister. We do, worthey and dear sir, from our very hearts, and with the most cordial affection and unanimity, agree to call, invite and entreat you to undertake the office of a pastor among us, and the care and charge of our precious souls. And upon your accepting of this, our call, we do promise that we will receive the word of God from your mouth, attend on your ministry, instructions and reproofs, in public and private, and submit to the discipline which Christ has appointed in his church administered by you while regulated by the word of God, agreeably to our confession of faith and directory. And that you may give yourself up wholly to the important work of the ministry, we do hereby promise to pay unto you annually the sum of ninety pounds from the time of your accepting this, our call; and that we shall behave ourselves toward you with all that dutiful respect and affection that becomes a people towards their minister, using all means within our power to render your life comfortable and happy. We entreat you, worthey and dear sir, to have compassion upon us in this remote part of the world, and accept this our call and invitation to the pastoral charge of our precious and immortal souls, and we shall hold ourselves bound to pray. In witness whereof, we hereunto set our hands, this 5th day of January, 1773.

We request the Rev. P. B. of Hanover to present this our call to the Reverend Charles Cmmings, minister of the gospel, and to concur in his acceptance of it and we shall account ourselves happy in being your very obliged servants.


The call to the Reverend Cummings can be found in several places:

See also Source:Preston, 1900

Each of the above sources includes a list of the signatories to the call to Charles Cummings. Interestingly, the lists do not match exactly; Each list contains the names of signatories not found on the other lists. It is suspected that one or more of thse sources have introduced a confusion, perhaps using the list of signatories from the call to Parson Campbell the previous year, as well as that for Reverend Cummings. The following is based on the transcription provided at Teters Family GenForum. A comparison of the signatories in these lists can be examined at A comparison of Signatory Lists for the Call to Rev. Cummings

It seems likely that the many versions of this Call arise from a copy provided to Lyman Draper by Gov. David Campbell in 1851: Transcript:Letter from Gov. David Campbell, 1851

List of Signatories

The following is an alphabetical list of the signatories. This listed as been composited from several versions of the list as discussed at A comparison of Signatory Lists for the Call to Rev. Cummings. The various versions of this list differ not only as to who appears on them, but also as to the spelling of the names. The spelling used in the following list has been arbitrarily chosen to reflect either modern usage, or a "concensus" view of the the different sources.

Christopher Acklin Andrew Colville John Gross Alexander McNutt
George Adams David Craig Michael Halfacre Andrew Miller
Thomas Baker James Craig James Harrold Wm. Miller
Thomas Bayley Joseph Craig Richard Heggons James Montgomery
Wm. Bates Robert Craig Samuel Hendrey Thomas Montgomery
David Beaty Henry Creswell John Hunt Richard Moore
John Beaty John Cusick Samuel Houston James Moulden
Samuel Bell John Davis Edward Jamison Samuel Newell
James Berry Nathaniel Davis Hugh Johnson John Patterson
James Berry Wm. Davidson Stephen Jordan Edward Pharis
John Berry Robert Denniston John Kelley James Piper
Thomas Berry James Dorchester John Kennedy Wm. Poage
William Berry Jonathan Douglas Wm. Kennedy Martin Pruitt
Wm. Berry David Dryden Andrew Kincannon Wm. Pruittt
Joseph Black James Dysart Frances Kincannon Thomas Rafferty
Arthur Blackburn Robert Edmiston James Kincannon Thomas Ramsey
George Blackburn John Edmiston Robert Kirkman John Robinson
William Blackburn Margaret Edmiston Robert Lamb John Sharp
Wm. Blanton Samuel Edmiston John Lester Thomas Sharp
John Boyd Thomas Edmiston Joseph Lester David Snodgrass
Alexander Breckinridge Wm. Edmiston Wm. Lester Joseph Snodgrass
Samuel Briggs Wm. Edmiston Andrew Leiper George Teater
Nicholas Brobston James English Benjamin Logan James Thompson
George Buchanan Samuel Evans John Long Robert Topp
Moses Buchanan Thomas Evans John Lowry James Trimble
Robert Buchanan John Sr. Funkhouser Wm. Magauhey Robert Trimble
Samuel Buchanan John Jr. Funkhouser Wm. Marlor John Vance
Samuel Buchanan Christopher Funkhouser Andrew Martin Joseph Vance
Robert Jr. Buchanan, James Fulkerson Daniel McCormick Augustus Webb
John Campbell. Joseph Gamble Halbert McClure Samuel White
Henry Cardwell Josiah Gamble John McCutchen Wesley White
David Carson Robert Gamble Andrew McFerrin David Wilson
John Casey James Garvell Alexander McLaughlin Samuel Wilson
Stephen Cawood David Gatewood Wm. McMillan James Young
Wm. Christian James Gilmore John McNabb Wm. Young
George Clark James Gower Wm. McNabb

  1. (See also for a church history published on the web)