Facts and Events
Adam Rankin was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
- Mentioned, in Mastin, Bettye Lee. Lexington 1779 : pioneer Kentucky, as described by early settlers. (Lexington, Kentucky: Lexington-Fayette County Historic Commission, c1979), Secondary quality.
p 41 -
... John McKinney had come to Lexington in 1779, traveling with members of a Stevenson family who helped settle McConnell’s Station in 1780. Back east in Augusta County, VA., McKinney had known Presbyterian minister Adam Rankin; when Rankin came to Lexington in 1784, McKinney introduced the minister to the Mostly Presbyterian inhabitants of McConnell’s Station, which a the time was beginning to break up ...
p 42 -
... Some time after 1784, when the Adam Rankin house and others were built outside the stockade, daring Indians disguised themselves. ...
p 43 -
... The Adam Rankin house, built in 1784 at 215 West High Street, now stands at 317 South Mill Street. ...
p 65 -
... In 1785, I settled a new place about three miles from Versailles between Frankfort and Lexington and used from there to go to Rankin’s Meeting House. It was built before I left Lexington. John McKinney, the teacher, lived at that time in Lexington. McKinney had known Rankin in Augusta County, VA., and I knew McKinney. McKinney went out with Rankin to McConnell’s Station from Lexington to make him acquainted with that people. The station was chiefly Presbyterian. I knew but one man that lived there that wasn’t Presbyterian. He was William Dickinson, brother to Archie Dickinson. He, Adam Rankin, was making up a congregation then. The winter of 1783, the Stinsons, Major John Crittenden, Col. Thomas Marshall, Alexander Dunlap, William Martin and Moses McIlvaine made a settlement in that neighborhood ...
- Mentioned, in Allen, William B. A history of Kentucky, embracing gleanings, reminiscences, antiquities, natural curiosities, statistics, and biographical sketches. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973), Secondary quality.
pp 180-181 -
Historical Sketch of the Presbyterian Church
The first Presbyterian minister who ever crossed the mountains was the Rev. David Rice, who emigrated to Kentucky in the year 1783, and who immediately on his arrival set about gathering the scattered Presbyterians into regular congregations. Three churches were soon organized; one at Danville another at Cane Run, and another at the forks of Dix’s River. Mr Rice was followed the next year by the Rev. Adam Rankin, who gathered together the church at Lexington, and the Rev. James Crawford, who settled at Walnut Hill. In the yeaar 1786 the Rev. Thomas Craighead and the Rev. Andrew McClure were added to the number. Shortly after this these ministers organized themselves into a Presbytery, under the name of Transylvania. The above named ministers all came from the State of Virginia, except Mr. Craighead, who was from North Carolina.
Transylvania Presbytery met for the first time October 17, 1786, in the court-house in Danville. Mr. Rice presided as moderator by the appointment of the General Assembly, and Mr. McClure acted as clerk. The ministers present on that occasion were David Rice, Adam Rankin, Andrew McClure, James Crawford, and Zerah Templin. The ruling elders present, representing as many churches, were Richard Steele, David Gray John Bovel, Joseph Reed, and Jeremiah Frame. By this time there had been twelve churches organized in Kentucky, viz: Cane Run, Concord, Danville, Forks of Dix River, New Providence, Mount Zion, Mount Pisgah, Salem, Walnut Hill, Hopewell, Paint Lick, Jessamine Creek, Whitley’s Station and Crab Orchard. ...
p 188 -
... The Rev. Adam Rankin came from Augusta county, Virginia, in 1784, and settled in Lexington. He immediately became pastor of Mount Zion church, and subsequently of Pisgah Church, situated about eight miles southwest of Lexington. In 1792 he separated from the Presbyterian Church on account of psalmody, carrying with him a majority of his congregation, and retained possession of the church edifice at Lexington. The portion adhering to the Presbyterian communion erected a new building, to the pastoral charge of which Rev. James Welch was called in 1795. ...
- Mentioned, in McAdams, Ednah Wilson. Kentucky pioneer and court records: abstracts of eary wills, deeds, and marriages from court house records of old Bibles, churches, grave yards, and cemeteries copied by American War Mothers, genealogical material collected from authentic sources, records from Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Estill, Fayette, Garrard, Harrison, Jessamine, Lincoln, Madison, Mercer, Montgomery, Nicholas and Woodford counties. (Baltimore [Maryland]: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1975).
[includes list of marriages solemnized by Adam Rankin]
pp 212-213 -
... Pastors of Pisgah Church (“Copied from “Pisgah Book” by Shearer)
Rev. Adam Rankin, summer of 1784-1792; deposed.
Dist. Ct. A-346 10th Sept. 1797
p 213 -
... Hugh McIlvain and Polly, his wife, of Lexington, to Adam Rankin, John McChord and David Logan for and in behalf of themselves and others for the express purpose of a seminary, Trustees of the Lexington Seminary of Education and other religious purposes, and for the benefit of the societies in this State under the inspection of the Associate Reformed Synod, of which are at present members John Mason of New York, Robt. Amman of Philadelphia and Adam Rankin of Lexington, adhering to the Westminister confession of faith, Catechism------longer and shorter-----directory of public worship and the form of the Presbyterian Church government. consideration, 36 pounds, conveys in Lexington a parcel of ground fronting on Walnut Street, being part of lot 21. ...
- Mentioned, in Staples, Charles Richard. The history of pioneer Lexington, Kentucky, 1779-1806. (Lexington, Kentucky: Transylvania Press, 1939), Secondary quality.
p 10 -
... I boarded with Mr. Samuel Ayers on High Street, but he moved on to Main street opposite the Seceeder church, which was built the next year for the Reverend Adam Rankin. ...
p 147 -
... On September 19, 1798 ... a committee of the Lexington Academy announce they have employed Mr. Leroy Johnson to open an English school on October 1, under the direction said Academy, “with the indorsement of the Reverend Adam Rankin”.
p 255 -
... [Names Occupations] Rev. Adam Rankin [no occupation listed]
p 260 -
... The only preacher named is the Reverend Adam Rankin, who is shown as living on Main street. He controlled the property now on the north side of Main street east of Walnut. No other directory for Lexington has been found until the 1818 directory was published, followed by the McCabe’s directory of 1838. ...
pp 267-270 -
... The minute book of the trustees shows in-lot No. 45 was set aside “for a clergyman”. In 1788, William McCall conveyed this particular lot to Michael Rybolt. It had frequently been published that this lot was given to William McConnell, “clergyman”, but inspection of other records shows he drew in-lot No 44. A record found in the suit of John Hull vs. the Trustees of Lexington (Deed Book “Z”, page 375--Fayette County Court) is for a lot on High street---In-lot No. 79, between Spring and Patterson--- “which had been issued to the Reverend Adam Rankin as the first minister of the Gospel to settle in Lexington.”
In all probability, services by the Presbyterian missionaries were held in various cabins before 1784, but no record has been found giving their names or the dates they were in Lexington. Services were held at McConnell’s Station, one mile below Lexington.
The subject of the graveyard lot came up at a meeting of the trustees held on May 26, 1789 and again on May 7, 1791 when a motion was made to complete the deed but it failed to pass. This subject was evidently introduced for the benefit of the Presbyterians, but they had secured a lot at the southeast corner of what is now Walnut and Short, until recently occupied by Morton Junior High School, where a one story log cabin had been raised and called Mr. Zion, probably the first attempt to establish a regular house of worship for the Presbyterian congregation in Fayette County. It stood 12 feet back from Walnut street and 15 feet south of the Masonic Lodge line.
During the summer of 1784 a call was extended to the Reverend Adam Rankin, then living in Augusta County, Virginia, who accepted and arrived in Lexington about October 1, 1784, to take charge of the Mt. Zion congregation. He also preached at Pisgah, and McConnell’s Station. “With his arrival there promptly began an acrimonious discussion because of his views on Psalmody. Upon this subject there was a serious and much debated difference amongst his congregation as many of the pioneer Presbyterians would never sing Watt’s version of the Psalms, and they made the metrical versions of Rouse a test of fellowship.” This difference “rapidly became insurmountable and the membership split, and those who adhered to the ideas of Mr. Rankin secured possession of the church, forcing their opponents to go elsewhere. ...
p 272 -
... Mr. Rankin and his adherents continued at Mt. Zion until May 1793, but no services were held during 1792. Later, this church became connected with the Associated Reform Church. After a tempestuous career, during which many charges were preferred against him, Mr. Rankin announce he was “going where the Lord directed him” and departed from Lexington, but news was received of his death a short time later while at Philadelphia. His widow died at the home of her son, John M. Rankin at Columbia, Tennessee, on July 27, 1836. The Lexington Intelligencer in announcing her death says, “She was a resident of this place 43 years.” This congregation withered away, but later some of the members became the nucleus of the present Second Presbyterian Church. ...
- p 301 -
... "The Lexington Seminary of Education, for the benefit of the Societies in this State under the inspection of the Associated Reform Synod, of which are at present members John Mason of New York, Robert Anman of Philadelphia and Adam Rankin of Lexington, adhering to the West Minster confession of faith, catecism loner and shorter directory forth from the Presbyterian Church, etc.,” was located on Walnut street between Rankin’s Mt. Zion church and Main street and was under the management of the local trustees Adam Rankin, John McChord and David Logan. This deed, recorded in District court Book “A”, page 346. ...
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Mentioned, in Ranck, George W.. History of Lexington, Kentucky: its early annals and recent progress including biographical sketches and personal reminiscences of the pioneer settlers, notices of prominent citizens, etc., etc. (Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co., 1872), Secondary quality.
pp 108-110 -
... The first Christian church established in Lexington was organized in 1784, by the Presbyterians, who were more numerous in the village at that time than any other religious people. They secured a lot and erected a log house of worship, on the southeastern corner of Walnut and Short Streets, where city school No. 1 now stands, and called to the pastorate of the church, the Rev. Adam Rankin, of Augusta county, Virginia, who arrived early in October of the same year (1784). the church was first known as “Mount Zion”, but is now more generally recognized as “Mr. Rankin’s Church”.
Mr. Rankin’s call was the signal for strife. The Presbyterian churches at the time were convulsed with disputes upon Psalmody, one party strongly claiming that the literal version of the old Psalms of David should be used, and the others as stoutly demanding the version of Dr Watts. Mr. Rankin was a declared enemy of the Watts’ version, and finding it in use in Mount Zion Church on his arrival, labored earnestly for its expulsion. In course of time, two parties were formed, and the congregation was soon in the same distracted condition as many bodies of their brethren. Finally, in 1789 charges were preferred against Mr. Rankin, before the Presbytery of Transylvania, one of them being, that he had “debarred from the table of the Lord, such persons as approved Watts’ psalmody.” Mr. Rankin made a trip to London about this time, and his case was not tried until April 1792, when he protested against the proceedings of the Presbytery, and withdrew from it, carrying with him a majority of his congregation which sustained and indorsed his action, and claimed and held the meeting-house, on the corner of Walnut and Short. In May 1793, Mr. Rankin and adherents joined the Associate Reformed Church, and remained connected with it for twenty-five years, but at the end of that time, broke off from it and became independent. After Mr. Rankin resigned the pastorate of Mount Zion, in 1825, the church rapidly declined, and after struggling on for some years, finally became extinct.
Mr. Rankin was a native of Pennsylvania, and was born in 1755. He graduated a Liberty Hall (now Washington and Lee University), in 1780, and tow years after married Margaret McPheeters, of Augusta County, Virginia. He was a talented, intolerant, eccentric, and pious man, and was greatly beloved by his congregation, which clung to him with devoted attachment through all his fortunes. After leaving Lexington, he set out on a tour to Jerusalem, but died on the way, in Philadelphia, November 25, 1827.
The party in Mr. Rankin’s church favoring Watts’ psalms, and adhering to the presbytery, gave up Mount Zion church to the seceeders and took “the new meeting house”, a half-finished frame building commenced some time before the church trouble had culminated. ...
- Mentioned, in Thompson, Ernest Trice. Presbyterians in the South : volume one: 1607 - 1861. (Richmond [Virginia]: John Knox Press, c1963), 115-116, 218-219, Secondary quality.
... The greatest troublemaker on this score among the Presbyterians was Adam Rankin, a young minister from Augusta County, Virginia, who left the Holston settlements because of the opposition that developed to his rigid adherence to Rous, and arrived in Lexington, Kentucky, on October 1, 1784, where he quickly attracted a large and admiring congregation. He raised the question of psalmody before the Ministers’ Conference in 1785 which preceded the formation of Transylvania Presbytery, and four years later presented to the General Assembly this query: “ Whether the churches under the care of the General Assembly, have not, by the countenance and allowance of the late Synod of New York and Philadelphia, fallen into a great and pernicious error in the public worship of God, by disusing Rouse’s versification of David’s Psalms, and adopting in the room of it, Watts’ imitation?”
Unable to relieve Mr. Rankin’s mind “from the difficulty he appears to labour under,” the General Assembly recommended to him “that exercise of Christian charity, towards those who differ from him in their views of this matter, which is exercised towards himself: and that he be carefully guarded against disturbing the peace of the church on this head.”
Mr. Rankin did not follow this advice. No sooner had he returned home than he began to denounce the Presbyterian clergy as Deists, blasphemers, and rejecters of revelation, and debarred from the Lord’s Table all admirers of Watts’ Psalms, which he castigated as rivals of the Word of God.
Suspended by Transylvania Presbytery in 1792, Rankin renounced the jurisdiction of that body and proceeded to carry his followers, members from twelve congregations (representing approximately 500 families), into the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.
The dissension over psalmody continued for some years. There was scarcely a congregation in Kentucky that was not distracted by them. “ Fundamental doctrines and vital piety,”, says Davidson, “came to be regarded as subordinate matters. Obedience to the will of God was narrowed down to a single point, and in the shibboleth of a party was wrapped up the faith once delivered to the saints.” Other denominations meanwhile took advantage of the Presbyterian disturbance and gained at their expense. ...
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Family Recorded, in Rankin, John Mason. 1854 0913 Transcript of Letter. (Originally written by John Mason Rankin. Privately held.), Secondary quality.
...Jeremiah the youngest was born 1733, was married to Rhoda Craig, 1754, by whome he had 4 sons -
Adam (My father)
William (Your grand Uncle) and
Thomas (your grandfather) and
Jeremiah (Your youngest grand Uncle)
and was killed in his mill on Cannegogy creek in Pennsylvania not far from Hagerstown, Maryland. ...
...My father, your other G-Uncle was born March 24, 1755, licensed to preach in Presbyterian Church Oct. 24, 1782 was married to Martha McPheeters Oct. 13, 1782, 11 days before licensed to preach. Moved to Lexington, Ky 1784, was there the first settled minister in Ky. He left the Presbyterians when they introduced Watts and other hymns and joined Associate Reformed Presbytery. Had care of his church in Lexington till Oct. 1827. He left for Philadelphia. We stayed first night with your father on our way.
which is I suppose was the last time you saw any of us (I wrote that without thinking for I believe your father had not left when mother, brother and myself returned the next spring.)
Father died in 2 weeks after we arrived in Philadelphia and he’s buried in Spruce Street burial ground and at his request no tomb marks his resting place. We soon after returned to mother's native home in Augusta County, Virginia and after spending the balance of the winter with her brother, in the spring we returned to Lexington and after remaining there 12 months or so we moved to Columbia Tennessee where her other children were living and after keeping house there with brother and myself she died July 27, 1836.
She had nine children,
Alexander (who died an infant),
William (which died age 5 years),
Rhoda (died an infant),
myself [John Mason Rankin]. ...
- ↑ Historical Marker, in Kentucky Historical Society. Historical Marker Database , Secondary quality.
First Presbyterian Church
Marker Number 2277
Location 174 N. Mill St., Lexington
Description Founded 1784. Oldest congregation in continuous existence in city. Founders were hunting party members who selected city’s site and named it Lexington in honor of first battle of the American Revolution. First pastor Adam Rankin’s home, oldest house in Lexington at 317 South Mill St., built in 1784.
(Reverse) Abraham Lincoln attended several services during the pastorate of Robert J. Breckinridge, 1847-53, initiating a lifelong friendship. This building, sixth home of the congregation, designed by Elder Cincinnatus Shryock, completed in 1872. It was considered his Gothic masterpiece. Renovated in 2007; received preservation award.
Oldest House in Lexington
Marker Number 1437
Location 317 S. Mill St., Lexington
Description Built in 1784 for Adam Rankin, minister of Lexington's pioneer Presbyterian Church. Samuel D. McCullough, born here in 1803, was a teacher, astronomer, antiquarian and maker of world-famous Burrowes mustard. In 1971, the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation moved this house from its original location, at 215 West High Street, to prevent its destruction.