John Graves Howard

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Rev. John Graves Howard was born of respectable and pious Baptist parents, in Caswell county, N. C, Nov. 9, 1792. Under the parental roof, he received a plain English education. He was raised on a farm, and, in his twenty-first year, was married to Priscilla Yancy. In 18 16, he emigrated to Daviess county, Ky., where he spent the remainder of his life. He was a man of high social standing, and, at one time, filled the office of justice of the peace, and afterwards that of sheriff. He also filled the office of colonel of the State militia, for a time, and from that circumstance, was afterwards known as Col. Howard. He was fond of society, and at one time, after he entered the ministry, was betrayed into the habit of drinking to intoxication. From this, he soon recovered himself; but his repentance and mortification were deep and long continued. The high esteem in which he had been universally held, the sincerity of his repentance, and his manly and Christian character, not only restored him to the fellowship of his brethren, but also secured to him the respect and confidence of the unconverted.

He professed faith in Christ, and was baptized into the fellowship of the church at Tanners Meeting House (now Buck Creek), about 1818, by Benjamin Talbot. He commenced his public Christian labors, as superintendent of a Sunday-school, at Green Brier church. He was subsequently ordained to the deaconship, and, in December, 1821, was licensed to preach, at Green Brier church. It was several years before he entered fully into the work of the ministry. In September, 1840, he was ordained to the pastoral care of the church at Owensboro, by H. B. Wiggin, Reuben Cottrell, and Thomas Downs. He ministered to this church about two years. After this, he was active and zealous in the ministry, and, together with William Head, R. M. Snider, and Isham R. Allen, gathered a number of churches on both sides of the Ohio river. He served several churches, between 1845, and 1865. His last pastoral ministrations were at Pleasant Grove church, in Daviess county. He was chosen moderator of Daviess County Association, immediately after its constitution, in 1844, and served in that capacity, till 1859. He also served Goshen Association, as moderator, from 1841, to 1844. After the close of his last pastoral term, he continued to preach occasionally, till near the close of his life. He died, at his residence in Owensboro, April 16, 1874.

Source: A history of Kentucky Baptists: from 1769 to 1885, Vol. 2. John H. Spencer, Cincinnati, 1886 Courtesy of the Daviess County Bicentennial Committee