The Pigeon Fork Baptist Church
Location from the Shelby County Cemetery Book: “From Waddy, KY, drive east on KY 637 for 2.4 miles to its intersection with KY 1472. Travel south on KY 1472 for 1.2 miles. The church is on the left side of the highway. Since the center of 1472 forms the boundary at this point between Shelby and Anderson counties, the church and cemetery are a few feet inside Anderson County.”
The Church was established in 1825 and rebuilt in 1904. The first Sunday School rooms were added 1939-40. More Sunday School rooms and a vestibule were added later. The cemetery was still being used in 1978 and an addition was opened across the road on the north side of the old cemetery. Pigeon Fork Baptist Church is a member of the Shelby Baptist Association (Southern Baptist).
A.C. COOK AND THE PIGEON FORK BAPTIST CHURCH
The first thing most folks want to know about Pigeon Fork is the reason for it's unusual name. Upon adopting a Constitution, a Covenant and the Rules of Decorum on 12 March 1825, the constituting members designated the Church "Pigeon Fork of Benson". This referred to its location on the Pigeon Fork of Benson Creek and distinguished the body from other churches,1 notably the South Benson Church.
The association of our Cook family with Pigeon Fork Baptist Church spanned three generations. It began when Abraham C. and Sally (Cook) Cook moved a few miles south of the Six Mile area in Shelby County, Kentucky to a place then called Connersville. In February, 1847 the little town became incorporated and changed its name to Harrisonville, by which it is still known today.
A. Cook was received by letter at the regular second Saturday meeting of the church in March of 1846.2 Considering that Sally's father was the well-known preacher, Abraham Cook, who had founded several churches in the vicinity, it is not surprising that Abraham C. Cook was quick to take an active role at Pigeon Fork.
At the second Saturday meeting in July, 1846, A.C. was appointed one of six messengers to Middle District Association. In September, and again in October, Brother A. Cook was appointed moderator. He was sent to advise J.S. Major of his call as pastor in January of 1847. In July the church decided to build a new meeting house and A.C. was a member of the building committee.
In December of that year however, occurred the first of a series of events which paint our ancestor as a strong- willed and out-spoken man whose opinions did not always sit well with others. "Brother J. Brooks complains that brother A. Cook has hurt his feelings and refuses to give him satisfaction. The church agrees to take up the case..." The following month it was reported that the difficulty had been amicably settled and the investigating committee was dismissed. A second "difficulty", this time between A. Cook and P. Jacobs arose in early 1850 and was similarly settled.
Abram's continued active involvement in varied and numerous positions is documented throughout the next twenty years of church minutes and in the diary of Brother Hungerford, who was pastor at Pigeon Fork for almost a dozen years in the 1860s and 70s.
In 1870, the church was much occupied with providing housing and upkeep for one Sister Ann Booth. A.C. was charged with finding lodging for her. He apparently did so with his son, Henry B. Cook, since the church was assessed fifteen dollars to pay H.B. Cook for boarding Sister Ann Booth.
It is not clear whether the missionary efforts on behalf of Sister Booth was the spark that ignited tempers, but in October Brother A.C. was asked to attend the next meeting to make explanation of the language he had used against Brother Hungerford at the preceding September meeting. They must have been powerful words! The following month a resolution was passed "that Brother A.C. Cook be expelled from the fellowship of the Church for discourteous language used against the pastor of this church for which he refuses to make an apology."
A.C. and Sally lived another two decades within walking distance of the Pigeon Fork meeting house, but the name of A.C. Cook was never mentioned again in the minutes of the Church.
Pat Sengstock, 2nd great-granddaughter
Submitted by Chas. L. Cook , great-grandson
1. "Pigeon Fork Baptist Church Shelby County, Kentucky, Sesquicentennial Anniversary 1825-1975", pamphlet, 1973 Historical Committee of Pigeon Fork Baptist Church, page 2
2. "Minutes of Pigeon Fork Baptist Church", The Church of Latter Day Saints, microfilm 0986464
Abraham C. Cook (1809-1893), William Cook III (Abt. 1764-1816), William Cook II (Abt. 1725-Abt.1784), William Cook I (Abt. 1700-Unknown).
Sally Cook, (Sarah Catherine Cook, wife 1810-1890), Rev. Abraham Cook (1774-1854), William Cook II (Abt. 1725-Abt. 1784), William Cook I (Abt. 1700-Unknown).
Abraham Cook, (Rev. 1774-1854), William Cook II (Abt. 1725-Abt. 1784), William Cook I (Abt. 1700-Unknown).
Henry B. Cook (1836-1905), Abraham C. Cook (1809-1893), William Cook III (Abt. 1764-1816), William Cook II (Abt. 1725-Abt 1784), William Cook I (Abt. 1700-Unknown).
All information is the property of Charlie Cook. Please contact Charlie directly with any questions or comments.