Two weeks ago our history involved Lewis Craig who led his church to move from Virginia to Kentucky, settling eventually at South Elkton. Today marks the anniversary of the ordination, in 1770, of his brother Elijah Craig.
Elijah was born again in 1764 under the preaching of the Regular Baptist, David Thomas. A year later, the Separate Baptist, Samuel Harriss, encouraged Bro. Craig to begin meetings in his neighborhood so that others might hear the gospel and grow in Christ. Elijah began going house to house preaching salvation by grace. After another year, he asked North Carolinian James Read to come and baptize himself and the other young converts he had gathered. When churches were established at Blue Run and Rapidan, and after his ordination, Elijah Craig became their pastor.
Bro. Craig was a preacher blessed of God with zeal and aptitude. He had very little formal education, but he applied himself to learning the Word, which he handled as the true sword of the Spirit. His congregations were often greatly moved by his messages. When some of his neighbors began to complain, the sheriff and a posse were sent to arrest him, taking him from the field where he was plowing to the magistrate at Culpepper. He was jailed without arguments either pro or con, where he was fed nothing but rye bread and water for a month. Over the next few years, Elijah was jailed in Culpepper again and twice in Orange County all for preaching the gospel of the grace of Christ.
In 1786, he decided to follow his brothers to Kentucky. There he bought a thousand acres and platted a town which included a Baptist church. The place was first called Lebanon, but afterwards Georgetown.
Still today, scattered across Virginia and Kentucky are churches which can trace their roots back to Elijah, Lewis and John Craig.