OLD MULKEY STATE HISTORIC SITE
The oldest log meetinghouse in Kentucky was built in 1804 during a period of religious revival. Many Revolutionary War soldiers and pioneers, including Daniel Boone?s sister, Hannah, are buried here. The structure has twelve corners in the shape of a cross and three doors, symbolic of the Holy Trinity.
The Old Mulkey Church, orginally called the Mill Creek Baptist Church, was established by a small band of pioneer Baptists from North and South Carolina and led by Philip Mulkey. The gift shop, located in the park office, features books on the history of Old Mulkey, Kentucky handcrafts and souvenirs.
The Old Mulkey Church was orginally called the Mill Creek Baptist Church, established by a small band of pioneer Baptists from North and South Carolina led by Philip Mulkey. John Mulkey was the first preacher of record. In April 1804 the growing congregation commissioned the building of a meetinghouse.
This crude log stucture, with puncheon floor, pegleg seats, chinked and daubed walls, clapboard shutters and handrived shingles, was built with 12 corners and in the shape of a cross with three doors. Many historians believe that the 12 corners represent the 12 apostles, while others believe that they represent the 12 tribes of Israel. The three doors are symbolic of the Holy Trinity.
By 1809, a large congregation worshipped in the log meetinghouse. A controversy arose over the teachings of John Mulkey, which led to several heresy trials. Failing to gain a majority vote against him, the church decided to "choose sides." The majority of the group that believed as Mulkey did continued to worship in the church, which after the split, or schism, became known as "Old Mulkey." The other congregation built the second Mill Creek Baptist Church.
The Mulkey Church flouished for several years after the schism. Many converts were won to the Campbellite movement, as it was then called, which was very strong in the upper South. Religious services were held there regularly until 1856. The movement encouraged the establishment of the Disciples of Christ and Church of Christ in the United States.
Early Religion in Kentucky:
Dissenting preachers like John Mulkey were an important element of the early society of Kentucky. Church camp meetings were among the most attractive community affairs in many sections of the Kentucky territory. People came from miles around to see the most popular preachers on the frontier. Families would arrive with enough provisions to last several days or even weeks. Camp meetings, where sometimes more than 20,000 people were in attendance, revealed an outpouring of the spirit which was called the great revival, or "The Great Awakening."