October 16, 2013

Traces of Laurel: The Jerusalem of Kentucky

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Laurel County and the county seat of London should be called the Jerusalem of Kentucky,” wrote Rev. Alfred Carrier in his small book “The Flight of the Dove:  Roots of Pentecost in Eastern Kentucky.” (ca. 1982) “It was here that God saw fit to bring together heaven and earth, men and angels, with the advent of 20th century Pentecost in Kentucky.” 

Many thanks to Kip Jervis who graciously granted me access to this book when I mentioned that I needed information on the Pentecostal movement in this area.

Rev. Carrier goes on to give a short history of how and when the Pentecostal Church got its start in Kentucky.  I’ve excerpted only the part that deals with Laurel County.

Carrier wrote:  “The earliest known records on Pentecost in Laurel County date back to 1907 when two men, Rev. Sam Perry and Rev. Billy Wilder, from Florida, came to London and preached revival in the old opera house.” (Carrier gives the location of this opera house as the corner of 7th and Main streets.)  “Around 50 to 75 people embraced the new doctrine, or restoration of the first century Pentecostal Church,” Carrier continued.

Among the first converts were several prominent members of the London community: Dr. George F. Lucas (a dentist), Judge P. R. Pennington, W. S. Jackson, and Judge W. E. Begley. Begley and his wife, Telitha, became father and mother to many in the Pentecostal Church, Carrier wrote, and remained true to the faith until their deaths.

About 1916 land was donated for a simple frame building and, wrote Carrier, “the gospel went forth with such power that thousands were to be brought under the influence of this new spiritual awakening. . . . the Pentecostal flame ignited in the Old Farris Opera House was fast becoming a raging Inferno.”

According to Carrier, the original church in London (Manchester Street Holiness Church) outgrew its space and moved to South London and became “one of the more renowned churches in the state.”  This refers to London’s First Pentecostal Church whose long-time pastor, Rev. Gene Huff, was familiar to most Laurel Countians.

Text Only
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results