Editor's Note: Readers of The Kentucky Explorer have been introduced to the Rev. John J. Dickey in past issues. Remember that he was a traveling preacher throughout the eastern part of the state during the years between 1880 and 1925. He helped to establish numerous churches and at least two colleges. He was also a teacher and a newspaper editor. However, his most enduring gift to us today may well be his diary that he kept faithfully during some 50 years of his later life beginning in the 1880s. In all, over 6,000 pages written in his own hand make up this interesting digest.
January 23, 1898
I arrived here at 10:30 a.m. Today I was overtaken by night and a rainstorm at John E. White's place and came from there this morning. I stayed Friday night at Taylor Marcum's at the mouth of Big Creek. I hope to establish a church at that point. It is about halfway between Manchester and Hyden. I rang the church bell as soon as I arrived this morning and had services. Only a dozen were present. At Sunday School we had a fairly good attendance at 2:00 p.m. Last Sunday Dr. Sandlin acted as superintendent, the Sunday before Miss Evans, and Bro. Farmer conducted prayer meetings on Wednesday nights during my absence. Only four or five were present. Thank God for someone to stand in the breach.
Tonight as I sit in my room, card playing is going on in an adjoining room, profanity and obscenity, most shocking, is heard. The card playing has been going on all afternoon, perhaps all day. At the table one speaks a word to me. The devil seems to have set everything against me, but God will use me yet for their conversation.
January 25, 1898
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