Dickey's Diary


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.
In this journal of his, Dickey often wrote down accounts of events daily. Much of the material concerns his day to day life. However, during the late 1890s he began to gather family history on various families he met in his travels. Beginning in this issue we are offering these interviews to our readers in the hope that they will be appreciated in the sense that Rev. Dickey intended. These interviews were written word for word as they were given to Rev. Dickey. Nothing has been changed.

February 20, 1898

Manchester, Kentucky


I have been in my room unable to walk for five days. My ankle has improved and is about free of pain, but I still cannot put my weight on my right foot. I have sat in my chair all this time, with my foot lying on a pillow before me, the leg being elevated on a level with the hip joint. The doctor lanced the rising yesterday afternoon. The swelling extended from knee to toes, but most of that was gone down. I have been otherwise perfectly well. I have read and written almost constantly. There have been but few in to see me, so I have had the time to myself, as usual, when in my room.
The pulpit, of course, was not filled during Sunday School at both churches. In the Homilite Review I noticed that the Southern Presbyterian Church, for the church year 1896-1897, that 1,242 out of 2,812 churches report not a single addition. In the Congregational Church last year 1,400 congregations reported no conversions. In the Northern Presbyterian they reported 1,750. Last year the Southern Presbyterian had 707 churches. In these churches additions and conversions are synonymous, that is in name and number. This is fearful. Perhaps there are more such churches in the Methodist denomination because they are more numerous. The machinery of the church was never so good, but there is a lack of power. The world has gotten into the church and that crowds the Holy Spirit out.
Clarence B. Strouse of Salem, Virginia, has started a "Religious Review of Reviews." I have seen the first number. The finding in Egypt recently of a few leaves of a book called The Sayings of Jesus is attracting attention. Proofs of the Bible are constantly increasing, and so it will continue. Amen!

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