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
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. 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
Bro. Pickett is preaching some wonderful sermons. Monday night
he preached on "Influence" and Tuesday night on "Indifference."
"Woe to them that are at ease in Zion." I have never
heard him or any other man surpass them, for pungency, cogency,
power of illustrations, lucidity, and gospel truth. He is a mighty
man. He hailed fire and brimstone on dancing. To effect this,
I suppose the dancers met en masse at James Reed's, three miles
from town, at the old Judge Reed place last night.
As we came from Dr. Bur-chell's to church we met buggies, equestrians,
and a two-horse wagon load going. Praise God. Misses Lucretia
and Gertrude Reed, who live with their mother in a house in the
yard of the "old place," were at church testifying
and praying. A few weeks ago they were leaders in the dance.
Tuesday night, the 14th, Miss Evans, the teacher at Dr. Burchell's
schoolhouse, professed sanctification at church. She is a Presbyterian
from Kingston, Green County, Indiana, a most elegant young lady;
very devout and consistent. She has been very greatly exercised
about sanctification ever since we began our meetings here and
after a long struggle she has come out into the light. It is
my honest opinion that she has only gotten regeneration, and
when she is convinced of that, as she will be by her experience,
she will be anxious to go on to sanctification.
Bro. Pickett's sermons will tell on this community. He is breaking
up the fallow ground from which will come a great harvest.
I received a letter last night from Bro. B. S. Taylor, pastor
of our church at Jackson, urging me to join Bro. Harvey and himself
at that place on January 15th in a meeting. I am anxious to go.
I think I will write to Bro. Harvey inviting him to Hyden from
Jackson and offering to help him there if he will help me at
Hyden. My work is so great that I must get all the help that
I can. Bro. May could take care of things here while I am at
Jackson, so that both of us need not be absent but a short time
during the Hyden meeting.
The dancers are raging over Bro. Pickett's terrible onslaught.
He read his attack Tuesday night, and Wednesday night they had
a dance. They are muttering over it still. The surgeon evidently
pressed the place where the splinter had struck. O that they
may be led to repentance.
Last night Bro. Pickett presented his plan for forming a library
association. It is to make membership fee $3 to be paid in 12
monthly installments. This money is to be invested in books for
a library, to be used only by the members. I hope to get 15 or
20 members. This will give us $45 to $60 worth of books, a good
library to begin with.
There have been several professions of sanctification this
week. The meeting is doing good. Bro. Pickett is preaching wonderful
sermons. They are so strong, clear, and pungent. Glory to God!
I want to be like Him and see Him as He is.
We closed the meeting last night with the largest attendance
yet. Bro. Pickett did not come out. I preached from Matthew 5:14,
"Ye are the light of the world." The audience was serious
and very attentive. Misses Mary Jose and Lucy Burchell were at
the alter for sanctification, but they did not receive the blessing.
Bro. Pickett preached a powerful sermon yesterday morning on
"This is the will of God, even your sanctification,"
to a good-sized audience. There was a strong opposition awakened
in certain quarters by his denunciations of dancing, but reaction
has set in. A number came back to the meeting last night and
The series of sermons preached by Bro. Pickett has convinced
a great many people that the doctrine of sanctification is a
Bible doctrine. He has planted good seed and I believe in good
ground. I expect an abundant harvest. The people gave Bro. Pickett
$22.40. He stayed at Dr. Burchell's. The following persons professed
sanctification: Miss H. H. Evans, Mrs. Burchell, Mrs. Carol Lyttle,
Mrs. Bettie Duncan, Miss Rachel Wilder, and Miss Bowling; all
professed conversion. The prospect for greater results is bright.
The meeting has opened some homes to me. Having been touched
by the sermons, the inmates have been brought closer to me or
I to them. Several of those names above who professed sanctification
have only been converted in my judgement, but they have found
God and have, now, a real experience of grace. They promise much
for the cause of God to this community. They have a deep interest
in the salvation of the community, have had before but having
no genuine experience they had no fervor or no power. Now they
have liberty, strength, and power. I praise and thank God for
O He has been so good to me since I have been in Manchester.
He has blessed my poor efforts with abundant success. There is
great opposition in some quarters. We are scoffed at by some.
This is usually by persons when drinking. It is an overflow of
what is in the heart. The Lucas Hotel, where I am boarding, has
then regular borders, and I believe there is not a single one
in sympathy with me. The madam of the house has a barroom. Seven
of ten boarders are enraged against Bro. Pickett. Bob, the oldest
son, gets wild, drunk and curses the "sanctified preachers,"
downstairs and out in the yard, so we can see him.
As we (Bro. Pickett, May, and I) were returning from church
Saturday morning, some fellow just inside the door of Bill Treadway's
saloon sang among other things, "Preacher, come in, take
a glass of gin." He called us hypocrites. As Bro. May and
I were going to church Saturday night, from the same saloon they
shot at us with Roman candles. When Bro. May and Pickett were
at the hotel with me, one night when we came home from church,
the bed clothes were taken off and put under the beds. Similar
things occur frequently. The devil is aroused. I am so glad there
is something here to stir his ire. A religion that makes the
devil mad is genuine. There was not a single addition to the
church during the meeting.