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. 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.
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
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!