The Lincolns at Church

Abraham Lincoln never officially joined a church but his parents were Baptists, serving as active members during his youth. This is the minute book of the Pigeon Creek Baptist Church, which the Lincolns attended throughout their 1816-1830 residence in Indiana. Among the entries are the reception of Lincoln’s father and stepmother, Thomas and Sarah, on June 7, 1823, and the reception of Abraham’s sister Sarah, on April 8, 1826.

Abraham does not appear in the book and his religious beliefs were a subject of debate even during his lifetime, but there is ample evidence he was significantly influenced by religious ideas. He knew the Bible well and frequently quoted or alluded to it in his public speeches. There is also some evidence that the Baptist ministers the Lincolns heard espoused anti-slavery beliefs, perhaps laying early seeds of Abraham’s own views on the injustice of slavery.

MS-1816-1840 – Little Pigeon Creek Baptist Church Minute Book

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Pigeon Creek Baptist Church Minute Book, 7 June 1823

June the 7th 1823

1st Inquird for fellowship

2nd Invited members of sister Churches to seat with us

3rd Opend a dore for the Reception of members

4th Receivd Brother Thomas Linkhon by letter and

5th the case of Sister Elizebeth White cold for & referrd and the Brother and the brother that was to have a letter to her aquited

6th The Church appoints thair Messengers to Represent them assiation [?] Lemare, Charles Harper & [?] Stark and the Clerk to prepare a letter to be inspected At our next meeting

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