Robert Baker, Rev. – History

History of Robert Baker, Rev.

Please contact researchers:
Judy Hawman – judyhawman@gmail.com

Rev. Robert Baker, son of Humphrey Baker and his wife Anna was a famous Revolution War soldier and Methodist preacher. He was very active in the expansion of the Western settlements through what would become Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri. Because of his exceptional life, he has been claimed by many people as their ancestor. With the development of DNA testing and genealogical documentation his heritage and descendants have been proven. It is very important to his descendants to honor him and to provide the correct information regarding his life.

Robert Baker was born 17 Jan 1754 on Bakers Creek on the middle Fork of the Holston River. His parents were one of the first settlers in what is now Washington Co, Virginia. It is said that Robert Baker was the first white child born on this extreme western frontier. On 11 Nov 1783- Robert Baker was granted 50 acres adjacent to his father Humphrey Baker on Bakers Creek. His neighbors were David Beattie (David Beatie), John Hutton, John Kirk and Samuel Breedon (Samuel Breeden).

Robert Baker served in the Revolutionary War under Col William Campbell, Capt James Dysart and Col Arthur Campbell. He was in the Battle of King’s Mountain amd was wounded in the leg. From his pension application we know that he resided in Fincastle Co, VA now Washington Co, Virginia, Greene Co, Tennessee, Madison Co, Kentucky, Smith Co, Tennessee. In 1818 Smith Co, TN Rev. Robert Baker sold the last of his property on Hickman’s Creek, a branch of Caney Fork to Samuel Burks and immediately removed to Callaway Co, MO.

Robert Baker became a very religious man. He was converted at a camp meeting. He is believed to be the first person in Eastern Tennessee to join the Methdoist Episcopal Church. His pension from the Revolutionary War was donated to the Methodist church he help establish in Montgomery Co, Missouri. It is not know when he became a minister but the Madison Co, KY court order book listed Rev Robert Baker having produced credentials of Ordination by the Methodist Chruch on 3 Mar 1795. He was then authorized to perform marriages in this Kentucky area. He is later listed as one of the First ministers of the Gospel in Callaway Co, Missouri. In fact he performed the first recorded marriage in Callaway Co, Missouri the 11th of January 1821 for John Pratt to Miss Amy Baker. It is not known if Rev. Robert and Amy were related. In 1819 Rev Drury Clanton and Rev Robert Baker organized the first Methodist Church in Montgomery Co, Missouri. The church was located five miles southwest of Danville, Missouri.

Rev Robert Baker wife or wives are uncertain. We do know he had at least 6 sons. The Baker DNA study has helped many of his descendents find each other. When he came to the end of his life he was remembered by his good friend Andrew Monroe who wrote the following obituary

The obituary has been a source of frustration because someone added information which DNA has proven wrong. The incorrect portion is highlighted in red. DNA testing has proven that Rev. Andrew Baker the famous Baptist preacher is not related to Rev Robert Baker, the Methodist Minister. Please see the Baker DNA project family group #3 at URL: http://bakerdna.net/. We are continuing to research the original source of the obituary.

R E V . R O B E R T B A K E R Andrew Monroe wrote the obituary of Rev. Robert Baker who was a Methodist ministers from Montgomery / Calloway County, Missouri stating that Robert Baker was a younger brother to Elder Andrew Baker- a primitive Baptist minister from North Carolina and Lee County, Virginia.

“Another of the fathers has fallen asleep. The Rev. Robert Baker -a native of Virginia: who, when but a youth, joined the struggle of the American Revolution. Through all the dangers of the war, he was preserved, except in the battle of KINGS MOUNTAIN, at which he received a severe wound. After the conclusion of the war, he accompanied some of the enterprising emigrants to the west: and whenever necessary, he served in defense of the frontier settlements, against the encroachments of savage men. He was held in the confidence and high esteem of the pioneers in Tennessee and KENTUCKY. Brother Baker was not satisfied with just sharing the honors of having gained his county’s liberties, and of having braved the dangers of the frontiers, but before he had reached the meridian of life, he sought and obtained that liberty which the Son of God alone can give whilst the fire of Divine love was burning in his heart, he went to a minister and inquired into this matter. The minister informed him that he had experienced a similar change when at college, but had never considered it his duty to make it known to his congregations. At this Brother Baker was much surprised: for such were his views and feelings, that he considered it his duty to publish what God had done for his soul, to all around him. He gave himself to prayer, and went on his lonely way. rejoicing in the love of Christ. When God pardoned his sins, he shouted. Glory to God! and so strange was this sound, that the people thought him insane. He became acquainted with the then persecuted Methodists and united with them. This was in the wilds of Tennessee. A local preacher among the emigrants proposed to organize a class. Brother Baker was the first to go forward: and according to his own account, he was the first man who joined the Methodist Episcopal church, west of the mountains. But he could not rest here: “the love of Christ” soon “constrained him” to invite others to a participation of gospel grace. He was soon licensed to preach. He was an acceptable preacher, and God gave him many seals to his ministry, in different parts of the west. Brother Baker settled in Missouri, in 1818, where he had a new field of usefulness: nor did he fail to throw his mite to the utmost of his ability. Although time had made some inroads upon his strength, his fine constitution and good health, enabled him to labor considerably, and to be useful. In 1826 , I saw this venerable servant of God: and I always esteemed it a privilege to be in his company. He was always cheerful and happy: and although he lived to see more than fourscore years, yet there was nothing childish in his conversation or manners. He was, indeed, as a ripe stalk of corn. Having his “loins girt about, and his light burning”, he waited patiently the coming of the Lord: and when he could no longer preach, he would sometimes exhort and pray with uncommon fervency and power: and his address to the Divine throne indicated how near he lived to God. Truly it was as one speaking to his friend. He was beloved by all of his community, and will long live in the memory of the people of Montgomery and Calloway counties, Some months previous to his death, he was seized with the disease which terminated his sufferings. He had every kindness shown by his children, among whom he suffered and died, As he had furnished a pattern of practical piety for more than half a century, so in his last illness, he furnished an illustrious example of patience and fortitude: and as he shouted glory, when he first entered the spiritual kingdom. We have seen reason to believe, he shouted glory into heaven. When he left this world. For not withstanding, he had lost his speech for fifteen days previous to his death. He gave satisfactory evidence that God was with him to bear his triumphant spirit home. He calmly fell a sleep in Jesus, on the 6 day of Aug.,1834. God grant that his children, grand children, and acquaintances, may follow him as he followed Christ: Saying, let me live the life of the righteous that I may die His death.”

Rev Robert Baker was a very interesting man who had a very full life. It is no wonder many wanted to claim him as their ancestor. With the DNA studies, his true descendants are proving that he came from an exceptional family of strong stock who helped the nation expand westward.

We would also like to give thanks to Maxine Short, 7th great granddaughter of Rev. Robert. Baker. Maxine has researched the Baker family for many years and gave us much of the data we have used to expand our information. Maxine did it the hard way by visiting many of the sites and doing physical searches of the documents, finding and preserving valuable information.