Jonathan B. Fuller (1840?-1928) Papers (KC0040)
Jonathan B. Fuller was born in Arbroath, Scotland, about 1840, the son of William and Elizabeth Fuller. The family came to the United States around 1848, residing in Wheeling, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and finally Lewis County, Missouri. In Lewis County, Fuller became acquainted with Baptist church members and doctrine, and was ‘born again’ in 1858. He attended LaGrange College (LaGrange, Lewis County, Missouri) where he was baptized and ordained to the gospel ministry in November, 1860. Fuller for a short time served as pastor of the Baptist church at LaGrange, but soon moved to Louisiana, Missouri where he was a pastor.
Fuller visited Kansas City, Missouri in February 1864. That April, he accepted the pastorate of the First Baptist Church located on Eighth and May Streets. He boarded at the home of Johnston Lykins, a member of the church. Fuller’s congregation was composed of both Union and Southern sympathizers, and being the only Protestant church in the city, was attended by members of other Protestant sects.
Fuller also spent time traveling and preaching to other communities in the area such as Westport, Missouri, where he was during the days of the Battle of Westport, October 23-25, 1864.
In 1866, discord between the Northern and Southern factions split his church, and Fuller led the minority Northern group to form the Grand Avenue Baptist Church (sometimes called the Walnut Street Church) in February. In 1871 this congregation became the Third Baptist Church of Kansas City.
Fuller resigned from his position with the Grand Avenue Baptist Church in early 1867 to return to Louisiana, Missouri, for another two years. After returning to Kansas City about 1869 to preach again, he then took a pastorate in Burlington, Iowa, before settling in Sedalia, Missouri, in 1880, where he was pastor to the First Baptist Church for 27 years. Jonathan B. Fuller died in Sedalia, Missouri, on November 15, 1928, after 48 years of residence there.
The papers include a journal/diary kept by Fuller, containing minute daily accounts of his activities and thoughts. The entries are mainly church related, giving details about marriages, funerals, sermons, and other services he performed. The volume begins with a financial ledger of a general store, unknown location and operator, 1851.
Also in the papers is correspondence written by Fuller to his father in 1864 concerning affairs in Kansas City, where Fuller was pastor of the First Baptist Church. One of the letters contains a lengthy description of the Battle of Westport, of which Fuller was an eyewitness. This letter is maintained as a separate folder entitled 1864 Correspondence.
The remainder of the papers consists of correspondence addressed to and received by Fuller and his father, William, during the years 1855-1873. They chiefly concern church business such as invitations and thanks for services performed by Fuller. These letters had been tipped into a scrapbook in apparently random order. They were removed and filed into chronological order. 1851-1873.
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Monday, February 07, 2011
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