The Return To Cane Ridge

David R. Kenney

In August of 1980, when I was 13 years of age, our family attended the first Cane Ridge Restoration Workshop in Lexington, KY. The speaker was Basil Overton who was one of my dad's favorite instructors at the Nashville School of Preaching. This trip created a bond between Basil and myself that we share to this day. Despite the devastation of a tornado that nearly destroyed the North Lexington meeting place just a month prior to the workshop, the congregation's determination to move forward by having the workshop next door at the Mary Todd Lincoln Elementary School was impressive. I still enjoy looking at pictures of my sisters and me next to the tomb of Barton W. Stone. The memories are precious and too many to share in this column.

Twenty-seven years later, I was able to take my family to Cane Ridge for the 27th Cane Ridge Restoration Lectureship. The program was excellent. Phil Sanders, David Shannon, Eddie Craft, Steve Higginbotham, and David Lipe presented lessons to challenge the audience. Todd Walker led the singing and did a superb job, which was not a surprise to me since I remembered Todd's leading singing during part of the FHU Bible Lectureship. The restoration tour conducted by Everett Donaldson and Steve Besson was very informative. To give a person an idea of how abundant restoration history is in this area, it was pointed out that a person would have to attend at least seven lectureships before tours would need to be repeated. Glenn & John Harris were able to visit Lexington Cemetery with us where we stood at the graves of J. W. McGarvey, Raccoon John Smith, J. T. Johnson, and other important figures of the Restoration Movement. The climax to the trip was going out to Cane Ridge and touring the original log cabin meeting house, which is encased and protected by an outside stone structure. Barton W. Stone's grave is on the grounds at Cane Ridge. Next to the meetinghouse there is also a museum that is very informative. Everyone should read The Last Will & Testament of the Springfield Presbytery which was written on June 28, 1804. It would be difficult to find a more concise historical document that explains the noble goals of the restoration plea the return to pure New Testament Christianity.

Recently, a friend emailed me asking me to recommend a tour of sites relating to Thomas & Alexander Campbell at Bethany, WV, and Barton W. Stone at Cane Ridge, KY. I offered to help coordinate a tour of the sites in Bethany, WV, but really stressed the value of the Cane Ridge Restoration Lectureship. In my estimation, there is no better way to learn about this vital part of our restoration heritage than to attend this lectureship. The hospitality of the North Lexington church of Christ was exemplary. Space does not permit mentioning all the ones who had made this visit so memorable.

It was indeed a delight to finally get to enter the restored North Lexington Church of Christ building on Parkside Drive. Ironically, it will probably be their last year at this location since next year's Cane Ridge Restoration Lectureship, July 31 thru August 3rd, will be held in their beautiful new building at 2280 Hume Road. I look forward to taking my family back, each year that we can, to create memories that hopefully will inspire my children to bring their children and return to Cane Ridge. -29 Flora Dr., Bedford, OH 44146.


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