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Barton Warren Stone

1772-1844. American frontier Presbyterian evangelist. Born in colonial Maryland, he crossed into Kentucky at the close of the American Revolution, with strong, pietistic reactions to war-induced vices. Essentially an Arminian revivalist, he broke with his Presbyterian heritage over unconditional election and limited atonement after the great Cane Ridge Meeting (1801), in which he was participant and recorder. He and five others set forth the Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery (1804), a declaration of biblical authority and the oneness of Christ's church. He organized the “Christian Church.” His ecumenical outlook brought him into contact with many other “Christians” of “the Reformation of the Nineteenth Century,” including especially Alexander Campbell,* with whose “Disciples” many of the Christians merged in 1832. Stone's Address (1814) and Letters to Blythe (1824) and the paper The Christian Messenger (1826) were molded by revivalism or the frontier experience-involvement in which moved him continually westward, despite successes in the Ohio Valley.

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