from Annals of Southwest Virginia 1769 - 1800
Call to Reverend Cummings
A call from the united congregations of Ebbing and Sinking Springs, on Holston's River, Fincastle County, to be presented to the Rev. Charles Cummings, minister of the Gospel, at the Rev'd Presbytery, of Hanover, when sitting at the Sinkling Spring:
Worthey and Dear Sir:
We being in very destitute circumstances for want of the ordinances of Christ's house statedly administered amongst us under distressing spiritual languishment, and multitudes perishing in our sins for want of the bread of life broken among us;
our Sabbaths too much profaned, or at least wasted in melancholy silence at home; our hearts and hands discouraged; our spirits broken with our mournful condition, so that human language cannot sufficiently paint. Having had the happiness, by the good Providence of God, of enjoying part of your labors, to our abundant satisfaction, and being universally well satisfied by an experience of your ministerial abilities, piety, literature, prudence, and peculiar agreeableness of your qualifications to us in particular as a gospel minister.
We do, worthey and dear sir, from our very hearts, and with the most cordial affection and unanimity, agree to call, invite and entreat you to undertake the office of a pastor among us, and the care and charge of our precious souls. And upon your accepting of this, our call, we do promise that we will receive the word of God from your mouth, attend on your ministry, instructions and reproofs, in public and private, and submit to the discipline which Christ has appointed in his church administered by you while regulated by the word of God, agreeably to our confession of faith and directory.
And that you may give yourself up wholly to the important work of the ministry, we do hereby promise to pay unto you annually the sum of ninety pounds from the time of your accepting this, our call; and that we shall behave ourselves toward you with all that dutiful respect and affection that becomes a people towards their minister, using all means within our power to render your life comfortable and happy. We entreat you, worthey and dear sir, to have compassion upon us in this remote part of the world, and accept this our call and invitation to the pastoral charge of our precious and immortal souls, and we shall hold ourselves bound to pray.
In witness whereof, we hereunto set our hands, this 5th day of January, 1773.
We request the Rev. P. B., of Hanover, to present this, our call, to the Reverend Charles Cummings, minister of the gospel, and to concur in his acceptance of it, and we shall account ourselves happy in being your very obliged servants.