Dr. David Adams
The Life Of David Adams
David Adams, with his unusual style, peculiar to this document, gave us the only true account of his first 23 years of life. In a hand written document, still in possession of family members, he wrote:
"Was born Feb. 16th, 1830, in the State of Georgia, Henry County. Had little school advantages in early life. When 21 years old, began the study of medicine under Dr. W. B. Johnson in Griffin GA. Graduated at Georgia Medical College of Augusta in the spring of 1853. Came to Alabama in April same year, and began the practice of medicine at Pine Apple Wilcox County, where I have lived, till now." (Wilcox County Alabama Heritage Book, p. 110)
Adams further related his struggle to find true religion. In the same document he said that he became anxious to become a Christian in the year of 1849. He wrote:
"…thought I must have evidence of pardon before I could join the church, for which I sought prayerfully for months without success. Was told I would obtain evidence in being baptized-inspired with home, I was immersed in July of August, the same year by old brother S. Robinson, Protestant Methodist. Still failed to obtain desired witness of the spirit. Whilst reading medicine in Griffin 1851, I often heard such men preach as old Dr. Daniel Hook of Atlanta, J.J. Trott, S. Pinkerton and others. My eyes were opened – I saw the light (Ibid.)."
Oddly enough, Adams did not obey the gospel under them at this time, even though he said that he was his eye eyes were opened to the truth. Among “others” Adams mentioned as having heard was Cyrus White of Georgia. J.M. Barnes, who was personally acquainted with David Adams for more than 45 years, tells of Adams having encountered Cyrus White (G. A. August 13, 1908, p. 515). White’s influence was felt very strongly in east-central Alabama. This influence was brought into Alabama by White and those who were influenced by him, such as David Adams.
J.M. Barnes related an incident that began a congregation near Pine Apple in Wilcox County, Alabama. He wrote in the Advocate the following account:
During the late “fifties” two men sat on a log in the woods near Pine Apple, Ala. The one was a young doctor from near Griffin, GA., named David Adams, and the other was a dis-satisfied Baptist planter named William Linam. The first was a nominal Methodist, into whose ears the wealthy planter poured his religious troubles, caused by the departure of his denomination from the Book. He and his two brothers, John and Absalom, were so displeased with the doings of Friendship, the Baptist Church at Pine Apple, that they had built a house of worship, near the homes of the last, five or six miles from Pine Apple, and there they were attempting to practice improved Baptist doctrine. The doctor away back in Georgia had heard the preaching of those who claimed that Christ had built one church and one only, and this one is the church of God, the church of Christ; further, that this church has no book but the Bible, and that the New Testament is a complete guide for this church. On that log he so delighted the elder Linam that hey adjourned to the houses of the two other Linams to tell them the good news – that there were in the world people who believed, preached and practiced just what they did. All were delighted with the Doctor’s recital of facts which seemed so well known to him. The Doctor further promised to get a preacher to visit them; and as they had a house to worship in, they would start outright at once, with the New Testament as their only rule of faith and practice (G.A. Aug. 13, 1908, p. 515). Thus began the congregation, named by their enemies – “Basket Bottom.” Barnes called the meeting in the piney woods of South Alabama – the “Pine Log Council.”
Shortly after this meeting of the “Pine Log Council”, Adams succeeded in acquiring a preacher to hold a meeting for the little group. The preacher was Pinkney B. Lawson of Marion, Alabama. Lawson wrote of his meeting near Pine Apple:
…I have taken advantage of the vacation in our courts and visited the following points: Bragg’s store, Lowndes county, preached for the brethren four of five days, immersed 5 persons; Pine Apple, Wilcox county, preached four days, organized a congregation of 6 on the apostolic platform, as laid down in Ephesians, 4th chapter: 5 were Baptists, and 1 a Protestant Methodist;…Great work could be done by faithful laborers, wholly devoted to the work, in many portions of our country. To the Lord be all the praise. (M.H. Feb. 1860, p. 115).
Lawson wrote this letter to Alexander Campbell, dated July 15, 1859. This means that Lawson probably preached at Basket Bottom in late June or early July. The Protestant Methodist baptized by Lawson, was David Adams. Adams wrote in his manuscript: “…united with church of Christ under preaching of Pickney B. Lawson of Marion Ala. In summer of 1859…: (David Adams Manuscript). Barnes describes this meeting as starting “the new worshippers off on their way rejoicing.” The church at Basket Bottom was formed in a most unlikely way. The founders wanted to be established on New Testament principles, yet none of the Linams, or Adams, at the time, were New Testament Christians. After Lawson’s meeting five of the Linams and David Adams were now members of the New Testament Church – the Church of Christ. For some unknown reason, Adam’s wife was not baptized at this meeting.
The church was now organized to practice New Testament Christianity, but they needed a teacher to help them grow. Sister Lucy Linam encouraged David Adams to preach his first sermon, which he did immediately after Lawson had left the community. Adams said in his manuscripts, concerning his baptism in the summer of 1859: “have been preaching ever since.” His first preaching consisted of his reading a chapter of the Bible and commenting on it (Sound Doctrine Nov. 25, 19741, p.7). Thus began a golden career of preaching by Dr David Adams.
By the beginning of 1860 David Adams was preaching of his local congregation, but not in the surrounding country side. Tolbert Fanning made a tour of central Alabama in January, 1860. On the 21st January he was in Marion, Alabama. Fanning mentions only three preachers in that part of Alabama: John N. Walthal, W. H. Goodloe, and P.B. Lawson (G.A. March, 1860, p. 69). This indicates that Adam’s reputation was little known at this time. Marion was only about 55 miles from Pine Apple, Adams home. As was usually the case, the preachers in certain regions would all gather to meet the visiting preacher. Since Adam’s name was missing from the list, we can only conclude that David Adams had not been recognized as a preacher, except by his home congregation.
This was about to change. By March W. H. Goodloe wrote of having held a meeting at Pine Level:
"I preached near this place on Saturday to a small audience and gain on yesterday [March 14] at 11 o’clock Lord’s Day) to a very large audience, larger, I am informed, than was ever seen there before; and I never had better attention from so large an audience. I addressed them from the 1st and part of the 2nd chapters of Hebrews, at the close of which, two having heard “God speak by his Son,” came forward and confessed that he is the Christ, the Son of God, and I had the pleasure of immersing them in the afternoon. One of them is the wife of our esteemed Bro. Adams, the other the some of one of the brethren." (G.A. April, 1860, p. 158-159)
The way Goodloe addresses Adams as “out esteemed Bro. Adams” indicates that he was slowly building a reputation.
By October 5th the brethren met in Middle Alabama at Marion for a conference on evangelism. W. H. Linam and Dr. David Adams represented Pleasant Hill (The new name for Basket Bottom). Adams reported twenty-six additions at Pleasant Hill since the last October . He further reported that the brethren in his section for the country were willing to put up $150.00 to secure an evangelist for the Wilcox county area (M.H. December 1860, pp. 709-711). This meeting was also reported in the Advocate by Alfred Berry. In the Advocate report we learn that Adams was appointed to a standing committee “to solicit contributions to the Evangelizing fund.” They were also to disburse any surplus on hand, in the employment of suitable Evangelists… (G. A. Dec. 1860, p. 362). Dr. Adams continued to preach at home for the Pleasant Hill congregation.
Barnes wrote of the loving relationship Adams had with his congregation:
It is nice for a man to make an impress of his life, and with it the gospel, where he lives. Doctor Adams was a big man at home as he was abroad. His people took delight in doing him honor. There is a fine lesson in this for us all. “Went about doing good.” This was said about Jesus (Acts 10:38). The same should be said about all his followers. For forty-six years I knew this was said truly about our dear brother (G.A. March 25, 1909, p. 358).
The love and respect that Adams received from his congregation was only a tiny part of the respect that the South Alabama brethren had for his life long service to mankind in his region of the country.
David Adams saw his country torn apart with the Civil War for the next four and half years of his life. He suffered greatly; first over the fact that his countrymen were killing one another; secondly over the pitiable condition that the church was in during the war. Barnes wrote that “The loss by war and a large family hampered him much, but he preached as opportunity offered itself, and he made opportunities (G.A. March 25, 1909, p. 358). So closes the first chapter in David Adams’ life.
Was born Feb. 16th, 1830, in the State of Georgia, Henry County. Had little school advantages in early life. When 21 years old, began the study of medicine under Dr. W.B. Johnson in Griffin, Ga. Graduated at Georgia Medical College of Augusta in the spring of 1853. Came to Alabama in April same year, and began the practice of medicine at PineApple Wilcox County, where I have lived till now.
In 1849 I became anxious to be a Christian - thought I must have evidence of pardon before I could join the church, for which I sought prayerfully for months without success. Was told I would obtain evidence in being baptized - inspired with hope, I was immersed in July or August, same year by old brother S. Robinson, Protestant Methodist. Still failed to obtain desired witness of the spirit. Whilst reading medicine in Griffin 1851, I often heard such men as old Dr. Daniel Hook of Atlanta, J.J. Trott, S. Pinkerton, and others. My eyes were opened-I saw the light.
Came to Ala. in April 1853, united with Church of Christ under preaching of Pickney B. Lawson of Marion, Ala. in summer of 1859, having been preaching ever since.
My preaching has been mostly in Alabama, having preached some in Georgia - a little in Tennessee.
Read with much interest before the civil war the Millennial Harbinger, American Christian Review, Gospel Advocate and other Christian periodicals. Most of these with Christian Standard since the war, with some others. All had their good with some exceptional qualities.
In the course of time they split on the society question. Good and true brethren are doubtless on both sides.
I have always opposed the society as an innovation of God's plan. By its zeal for foreign missions, churches at home are much neglected. There is doubtless a dearth of piety and want of religious interest every where at this time - there is a cause for it.
But I have far transcended my bounds and must stop.
With Christian Love,
-Pioneer History, written by Dr. David Adams, Submitted by James C. and Mary B. Lloyd, 1853 Windsor Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35209. Source: Family records which included the original hand written copy, As appeared in History of Wilcox County, Alabama, page 101
Awin Church of Christ, A Church Planted By Dr. David Adams
Wilcox County, Alabama
Home Of Dr. David Adams In Pine Apple, Alabama
Post Office & Town Of Pine Apple, Alabama
Hospital Operated Dr. David Adams In Pine Apple, Alabama
Location Of The Home, Hospital & Grave Of Dr. Adams
The Home of Dr. David Adams is located in the small township of Pine Apple, Wilcox County, Alabama. The best way to get to Pine Apple is to travel south of Montgomery on I-65 to Exit 128, Hwy 10, and head west about thirty miles. You will enter the small town of Pine Apple. Pass the Post Office and water tower. Just past Banana St. on your right is the old mansion where Dr. Adams lived. His hospital is located just to the left of the mansion. The cemetery will be just to the right of the mansion. Dr. Adams is buried in the old Adams Family Cemetery.
Note: Just a little further down the road on the right is the Old Christians Church Cemetery (Signed). You can go down a little trail and find a few monuments. It is fenced in, but with a lot of tree cover, very small.
C. Wayne Kilpatrick & Scott Harp Taking GPS Coordinates At The Grave Of Dr. Adams
Sacred To The Memory Of
Wife Of David Adams
Born Feb. 18, 1835
Died Dec. 6, 1898
"Sweet rest in heaven."
"Blessed are he dead which die in the
Lord, from henceforth: yea saith th
Spirit, that they may rest from their
labours! and their works do follow them."
I see thee still
"Thou art not in the tomb confined
Death can not claim the immortal mind
Let earth close o're its sacred trust
Yet goodness dies not in the dust."
Born Feb. 16, 1830
Died Dec. 28, 1908
Blessed Are The
Dead Who Die In The Lord
Special thanks goes to C. Wayne Kilpatrick and Tom L. Childers. In March, 2010, while attending the annual lectures at Faulkner University, Wayne, Tom and I did a day trip through South Alabama to locate graves and see where works have been done in restoring New Testament Christianity. Wayne had visited Pine Apple, but the Tom and I had not. Thanks to he and Tom for helping to make this page possible. Much of the research presented here is a result of Wayne's effort.