Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Bro. Isaac Hucaby

It has been said that Isaac Hucaby inspired thousands with both his sermons and his Christian life. When he died at age 78, he was one of the area's great Baptist preachers. During his ministry, Bro. Hucaby preached over 1,300 funerals, performed over 500 baptisms and over 300 marriages. He not only performed weddings in churches, but also under sycamore trees and along a dark roadway with only a cars headlights. About the large number of funerals he conducted, someone once told him, “It sounds like the dead people like to hear you, the same as the living.

Bro. Huckaby once said he had performed baptisms from the Cumberland River to farm ponds. He preferred performing baptisms in creeks because he said the service seemed more meaningful. Once he was baptizing 24 people in a rather shallow creek. The last man weighed 220
pounds and instead of the usual procedure where the minister lifts the individual out of the water, Brother Hucaby's foot slipped and he went under the water, instead. The man he was baptizing reached down and picked the soaked preacher out of the water.

Bro. Hucaby was born on July 1, 1909 into a family which had four separate sets of twins, he and his twin sister were the two youngest of thirteen children. All of the twins were sets of a boy and a girl, except one set of boys who died in infancy. The family had a large two-story house located on a 220 acre farm in the Burfield community near Barrier in Wayne County, Kentucky.

He was ordained in 1930. There was a time when he was pastor at five Churches. They were quarter-time churches, which meant once a month preaching. He would do the preaching on Satur­day afternoon and then Sunday afternoon. During his first years as a minister, Hucaby walked 15 miles to church. He later rode a horse and in 1934 purchased an automobile to travel to the country churches.

Hucaby entered the ministry at age 18 after being converted when he was 10-years-old. He began his preaching career at the Old Beaver Creek Church, now l75 feet under water at Wolf Creek Dam. His second pastorate was at Gap Creek Baptist Church, originally called Otter Creek Church. He was pastor at the Gap Creek Church for 12 years in succession, away two years and then back two years. He laid the foundation for a full-time church with preaching every Sunday. During his years at Gap Creek Church he also preached at Bethel Church in Parmleysville, Big Springs Church, New Hope Church on Beaver Creek near Cooper, Sandusky’s Chapel Baptist Church, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church and various other churches across the county.

It is safe to say that Isaac Hucaby probably preached at least once in every Baptist church in the region, serving as pastor of a variety of churches in Clinton, Cumberland, Pulaski and Wayne counties, including a brief pastorate at my church, Clear Fork, in 1933. He retired from the active pastorate in 1971 and then dedicat­ed himself to supply work and evangelistic work.

Bro. Hucaby married Lena Campbell in 1933, and lived with her until her death in 1970. After 27 months, he married Eula Bartleson, the widow of James Bartleson. He last married Dona Bertram, the widow of Arnold Bertram of the Windy community. He died on Dec. 14, 1987 at the age of 78. He and Lena are buried at Elk Spring Cemetery in Monticello, Kentucky. He truly was one of all-time great Baptist preachers from our area. (Information for this article was obtained from a Dec. 17, 1987 article by Linda Jones/Wayne County Outlook).

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