James Redmond McDonnold

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1790 - 1853

Cumberland Presbytery

March 19-20, 1811
Big Spring, Wilson County, Tennessee
A committee was appointed to confer with the several young men. They report that Mr. Solomon Reece be recommended to write a discourse, study English grammar, and bring a certificate of his moral character to our next Presbytery, in order to be examined by a full Presbytery on experimental religion and his call to the ministry; that Mr. Samuel McSpadin be recommended to exercise his gift in a way of public exhortation anywhere within our bounds; likewise that he be recommended to study English grammar and divinity; that Mr. Price be permitted publicly to exhort within the bounds of the societies where he is known, with the consent of the sessions of such societies; that Philip and James McDaniel [sic McDonnold] be recommended to go to school, and improve themselves in common English, study English grammar and other useful books, as far as they have opportunity, and that they be recommended to attend Presbytery, hoping that in future they will be useful to the Church. Unanimously concurred in by Presbytery.

Resolved, That all our candidates be required henceforth to attend each stated Presbytery, in order to be examined on English grammar and divinity.
[Source: Minutes of Cumberland Presbytery, March 19-29, 1811]


Cumberland Synod
October 15-16, 1822
Beech Meetinghouse in Sumner County, State of Tennessee
...from the Lebanon Presbytery the members present were Rev. Messrs. ... James McDonald.
Messrs. Ezekiel Cloyd, James McDonald, and Robert Guthrie, were appointed a committee to examine the minutes of the Tennessee Presbytery...
[Source: Minutes of Cumberland Synod, October 15-16, 1811]


Cumberland Synod
October 21, 1823
Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky
Members absent from Lebanon Presbytery: Rev. Messrs. James McDonald...
[Source: Minutes of Cumberland Synod, October 21, 1823]


Cumberland Synod
Third Tuesday in October, 1824
Cane Creek Meetinghouse, in Lincoln County, State of Tennessee
Members absent from the Lebanon Presbytery: Rev. Messrs. James McDonald (twice)...
[Source: Minutes of Cumberland Synod, October 1824]


Cumberland Synod

Third Tuesday in October, 1825
Princeton, Caldwell County, and State of Kentucky
Members absent from Lebanon Presbytery: James McDonald, thrice...
[Source: Minutes of Cumberland Synod, October 1825]


Cumberland Synod
November 20, 1827
Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky
Members absent from Lebanon Presbytery: Rev. Messrs. James McDonald...
[Source: Minutes of Cumberland Synod, November 20, 1827]


Cumberland Synod
October 21, 1828
Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee
Members present from Lebanon Presbytery: Rev. Messrs. James McDonnell...
[Source: Minutes of Cumberland Synod, October 21, 1828]

The Nashville Presbytery established circuits in West Tennessee just as soon as that country was settled by white people. The first itinerants sent thither were John L. Dillard and James McDonnold, and they began their work in 1820, less than a year after the purchase of the country from the Indians. [pages 148-149]

That year [1838] also witnessed the accession of two more ordained preachers to the Texas Presbytery. These were James McDonnold and Milton Moore. In those days the journey to Texas from any of the Eastern States was a very different thing from what it is to-day. There were two routes, one by river and Gulf, and then by ox wagons; the other overland in ox wagons all the way. Emigrants generally chose the latter route. Santa Anna, while a prisoner, had acknowledged the independence of Texas, but Mexico refused to abide by the acts of a prisoner. War was not over. Indians and Mexicans made common cause, and the Comanches were more dreaded than the Mexicans. When James McDonnold started from Tennessee to Texas great crowds of people gathered to see the family take their departure. He had a large circle of kin besides numerous church friends whom his preaching had won. His eldest son was with Houston's armies, and stories of battle and blood were still coming from that land which was farther off than British India is to-day. When the ox wagons began to creak along the highway, bearing our friends away, it was to us who were left behind very much like seeing them led to execution. Everybody was weeping. On McDonnold's arrival in Texas he entered on his old life--"a circuit rider." With a large family to support, he yet managed to give himself to the work of the ministry. [pages 269-270]

[Source: McDonnold, B.W. History of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Nashville, Tenn.: Board of Publication of Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1899]

Cumberland Presbyterian itinerant preachers were sent to West Tennessee within less than a year after the area was bought from the Indiana in 1819. In 1820, John L. Dillard and James McDonald began their work there. [page 108]

The minutes of the Synod for 1822 reveal the existence of four additional presbyteries. Anderson, which seems to have comprised a portion of western Kentucky, eastern Illinois, and the state of Indiana, had as ministers William Barnett, David W. McLin, John Barnett, Aaron Shelby, William Henry, Woods M. Hamilton, and James Johnston. Lebanon, which had been created out of the eastern portion of Nashville Presbytery, had as its ministerial members Thomas Calhoun, William Bumpass, John Provine, John L. Dillard, James McDonald, Samuel McSpadden, and Daniel Gossedge. [page 110]

[Source: Barrus, Ben M., Milton L. Baughn, and Thomas H. Campbell. A People Called Cumberland Presbyterians. Memphis, Tennessee: Frontier Press, 1972.]

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Updated May 11, 2009