Isaac Shook

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1803 - 1866

Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, March 11, 1897, cover

Our Dead Heroes.


Few of the great and good men whose pictures and biographies we sought, lived so near the Cross or labored so earnestly for Him who died thereon, as did Rev. Isaac Shook. Born Oct. 30, 1803, in Bedford County, Tennessee, he was trained for his life-toil upon his father's farm, never a bad preparatory school for a boy. Enabled to attend the crude schools of his neighborhood but little, he obtained the greater part of his education after working hours and at night by the flickering light of burning bark in the great fireplace of his boyhood home. Read that again, young man, you who are accustomed to complain at your hard lot in securing an education in these days of opportunity; read that again, and hush your complaining with loud thanksgiving for improved conditions. A Christian and a Cumberland Presbyterian from early boyhood, Mr. Shook soon after reached his majority was licensed to preach by Elk Presbytery. He spent the first years of his ministerial life riding the circuit in Middle Tennessee, preaching in the rude cabins of the early settlers, and often sleeping with the snow drifting upon his bed. Such exposure brought on a cough which lasted him through life and finally caused his death April 11, 1866. In 1832 he went with Rev. S. W. Sparks to Gallatin, Miss., to organize a presbytery. On his way home he stopped at Columbus over Sunday, it being a fixed principle with him never to travel on the Lord's day. He was asked to preach in a Baptist church. The Lord blessed his sermon and a revival began which lasted two months, Mr. Shook preaching every day. He organized a Cumberland church which afterward called him as pastor. In 1835, Rev. Jacob Lindly sent for him to go to Cumberland, Ohio, where he organized a church. He afterward traveled and preached through a large part of that State. During this trip he stopped at the parental home of A. J. Baird, then a little boy. Taking the child upon his knee Mr. Shook talked to him of God and heaven. Dr. Baird often afterward said that an impression was made then which never left him until he was a converted man. While at Marietta, Ohio, Mr. Shook also met Miss Maria Shipman whom he afterward married. She was indeed a helpmeet, teaching school to support the family, while her husband preached.

Mrs. Julia M. Baker, of Belvidere, Tenn., a daughter of Mr. Shook, writes: "The most noticeable trait in my father's character was his strong faith in his Heavenly Father, whom he trusted for both temporal and spiritual blessings. I will give one incident: At the commencement of the late war his nightly prayer at the family altar was for the safety of the husband of his only daughter. After awhile the petition ceased. On being asked about it his answer was, 'I don't want to mock God. My prayer is answered.' That son is still living, and is an elder in the church." From 1851 until 1854 he was secretary of the Board of Missions. During that time he began the publication of a monthly missionary magazine. In the second year after its removal to Nashville Mr. Shook was made financial agent of the Publishing Work of the Church, serving some three years. It was his great desire, during the closing years of his life, to see the war ended and peace restored, and then to attend the first post-bellum meeting of the General Assembly. While his first wish was gratified, he was called from labor to reward before the historic Owensboro (Ky.) meeting of our highest church court.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, March 11, 1897, page 1155]



Shook Isaac. The Christian Sabbath. Publisher: Nashville, Tenn.: Board of Publication of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1860. [37 pages]
[No copy in the archives - we need a copy]

Shook, Isaac. The Personality, Divinity and Influence of the Holy Ghost. Pittsburgh: Printed by Arthur A. Anderson, 1844.
Sermon preached at Mount Pleasant Campmeeting of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Fayette County, Tennessee, September 11, 1843.
[1 copy of pamphlet in archives, 12 pages]

Shook, Isaac. The Sabbath. Cumberland Presbyterian Pulpit, Vol. I, No. 9 (September, 1833), pages 133-147.
[copy of sermon in archives]

Shook, Isaac. The Scripture Guide to Infant Baptism. Louisville, Kentucky: Published by the Cumberland Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1851 [39 pages]
[No copy in the archives - we need a copy]

Shook, Isaac. The Scripture Guide to Infant Baptism. Nashville, Tenn.: Board of Publication of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1860. [30 pages]
[1 copy of pamphlet in archives.

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Updated January 17, 2017