Parker, Noah(born: 1850) Noah Parker was an African American minister born in Kentucky around 1850 to Cato and Winnie Parker. Noah Parker died after 1880, and according to the U.S. Federal Census, he was a preacher. In the rural area of Clintonville, Kentucky, in the late 1800s it was rare to find an African American male listed with an occupation other than farm hand or laborer. Clintonville, KY. was established around 1800 by George and John Stipp. First known as Stipp's Crossroads, this community was later named Clintonville in 1831.
Noah Parker was instrumental in organizing the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church that is located on Clintonville Road. The actual congregation was formed in 1860 by residents of what would become the community of Boonetown, an African American community also located on Clintonville Road. The land was given to local African Americans after the Civil War by George Boone. Noah Parker was the first minister to this religious group of African Americans, even before there was a church building. Around 1873, the residents of Boonetown built the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church. According to population statistics from the 1870 U.S. Federal Census there were approximately 339 blacks and mulattoes in the Clintonville, KY precinct. This population number grew to approximately 446 by 1880 according to the U.S.Federal Census. Today the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church is still in the original building and, according to Mrs. Ora Mae Jacobs, the eldest member of the church, there is still a small and active congregation.
Few personal or historical facts have been found about Noah Parker. However, he was an early African American minister who showed leadership skills and was able to read and write. Led by men of such strong leadership, it was not uncommon for African American churches to become the foundation for early black schools in rural areas of Kentucky. Churches such as Pleasant Valley Baptist Church served as a benevolent organization, caring for the ill and indigent, and a meeting place to discuss community issues.
Sources: 1870 and 1880 U. S. Federal Census for Bourbon County, KY; Kentucky Place Names by Robert M. Rennick; Historic Architecture of Bourbon County, Kentucky by Historic Paris-Bourbon County, Inc. and The Kentucky Heritage Council; Interview with William Brown of Paris, KY, by Kellie Scott; oral history interview with Ora Mae Jacobs, longtime resident of Clintonville, KY; and A History of Blacks in Kentucky: from slavery to segregation, 1760-1891 by Marion B. Lucas. This entry was submitted by Kellie Scott of the Paris-Bourbon County Public Library.