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for Primitive Baptist Churches in Adams County, Illinois

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A letter was given to Bro. Asa and Sis. Matilda Tungate to join Salem Church, in Adams County, Illinois, in October 1826, by Dry Ridge Church (in what is now Grant County, Kentucky). It is probable that this Salem Church is the same as New Salem Church shown below. County histories indicate New Salem church was organized in about 1832, but they may have been mistaken, as the earliest records have been lost.


Mill Creek Church was constituted in June 1832, by Elder William Roberts, moderator, and Vivan Daniels, clerk. Charter members were Robert Childers, Henry Davis, Nancy Davis, Samuel Wright, Mary Conyers, Elizabeth Childers, and Joanna Thomas. Mill Creek Church first united with the Spoon River Association in the fall of 1832. Then, in 1835, she was one of the original churches forming the Salem Association. In 1842 the church went into the constitution of the Mt. Gilead Association, where she represented as late as the year 1878. A deed has been located for the church property, which proves that the church was located at the site of the Burton Cemetery, about one mile east of Burton.


Asher, Burk, Burrows, Byler, Childers, Collins, Conrad, Conyers, Davis, Franks, Guymon, Hickerson, Mackey, Parsons, Pulman, Rice, Richards, Roberts, Stroder, Thomas, Walker, Wilks, Wright (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


New Bethel Church was organized in 1832 or 1833. It probably became a member of the Spoon River Association in 1833. The 1834 minutes of the Spoon River Association show Benjamin Collins, Joseph Thomas, and John Abbott as messengers, who reported 22 members. New Bethel Church went into the organization of the Salem Association in October 1835, at which time Benjamin Collin[g]s was the messenger, who reported 27 members in fellowship. In 1842, the church helped constitute the Mt. Gilead Association. One reference to the church in the minutes states that it was located about three and one-half miles southeast of Payson; another says it met near the Whitcomb's School. Elders Miles H. Abbott, James Abbott, and S. Allphin were all members of this church during its existence.


Abbott, Allphin, Collins, Franks, Goodwin, McNutt, Rice, Thomas, Wagy (very incomplete due to lack of records).


New Providence Church was organized as an arm of Mill Creek in May 1833, with seven members; on the third Saturday in September 1833, five charter members organized the church, viz., Pattison Heaton, Polly Heaton, Joel Nelson, James Crank, and Elizabeth Wren. The presbytery was composed of Elders William Roberts, Henry C. Davis, and Brethren Laris Pulman and Jacob Franks (all from Mill Creek); and Elder S. Allphin (from New Bethel Church, near Payson). The church first united with the Spoon River Association, 1833; then in 1835 was one of the churches which constituted the Salem Regular Baptist Association.

This church had for pastors Elders Henry C. Davis, Joel G. Williams, William Forsythe, Isaiah Guymon, B. R. Warren, James Harper, Thomas B. Ausmus, and D. W. Owens. In August 1834, the church "Agree(d) to meet on Thursday and Friday the 28th and 29th instant for the purpose of building a meeting house." This was probably a log structure. A deed for four acres of land at the present site was obtained in 1839. A stone building was erected in 1845-1848, which still stands, about two miles north of Ursa, Illinois, as a monument to this church. The minutes in the church record book end in 1890, but meetings probably continued after that date, for which no minutes were recorded, as the church had not yet dissolved, even at the time the stone church and graveyard were transferred. A meeting was held in Ursa, in December 1904, to transfer the property to the trustees of the newly formed New Providence Cemetery Association, under an agreement which required perpetual maintenance of the building for all worship and funeral purposes.


Barnet, Beard, Behymer, Benson, Bethers, Brown, Bryant, Callaway, Campbell, Clark, Collier, Coltharp, Combs, Cottherp, Crank, Dalton, Davis, Downard, Eshom, Forsythe, Gallimore, Glenny, Groverdrink, Guymon, Hardy, Harvey, Hatton, Haynes, Heaton, Ingram, Isham, Kelly, Lee, Lightfoot, Martin, Nelson, Penix, Rawlings, Roberts, Rust, Sims, Smith, Summers, Tindell, Turner, Verseth, Walker, Washburn, Welling, Wheeler, Williams, Wilson, Woods, Woodworth, Workman, Worley, Wren.


New Salem Church was organized by Elder John Harvey and others, in Adams County (probably in what is now Concord township), sometime in 1832/1833 or 1834. (See also, however, Salem Church, above.) The minutes of Spoon River Association for 1834 show this church was received at that time, her messengers being John Ausmus, Phillip Ausmus, and William Hobbs, who reported 16 members.

New Salem Church was the site of the constitution of the Salem Regular Baptist Association in October 1835. The early records of the Salem Association show that New Salem Church was meeting in Adams County (although the exact place has not yet been determined) from the time of its organization until 1842, when it moved over the Adams county line into Lee township, in Brown County, where a log church building was erected, and a deed was secured by 1844. This site was very near the Orton Cemetery, about 2 1/2 miles southwest of Mounds Station (Timewell), on the Wabash road.

New Salem Church went into the constitution of the Mt. Gilead Association in 1842. In 1844, when they built their log meeting house, Elder William Hogan was the pastor. In the year 1869 they erected a large new frame building with a seating capacity of about 300, at the same site. Among their pastors are the names of Elders John Harvey, William Hogan, Peter Ausmus, Bushrod R. Warren, Asher Cottrell, James Harper, D. W. Owens, and Thomas B. Ausmus. Elders John Harvey, Peter Ausmus, Asher Cottrell, Ware S. May, Henry Robinson, William Hogan, William Hobbs, and Lazarus C. Webb were all members of this church during its history.


Ausmus, Baker, Beckman, Bennett, Black, Bolinger, Briscoe, Brunk, Byars, Campbell, Carpenter, Cogburn, Colfield, Cottrell, Craft, Davis, Foster, Gray, Harper, Harvey, Hobbs, Hogan, Huddleston, Humphrey, Jarvis, Jefferson, Lindsay, Long, May, Mahurin, Milegan, Phillips, Preece, Rigg, Robinson, Walker, Ward, Webb, Williams, Worthington, Wristen (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


Bear Creek Church was organized between June and September 1835, with seven members. The exact location has not been determined, but the church met somewhere a few miles west of LaPrairie, in Adams County, Illinois. In September 1835, Bear Creek Church united with the Spoon River Association. About a month later, this church helped constitute the Salem Association. It remained a member of the Salem Association as long as the church existed. Little is presently known about this church, except from the Association minutes, as the church records have been lost. The Harris and Riley families, most of whom came to Illinois from Tennessee, were prominent members of the church throughout its existence. Elder Jacob Castlebury, of Hancock County, was the pastor here for many years.

Location: (Minutes for 1862: "10 miles north of Camp Point, and 7 miles west of LaPrairie on the Chili Road"; Minutes for 1888: "near Stillwell on the C B & Q Railroad, also near Chatten.") It was probably located in Houston township.


Cogburn, Dorsey, Gibbs, Harris, Landers, Neff, Nelson, Riley, Rowland, Wristen (very incomplete due to loss of records).


Pigeon Creek Church is mentioned in the account of Elder William Conrad of his trip to this area in 1835. Nothing else is known about this church.


Little Flock Church was organized on the first Saturday in August 1838, with ten charter members, all of whom were dismissed from Mill Creek Church, viz., James Mackey, Elizabeth Mackey, David Byler, Lucinda Burrows, Elizabeth Byler, John Byler, Nancy Walker, Thomas Asher, Samuel Wilks, and Sarah Wilks. The presbytery was composed of Elder William Roberts, moderator, and Laris Pulman, clerk.

Pastors of this church were Elders Peter Ausmus, B. R. Warren, Cyrus Humphrey, J. E. Goodson, Jr., James Harper, Thomas B. Ausmus, James L. Bennett, Asher Cottrell, and D. W. Owens.

The minutes of November 1854 refer to a meeting house, but the date it was built, or the location is not stated. It may have been at or near the Byler Cemetery. In September 1872, Little Flock Church appointed trustees, John Byler, C. G. Samuel, and Cornelius Davis as a building committee to build a meeting house. This meeting house was in the town of Coatsburg.

Little Flock Church first united with the Salem Association. Later it joined the Mt. Gilead Association for a few years, but then agreed to join the Salem Association again, for the sake of convenience.


Asher, Ausmus, Bailey, Baker, Barlow, Bennett, Bottorff, Brown, Burnett, Burrows, Byler, Carver, Clarkson, Collins, Coltharp, Cottrell, Couch, Cunningham, Davis, Fieth, Gibbs, Guymon, Hardy, Harrison, Hiltabrand, Howell, Huddleston, Hughs, Jefferson, Johnson, Judy, Kerly, Lively, Mackey, Maner, Martin, McCoy, Parsons, Pollock, Potter, Riley, Samuel, Sheff, Skirven, Stevenson, Symmonds, Towers, Walker, White, Wilks, Williams.

For Obituary of John Byler, CLICK HERE


Records of the New Providence, New Salem, and Little Flock Churches. Minutes of the Salem Regular (Primitive) Baptist Association. Minutes of the Mt. Gilead Association (incomplete). We have compiled the writings, articles and letters, of Elder Joel G. Williams.

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