Primitive Baptist Church and Family History
Research Assistance for Bond County, Illinois

CHURCHES:

SHOAL CREEK (1810)

Shoal Creek Church was organized in 1810 by Elder David Badgley, and possibly others. It was the first church of any faith organized in Bond County. The minutes of the Illinois Association for October 1810 show this church being received as a newly constituted church, with 14 members, and Simon Lindley as their messenger. Simon Lindley settled in this part of Bond County in the spring of 1808. In 1811, the settlers united in building a fort, or stockade, about 2 miles from where Greenville now stands, where they lived during the War of 1812, and worked their fields while soldiers guarded them, for four years. From 1811 through 1813, Elder William Jones was listed as a member and messenger of this church. From 1814-1816 the church was not represented. In September 1814, many of the settlers abandoned the fort, and moved back to Edwardsville, for protection from the Indians, until a Treaty was signed in 1815. The church apparently survived this trouble, as it represented in the Illinois Association again in 1817, William Roberts bearing the letter, which reported 14 members. Elders James Street, William Roberts, and James Long (father of Elder Peter Long) were all members of this church.

Shoal Creek Church remained a member of the Illinois Association until September 1830, when it was dismissed, along with others, to go into the organization of the Kaskaskia Association.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Boze, Davis, Ellis, Finley, Gaston, Hill, Jones, Lindley, Long, Roberts, Rowe, Smith, Street, West (very incomplete list due to loss of records).

SHADY GROVE (1830)

Shady Grove Church was organized in July 1830.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Curlee, Evans, Farrell, Forrester, Jones, Lockhart, Reaves, Reynolds, Runnels, Seagraves, Sherrin, Shumake, Stone, Williams.

MT. NEBO (GREENVILLE)(1833)

Mt. Nebo Church was organized February 9, 1833, at the home of John Coyle, near Shoal Creek, by Elders Peter Long and Thomas Smith, both of Silver Creek Church. The twenty-three charter members were dismissed from Silver Creek Church, of Madison County, which had extended an arm to the Round Prairie community some time earlier. Their names were: Ransom Gaer, John Coyle, Elizabeth Coyle, Elizabeth Coyle, Elizabeth Coyle, Mary Coyle, Josiah (or Joshua) Patton, Judith Patton, Anthony Austin, Barbara Austin, William Coyle, Nancy Coyle, Stephen Coyle, John Council, John Hignight, Elizabeth Hignight, Mary Hignight, James Lester, Sally Paine, Mary Smith, William Pulliam, Lavina Coyle and Nathan Hill. Ransom Gaer was elected the first clerk, and John Council as his assistant; John Coyle and John Hignight were chosen deacons and were ordained the next day.

Mt. Nebo Church was the first church of any faith organized in Ripley township. The first meeting house was a hewn log building, erected in 1835, which was said to be the largest log building ever built in Bond County. A new frame house was built in the Spring of 1849, and was used also for school purposes, but it burned down in early 1851 as a result of ashes stored in wooden vessels when school was being held. Another house, the same size, was built the same year, which was used until the split in 1868, after which time the Missionary Baptists controlled it. The church then used a school house most of the time until 1881, when the present building was built. An attractive dining room was added in 1963.

The church never had more than forty members until the year 1860, when there was such a revival that the church increased to about seventy-five, nearly all by experience. She continued to number about that many, or more, until 1868, when a division occurred in the church with about two-thirds of the members going to the missionary Baptists, while nearly twenty-five continued to hold to the original beliefs of the church.

The church has had the ministerial services of Elders Peter Long, J. L. Manly, A. Wood, A. J. Willeford, John Willeford, L. P. Lockhart, A. D. Brumfield, T. Leo Dodd, Mervin Drake, and Willie Huffine. Ministers ordained by the church include Elders John Willeford (December 1903) and L. P. Lockhart (November 1949). A few others have united with the church by letter.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Austin, Barret, Beck, Bentley, Brewer, Brock, Brumfield, Buchanan, Burdine, Burrow, Burton, Campbell, Carroll, Caswell, Causey, Chappalear, Clanton, Clouse, Collman, Contevita, Council, Cook, Cormack, Coyle, Cruthis, Darnell, Davenport, Davis, Denson, Ditch, Dunbar, Dyer, Edwards, Ehrle, Ellis, Ellison, Erdel, Everman, Felkel, Floyd, File, Free, Frueh, Gafner, Gales, Gaston, Geer, Gentry, Gillespie, Gracey, Green, Guin, Haas, Harmon, Harris, Hawkins, Hay, Henry, Hignight, Hill, Hoffman, Hogan, Holbrook, Hudson, Huffstedtler, Iles, Ingalls, Jacobs, Jenner, Jett, Jones, Kersey, Laws, Lee, Lester, Leverton, Lewis, Liles, Lockhart, Long, Lopez, Lyles, Mallard, Manion, Manly, Maracek, Maxey, McCollum, McGahey, McKean, McKinzie, McManus, Meerritt, Merry, Miles, Millsap, Mollet, Motzer, Murphy, Noe, Northern Norton, Oswald, Page, Paine, Patton, Philips, Potts, Prater, Prickett, Pulliam, Ray, Redfearing, Reed, Richter, Ridings, Robinson, Sanner, Savage, Scott, Sego, Sickman, Silano, Smith, Stone, Strader, Strong, Stubblefield, Sugg, Sybert, Tipsword, Toler, Travis, Turner, Vaughn, Vinson, Vollentine, Wait, Wall, Wease, Webster, Whitchurch, Whitehead, Whitman, Willeford, Williams, Wood, Wright (list is incomplete due to lack of records).

BETHLEHEM (1835)

Bethlehem Church was first organized as an arm of Bear Creek Church, in Fayette County, and began meeting in that capacity in September 1833. The church was organized in November 1835, by a presbytery composed of Elders Willis Dodson, John Crouch, and Peter Long. The following were charter members, to wit, Elisha and Nancy Mathews, James and Catherine Dunaway, Jeremiah Stubblefield, Isaac Snodgrass, Polly Lockhart, Lavina Long, Eunis Jones, Lucinda Dunaway, Polly Rustin, Susan Rustin, Anna Durham, Rebecca Williams, Elizabeth Combs, Fanny Hudley, William Stubblefield, Benjamin Hart, Lavina Jones, and John McCaslen.

In October 1841, the church appointed trustees of the United Baptist Church at Bethlehem meeting house, in Sec. 12, Fairview (now Pleasant Mound), Township 5N, Range 2W, of Bond County. A few years later the church changed its name from United Baptist to Regular Baptist, but not because of any change in beliefs.

Names of ministers who preached for this church included Elders Henry Sears, John Crouch, T. T. Nave, Peter Long, Thomas Smith, Benjamin Mahon, A. J. Williford, John Lawler, and J. H. Taylor. The names of pastors are not stated in the minutes.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Bone, Browning, Chandler, Combs, Connor, Crouch, Curlee, Dudley, Dunaway, Duncan, Elam, Enlow, Flowers, Freeman, Garrison, Green, Hart, Hawks, Hether, Hoaglin, Hubbard, Hubberly, Hudley, Ivans, Johnson, Jones, Linville, Lockhart, Long, Martin, Marting, Matthews, McCaslen, McVicker, Neathery, Pasley, Pugh, Reese, Rustin, Sharp, Smith, Snodgrass, Stone, Stubblefield, Taylor, Williams, Woolard, Wright, Yarbrough.

NEW HOPE

New Hope Church was organized before 1841, as it was already a member of the Kaskaskia Association that year, and reported 16 members. In 1843, the church reported 13 members. Zachariah Harris, Benjamin Harris, and Asbell Garrett, were among the members of this church, which probably was organized by the members who petitioned for a new church in February 1840, and were dismissed for that purpose by Liberty Church in Fayette County.

CONCORD (1845)

Concord Church was organized on April 12, 1845, at the Concord meeting house, with Elders John Crouch and J. W. West, and Bro. Dempsey Yarbrough present as a presbytery. The charter members were dismissed from Bethlehem Church for that purpose, viz., Thomas Elam Sr., Thomas Elam Jr., Irvin Curlee, Samuel Elam, Drewry Elam, Gideon A. Freeman, Elizabeth Elam Sr., Elizabeth Elam Jr., Nancy Curlee, Sarah Elam, and Avarilla Elam. Meetings had been held at this location by the Bethlehem Church beginning in November 1844. Elder John Crouch united with Concord Church, and probably served the church as pastor.

Concord Church united with the Kaskaskia Association in 1845, and hosted the session of 1847. Messengers in 1849 were Thomas Elam and Daniel Jett, who reported 12 members; in 1850, Samuel Elam, Daniel Jett, and G. W. Neathery, who reported 17 members; in 1853, Elder James Crouch was a messenger, and the church had 11 members.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Crouch, Curlee, Elam, Freeman, Jett, Neathery (very incomplete list due to loss of records).

SHILOH (1894)

Shiloh Church, near Mulberry Grove, was organized in February or March 1894, by members who were dismissed from Hurricane Fork Church for that purpose, viz., J. G. Wright, Mary E. Wright, William E. Wright, James W. Wright, Angeline Renfrow, Bessy A. Elam, Polly E. Mounts, John E. Wright, Sarah J. Wright, Sarah Elam, Elisha Elam, Polly Wright, Jane Wright, William W. Wright, Charles Wright, and Milly Wright. Elder S. H. Wright, and others, requested letters of dismission from Hurricane Church the following month, and became members of Shiloh Church.

Shiloh Church united with the Kaskaskia Association in September 1894, her messengers being Elder S. H. Wright, John Wright, and Elisha Elam, who reported 24 members in fellowship.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Elam, Mounts, Murphy, Renfrow, Webb, Wright (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


ADDITIONAL REFERENCE MATERIAL IN THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST LIBRARY:

Manuscript records of Bethlehem Church; Minutes of the Illinois Baptist Association (organized in 1807); Minutes of the Kaskaskia Association (organized in 1830); Obituaries of members published in church periodicals.

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