Church and Family History Research Assistance
for Crawford County, Illinois



Lamotte Church was organized in 1811 or 1812, at Fort Lamotte, at or near present-day Palestine. The records of Maria Creek Church, near Vincennes, Indiana, for June 1811, state, "At this meeting a request by Thomas Kennedy to meet with some brethren at Lamotte in Illinois to see if it were advisable for them to organize as a church." It is believed that Thomas and Elizabeth Kennedy, Samuel and Phoebe Allison, and John Morris (a man of color) were among the charter members, but the records of Maria Creek Church do not show which members were dismissed for that purpose. One source says Lamotte Church and Little Wabash Church both joined the Wabash District Association in 1815.

Thomas Kennedy, a licensed preacher, joined Maria Creek Church in June 1810. Lamotte Church sent him to Maria Creek Church to be ordained, in August 1817, due to lack of ordained help near them and the poor health of Elder Isaac McCoy. Elder Daniel Parker moved to the vicinity of Lamotte Church late in 1817, and probably joined soon thereafter. Elder Kennedy served as pastor at Lamotte until September 1826, when the church divided. After the church divided, the members of Lamotte Church who were recognized by the Wabash District Association, were served by Elder Daniel Parker. The other members, served by Elder Thomas Kennedy (who openly opposed the modern mission system but fell out with Elder Parker over the two-seed doctrine), sought sympathy and support from those who favored the modern mission system and who had recently formed the Union Association of Indiana. Many of the members later came back and sought to be restored to fellowship with the Regular Baptists.

Lamotte Church had a meeting house (probably made of logs) at the time of the division, and after the division the part of the church led by Elder Parker erected another log meeting house.

In 1821, Lamotte Church had 39 members; in 1822, 34; in 1823, 70 (47 were baptized this year); in 1824, 66; in 1825, 54; in 1826, 37; in 1827, 33; in 1828, 29; in 1830, 31; in 1839, 26; in 1840, 30; in 1841, 20, in 1842, 15.

In July 1833, seven members of Lamotte Church, including Elder Daniel Parker, were organized into a new church, called Pilgrim, which a few weeks later began the long and difficult overland trip to Texas territory in a covered wagon train. Elders John Wood and Nicholas S. Smith apparently served Lamotte Church after the departure of Elder Daniel Parker to Texas.


Brown, Cheek, Christy, Greenwood, Hearn, Hicks, Kennedy, Little, Low, Markley, Marshall, Montgomery, Parker, Patrick, Ryan, Smith, Wood (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


The deed for Little Village Church, dated 1832, gives a location of the meeting house, possibly a school, and cemetery, very near or possibly in Crawford County.


Grand Prairie Church was organized on May 15, 1819, probably by Elder Daniel Parker and others, but the names of the presbytery have been lost. Elder Parker was elected pastor of the church in January 1821, and served most of the time until he moved to Texas in 1833. The names of the nine charter members, which are (barely) legible, on the inside cover of the record book, include Richard Eaton, Jesse Page, David Shook, Stephen Eaton, Benjamin Eaton, Phoebe Eaton, Charity Eaton, Polly Page, and Elizabeth M. Eaton.

Elder Thomas Young was ordained by this church in October 1828. Ministers who held membership here included Elders Thomas Young (1826), Joseph Neal (1828), Jonah H. Price (1850), Lorenus Baker (1857), William H. Smith (1864), Levi H. Biggs (1889), and W. J. Lewis. In December 1833, Elders Richard M. Newport and Nicholas Smith were chosen as pastors of the church. In October 1840, Elder Daniel Doty was chosen as pastor. Other Elders who served as pastor or often preached for the church included Jonas H. Price, Jesse Eaton, Lorenus Baker, and William H. Smith.

In February 1829 the church dismissed members to organize the North Fork Church in Jasper County. In July 1830 the church dismissed members to organize Mt. Zion church in Crawford County. The church also assisted in constituting Bethlehem church near Paris, Ill., and Honey Creek church, in Vigo Co., Indiana, both in the year 1830.

In July 1822, "the church ordered that Jesse Page the present deacon to receive a deed for the land that the meeting house stands on in his own name or his successors in office in behalf of this church." In August 1822, the church requested the next Association to be at "our meeting house." This was probably a log building. The Church apparently allowed the "Christian society" to use their meeting house part of the time, and it appears that by 1827 the church had lost this property because of problems with the deed. The records show that by April 1831, after many efforts to agree on and obtain a site and build a meeting house, another log structure was finally raised.


Alley, Arnold, Baker, Barbee, Barlow, Beachem, Bennett, Biggs, Boyd, Broadstone, Broadus, Brown, Buskirk, Cable, Cheek, Coble, Cochran, Conrad, Coonrod, Cooper, Cox, Darnell, Dawson, Disfennet, Dodson, Dorr, Dosier, Downey, Eaton, Ellington, Ellis, Gilbert, Gill, Goodson, Goodwin, Graham, Grant, Gregg, Griggs, Grigsby, Hackney, Haddock, Hanby, Hawkins, Holmes, Howard, Johnson, Johnston, Jones, Kennedy, Laws, Laygo, Laygow, Lewis, Linton, Lockhart, Love, Lyles, Mars, Merriman, Miller, Mise, Morris, Moses, Neal, Ogden, Page, Price, Scull, Shook, Smith, Taylor, Thompson, Weldon, Wiggins, Wolcott, Wolf, Wright, York, Young.


Mt. Zion Church was organized at Joshua Barbee's home, on July 16, 1830, by twenty-two members who were dismissed for that purpose from Grand Prairie Church, viz., Elder Thomas Young, Lucy Young, William Barbee, Sally Barbee, Nathan Mars, Elizabeth Mars, John Wright, John L. Buskirk, Lawson Lynton, Sarah Lynton, William Greggs, Acseh Greggs, Elizabeth Barbee, Lucy Lyles, Thomas Laygow, Sally Laygow, Elizabeth Laygow, Abel Alley, Courtney Alley, Lydia Goodwin, Jane Barlow, and Celia Frakes. The presbytery was composed of Elders Joseph Thompson and Simon Billings, from Turmans Creek Church, in Indiana; Elder Richard M. Newport, from Glady Fork Church; Elder Daniel Parker, from Lamotte Church, and Deacon Thomas Mills.


Alley, Barbee, Barlow, Buskirk, Frakes, Goodwin, Greggs, Griggs, Laygow, Lyles, Lynton, Mars, Piper, Wright, Young (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


Pilgrim Church was organized July 26, 1833, at Lamotte Church, by the following members, viz., Elder Daniel Parker, Patsy Dixon Parker, John Parker, Pheby Parker, Julius Christy, Rachel Christy, and Sallie Brown. The following formed the presbytery, to wit, Elders Richard M. Newport and Richard M. Highsmith of Glady Fork Church; Elder Thomas Young and Deacon William Griggs of Mt. Zion Church; Elder Joseph Neal and Deacon Jesse Page of Grand Prairie Church; Elder John Wood and Deacon Frank Marshall of Lamotte Church. The next meeting of the church was held at the home of Elder Daniel Parker in Crawford County, Illinois, on August 11, 1833. On October 20, 1833, the church met as a body (enroute to Texas territory) in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, and received seven members by letter. On January 28, 1834, they held their first regular conference meeting in the Austin Colony in Texas. This was the first non-catholic church in Texas territory.

Pilgrim Church still exists, near Elkhart, Texas. The State of Texas has erected a memorial to the church and to Elder Parker in a nearby State Park.


Canaan Church was organized in about June 1841. The records of Grand Prairie Church, June 19th, 1841, state: "1st. Brother Benjamin Ogden reported to the church that he met at Little Village Church and after they was brought into order by the request of the church they was desolved."

Canaan Church petitioned for admission to the Wabash District Association on Friday, October 2, 1841, and the matter was referred till Monday's business. On Monday, the minutes state: "Took up the case of the Canaan Church, and it appearing that said church is composed in part of members lettered off at the dissolution of the Little Village Church, and a part of the members then lettered off are now claiming themselves to be the Little Village Church, alledging that said church was not legally dissolved. Both churches are therefore involved in the difficulty. On motion, it is agreed to refer the matter to the churches for adjustment; and request each church to send three members to meet at the Little Village meeting house on Friday before the fourth Sunday in November next, and examine into the orderly standing of those two churches. It is also requested that as many of our corresponding brethren as can, meet with us." - Minutes, Wabash District Association, 1841. (The statistical table lists both Little Village and Canaan this year.)

The Wabash District minutes of 1842 state: "6. The committee who met at the Little Village meeting house to enquire into the situation of that church, report that they found that church legally dissolved, and the Canaan church legally constituted; which report was received by the association, and the right hand of fellowship given by the Moderator to the messengers of the Canaan church as in the table."

Canaan Church continued to represent in the Wabash District Association for many years after this; and much later (1891), became a member of the Central Association, for a few years, later becoming an independent church. It is now part of the Patoka Association of Progressive Primitive Baptists, and is one of only two such churches in the state of Illinois.


Allison, Bird, Calvin, Cannon, Clapp, Cunningham, Danser, Darnell, Dickey, Doty, Ellis, Felton, Ford, Fuller, Gillaspie, Goodridge, Grimes, Hale, Harris, Heath, Highsmith, Hodges, Houk, Huff, Ikler, James, Jennie, Johnson, Johnston, Kent, Lackey, Lindsay, Linkhart, Listen, Maddox, Mauk, McCarter, McCullough, McIntosh, McNeeley, Meeks, Mickey, Miller, Mock, Montgomery, Neal, Norton, Parker, Pasley, Patterson, Pettijohn, Pinkstaff, Polk, Querry, Rich, Rush, Seaney, Skinner, Smith, Snider, Stevenson, Toby, Todd, Torrence, Trainer, Warren, Wesner, Weyls, Wilbes, Wolf, Wright, Yeoman, Young (incomplete list).


Oblong Church was organized in about 1869 by the following members, viz., Elder William H. Smith, Salina Smith, D. W. Odell, Agnes Odell, Joseph Smith, Nancy Smith, S. R. Mock, Amelia Mock, Sister Burling, Elder Dawson, William Brown and Jane Brown. The presbytery was composed of Elders Daniel Doty, Albert C. Lewis, J. C. Biggs, Lorenus Baker, Alonzo Norton and Richard Highsmith, together with Deacons George Trowbridge and William D. Eaton.

The church chose Elder Harrison Smith as their first pastor, who remained in that position until his death. He was followed by Elders J. F. George, B. F. Querry and H. A. Todd up to about the year 1900. Elder Levi Biggs was then chosen and continued to serve.

The church was located on East Main Street in Oblong, and it was the first church building erected in the town of Oblong.


Baker, Baughess, Berlin, Biggs, Bloom, Boyd, Brown, Burrough, Dolton, Doty, Eubank, Gill, Hopper, Irwin, Jones, Mock, Odell, Payne, Perkins, Purcell, Scull, Shumaker, Smith, Terry (incomplete list due to loss of part of the records).


Minutes of Grand Prairie, Pilgrim, Canaan, and Oblong churches; minutes of the Wabash District Association.

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