Church and Family History Research Assistance for Primitive Baptist Churches in Edgar County, Illinois



Mt. Pleasant Church was organized in 1823, through the labors of Elder Daniel Parker and others, and was probably the first church of any faith in the county. Meetings were held for several years in the first courthouse, then in the Minerva School. Later they built a meeting house about two or three miles south of Paris. In about 1873 they built a new meeting house on Madison Street in Paris.

Mt. Pleasant Church joined the Wabash District Association in October 1823, and her messenger was Nathaniel Morgan. By 1829 the church had grown to 47 members. In the year 1830, even though 20 members were dismissed to go into the constitution of Bethlehem Church, the membership increased to 64. By 1838, the church had 118 members. From this church several other churches were formed, including Bethlehem, Sugar Creek, and Big Creek.

Elder Thomas Murphy was an early member and pastor here. Elder Lemuel Potter served the church as pastor for a few years beginning in 1872. He held a three-day public debate there in June 1873, with William Holt, a Campbellite, and after it was over, the citizens of Paris, business men and others, helped the church build a new meeting house.


Asher, Ashmore, Barnhill, Cash, Chance, Crafton, Darnell, Daugherty, Davies, Dodimeade, Edwards, Green, Hawkins, Holston, Jackson, Jones, Leonard, Lockhart, Lykans, McClure, Moke, Mooke, Morgan, Mullins, Murphy, Rhoads, Shirley, Skeeters, Starr, Staten, Vaught, Williams (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


Bethlehem Church, four miles east of Grandview, was organized on March 30, 1830, with 29 members, who were dismissed for that purpose from Mt. Pleasant church. The presbytery was composed of Elders Daniel Parker, Thomas Young, and others. The original members included Aric Sutherland and wife, John Wilkinson and wife, David Chronic, Olley Kemper, Abigail Brown, Sister Moffitt, Sister Stephens and Elder Thomas Murphy. Elder Murphy served the church as pastor for a few years after its formation. The church united with the Wabash District Association in October 1830. Ministers who were members of this church included Elders James Carney, C. C. Conner, and H. Barr. Pastors after 1900 included Elders Levi M. Biggs, and L. A. Athey.


Barr, Brown, Carney, Cash, Chronic, Conner, Dubre, Frantz, Gamron, Gill, Goben, Kemper, Louthan, Moffett, Morgan, Murphy, Rhoads, Shields, Smith, Sutherland, Wilkinson, Zimerly (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


Bloomfield Church, at Bloomfield, was a member of the Vermillion Association. Elders A. D. Darnall and G. W. Payne were both members here. The church was located about two miles south of Bloomfield.


Barr, Beck, Darnall, Hawkins, Milner, Owens, Payne, Riley, Skeeters, Wasson (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


Sugar Creek Church, in Nevins (about seven miles southeast of Paris), was organized in about 1838. The church was already listed as a member of the Wabash District Association in 1839, at which time there were 49 members. In 1840 Elder William Shields was ordained here.

Elders R. M. Newport, William Shields, F. M. Reeds, Willis E. Gill, W. S. Jones, and probably several others, served this church as pastor.


Calloway, Cockroft, Craig, Davis, Dengler, Dodimeade, Downey, Downing, Drake, Edwards, Guyman, Holly, Hood, Jones, Kruzan, Mapes, Mason, Moffett, Parrish, Reeves, Rhoads, Shields, Tibbs, White, Zimerly (very incomplete list due to loss of records).

BIG CREEK (1839)

Big Creek Church was organized in 1839, and united with the Wabash District Association in October 1839, at which time messengers William Craig and Stephen Mullins reported 23 members. Big Creek Church was probably located two or three miles south of Paris. The charter members were probably lettered out of Mt. Pleasant Church in Paris. It appears that these two churches may have merged in about 1850, under the name of Big Creek, and then that the name was changed to Mt. Pleasant again after the church moved the place of her meetings back to Paris. This information is somewhat speculative since the records could not be found.


Asher, Barnhill, Davis, Edwards. Guymon, Hawkins, Jackson, Jones, Lykens, McClure, Mullins, Newman (incomplete due to loss of records).

NORTH ARM (1840)

North Arm Church was organized on Wednesday, May 6, 1840, with 16 members, most of whom were probably dismissed from Sugar Creek Church. North Arm Church united with the Wabash District Association the same year, and A. Bandy was the messenger. It was located about ten miles southeast of Paris.


Baily, Baker, Bandy, Bledsoe, Brown, Bumgarner, Davis, Easom, Edwards, Herin, Stanley (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


Providence Church, near Isabel, was organized on June 4, 1840, by the following members, viz., Abraham Campbell, Eve Campbell, James Doke, Briant Moody, Jr., Daniel Campbell, Anna Campbell, Maryann Smart, Sally Darnall, Elizabeth Wallis, Jackson Chaney, Eveline Chaney, and Catherine Luce. The presbytery was composed of Elders Richard Newport, William Forsythe, A. B. Hollis, and brethren S. Murphy, D. Moffett, John B. Grant, Joseph Redman, Charles Fowler, and Joseph Fowler.

In June 1841 the church agreed to build a meeting house in a small grove near Brother Daniel Campbell's, 24 by 30 feet. In February 1855, the church agreed to build a meeting house on Abraham Campbell's land at the cross county roads near A. J. Doke's, 24 by 36 feet, and 10 feet high. In November 1872, the church agreed to build a brick meeting house, 36 by 50 feet in dimensions, at Donica's Point, or near Isabel. It was located at the site of the Shields Cemetery, which is on the county line between Coles and Edgar counties.

Several ministers were members of this church, viz., Elders John Shields, Aaron D. Darnall, Jesse Shields, Joel Kemper, Charles W. Kemper, A. H. Patton, Silas H. Moffett, Mitchell B. Moffett, Joseph Clapp, Willis E. Gill, Sylvan A. Dawson, Earl Combs, and Oscar Campbell.


Allen, Anderson, Ashmore, Bailey, Bandy, Barnard, Bates, Beaver, Beck, Bell, Bennett, Blair, Boggs, Buckler, Buckles, Burch, Burnett, Burton, Bush, Campbell, Castle, Chaney, Childers, Clapp, Collins, Combs, Comstock, Cook, Craig, Dane, Darnall, Daugherty, Dawson, Dillon, Doke, Donica, Eaton, Eldridge, England, Fowler, Francis, Gill, Grant, Greeves, Hancock, Hanley, Hanna, Hart, Hawkins, Henderson, Herron, Hite, Hodge, Hudson, Hunt, Hunter, Ingles, Irwin, Jarvis, Jenkins, Kemper, Kester, Kirkpatrick, Kite, Lattimer, Layne, Letner, Luce, Martin, Mattox, McIntyre, Milburn, Miller, Moffett, Moody, Morris, Myers, Paddock, Patrick, Patton, Peck, Pine, Post, Powers, Redmon, Reeds, Reynolds, Rogers, Sales, Sargent, Shields, Sisk, Smart, Smith, Stanley, Stites, Stokes, Sublet, Sutton, Taylor, Timmons, Tinsley, Van Auken, Varner, Wall, Wallace, Ward, Wayne, Wilson, Wooten, Wright, Zane.


Mt. Pleasant Church, near Oliver, was organized in 1912 or earlier. It joined the Okaw Association in September 1912, messengers being George Wilson, Rebecca Wilson, Laurie White, and Nancy Comstock, who reported 12 members in fellowship. M. Jones was listed as the clerk. The church hosted the association in 1914 and 1918. In 1917, the membership had increased to 15. The church had ceased to represent in the association by 1921, and apparently ceased to exist by about that time.


Jones, Maloney, Reeves, White, Wilson (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


Minutes of the Wabash District Association; Labors and Travels of Elder Lemuel Potter (available for sale, a beautifully hardbound book).

PLEASE HELP if you know of the existence of photos or any of the records of the above churches.

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