Church and Family History Research Assistance
for Fayette County, Indiana



Lick Creek Church was an early member of the White Water Association. Elder Wilson Thompson united with this church in the latter part of his life, and was a member here at the time of his death, having served as pastor for several years.




New Bethel Church was organized on the fourth Friday in February 1814, with eighteen charter members, viz., Stephen Oldham, Rebecca Oldham, John King, Polly King, Thomas Simpson, Sarah Simpson, Rebecca Conner, Katherine Williams, Charles McLaughlan, Jane McLaughlan, James Connoway, Sarah Connoway, John King Sr., Jonathan King, Polly King, William Oldham, Anna Oldham, and Susanna White, all of whom were dismissed for that purpose from New Hope Church. The presbytery was composed of Elders Lazarus Whitehead and James Smith. At the same meeting Stephen Oldham was ordained to the ministry and called as pastor of the church.

In August 1814 the church made plans to build a meeting house, but apparently those plans did not develop until 1826, when a deed was obtained for one acre of land. Elder Stephen Oldham died May 14, 1834, at the age of 59 years, 6 months and 4 days.

In January 1859 the church took up the matter of building a new church house, which was done in 1860.

Pastors of New Bethel Church up to 1914 included Elders Stephen Oldham, George Harlan, John Sparks, Daniel Conner, William Sparks, Thomas Lyons, J. C. Hodges, A. Dean, E. D. Stephens, W. M. Benson, S. D. Harlan, C. M. Reed, W. O. Parker, Arthur Hackleman, Peter Watkins, William Chastain, Harvey Daily, and C. W. Ratcliff.

New Bethel Church is a member of the White Water Association.


Village Creek Church, southeast of Connersville, was organized on July 24, 1824, at the home of Roger Gilky, with thirteen charter members, viz., Mary Denman, William Denman, Robert Gilky, Sarah Gilky, Mary Harlan, Stephen Harlan, Hannah McCray, Phineas Sparks, Sarah McCray, Mary Sparks, William Sparks, Thomas Wolverton, and Jane Wood. The presbytery was composed of Elders Minor Thomas, James Thomas, and John Miller, from Lick Creek, Jonathan Hougham, Matthias Dosson, and Joseph White, from New Bethel, and Joseph Billings, William Ewing, and Bennett Langston from New Hope.

At their first meeting, four new members were added by baptism: Mathew Harlan, Henry Morris, John Sparks and Sarah Barner. Also at the first meeting, the church voted to request membership in the White Water Association, of which the church is still a part today.

For the first two years, worship services were conducted in the homes of members, who had come by wagons from the Carolinas, Maryland, and Virginia, bringing their religion with them into the wilderness of Indiana. They also met in a log school house located on the Alquina Road. The congregation grew and as the interest kept increasing, the members felt that the time had come to construct a church building. In September 1825, the members accepted a donation of five acres of land from Samuel Harlan for a church building and a cemetery. On June 17, 1826 the church appointed four trustees to superintend the building of he first meeting house. They were: Brothers Samuel Harlan, William Sparks, James Wood and George Harlan. Similar to other pioneer rural churches, as well as pioneer schools and homes, the first building was made of hand-hewn logs. Most of the men and women in those early days of the church sang well. Hiram Langston was appointed as "the singing clerk." Modest as the log church was, it served as a house of worship for 22 years. In 1848, the members were able to replace the original log structure with a brick building which was quite an improvement and which cost $872. The brick building was used for 42 years, until 1890. At that time, the brick building was considered unsafe and it was replaced by the present frame building which was built at a cost of slightly less than $1500.

The following have served as deacon: Abner Ball, William Ewing, Robert Gilky, Matthew Harlan, Samuel Harlan, Jr., Samuel Harlan, Sr., Hiram H. Langston, Charles Ludlow, Doris Morris, Elisha Morris, Henry Morris, Oliver Morris, Richard Nuzum, Eugene Reese, George Shull, Hiram Sparks, William Sparks, Earl Steele, William M. Stoops, and Thomas Wolverton.

Members who have served as clerk include John P. Friend, Edith M. Friend, Amos Harlan, Bertha C. Harlan, Edward W. Harlan, George Harlan, Henry Morris, Ada Harlan Newland, Richard Nuzum, Hiram Sparks, Stephen M. Stoops, William M. Stoops and Wright Williams, Roberta Spurlock, and Linda Selby.

Pastors have included the following: W.M. Benson, George A. Bretz, Ralph K. Culy, John R. Daily, A. Dean, T. Earl, John P. Friend, E.W. Harlan, George Harlan, S.D. Harlan, Maurice Jackson, Dale Morris, Kenneth Morris, James Newhouse, Charles M. Reed, Minor Thomas, John Sparks, and William Sparks.


Backous, Ball, Barner, Bartlett, Bloemke, Brown, Buckley, Burk, Burris, Callahan, Denman, Earl, Ewing, Friend, Gilky, Gillam, Harlan, Hull, Jemison, Jones, Kash, Kirtley, Langston, Ludlow, Masters, McClain, McCray, Morris, Newland, Nuzum, Reed, Reese, Scholl, Scott, Selby, Sizemore, Sparks, Spivey, Spurlock, Steele, Stoops, Strong, Thomas, Wickard, Wildridge, Williams, Wilson, Wolverton, Wood (very incomplete list).


An early member of the White Water Association, this church was also served by Elder Wilson Thompson as pastor for several years during the latter part of his life.

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