Church and Family History Research Assistance
for Jackson County, Illinois


UNITY (1822)

Unity Church was organized in October 1822, by Elder Eli Short. In 1824, the church united with the Muddy River Association, at which time she reported 9 members. In 1826, the church received ten new members by letter, making a total of 19. In 1828, the church was dismissed from the Muddy River Association to join the Illinois Association. In November 1834, a committee from the Illinois Association met with the church, to assist the majority, which opposed the preaching of universalism, by the pastor, Elder Eli Short. The majority withdrew from Elder Short, and was recognized by the Association, but he retained the early records. Hence, the names of charter members and of the presbytery have been lost.

The church generally met at the home of Elder Short from 1822 until 1834. The church met at the homes of several of her own members, and at the Shiloh school, the Rocky Branch school, and other schools, until about 1860. In March 1860, the church agreed to build a meeting house of hewed logs, 20 feet square, on the southwest corner of Bro. James Jones' land, and appointed trustees to receive a deed for the same. The exact location (even of the county) of these sites has not been determined.

Pastors (sometimes referred to as moderators) who served the church included Elders Eli Short, Silas Crisler, John Ralls (1839), Jacob Petty (1842), William Jordan, Charles Lee (1845), John Ralls (1855), Noble Anderson (1857), Josiah Harriss, Henry Eaton (1865), J. M. Jones, and Noble Anderson.

In May 1839 the church dismissed five members to go into the constitution of Gravel Creek Church. The early minutes show both churches as being in Randolph County.

On the fourth Saturday in October, 1842, Unity Church, having been dismissed from the Illinois Association, went into the constitution of a new Association, at Holt's Prairie Church, in Perry County. In 1844, the church reunited with the Illinois Association. In 1846, the church agreed to join the Bethel United Baptist Association, and hosted that body in 1851. In 1854, the church divided, over the doctrine of Elder Charles B. Lee, and the minority severed their connection with the Bethel United Baptist Association, and again joined the Illinois Association. After the Illinois Association disbanded, that part of Unity Church became a member of the Bethel Regular Baptist Association. The other part of Unity Church continued to meet for many more years, but little is known about it.


Anderson, Armstrong, Bagwell, Barrow, Biggs, Bridgewater, Cagle, Campbell, Carter, Cluster, Crisler, Cross, Culley, Dunahoe, Eaton, Edwards, Gant, Hatfield, Henson, Jacky, Johnson, Jones, Kimmell, Kiser, Kyser, Lee, Margelin, Mason, McBride, McCan, Mifftin, Montague, Musgrave, Petty, Polk, Qualls, Rogers, Short, Smith, Stone, Stum, Taylor, Thomas, Ward, Wayland, Williams.



(See Randolph County.)


Little is known of this church except for references to it in the records of Unity Church as early as 1844. Among the members of the church were Elder James P. Smith, Samuel Ward, and Sister Youngman.


Nothing could be found on this church except a reference to it in minutes of Unity Church.


Nothing could be found on this church except a reference to it in the minutes of Unity Church.


Records of Unity Church contain extensive information on the Barrow family; The minutes of the Muddy River and Illinois Associations.

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