Church and Family History Research Assistance
for Johnson County, Indiana



Bethlehem Church, in Nineveh township, was one of the first churches organized in the southern part of the county. Of its early history but little is known save that the Bass, Roberts, Hensley, Davenport, McNutt, Hoolman and Hughes families were among the first members. The organization was brought about by the labors of Elder Hiram T. Craig. He preached for the Bethlehem congregation a number of years. Elder E. D. Herrod was a later pastor.

The first house of worship was a log structure which was used several years, but finally gave place to a frame building at the same site.


Stott's Creek Church was another early church, and had erected a log meeting house in Sec. 10, near the site of Union village, by the 1830's. The following are the names of a few of the early members of the organization: Bennett Jacobs and wife, Austin Jacobs and wife, William Burkhart and wife, David Vidito and wife, James Jacobs and wife, John Herrell and wife, William Utterback and wife, and Andrew Wysick and wife. Elder Bennett Jacobs was an early minister. Elders Hiram T. Craig and Enoch Tabor preached for the congregation a number of years ago, and a later pastor was Elder E. D. Herrod. The building in which the congregation worshiped was a small frame structure near Union village, erected about the year 1856 or 1857.


South Stott's Creek Church, in Union township, was organized in April, 1836, at a schoolhouse near the present site of Trafalgar. The following were among the first members: Thomas Sturgeon and wife; Simpson Sturgeon and wife, William Clark and wife, Frederick Ragsdale and wife, Henry Musselman and wife, Jane Forsyth, Jane Allen and Mary Catlett. Frederick Ragsdale was the first moderator, and J. R. Callihan, first clerk. For a number of years, Elder Asa B. Nay ministered to the congregation, and much of its success was due to his efforts. Elder Ransom Riggs and Willett Tyler preached for the church at different times, and later, Elder R. W. Thompson served as pastor here. Schoolhouses and dwellings were used for meeting places until about the year 1845, at which time a frame building was erected in Union Township, Section 25. The moderators included S. T. Riggs; and clerks included Henderson Ragsdale.


Bethel Church was constituted on the first Saturday in May, 1834. Charter members were Samuel Nay, Rhoda Nay, Margaret Tucker, Reuben Nay, Polly Nay, Parthenia Nay, Asa B. Nay, James Hill, Dolla Hill, Margaret Hill, and Martha Hill. The presbytery was composed of Elder John T. Bartley (Conn's Creek church), Elder David Layman and brethren James Atwood and A. Huffman (Lewis Creek church), and Brother Ransom Riggs (Nineveh church). Bethel Church united with the Conn's Creek Association the following September. Clerks have included James Hill, Daniel Parkhurst, Reuben Nay, James Chenoweth, William Nay, Simeon Riggs, David Park, J. R. Callahan, Elijah Parkhurst, Pressley Nay, Caswell Parr, D. I. Atwood, Isaac Sawin, and Ransom Riggs. Deacons have included Reuben Nay, Zeleck McQuinn, Elijah Parkhurst, David Forsyth, Thomas Elliott, Pressley Nay, Caswell Parr, D. I. Atwood, Ransom Riggs, and Newton McQuinn. In 1839 the church obtained a deed to an acre of ground, and raised a frame house 24 x 36 on it, at the present site. This building was used until 1854, when a brick meeting house was erected at the same site. Bethel Church is a current member of the White River Association.

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