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



Henderson Church, the first church of any faith organized in Knox county, was constituted August 14, 1830, with fourteen charter members, at the home of John D. Roundtree, in the northwestern part of Knox county, in or near Henderson's Grove, by Elders Stephen Strickland Jr. and John Logan. The charter members' names were Elder Jacob Gum, Rhoda Gum, James Goff, Martha Goff, Daniel Fuqua, Martha Fuqua, Obadiah Fuqua, Reuben Nance, Ruth Nance, Dariah Roundtree, John D. Roundtree, Mary Roundtree, Nicholas Vailes, and Deborah Vailes.

Henderson Church was one of the founding members of the Spoon River Association in 1830 or 1831.

In 1839, this church dismissed sixteen members to organize the Edwards River Church in Mercer County. Henderson Church also helped organize a few other churches.

We have not been able to determine (or obtain a deed for) the exact site of a log meeting house in or near Henderson Grove, but it is probable that it was located at the Gum Cemetery. The Sketch of the Life and Travels of Elder Andrew Jackson Norton, state that he visited the church in the 1850's and preached at a school where this church held its meetings. In 1861 the church received a deed for approximately one-half acre, from Larkin and Polly Robertson. They also gave about an acre of land adjacent to the north for the Cemetery, which is now known as Rio Baptist Cemetery. This property was 1 1/2 miles south and 1/2 mile east of Rio. The church held services as late as about 1925, or perhaps a little later. The building was moved after the church dissolved, and used as a residence, at the northwest corner of the intersection of U. S. Route 150 and the North Henderson blacktop. The cemetery is maintained by Rio township. A photo of the church building has not been found at this time (if anyone has a photo, please contact us).

Pastors of Henderson Church included William Kinner, Joseph Jones, John Roberts, Rowland M. Simmons, John M. Brown, Isaac Vanmeter, Smith Ketchum, and S. H. Humphrey.


Barkley, Bloomfield, Blunt, Bowman, Bradbury, Brown, Bruner, Dean, Deatherage, Dolton, Donahoo, Epperson, Farlow, Fuqua, Gibson, Goff, Green, Gum, Hahn, Hammack, Heflin, Jackson, Jones, Jordan, Lee, Loveridge, Maxwell, McCartney, McMurtre, Miller, Murphy, Nancy, Reed, Riggs, Robertson, Roundtree, Shelley, Stanard, Thomas, Tillburg, Vailes, Wilson (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


Cedar Creek Church was organized in Knox County at a very early date, probably in 1830. Probable location was near the Hunt Cemetery. This church continued to meet until about 1860.


In October 1843 New Hope Church, near Greenbush, in Warren County, dismissed the following members to form a church in the Cherry Grove, (near Abingdon), viz., Calvin Morrison, Nancy Morrison, John Reed, Catherine Reed, Benjamin Boydstun, Polly Boydstun, Anna Runolds, Mary Blue, Sarah Lambert, Mary Schole, and Prudence Ellis.


Friendship Church was organized on the second Saturday in October, 1853, in Chestnut township, near Hermon, in the vicinity of Knoxville, with seven charter members, including William Eggers and Nancy Eveland Eggers, his wife. Elders Amaziah Howard and Andrew J. Goforth formed the presbytery. Elder Cyrus Humphrey and wife, and Elder Andrew J. Goforth and wife united with the church about this time. The interesting experience of Elder Andrew J. Goforth is given in the Messenger of Peace, Vol. 1, page 242. His account states that the church remained about the same until 1858, when many new members were received by experience, until they had between 40 and 50 members. This church applied for membership in the Spoon River Association, but was not received due to appending a resolution against the two-seed doctrine, which the Association felt should not be made a test of fellowship. The church finally united with the Spoon River Association in about 1876, at which time this church had more than 50 members.


Adkins, Barton, Bell, Brooks, Clabaugh, Eggers, Goforth, Humphrey, Jackson, Robinson, Tucker (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


Minutes of the Spoon River Association; accounts of early events from the Signs of the Times; obituaries of members in church periodicals.

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