Church and Family History Research Assistance

for LaSalle County, Illinois



Sandy Creek Church, was organized in September 1836, in Caledonia (Ox-Bow), in Putnam County. The church suffered a division in about the year 1885. Several families living in the vicinity of Lostant, or Hope, in LaSalle County, had already been meeting for a number of years, in a church building erected by Simeon Hiltabrand on his farm. This faction of Sandy Creek Church continued to represent, and was recognized as the church, in the Sandy Creek Association, until the Association disbanded in 1898. The church continued to meet for several years after this, and the building is still standing, having been used for Hiltabrand family gatherings for many years, but is now vacant and falling into a bad state of repair. Brother John R. Lambert, moderator of the Sandy Creek Association, was a member of this church.


Allen, Ash, Bobbitt, Brumsey, Chenowith, Christie, Conrad, Corbell, Cranfill, Ford, Fulmer, Gill, Glenn, Graves, Hailey, Harris, Hartenbower, Haynes, Hiltabrand, Kester, Lambert, Larkin, Lippert, McElhon, Needham, Newton, Ransom, Rushton, Stansell, Stewart, Stout, Thompson, Tomlinson, Wood (incomplete due to loss of records).


Buck Creek Church was organized on December 29, 1855, with seven members, all of whom were formerly of Rockingham County, Virginia. An account of the formation of the church appears in the Zion's Advocate in January 1856, written by Elder James B. Chenowith, as follows: "By the request of Brother Hess, a number of brethren on December 28, met at Ottawa, where he and several of the Messrs. Trumbo were in readiness to convey us to their homes on Buck Creek, where we received a cordial reception, and shared bountifully of their hospitality. On Saturday, we had the following brethren at meeting with the brethren of the neighborhood: Elder W. J. Fellingham, and George and John, his brothers; Elder Clement West, of Ogle County; brethren J. Kester, of Putnam County, and E. Whybrow, of Henry County, Illinois. Elders Fellingham and West were enabled to preach Christ to an attentive audience on Saturday, the same evening. The next day and evening, the brethren while speaking had the assistance of the great I Am. We there found seven Old School Baptists who expressed a desire that a presbytery be formed to take into consideration the propriety of constituting a church. Whereupon Elder William J. Fellingham was chosen moderator, and Elder James B. Chenowith clerk. Deacon G. Fellingham was present, who was requested to participate in the proceedings. The articles of their faith were examined carefully, and letters of dismission presented. The council found all in agreement with the divine rule; and consistent with Baptist useage, proceeded as follows: --Prayer by Elder J. B. Chenowith, and the charge was given by Elder Wm. J. Fellingham--the advice and exhortation to the members to love each other, and providing any difficulties should arise in the church, to observe the golden rule, and the rule given in Matthew, was referred to in a very pleasant manner; but in dwelling upon the necessity of their sustaining their Elder in the arduous duties of pastor of the flock, was extremely affecting; the scene will be remembered by many through life. The meetings will be held six miles north of Ottawa. Brethren who wish to visit them should enquire for Elder Levi Hess, or Brother Henry H. Hess." Elder Levi Hess served the church as pastor, which met bi-weekly at first, and then weekly for several years. The church was a member of the Sandy Creek Association from 1856 until 1865.

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