Church and Family History Research Assistance
for Lawrence County, Illinois

CHURCHES:

LITTLE VILLAGE (RUSSELLVILLE)(1817)

Little Village Church was organized in 1817 at the home of Thomas Mills. Charter members were John Mills, Thomas Mills, Lydia Mills, Richard Highsmith, Sally Highsmith, John Allison, Richard Allison, Daniel Allison, Phoebe Allison, and John Morris (a man of color). The exact date is not recorded, but the first business meeting was held May 30, 1817.

The first meeting house was built between 1820 and 1822 and was located on a bluff between the homes of Thomas Mills and Samuel Allison, probably near Russellville. It was a hewn log building, 20 by 25, with clapboard roof. A new site was chosen in 1828, and land was donated for the use of the church and also the Little Village Cemetery.

Early pastors included Elders Daniel Parker, Thomas Kennedy, Richard M. Newport, Nicolas Smith, Thomas Young, B. B. Piper, Alonzo Norton, and Richard Highsmith.

Little Village Church was a member of the Wabash District Association. The minutes of the Association show that the church dissolved in 1841.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Allison, Anderson, Andrews, Baker, Baldwin, Bean, Beard, Beecher, Biggs, Bray, Burnes, Cash, Chenowith, Christy, Day, Dillworth, Eads, Emmons, Faby, Fife, Funk, Glenn, Goodridge, Harryman, Haskins, Heath, Highsmith, Hill, Holtsclaw, Huff, Johnson, Kemp, Martin, Matthews, Mattox, McClure, McCrary, McGawing, Mickey, Mills, Morris, Norton, Organ, Parker, Payne, Pinkstaff, Piper, Price, Rawlings, Rusk, Scott, Sena, Simmons, Snyder, Stockwell, Struples, Taylor, Walker, White, Wilks, Winder.

GLADY FORK OF EMBARRASS RIVER (1820)

Glady Fork Church was organized June 26, 1820, as appears from the records of Little Village Church. Brother Richard Highsmith and wife, and Brother Ezra H. Allison and wife, were dismissed from Little Village Church for that purpose, who were charter members, along with others who lived on the Glady Fork of the Embarrass River. Glady Fork Church joined the Wabash District Association in the fall of 1820. In October 1821 the church reported 16 members, an increase of 3 during the year. Elder Richard M. Newport united with the church, and served as pastor for several years, during which time the membership increased to about fifty members. He was followed by Elder Robert Jeffers, and later by Elder Richard M. Highsmith. The membership of Glady Fork church reached 79 by the year 1843, but in 1849 had fallen to 37, possibly due to members being dismissed to organize new churches. The church was represented in the Wabash District Association as late as 1861, at which time it reported 16 members. It apparently had dissolved by 1865.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Allison, Drake, Ford, Highsmith, Jeffers, Newport, Norton, Parker, Rush, Thompson, Walters (very incomplete list due to loss of records).

NEW HOPE (SEE RICHLAND COUNTY)(1839)

New Hope Church, at Dundas, met in Lawrence County in its early history, or perhaps, in the part of Lawrence County which became Richland County.

CONCORD (SPRING HILL)(1839)

The records of Union Church show that they sent Richard Gardner, Martin Utterback, Benjamin Coats, and Briant Bullard as a presbytery to constitute certain brethren living at the Springhill settlement into a cchurch, at the home of John Sumners, on the third Saturday in June 1839.

Concord Church, represented by Seth Umfleet, Jeremiath Wilson, and T. Hall, united with the Little Wabash Association in 1840. The church was dropped in 1847, the reason not being given.

BETHEL

Bethel Church, near Sumner, was organized in about 1887, and united with the Little Wabash Association in 1888. In 1891, it was dismissed by its request to go into the constitution of the Central Association, which was organized that year. Elder J. F. George was a member here.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Berkshire, George, Hardacre, Smith (very incomplete list due to loss of records).

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