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

CHURCHES:

CROOKED CREEK (SEE ALSO CLAY COUNTY)

Crooked Creek Church was organized in 1828, at the home of John Bishop. In the early years the church met at least part of the time in Marion County. See Clay County for more detailed history.

LIBERTY (ALMA)

Liberty Church was organized by a number of members who were dismissed from Crooked Creek Church, in June 1831 (as shown in the June 1831 minutes of Union Church in Richland County). Elder Job Hobbs, who had been a member of Union Church, was also dismissed at the same time, and apparently was one of the charter members of Liberty Church.

Names of some of the earliest members of Liberty Church included Elizabeth Brasel, Wiley Burton, Becky Deene, Samuel H. Dickens, Susan Dickens, Sarah Eagan, Lindsey Farthing, Rebecca Farthing, Susan Farthing, Lewsy Finch, William Frashar, Nancy Frashar, Tanner French, Hartwell Hins, Elder Job Hobbs, Telitha Hollis, Mary Hopper, Henry H. Howell, Jane Howell, Joseph Malcom, Jane Mark, Asey Warren, Hannah Warren, Mary Wilkins, Elizabeth Williams, Mary Williams, and Thomas Williams.

Liberty Church united with the Little Wabash Association in the fall of 1831, at which time Elder Job Hobbs and Bro. Henry H. Howell were the messengers, who reported 15 members. (Therefore, some of the 27 names listed above were not the charter members, but their names were added below the covenant at a later time.)

The early records from the beginning until 1885 have not been located. It is believed that the church was organized in a log building north of Alma, near the Eastland Cemetery. Later the church was moved to a point called Lone Grove, in Fayette County, northwest of Kinmundy; still later, it moved to Green Ridge, about four miles northwest of Alma. The church purchased a meeting house in the town of Alma, and a dedication service was held, in 1931. This meeting house was sold in 1968, and the proceeds were given to Salem Church in Clay County.

Early pastors of the church probably included Elders Job Hobbs, Henry H. Howell, Thomas Whiteley, and Cyrus Wright. Elders Job Hobbs, Henry H. Howell, S. H. Dickens, Joseph H. Cullen, Tilley A. Donoho, Stephen I. Gardner, Thomas J. Johnson, Norman F. Graves, and William E. Wright were all members of this church. Elder M. A. Harris was serving the church in 1885. He was followed by Elder Perry Vandeveer (1886); Elder Joshua Cabbage (1894); Elder S. H. Wright (1895); Elder S. I. Gardner (1896), Elders P. H. Williams and Elder Murphy (1908); Elder H. C. Card (1912); Elder Z. S. Price (1912); Elder W. E. Wright (1915); Elder Elijah Doty (1948); Elder A. D. Brumfield (1949); Elder O. L. Weatherford (1949); Elder B. T. Stevens (1951); and Elder Eugene Ford (1954).

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Alexander, Anglin, Armstrong, Bass, Beard, Beardin, Beck, Blurton, Boczkiewicz, Branch, Brasel, Bryant, Burnett, Burton, Chase, Clark, Cole, Cullen, Decker, Deene, Dickens, Donoho, Eagan, Ethridge, Farlin, Farling, Farthing, Finch, Frashar, Frazier, French, Gardner, Gibson, Gordon, Graves, Haley, Hammer, Hanna, Harris, Hins, Hobbs, Hollis, Hopper, Howard, Howell, Jackson, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones, Kagy, Lansford, Lawson, Mahon, Main, Malcom, Malone, Mans, Mark, McWhirter, Molenhour, Peters, Powell, Pryor, Pugh, Renfro, Sands, Shrouse, Smith, Southers, Stipp, Sullens, Taylor, Thomas, Tucker, VanWort, Warren, Weatherford, Weigreffe, Whitlow, Wilkins, Williams, Wooten, Wright.

PAINT ROCK (ROMINE TOWNSHIP)

Paint Rock Church was organized in 1833, and united with the Little Wabash Association the same year. It was dropped from the Association in 1845, probably due to having dissolved, although the reason is not stated.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Branson, Eskridge, Gregory, Horton, Kemp, Smith, Whitten, Wilkins (very incomplete due to loss of records).

SUMMIT PRAIRIE (IUKA)

Summit Prairie Church was organized at the home of John Hite on April 24, 1841. The charter members were John Hite, Elizabeth Hite, Andrew Hite, Katharine Hite, Samuel Beaver, Elizabeth Beaver, Abraham Beaver, David Wemms, and Sarah Davis.

Land was staked off on the north side of Lewis and Elizabeth Hite's land and surveyed in December 1843 and a deed prepared. In October 1847 preparations were made to begin building the church, and it was completed in 1851. In March 1867 the church was sided with pine, a shingle roof, replastered, painted white and had new doors installed. A special centennial meeting was held in 1941. The first minister was Elder Nathaniel Eskridge, and the last was Elder George Inyart. Among others who served the church in pastoral relationship were Elders Benjamin Coats and Perry Vandeveer.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Armstrong, Atteberry, Basom, Beaver, Bickerton, Breedlove, Brown, Brubaker, Bryan, Campbell, Cantrell, Cummins, Davis, Deen, Dickens, Eagon, Farthing, Finn, Frazier, French, Fritz, Garner, Garrott, Hawkins, Hiestand, Hite, Jackson, Johnson, Kagy, Main, Marshall, Martin, Meredith, Michael, Montgomery, Pathel, Pullin, Ray, Ruffner, Sanders, Shook, Siple, Snider, Sorrells, Sperry, Spitler, Thomson, Tucker, Turner, Vandeveer, Walker, Wallis, Wlliams, Winn.

TURKEY CREEK (ODIN)

Turkey Creek Church, located about two miles south of Odin, was organized in 1865, and united with the Little Wabash Association that year. Isaac Snyder and James Snyder were the messengers, and they reported 14 members in fellowship. Elder Ira Turner united with the church in about 1875, and in 1878 there were 28 baptized into the church, increasing to a total of 75. The number declined, however, when many, including Elder Turner, were dismissed to organize Pleasant Grove and North Fork Churches. Elder G. W. Johnson united with the church about this time, but through death and removals the church became very weak. It remained a member of the Association until 1892.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Branch, Bryant, Chilton, Daniel, Farthing, Hines, Jett, Johnson, Main, Malcom, Meredith, Sands, Snyder, Turner, Williams (very incomplete list due to loss of records).

NORTH FORK (PATOKA)

In either 1875 or 1876, Turkey Creek Church granted the request of some of her members who lived in the vicinity of Patoka that they be permitted to function as an arm of the church in that community. Elder Ira Turner was chosen to preach for them. Their meetings were held in a log school house for some time. Quite an interest was manifested, and in about two years the church was blessed with quite a revival, which resulted in the addition of about fifteen new members. In 1878 the new church, called North Fork, was constituted with 26 members. Elder Benjamin Coats was moderator of this meeting. Elder Turner was elected moderator, and A. T. Brumfield clerk of the church. At the August meeting in 1879 the church chose messengers to bear a request to unite with the Little Wabash Association. The same year they erected a meeting house near Patoka, where they continued to meet. The church continued as a member of the Little Wabash Association until 1933, when it was dropped, probably because of having dissolved, or ceased to meet.

The following letter indicates the church was located in Fayette Co, and another source says an acre of land was given by Erastus T. Walker, two miles east of Patoka (near the county line) for the church building in about 1878.

153 E. 10th St., RIVERSIDE, Cal., Feb. 26, 1897.
ELDER GILBERT BEEBES SON DEAR BROTHER IN THE LORD: I am in receipt of the SIGNS OF THE TIMES Feb. 15th, current volume, containing request of subscriber, to know if there are any Old School Baptists in the neighborhood of Los Angeles, Cal., or in any part of Lower California, and if so let it be known through the SIGNS OF THE TIMES. In answer I would say, that if there are any about Los Angeles, I have no knowledge of them; but at this place there are seven baptized believers, and others not baptized, and the North Fork Church, Fayette Co., Ill. Little Wabash Association have extended an arm here, and there is room for more. Come on, brethren, if you desire to enjoy our mild climate. I am much pleased with the SIGNS in its new dress and form. You have my sincere sympathy in your great loss of brother and helper, and good counselor, Elder Jenkins.
In love of the truth, I am, I hope, your little brother,
A. H. HAGANS.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Ball, Ballance, Brumfield, Chilton, Cooper, Forehand, Lester, Murphy, Oats, Pohling, Sands, Towler, Walker (very incomplete list due to loss of records).

PLEASANT GROVE (SOUTH OF SALEM)

Pleasant Grove Church was organized May 28, 1880, with six charter members, whose membership had previously been with Turkey Creek Church. Elders Benjamin Coats and Thomas Deremiah, with Deacon John Whitman, formed the presbytery. Prior to this time, however, a meeting house had been built and services had been held there as an arm of Turkey Creek Church.

The first moderator of the new church was Elder Ira Turner. M. G. Williams served as the first clerk. Shortly after the constitution, twenty-one members joined this church by letter from Turkey Creek Church, which had extended an arm to this community.

The first meeting house was built under the supervision of Elder Ira Turner, who along with the others who assisted in the work, donated his labor in its construction. The church deed shows that one-half acre of ground was given to the trustees of the Pleasant Grove Church by Madison G. and Susan J. Williams, his wife, on November 7, 1876. The deed was recorded in 1906.

In the Fall of 1880 Pleasant Grove Church joined the Little Wabash Association, of which it remained an honored member until 1996. The church hosted the association for the first time in 1885.

The first church building was used until 1947, when the present meeting house was erected at the same site, about three miles southwest of Salem.

Pastors have included the following: Elders Ira Turner, J. B. Dobbs, Abner Coats, Perry Vandeveer, S. I. Gardner, T. E. Hopper, P. H. Williams, George W. Inyart, Z. S. Price, W. E. Wright, T. A. Donoho, Charles Moore, Thomas France, Oscar Campbell, Omer Chastain, L. P. Lockhart, Oscar C. Smith, B. T. Stevens, and Ben A. Graves.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Albert, Atteberry, Beck, Bower, Branch, Brown, Brumfield, Bryant, Buster, Carson, Creed, Daniels, Donoho, Dye, Erno, Farthing, Foster, Gillmore, Greer, Hays, Heyduck, Higgins, Howell, Jackson, Jenkins, Jett, Jones, Jonkman, Lawson, Lee, Malcum, McConnaughhay, McDonald, Odell, Prosise, Quick, Richardson, Sanders, Sands, Shook, Tate, Thompson, Treffert, Turner, Uhls, Van Matre, Waldie, Walker, Weatherford, Williams, Winders, Woods, Wooten.

ADDITIONAL REFERENCE SOURCES IN THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST LIBRARY:

Minutes of the Little Wabash Association; Records (or part of the records) of Liberty, Summit Prairie, and Pleasant Grove churches.

To read an account about the life of Elder Job Hobbs, click here.

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