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


New Salem Church, four miles northeast of Perry, was listed in the statistical tables of the Spoon River Association for September 1835, at which time the church reported 26 members, 14 having been baptized during the current year, and Lic. Brice Alsbury was a messenger. New Salem Church was a charter member of the Salem Association of Regular Baptists in October 1835, the messengers being Lic. Brice Alsbury, James Mason, and William Carpenter, who reported 26 members. The church may have been organized as much as several years before this; but it is known that Rachel Alsbury was baptized into this church, in April 1834, by Elder John Ray. Elder Brice Alsbury was ordained to the ministry while he was a member of this church. In 1842, the church was dismissed from the Salem Association to go into the organization of the Mt. Gilead Association, of which it was an active part for several years, including hosting the meeting in 1846. Elder Henry Robertson was a member here for a short time in the 1850's.


Akin, Alsbury, Carpenter, Elledge, Etherton, Ingram, Mason, Pool, Rigg, Robertson, Suter, Tucker (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


Providence Church, of Pike County, was one of the original thirteen churches which organized the Salem Association, in October 1835. This church had probably been organized very recently, as it did not unite with the Spoon River Association which met only a few weeks earlier. Providence Church, Pike County, was listed last in the table of Salem Association churches in 1835, and reported only seven members, with Charles Hazelrigg named as its messenger. In 1836, the church reported 10 members, and George Jasper was a messenger. The membership gradually increased to 23, by 1841. In 1842 this church was dismissed to go into the constitution of the Mt. Gilead Association.

Note: This church met in the close proximity of New Philadelphia, site of the recent archeological work done regarding the black settlement of "Free Frank McWhorter. East of Barry, probably in Hadley township.


Jasper, Hammond, Hazelrigg, Moore, Murray, Purcell, York (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


Little Flock Church, at Detroit, united with the Salem Association in 1841, at which time it reported ten members, four of whom had been received by letter or baptism during the year. In 1842, the church reported eleven members, and was one of the churches which went into the formation of the Mt. Gilead Association. In 1849, Little Flock Church increased from ten members to 21 members in one year. Elders Samuel Applegate and Mastin Doty were members here.


Applegate, Battershall, Brown, Dinsmore, Doty, Foreman, Norton, Williams (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


Hopewell Church, near El Dara (about ten miles west of Pittsfield), was organized May 11, 1844, by Elders Brice Alsbury and James Abbott, with nine charter members, viz., Samuel Purcell, Ann Purcell, Joel Purcell, Elizabeth Purcell, Elizabeth Purcell, Jane Purcell, Uriah Hughes, Mary Hughes, and John Moore. They were dismissed for that purpose by Providence Church, in Pike County (see above).

In August 1844 the church petitioned to unite with the Mt. Gilead Association, and was received. Elder Alsbury evidently served the church as pastor sometime in 1854. Elder Stephen R. Williams was then called and served the church until his death in 1912. Elder C. C. Melton then served the church until it closed.

For many years the church met in homes and school buildings, of which the Crosier School was probably most often used, at least in the latter years of the church's existence. It was located about 1/4 mile from Crosier Creek, about three miles south of Eldara.


Alsbury, Barnes, Berk, Berry, Bogard, Bowman, Boyer, Carr, Chambers, Coffman, Collins, Doty, Drummond, Elvish, Feltch, Freeman, Goodwin, Hazelrigg, Holford, Hollis, Hughes, Jackson, Johnson, Kilgore, Lee, Lyons, Moore, Morgan, Morris, Motley, Murray, Owens, Parker, Peaches, Pearce, Purcell, Rafferty, Reader, Reel, Riggs, Shinn, Shipman, Standley, Stroder, Taylor, Travis, Whiteside, Williams.


Spring Creek Church was constituted in August 1852, by Elder Samuel Applegate. It united with the Mt. Gilead Association in 1852, the messengers being Samuel Applegate and Thomas Chaney, who reported twelve members. The church had increased to 33 members by 1855.

The church worshipped for about five years in the Spring Creek school house (in Spring Creek township, about 15 miles south of Pittsfield, and 8 miles east of Pleasant Hill), which stood where Nebo now stands. They then erected a house of worship in 1857 or 1858, but it was destroyed by fire in February 1879. The following autumn they erected another, more substantial church building. In later years, the church met in the "Old Baptist school," located about one mile east of Nebo. Elder Stephen R. Williams was also pastor here. Among the ministers who held membership in this church were Elders Samuel Applegate, Abraham L. Hollis, Robert Q. West, C. C. Melton, John S. Ham, and T. Jeff Scranton.


Applegate, Bogart, Brooks, Buchanan, Chaney, Garrison, Ham, Hamilton, Holford, Hollis, Martin, Melton, Richey, Scranton, Sheppard, Smith, Stark, West, Windmiller, Woodworth (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


Siloam Church united with the Mt. Gilead Association in 1852, her messengers at that time being Elder Brice Alsbury and Bro. John Rafferty, who reported 13 members, an increase of one during the year. By 1855 Elder Alsbury had moved his membership back to New Salem Church, where he was originally ordained, and this church was no longer listed. The location of this church was not stated, and has not been determined with any degree of certainty.


Minutes of the Spoon River and Salem Associations; Obituaries in Signs of the Times, Messenger of Peace, and other church papers; Records of Hopewell Church, near El Dara.

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