Church and Family History Research Assistance for Stark County, Illinois



On August 15, 1853, the Spoon River Church of Regular Predestinarian Baptists was organized at Modena, about ten miles east of Toulon. It was established as an arm of the Bureau Church near Tiskilwa. The charter members were Archibald Vandike, Charles Vandike, Martha Vandike, Eleanor Vandike, William J. Fellingham, George Beall, Benjamin Newton, Jane Newton, David Potter, Robert Sharer, Phoebe Sharer, Catherine Bolt, and Zarah Newton. The presbytery was composed of Elders Robert F. Haynes, James B. Chenowith, and Clement West, and Deacons Isham Bobbitt and Eliel Long. Elder William J. Fellingham was ordained to the ministry at this same meeting.

On October 1, 1856, the new meeting house at Modena was opened, the meetings prior to that time having been held in the Franklin Schoolhouse. The record of business meetings of the church closed in 1877, although the church continued to hold meetings for several years after that date. In about 1880 the "Mound Church" north of Bradford was purchased by James M. Jackson from the Cumberland Presbyterians, and after that time, this church met there. In 1879 the church at Modena was sold.

Elder James B. Chenowith served as pastor from 1853 until August 1866. He was followed by Elders Benjamin Sallee (1867), William A. Thompson (1868-1870), Elder Dillon (in August 1870), Orin S. Thompson (November 1870 until his death in 1878), and Elder Smith Ketchum.


Atherton, Batten, Beall, Bogart, Boggs, Bolt, Booker, Brasel, Case, Chenowith, Collins, Cox, Davis, Dunham, Fellingham, Funderburg, Hilliard, Lane, Mehew, Newton, Potter, Riner, Sharer, Stimson, Taylor, Thompson, Thurston, Vandike, Whybrow, Winchell (incomplete list due to loss of records).

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