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

CHURCHES NEARBY IN INDIANA:

BIG VERMILION (NEWPORT, INDIANA)

Big Vermilion Church, about two miles north of Newport, Indiana, was already a member of the Eel River Association of Indiana, in August 1826. The few minutes which have been located of the Vermilion Association show that Big Vermilion Church was the host church in 1833, 1840, 1843, 1854, and 1861. This church was represented and assisted in the constitution of Hopewell Church, in July 1829.

HOPEWELL (GESSIE, INDIANA)

Hopewell Church was organized on July 27, 1829, near the Vermillion/Warren County line (in Indiana). The presbytery was composed of Elders James Ticknor, Samuel Hannas, --- Lamair, --- Mahuren, James Buckles, and Bro. Alex Morehead and Bro. Martin. The charter members were Samuel Purcell, Ann Purcell, Young Green, Elizabeth Pierce, Margaret Green, Nancy Strawn, John Ray, Sarah Ray, Lydia Mae Glanary, Moses Lee, and Hannah Ballard. Elder James Buckles was chosen the first pastor. The church agreed to petition for membership in the Eel River Association in August of the same year. When the Vermilion Association was organized, Hopewell Church became a member of that body.

In October 1830, the church agreed to build a meeting house in Highland township, Vermillion County, Indiana, near the center of where the members lived, on land given by Bro. Thomas Ater. The meeting house of Hopewell Church was built northeast of Gessie, Indiana, on County Road 100W- 1550N, and there is a cemetery at the site. The first building at this site was apparently built in 1853.

Pastors of the church while it was meeting in Indiana, included Elders James Buckles, William Blankinship, James Tichnor, Benjamin Avery, William Stephens, Bartlett Deherring, James Norris, John Vaughan, John Orr, Samuel Johnson, George Y. Stipp, P. S. Beals, and Joel Kemper. Later pastors of the Indiana portion of the congregation are not all known, but they included Elders Jerry Goff, D. A. Smith, James Smith, and Edgar Johnson. Elder Lloyd Clapp was the last minister to serve as pastor at Hopewell, at the Gessie, Indiana location. Those who served the part of the congregation after meetings began in the Danville, Illinois, area, in about 1896, were Elders B. F. Querry, J. B. Dobbs, James H. Oliphant, Stewart Flanigan, J. A. Conlee, J. N. Dalby, George W. Inyart, Charles W. Moore, and Cecil Fuson.

CHURCHES IN VERMILION COUNTY, ILLINOIS:

FIRST DANVILLE (DANVILLE, ILLINOIS)

First Danville Church was organized prior to 1829, at Danville, Illinois, probably through the labors of Elder Daniel Parker. The church had several ordained ministers at a very early date, viz., Elders James Buckles, Mahuren, Samuel Hannas, James Ticknor, Benjamin G. Avery, William Stephens, and William Blankenship.Several of these assisted in the constitution of Hopewell Church, near Gessie, Indiana, in July 1829. Elder Richard M. Newport held worship services in the spacious courtroom of the brick courthouse in Danville, in June 1838, with an overflow crowd (as was always the case when he came here to preach), and nearly the whole town followed the congregation to the Vermilion River where the baptisms of John Stipp and wife were held. He also baptized members into this church in 1840, and was still holding services in 1842. In 1849, this church had 54 members. In 1854 the church obtained one-half acre of land from Amos Williams, for a site on which to build a meeting house.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Avery, Beasley, Blankenship, Buckles, Froman, Hannas, Leonard, Mahuren, Miller, Norris, Olehy, Stephens, Stipp, Swain, Tichenor (very incomplete list due to loss of records).

NOTE: The Minutes of the Vermilion Regular Baptist Association also show the existence of BREWITT'S CREEK, NEW HOPE, and WASHINGTON churches, but we have not been able to determine whether they were located in Vermilion County. We welcome help from anyone who can inform us further about these churches. We have a few names of the members of each of them.

HOPEWELL (DANVILLE, ILLINOIS)

In 1874, Hopewell Church divided. The part of the congregation led by Elders John Orr, S. C. Johnson, and others, was recognized by and remained in the Vermilion Association, and continued to represent in that body, as long as it continued to meet (1921). The other part of the congregation, led by Elder George Y. Stipp, apparently still met at the same church building (north of Gessie, Indiana) for several years, and still called itself Hopewell Church. In 1877, this part of the church was recognized by several other churches in Illinois, which met and formed the Big Spring Association. In 1892, this part of the congregation moved their meetings to Danville, Illinois. From 1877 through 1909, they continued to represent and take an active part in the Big Spring Association.

In 1892, part of the Hopewell Church congregation began meeting at the Lynch Schoolhouse in Vermilion Co., Ill. In 1896, they began holding meetings in the Union chapel on Perrysville Road. In July 1897, the congregation moved into a meeting house of their own on North Daisy Lane. In 1905 the railroad purchased vacant property and moved the church building to the site on East Voorhees Street, near the Fairgrounds near Danville, Illinois. Hopewell Church in Danville ceased to meet in 1968.

Pastors of the church while it was meeting in Indiana, included Elders James Buckles, William Blankinship, James Tichnor, Benjamin Avery, William Stephens, Bartlett Deherring, James Norris, John Vaughan, John Orr, Samuel Johnson, George Y. Stipp, P. S. Beals, and Joel Kemper. Later pastors of the Indiana portion of the congregation are not all known, but they included Elders Jerry Goff, D. A. Smith, James Smith, and Edgar Johnson. Elder Lloyd Clapp was the last minister to serve as pastor at Hopewell, at the Gessie, Indiana location. Those who served the part of the congregation after meetings began in the Danville, Illinois, area, in about 1896, were Elders B. F. Querry, J. B. Dobbs, James H. Oliphant, Stewart Flanigan, J. A. Conlee, J. N. Dalby, George W. Inyart, Charles W. Moore, and Cecil Fuson.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Campbell, Cox, Daniels, Draper, Emily, Ford, Goben, Goff, Gouty, Green, Henson, Hickman, Hughes, Hutton, Johnson, Jones, Kanine, Kemp, Kern, Leach, Lee, Long, Lucas, Lynch, Mackin, Marble, Marshall, Mason, McAnn, McCartney, Mellette, Moore, Orr, Osbourn, Parkhurst, Pierce, Poole, Priest, Prior, Pritchard, Purcell, Rabourn, Ray, Richison, Rouse, Rowe, Saltsgavor, Seigler, Shute, Skelton, Smith, Stipp, Strawn, Thompson, Tichenor, Villars, Walker, Watson, White, Widener, Williams, Wynn (incomplete due to loss of records).

LITTLE VERMILION (HUMRICK)

Little Vermilion Church, located about one and one-half miles northwest of Humrick, Illinois (near the Indiana/Illinois state line), was organized before 1833, as it had become a member of the Vermilion Association before that date. Records show that it hosted the association in 1844, 1867, 1871, 1874, 1899, and 1911.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Cline, Dicken, Ferguson, Forbs, Handley, Johnston, Metzgar, Parks, Rabourn, Stark, Whitlock (very incomplete list due to loss of records).

SALT FORK (See Champaign County)

STONEY CREEK (OAKWOOD)

Stoney Creek Church was organized in 1858, by Elder John Orr and wife, Rhodes Smith and wife, Jesse Berk and wife, Thomas Cox and wife, James Smith, William Smith, Martin Orr and wife, Nancy Truax and Rebecca Truax. The date of constitution and other details could not be found. For a while meetings were held in the home of Brother Rhodes Smith; then in the Forman School. In the Spring of 1876 the church erected a meeting house about one and one-half mile north of Oakwood, with dimensions of 26 by 36 feet, at a cost of about $800. The ministers at the time of the building were Elders R. A. Rabourn and Stephen Cox. There is a well-kept cemetery at the site.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Berk, Cox, Handley, Lane, Mason, Orr, Pritchard, Smith, Truax, Watson (very incomplete list due to loss of records).

VERMILLION (NINE MILES NORTHWEST OF DANVILLE)

Vermillion Church was organized in about 1863, and united with the Danville Association the same year. Elder Benjamin Harris was probably instrumental in the constitution of the church, and the first pastor, and was chosen as messenger to the Danville Association, and the statistics show that the church had a total of 12 members. The church grew gradually over a period of years, and reported 130 members in 1890. In 1892, this church was dropped from the Danville Association for departing from the faith and uniting with the Mt. Tabor Means Baptist Association. No later information has been obtained.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

PLEASANT HILL (WEST NEWELL)

Pleasant Hill Church was organized by 1898, or earlier, but the exact year has not been determined. In September 1898, Pleasant Hill Church presented a letter requesting membership in the Big Spring Association, and was received. Messengers were Bro. T. Wiles, G. A. Clapp, and W. L. Cox, who reported 27 members. In 1900, this church hosted the Association, her messengers at that time being Elders Daniel Johnson, Thomas Cox, and Brothers Grant Willson, W. L. Cox, and David Cox. It was located in the vicinity of Bismarck or West Newell.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Clapp, Cox, Johnson, Wiles, Willson (very incomplete list due to loss of records).


ADDITIONAL REFERENCE SOURCES IN THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST LIBRARY:

Minutes of Vermilion and Big Spring Associations (incomplete); history of Hopewell Church.

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