FIRST BRETHREN - LANARK IL.

This building located at 220 East Locust Street in Lanark is in use today by the Ashland Brethren. The steeple has been removed and a couple additions have been made, but the original building is still in use.

The history of the church dates back to the early eighties when the progressive movement in the Mother Church was sweeping the land. The first organized group of this new branch was formed in the Dutchtown Church near Milledgeville and the Lanark Church is an out-growth of that church. Henry Holsinger organized the church on July 14, 1884 and Z.T. Livengood was called as it's first pastor. The first members were Mr. and Mrs. William Herrington, Mr. and Mrs. D.S. Lichty, Sam Swigert, Miss Rettie Swigert and Carrie Thompson. The Ed Dubbels were the first members added to this list.

There was much oppostion to the new movement and the early leaders worked under very difficult conditions. The first, services were held in the old Bethel Church on lower Main Street and in the fall of 1885 the Rev. Bashor, a young Evangelist, conducted the first revival services in the Baptist Church. The church now had 24 members. The first Deacons were: William Herrington, Cal Puterbaugh and Ed Dubbel. William Herrington was the first S.S. Superintendent, but his main contribution was his ability as a song leader.

By 1890 the Place of worship was changed to the Congregational Church building which stood on this present site. The church knew no bounds and with the true spirit of Christian worship grew very rapidly. During the first nineteen years of his ministry Rev. Livengood received 343 new members. This present building was built and dedicated in December of 1895. The Rev. J.O. Tally preached the dedicatory sermon.

The church was not a modern building but was lighted with kerosene lights and had no modern conveniences. By 1919 this building was out grown and Sunday School rooms were added. Rev, B.T. Burnworth was pastor during rebuilding and Rev. Beachler preached the dedicatory sermon on Feb. 23, 1919. Basement improvements were made in 1935 during the pastorate of G.T. Ronk. Rest rooms were added in 1944. The ventilating system and kitchen were completed in 1949 as a project of the Builders Class. In 1952 the ceiling of the sanctuary was lowered. The bell and tower were removed from the church and in memory of the church founders, the bell was mounted on a platform near the church. New pews, new worship center and complete carpeting were part of a remodeling project in 1968. In 1971 the church purchased property on the north which made into a much needed parking lot. In the fall of 1970 work was begun on the new narthex. It's completion was accomplished in the spring of 1972 with the installation of carpeting. A beautiful stained glass window was given in memory of Ruth Diffenderfer and is located in the new narthex. Our church is still in the act of physical growth as a new pastors study is being added and the old study is readied for use as the church library.

Our church is one of six located in an agricultural community of approximately 3000. A new recreational home site development, `Lake Carroll," is affecting the growth of our community and church outreach. Farming and several small industries provide most of the occupations for our 207 church members.


LIST OF PASTORS
Rev. Z.T. Livengood - 19 years 1884
Rev. J.W. Beer - 6 mos. 1887
Rev. D.W. Furry - 2 mos. 1900
Rev. H. Welty - 10 mos. 1900-1901
Rev. Z.T. Livengood - 9 years 1901 - 1909
Rev. J . H. Knepper -1 year 1900 - 1910
Rev. L.G. Smith - 2 years 1910 - 1912
Rev. D.F. Elkenberry - 3 mos
Rev. B.T. Burnworth - 9 years 1914 - 1923
Rev. C. Beekley - 1 year 1923 - 1924
Rev. C. Mays - 3 years 1924 - 1927
Rev. H.D. Fry - 2 years 1927 - 1929
Rev. C.C. Grisso - 5 years 1929 - 1934
Rev. G.T. Ronk - 5 years 1934 - 1939
Rev. C. Zimmerman - 2 years 1939 - 1941
Rev. ED, Burnworth - 2 years 1941 - 1943
Rev. W.D. Benshoff - 2 years 1944 - 1946
Rev. L.O. McCartneysmith - 2 years 1946 - 1950
Rev. D.C. White - 5 mos. 1950 - 1951
Rev. J.D. Hamel - 2 1/2 years 1951 - 1953
Rev. F. Berkshire - 5 years 1953 - 1958
Rev. M. Hawbecker - 10 mos. Interim 1959
Rev. R. Aspinall - 3 years 1959 - 1962
Rev. C. Stogsdill - Interim 1962
Rev. C.Y. Giliner - 4 years 1962 - 1966
Rev. P.D. Steiner - Present Pastor - 1966 -

We have had two ministers come from this church. John Knepper ordained by Rev. Livengood in 1910 and Rev. Jerry Witt, who was ordained in 1966 and has served in Udell, Iowa, Mount City and Warrensburg, Missouri.

Organizations in the church include, Laymen, two W.M.S. groups, Signal Lights, Sisterhood, Junior and Senior Choirs and Senior B.Y.C. An addition to our regular Sunday morning service for the past year has been a Laity with Life program, (Lay persons giving their personal testimony or devotions).

Our District Project has been the Cedar Falls Mission Church. We continue to support this worthwhile project. As the Lord continues to bless us both spiritually and materially, it is our prayer that we shall rise to the task of doing His work here on earth.

The Lanark Church extends an invitation to any brethren traveling through the Midwest, to visit us.

History compiled by Mrs. Gerald Martin for the Goodly Heritage

If I have any of this information wrong - please let me know

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