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Christian Churches in Christian County

The Restoration Movement in Illinois: Christian County

Text from Nathaniel S. Haynes, History of the Disciples in Illinois 1819-1914, pages 135 - 139.
Transcribed by K. Torp


Organized 1874, by J. M. Morgan; present membership, 120; value of property, $1,500; Bible-school began 1874; present enrollment, 45.

In 1870, Minister Morgan conducted a series of meetings in the Baptist chapel. Several people turned to the Lord. Four years later the
organization was effected with twenty-five charter members. The building was erected in 1875.

Berea (Mt. Auburn)

Organized 1868, by John W. Tyler; present membership, 100; value of property, $2,500; Bible-school began 1869; present enrollment, 60.

Mr. Tyler held a very successful meeting in the Sanders Schoolhouse, winning sixty-eight persons for the Lord, and organized the church with
one hundred members. The first officers were James Sanders and Benjamin Cross, elders, with Wm. Pierson, John M. Abel and Oliver White,
deacons. A good frame chapel was built in 1869. The location is beautiful\'c4a high bluff on the south side of the Sangamon River. A cemetery
has grown in the rear of the chapel. Mr. Tyler and Dr. L. A. Engle served the congregation for about twenty-five years.

"Uncle Jim Sanders" was a unique character in the community in the early years.


Organized 1856, by A. D. Northcutt; present membership, 299; value of property, including parsonage, $5,500; Bible-school enrollment, 150.

Meetings were held in the schoolhouse till 1872, when a frame building costing about $1,800 was erected. This was struck by a cyclone in 1875, which picked up the structure down to the floor and carried it about ten rods. At the time the children were in the house, assembled about the organ and organist, practicing for a religious program. They were all uninjured. The house was immediately rebuilt. It was remodeled in 1901 and is still in use.

A. O. Hargis and Homer Turner have been given to the ministry.

In place of a Christian Endeavor there is a Kulture Klub of thirty young people for Bible study. Active C. W. B. M.

Morganville (Blue Mound)

Organized 1891, by J. O. Southerland; present membership, 100; value of property, $2,000; Bible-school began 1891; present enrollment, 56.

In this year there were living five and a half miles northwest of Blue Mound the following named seven Disciples: D. O. Daniels and wife, C. C. Hollier and wife, John Scott, Mrs. Maggie McKinnie and John Hall. Through their effort Min. J. O. Southerland held a series of meetings in the Sycamore Schoolhouse. He baptized forty-two people and organized the Christian Church at Morganville, Christian Co., Ill., with forty-seven members. In August, 1892, a good frame chapel was finished and occupied. At present the elders are T. D. Scott and Elmer Ellis; the deacons, Moses Morgan, Henry Gimnura, David Abel and Bert Wilcox.

Mt. Auburn

Organized 1840, by A. D. Northcutt; present membership, 200; value of property, including parsonage, $3,500; Bible-school enrollment, 107.

In December, 1836, A. D. Northcutt bought a farm near the site of the village of Osbornville, where Charles L. Osborne now resides. Mr. Northcutt was then a member of the Baptist Church, which was then very Calvinistic. He first disagreed with his Baptist minister because he debarred other church people from a communion service. The date was probably about 1840. The noted Walter P. Bowles was at that meeting, which was held in a Presbyterian chapel about a mile east of Osbornville site. At the close of this meeting, Messrs. Northcutt and Bowles laid hold of such puncheons as they could carry, left the church and went to a near-by grove. The people went along.

Mr. Bowles mounted a stump and preached to them. Thereafter Mr. Northcutt said to his Baptist minister: "I am now done with the Baptist Church." It was not long until Mr. Northcutt and his wife, William Hunter and wife, James Hunter and wife, and James Sanders, formed themselves into a church of Christ. This was the beginning of the Mt. Auburn congregation. These people began at once to meet regularly on the first day of the week for public worship. It fell to Mr. Northcutt to lead and preside at the Lord's table. He had no thought whatever of becoming a minister. However, he soon showed his reverence for the Scripture and his aptness to teach.

The little church grew and he was formally set apart to the ministry. The meetings were held in the Brush Schoolhouse. Mins. John W. Tyler, John Wilson and Mattie Brown preached here. Mr. Tyler once preached once a month for a year. His money pay was $60. When no other preacher was present, Mr. Northcutt officiated. Next the congregation changed its place of meeting to the Hunter Schoolhouse, some three miles northeast of Mt. Auburn, and in 1866 moved into the village. A chapel was built the same year. Later it was improved, and is yet in use.

The work went on till 1875. Then the congregation fell to pieces. For a period of twelve years the house was opened only for funerals--a solemn reminder of deplorable spiritual death. In 1889, Min. M. L. Anthony held a series of meetings and revived the congregation. Since then it has moved forward in a faithful effort to redeem the past.

During the years of depression, Charles T. Cole was always faithful and hopeful. With his the name of Ira Ellis deserves to be remembered. In late years there is a goodly number of earnest men and women, among them John W. Auger.


Organized 1905; present membership, 60; value of property, $2,300; Bible-school enrollment, 21.

A small congregation lived here in the seventies and eighties, but failed from a lack of leadership.

Pleasant Hill (Pawnee)

Present membership, 138; value of property, $2,000; Bible-school enrollment, 25.


Organized 1853, by A. D. Northcutt; present membership, 410; value of property, including parsonage, $30,000; Bible-school began 1879;
present enrollment, 250.

There were thirty-five charter members. Wm. Singer, B. F. Maupin and J. W. Thompson were chosen elders, with A. J. Sparks and Griffin Evans, deacons.

The Cumberland Presbyterian Church was used for about a year, when a frame chapel was built. It cost $2,500, and at that time was the best in the county. The membership then was about 150. Later an internal strife disorganized the congregation and scattered its members every whither. In 1879, after a year of hard work, Min. S. R. Wilson succeeded in effecting a reorganization with thirty-three members. Wm. Frampton, R. P. Langley and W. N. Long were elected elders, with A. S. Thomas, Morgan Milligan and Joseph Torrence, deacons. Later, L. R. Hedrick was added to the eldership, where he served to the close of his life in 1894. To him the church was and is yet indebted.

The present edifice, "The Davis Memorial Christian Church", was the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Davis, they furnishing most of the money for its construction. It was built during the pastorate of W. W. Weedon. Among the ministers of the first period of the church, besides Mr. Northcutt, there were Alex. McCollum, Wm. M. Brown, Wm. Vanhooser, John L. Wilson, Thomas Cully, J. W. Tyler and W. T. Maupin.

Mrs. Cordelia Davis Hoover and Mrs. Sarah Davis Deterding were daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Davis. These women were both faithful to the Lord and his work when the church was weak and when it was stronger. Their names are held in tender and loving remembrance. Mrs. Deterding's daughter, Mrs. Maude Deterding Ferris, was the founder of the Missionary Training School at Indianapolis, Ind., giving $25,000 toward this enterprise. At first it bore her mother's name. Mrs. Ferris now supports a missionary in India, Dr. Rosa Lee Oxer, and helps many good causes.

The two auxiliary societies of this church unite in the support of a teacher in the school at Hazel Green, Ky. paying $450 a year.

New Liberty (Deceased)

The New Liberty Church, located three miles southwest of Moweaqua, was organized by A. D. Northcutt in 1853. There were ten charter members. From 1859 to 1875 the congregation reached a membership of four hundred and was a power in the community. Decline marked the years until the formation of the church in Moweaqua, when it absorbed many of its members. In 1902 an ineffective attempt was made for its revival.

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