Illinois Genealogy Trails History Group

Clark County Illinois
Genealogy and History

New Providence
Cumberland Presbyterian


The New Providence Cumberland Presbyteryan Church, is also known as Bailiff Church.
It is located in Melrose Township, about 1 mile west of West York.

Some Ministers that served at the Bailiff and other area churches.

From left to right: Chalkey Bailiff, Guy Bonesteel, Furman E Bennett, Minnie Sanders Hollingsworth, and "Brother" Charles Waggerman.

[Photo contributed by Sandy Cirullo]

The Bailiff Church as described in:

"The first church organization [in Melrose township] was the New Providence Cumberland Presbyterian Church.' Services were held at the cabin of Robert Bailiff in 1833, by Rev. Silas Osborne. In the following year a church was organized by Rev Henry Groves at Mr. Bailiff's residence, with Mr. Bailiff and wife, Joseph Green and wife, Sarah Buckner and Thomas Handy as members. For ten years meetings were held at Mr. Bailiff's residence; a log house 20x26 feet was erected on section 36, the land being donated for the purpose by Mr. Bailiff. This building served for a place of worship until 1867, when it was torn down and the material used to erect a dwelling where it is still [1883] doing service. In 1867 a frame building, 26x36 feet, was erected on the site of the old log structure at a cost of $1,100, and is still doing service. It was dedicated in the same year by Rev. Jesse Beals. Rev. I. C. Hill was pastor of this church until 1838, when Rev. Robert Bailiff was called as pastor, and continued in the service of the church until his death, in 1879. His son, Thomas, succeeded him, and is now the pastor. The membership numbers fifty-eight persons."
[Source: "History of Crawford and Clark Counties", O. L. Baskin & Co., 1883]

"This son [Thomas] was followed by the grandson when Thomas C. Bailiff became the third generation pastor to the little group. These faithful and choice servants of the Lord also had fine singing voices. They served their own church well, and willingly sang and preached their ways all over Orange and Melrose townships, increasing the Cumberland Presbyterian faith wherever they went."2

"The present attendance numbers about forty. Among those preachers known to have pastored the Bailiff congregation have been Revs. Noah Haddock, Charles Waggarman, F. C. Bennett, H. E. Pendleton, Ms. Minnie Hollingsworth (Sanders), Lloyd Glover, Stanton Lawyer, Roscoe Deverick, Clarence Bline, J. C. Bennett, Richard Chapman, Gill Grounds and the present pastor Francis Howe. Some of these ministers served more than one term."
[Source: "A Collection of the Histories of the Churches of Clark County, Dating from their Foundings to the Mid-1970s, compiled under the auspices of the Historical and Genealogical Societies", 1978]


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