THE REGULAR BAPTISTS OF JASPER COUNTY
(LATER KNOWN AS REGULAR PREDESTINARIAN and also PRIMITIVE BAPTISTS)
Illinois Genealogy Trails is excited to be able to bring you the following history of some of the Primitive Baptist churches of Jasper County. This information is being graciously provided by Elder Robert Webb, pastor of the Carthage Primitive Baptist Church in Carthage, Hancock County, IL. Elder Webb and the other members of his church have organized the "Primitive Baptist Library" as a private library (not affiliated as a society of the churches) containing a collection of materials related to the Primitive Baptist churches. The Carthage Primitive Baptist Church, organized in 1997, is a small church consisting of 5 members and they are to be commended for their work in preserving the records of Jasper County's Baptist heritage.
They maintain a database of records which unfortunately cannot be shared online due to privacy issues, but Elder Webb has graciously consented to provide look-ups from the database as well as the other resources they have available. Below are listed the Jasper Baptist Churches and the history of that church which Elder Webb has provided, and underneath the history is a list of the family surnames who have records in the database of that church. Elder Webb and his members eventually hope to publish a book with as much of the actual information as possible, but until that date, we hope you will be able to find information on your ancestors here. The church records do not give information about marriages, or births of children, and all baptisms were of adult believers, not infants. The records identify the people as living in the area, when they joined the church, what part they took in the church if they were ordained, or an officer.
If you see a familiar surname that you would like Elder Webb to send you info on, send him an email with 1) the church name 2) surname and first name you are looking for 3) a reasonable timeframe in which your ancestor can be found. Do not ask for and do not expect to receive "all the names starting with Jones" etc. Do not abuse Elder Webb's generosity.
Elder Webb has also provided a history of the Primitive Baptist religion which you will find at the end of the page (click here). Please take the time to read it.....
Now for the data......
The records of three of the four Primitive Baptist churches which formerly existed in Jasper County have been preserved for posterity, and are being safely kept in The Primitive Baptist Library in Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois.
NORTH FORK (OF EMBARRASS RIVER) CHURCH
North Fork Church was organized on February 10, 1829, at the home of Richard Eaton, about two miles west of present-day Oblong, about one-half mile west of the river from which it took its name. The charter members were dismissed from Grand Prairie Church of Crawford County. The church met for many years in Willow Hill township. In 1884, Jeremiah Doty and wife gave a deed to the church for Lots 4 and 5 in Doty's 2nd Addition to the town of New Liberty (Willow Hill). The church continued to meet there until it closed, in 1979. Pastors of the church included Elders Thomas Young, Daniel Doty, William H. Smith, A. J. Lanter, William Lewis, James George, J. C. Biggs, H. C. Bell, Cina Greathouse, Jasper Dalby, Benjamin Ferguson, George W. Inyart, T. J. Parr, Jerry Brown, William E. Wright, Oscar Wallace, J. D. Vandeveer, and Cecil R. Fuson. Family names who were members of this church included:
Allen, Allison, Anderson, Armstrong, Arnold, Baker, Bartlett, Bartley, Baughess, Beel, Biggs, Bonom, Bridges, Brooks, Bruner, Burcham, Cable, Carpenter, Cawhorn, Chriss, Conrad, Cottrel, Cox, Daubs, Dillman, Dispenny, Dodd, Doty, Eaton, Erwin, Fear, Ferguson, Fowler, Gardner, George, Graves, Greene, Griggs, Hambric, Harrison, Highsmith, Hill, Hilton, Holensaic, Holmes, Hon, Hone Hume, Hunt, Ireland, James, Jeffers, Jennie, Johnson, Jones, Kasserman, Keen, Kennedy, Kermicle, Kibler, Kinkade, Lameron, Lanter, Laws, Lewis, Manning, McCoy, McDaniel, McKenzie, Metcalf, Miller, Mock, Musgrove, Neal, Nebergall, Newkirk, Odell, Oef, Parr, Phelps, Pierson, Pile, Portlock, Powell, Price, Purcell, Rice, Richards, Ridlen, Robinson, Rodd, Rowe, Salisbury, Sheller, Skidmore, Smith, Stall, Stone, Tarpley, Taylor, Todd, Trowbridge, Van Black, Watts, Weaver, Welch, Wolensaid, Wright, York, Young.
(If you see a familiar surname that you would like Elder Webb to send you info on, send him an email with 1). the church name 2) surname and first name you are looking for 3) a reasonable timeframe in which your ancestor can be found. )
PARKER'S CREEK CHURCH
Parker's Creek Church was organized by members dismissed for that purpose from North Fork Church and Glady Fork Church (of Lawrence County), in December 1843. The members who organized the church were living "in the vicinity of the brushy fork of the Embarrass River." The church was never very large, and dissolved in 1860. Family names who were members of this church included:
Rich, Norton, Highsmith, and Kennedy (incomplete)
(If you see a familiar surname that you would like Elder Webb to send you info on, send him an email with 1) the church name 2) surname and first name you are looking for 3) a reasonable timeframe
in which your ancestor can be found.)
Galilee Church was organized on July 11, 1846, at the home of Samuel Weaver, with eleven members. Pastors who served this church included Elders Daniel Doty, Jesse Eaton, J. H. Price, Robert Jeffers, L. Baker, C. B. Dawson, W. H. Smith, and possibly others. This church dissolved in 1877. Family names who were members of this church included:
Allison, Bennett, Biggs, Cox, Eaton, Grizzle, Grove, Gwin, Harris, Jeffers, Johnson, Jones, Lamon, Lanter, Matheny, Miller, Peck, Skidmore, Vanover, and Weaver.
(If you see a familiar surname that you would like Elder Webb to send you info on, send him an email with 1). the church name 2) surname and first name you are looking for 3). a timeframe)
HICKORY CREEK CHURCH
Hickory Creek Church was organized May 18, 1855, by Elders Billings, Ransom Riggs, A. B. Nay, and other council, including J. G. Jackson, W. Powell, I. Treese, M. Parr, A. Vantreese, and H. Morris (all members of the Conn's Creek Association of Indiana). The organization took place at the home of John Bartley, with twelve charter members. The church joined the Conn's Creek Association of Indiana in 1855, but later joined the Central Association of Illinois. This church was located about a mile south of Brockville at an intersection, and the Brockville cemetery is nearby. A photograph of this church does exist. It ceased to hold regular meetings in about 1933. Family names who were members of this church included:
Armstrong, Bartley, Beals, Brandon, Brock, Broderick, Campbell, Creed, Fear, Feeser, Ferguson, Ford, Greer, Harlen, Hilton, Hume, Ireland, Jones, King, Koffman, Lanter, Laws, Layman, Lewis, Manning, Martin, McVeigh, Melton, Newsome, Parr, Pierce, Portlock, Powell, Ridlen, Simms, Smith, Snyder, Stretchesr, Todd, Walls, Whitney, and Wright.
(If you see a familiar surname that you would like Elder Webb to send you info on, send him an email with 1) the church name 2) surname and first name you are looking for 3) a timeframe.)
THE CENTRAL ASSOCIATION
A Primitive Baptist Association was organized in this area, in 1891, which met annually,
the last session held being in 1947. The annual minutes have been preserved for most of the years, but the following
minutes are missing: 1892, 1893, 1895, 1897, 1898, 1900, 1903, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1909, 1911, 1912, 1914, and 1915.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The Primitive Baptist Library of Carthage, Illinois, welcomes the assistance of any descendants or others, who can provide additional photographs of the church buildings, minutes of the association which are missing.
Also, the library would like to obtain a copy of the deed for the earlier location of North Fork Church in Willow Hill township.
TYPES OF RECORDS AVAILABLE
The records in our collection are being carefully preserved, and a database of the names
of members of the Jasper county churches, as well as all areas of Illinois, is being maintained and updated. We
also have many volumes of bound periodicals which include obituaries of many members. Anyone wishing to inquire
about their ancestors who were members of these churches may contact us by sending an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the date of birth and death of your ancestor when you write.
HISTORY OF THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH
as provided by Elder Robert Webb
[Illinois Genealogy Trails provides this information as background research into the Primitive Baptist religion. The views expressed below are of Elder Webb and his church and do not reflect an endorsement by Illinois Genealogy Trails.]
The Primitive Baptists (or Regular Baptists, as they were called in the first half of the
19th century) were among the earliest pioneer settlers of most parts of Illinois, including Jasper County. North
Fork Church, organized in 1829, was probably the first church of any faith organized in Jasper County. The Primitive
Baptists have a very simple form of worship: Singing of hymns (without musical instruments) by the congregation,
prayer, and preaching. They were and are, a devout people who believed in honesty, morality, and fair dealings,
as well as having an aversion to innovations in religious matters. They were and still are, not opposed to modern
conveniences, education, or advancement in their homes and in the business world and civil society, but were and
still are, opposed to mixing the programs for education, entertainment, benevolence, etc., with the church, as
they believed the elements of organized religion based on money and human works would corrupt and burden those
who needed religion but could not afford it, and that carnality would replace spirituality as a result. They do
not believe the scriptures teach that the new testament
church is under the law service, to practice tithing, a salaried priestly ministry, sacrificial offerings, musical instruments, harps or dancing, or other ceremonies of the law dispensation. They believe in teaching their children, and raising them to live moral and upright lives, but have not adopted formal Sunday Schools (which was invented in 1781) or formal Bible studies, believing rather that God has called men to preach and teach the whole congregation without dividing it into classes.
They believe that God has all power and wisdom, and is able, and will save all whom He purposed to save (including infants, and many who have never heard of the church or the gospel), and is not frustrated, nor is He dependent on the works of men to save souls, and will save all of His people whom He chose before the world began, and purposed to save. Yet, they believe in good works, and preaching (but not to save souls, but to "feed the sheep", instruct God's people, etc.). They believe men should obey God because they are His children, not in order to become his children, making good works and worship sincere and from the motive of LOVE rather than only for the sake of a reward or out of FEAR of punishment. They believe salvation is in God's hand alone, and that He is sovereign in choosing and giving eternal life, and that men cannot obtain it by anything they do or say, but also that men would not sincerely choose life unless God had already changed their hearts and given it to them (often without their realizing what had happened to change them).
The Primitive Baptist Library in Carthage, Illinois, is conducted by Elder Robert Webb,
pastor of the Carthage Primitive Baptist Church, as a private endeavor, to preserve the heritage of the Primitive
Baptists, who were pioneers in most parts of the state of Illinois and other states. The Carthage Primitive Baptist
Church was organized in July 1997, and welcomes interested persons to contact their pastor, Elder Robert Webb,
for more information about their beliefs. His e-mail address is: email@example.com Visitors are always welcome at the services of the
Carthage Primitive Baptist Church, 220 S. Scofield Street, Carthage, IL, each Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
Return to the Main Index Page of Jasper County