Bader Christian Church
Bader, Illinois


Built 1876

1999

  Some people from what is now the Bader community attended a meeting held by Beverly Curry at the Samuel Kirkham home on Sugar Creek in 1838. He continued to meet with them from time to time and in 1840 they organized as a church at the home of Joseph Dennis with a membership of 34.  No complete list of charter members is available, but among them are Joseph Dennis, Phillip Mulkey, Henry Venters, T. Lancaster, W. K. Jones, Sarah Fowler, and Ophelia Marshall.

  This group continued to meet from house to house until the log schoolhouse was built in old District No. I in 1849 when permission was given to use as a meeting place.
  This continued to be the meeting place until 1876 when the first church building was erected during the ministry of H. C. Littleton.  This church was built n ground donated by Mrs. Fowler and cost $1,000.  The membership was 87 in 1882.
  A few of the names of ministers and evangelists of this period are as follows: M. D. Sharples, J. B. Royal, D. E. Hughes, C. H. Shiplett, L. R. Thomas, Will F. Shaw, Chester B. Grubb, and Guy V. Ferguson.
  In the year 1928 the question was raised about building a new church. The Builder's class under the leadership of Bro. H.S. Stauffer took the responsibility of raising the money.
  The last service in the old church was held in Aug. 1928, and the building was torn down. Services were held in the Ladies Aid Hall until the new church was built.
  The new church of brick and tile construction was erected at a cost of $4,150.00. M. H. Lind was the carpenter in charge and much of the labor was donated.  The dedication service was held May 26, 1929 with Bro. W. W. Vose officiating.  A roll call at this time showed a membership of 108.  Some officers and elders honored at this time included W. B. Jones, H. O. Bader, W. M. Vinters, William Beck and J.Q. Geiman.
  The centennial of the Bader church was held Nov. 3, 1940 with M. L. Pontius of Jacksonville as speaker.
  W.B. Jones was honored as the oldest member present and Mrs. Maggie Venters as the second oldest.  Cora Bader read a history of the church and much of the material for this history was taken from her account.  The membership a this time was 128.
  Some of the ministers and evangelists since the new church was built are: Earl W. Braun, Earl Himes, Sam P. Jones, G. W. Zink, Roud Shaw, E. M. Gallager, Lee Maynard, Bob Manship, Max Brandon, Fred Smith, and Fred Thompson.
  For some time the church was served by student ministers from Lincoln Christian College.  This gave them an opportunity to develop, and we got to know some fine young men who later became fine preachers.  Some names: Loren Heller, Charles Elston, Carol Lowe, Dean Cripe, Kenneth Cuttip, Fred Miller, Greg Cheatem, and Lowell Tate.
  The church is active and in good condition in 1983 with an active missionary program.  Bro. James Shirley has been our minister for the past ten years and the church has shown a steady growth.
  As is common in country churches, a large number of young people who got their early Christian training here have gone to other places and are serving there so the influence of the church is greater than the increase in membership might indicate.
  There is a church related development which I think is worthy of note.
  When the new schoolhouse was built in 1904 the Ladies Aid bought the old schoolhouse, moved it to a new location and remodeled the interior by building a rather elaborate stage at one end with a roll-up curtain and a painted interior backdrop and wings.  It was used for school programs and every year the young people of the community would put on a play.
  No one ever went on to star on Broadway but many young folks were helped to overcome their fear of appearing before an audience and it made a definite contribution to the culture of the community.
 
by Laurence Royer

BADER LADIES AID
  In the year of 1900 some of the church ladies had an idea if they had some sort of a club they could be of some help to the community, So, after good bit of discussion, they settled on the idea of a Ladies Aid Society -- hence the Bader's Aid Society was brought into existence with twelve charter members.  They elected a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and some committees.  These were mercy and help, lookout, work, and in later years, a flower and card committee was added.
  The Aid soon grew although the Bader locality is a small area.  At first, the members were just from the Christian church but later any interested person as welcome to be a member.  What it costs to be a member? - 40 cent a year - and it is still 40 cent after eighty three years.  There are a lot of laughs over our "dues".  We have twenty six members date, ten of which live in the Astoria area.  We have met all these years every month (weather permitting) for a business meeting and many times for work meetings.

  I took back over the years at the many things we have done and will tell you of a few of them.  We quilted quilts for one cent a yard of thread.  Many of which brought us $2.50 each.  We pieced and made comforts to sell and for anyone having burnouts.  I remember making garments for orphans and sending barrels of canned fruits to an old folks home at Jacksonville until, by law, we could not send home canned goods.  Our chicken pie suppers were well known and nearby towns always patronized them.  Nothing ever was overcharged.  We had food sales, ice cream suppers - ice cream was 5 cent a dip, cake was 5 cent and strawberries the same.  We served sale dinners and made our own buns for hamburgers.  We sewed carpet rags for 10 cent per pound and we even cleaned a few houses for $1.00 a day.  There had to be 10 women but we got our dinner.  We had dime socials too - a little lunch was extra.  Once a year for awhile we had a bazaar and sunbonnets and aprons were big items.  Other years we had silent auctions or small bazaars in our homes at monthly meetings.

  I could name many more things but want to tell about our aid home which was the old schoolhouse.  I do not know the cost.  Men moved it to a new location.  It was adequate as to size and heated by a large coal stove.  Sometime early after the Aid had it, we had a stage built across the front end of it with painted wings and a curtain rolled from ceiling.  Many plays were given from that stage both by the Aid and also the school.  We had many good times in the old hall but a number of years ago, it was sold to Wayne Stambaugh for a repair shop for machinery, etc.

  Now we sew and have woven a lot of rugs to be done for Christmas each year.  Mrs. Batterton from Summum is our weaver.  Also lap robes and bibs are made to be given to nursing homes, etc.

  Our Aid Society had always extended a helping hand wherever needed and we hope it continues this many more years.

 
by Ruth M. Hoke

ARGUS-SEARCHLIGHT,
ASTORIA, ILLINOIS
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 1940.


BADER CHRISTIAN CHURCH
 FOUNDED 100 YEARS AGO, Centennial Was Observed At Church In Special Program;

History of Church

  Between 150 and 200 people gathered at the Christian church in Bader Sunday, Nov. 3, afternoon and evening, to join in the centennial observance of the founding of this church by pioneer residents, many of whose descendants are members of the church today.

  W. B. Jones, a son of Mr. and Mrs. W. K. Jones, who were listed as among the pioneer founders, is today the oldest living member of this church.

  The second oldest member of the church today is Mrs. Maggie Venters, wife of Maro Venters, deceased, who was a son of another of the founders, Henry Venters.  Both Mrs. Venters and Mr. Jones were honored on Sunday in the special services, the afternoon program for which was as follows:


Song.

Scripture - W. B. Jones.

Invocation - W. S. Henderson.

Solo - E. M. Gallagher.

Greetings - Rev. Burgard.

Church History - Cora Bader.

Memorial Service - Lawrence Royer.

Address - Dr. M. L. Pontuis of Jacksonville.

Solo - Franklyn Long.

Greetings from visiting ministers.

Song.

Benediction - Rev. E. M. Gallagher.


History of the Church

  At the above program was read a history of the Bader Christian church written and prepared by Miss Cora Bader, and which is printed in full as follows:

  The year 1940 marks the centennial milestone in the history of the Christian church, in which we are assembled today.  We have met to celebrate the occasion and to pay fitting tribute to the memory of that little band of pioneers, who, coming to a new and strange land, must have realized, more than at any time in their lives, the necessity for the protection and guidance of God.  They wanted to worship him and to receive His blessing.  Their pathways in this new land were beset by many obstacles, danger confronted them on every hand.  Many of them lived far from village and far from each other; transportation by foot or horseback thru wooded paths.

  However, history tells us that in the year 1838, under the leadership of Elder Beverly Curry, this group met at the home of Samuel Kirkham on Sugar Creek for divine worship.  Bro. Curry met from time to time with this group during the next two years, meeting from house to house, alternating between the homes of Joseph Dennis, Phillip Mulkey, Mr. Foster and others.  In 1840 at the home of Joseph Dennis, Elder Curry organized a congregation, consisting of thirty-one members.

  In 1849 a school house was erected and permission was given the congregation to use it for a meeting place.  This served them for many years.  About this time a Sunday school was started, which has ever been a great factor in the growth and progress of the church.  Prior to the building of the church house other visiting ministers besides Elder Curry served this congregation at various times.  Among them are the names of William Grissom, H. C. Littleton, E. P. Wilson, Dr. Benjamin Walton and others.

  Bro. Grissom seems to have come to the congregation at a time when religion fervor was waning.  Many of the former members had united with other churches in nearby villages and others were discouraged or indifferent.  So it behooved the faithful few who remained, to call into service a man of strong persuasive power.  This man was William Grissom.  He began a revival and personally interviewed the members who had gone to other churches, asking them to return to their home congregation.  Many of them responded and others upon confession of their faith in Christ, were added to the church.  This was in 1872.


First Church Built in 1876

  In 1873 the congregation called to their pulpit Elder E. P. Wilson, who was the first pastor employed, receiving a salary.  Two years later, 1875-1876, H. C. Littleton was chosen and during his pastorate, the first church building was erected, with a seating capacity of 200.  The cost of this building was $1,000 and carried an insurance policy of $900.  The building of this church was given substantial impetus by the offer of the plot of land upon which the church now stand.  This was a part of the Samuel Fowler estate.  Mrs. Fowler, a devout sister of the faith, brought about the transfer of this property to the trustees of the Christian church.  The transaction was made by means of a forfeit bond which required that the building be erected within the period of two years.  The trustees at this time, were Theodore Beck, W. K. Jones and H. O. Bader.

  Of the charter members of the early organization there is no definite record, but from information gathered from various sources we list the following brethren and their families: Joseph Dennis, Philip Melkey, Mr. Foster, T. T. Lancaster, Henry Venters and W. K. Jones.


History of Charter Members

  A brief sketch has been compiled about the above brethren.  Joseph Dennis, who lived a short distance from the present site of the church and which property now belongs to Milton Cassel, was born in Butler county, Ohio, in 1811 of Scotch-Irish parentage.  He came to Illinois in 1830 and purchased a farm.  He appears to have been a man of high ideals, given to hospitality and endorsing all things that stood for the advancement of mankind.  He educated his son, James, in the best school this country afforded in his day, having sent him to Cottage Seminary in Rushville, the Academy of Macomb and finishing in our own Christian college of Abington, Illinois, a doctor of law.  Mrs. Dennis was Mary Kirkland and they were married before coming to Illinois.

  Of Philip Mulkey and Mr. Foster, we were unable to obtain any history but to them who are recorded as having so hospitably opened the doors of their homes for the gathering together of God’s people, may due praise and gratitude, be accorded.

  Uncle Thompson Lancaster, as he was familiarly called, will be remembered by some of us here today.  His was a long and useful life, having rounded out the ninety-nine years of his life before he was called home.  He came to this community from Kentucky in 1828.  He married here and reared a family.  He was always closely identified with the cause of Christ.  He served as one of the first-elders of this congregation in which capacity he remained for many years.  One of his great grandsons, Lawrence Royer, holds that same office in this church at the present time.


Two Oldest Members

  Equally loved and admired by this community was Uncle Henry Venters and Uncle Billy Jones and their faithful wives.  We group them together because they came about the same time to this community and were closely connected by family ties.  They were both farmers, each having purchased considerable acreage from the government and their homes were several miles distant from the village and in opposite directions.  Uncle was born in 1812 near Carthage, Tennessee.  He was married in 1833 to Miss Elizabeth Jones.  In 1834 they came to this vicinity and they reared a family of six children, five of whose names appear in our church records.  Their youngest son, Maro, lived his entire life in this community and he identified himself early in life with the church where he was constant and loyal.  He was early ordained as elder, serving in that capacity some forty-five years.  He possessed unique wisdom and often met problems that arose in the church with a droll humor that had the same effect as oil thrown on troubled waters.  Equally loyal to the cause of Christ was his faithful wife, whom today we honor as our second oldest member, Sister Maggie Venters.

  Uncle Billy Jones was born in Kentucky in 1812 and came to this territory in 1835.  His life, too, is linked with our church history since it’s beginning, contributing liberally to it’s support and serving in an official capacity during his active life.  He and his good wife were the personification of hospitality, this virtue being handed down liberally to many of their descendants, as many of us can testify.  We have with us today a son of this pioneer couple whom we honor as our oldest living member, Bro. W. B. Jones, who needs no introduction.  His life of more than eighty year has been lived in our midst; a man of true public spirit, a Christian gentleman.

  Samuel Fowler and Jeremiah Bader came together from Ohio on horseback in 1834, and entered the land which later became their homesteads.  They then went back to Ohio.  Mr. Fowler returned, in 1840, bring his family.  They were soon identified with the church and were among it’s most faithful members.  Mr. Fowler’s picturesque old homestead is still standing in plain view of the church.

  Jeremiah Bader returned with his family in 1845 and lived only a few years after his arrival.  Shortly before his death he contributed a plot of ground for a cemetery where many of the Consecrated Christians to whom we pay homeage today have been laid to rest.  Mr. Bader left his wife with a large family to rear.  She early united with the church and most of her family followed her example.  Her youngest son, Oscar {Henry Oscar}, served the church as deacon and elder most of his life.  This family has given to the ministry an outstanding evangelist in the person of Dr. Jesse M. Bader, who was born in our village and received his first Christian training in our Sunday school.

  Dr. Benjamin Walton was born in Ohio in 1811.  At the age of twenty-three he married Mary John of Pennsylvania.  They came with their families. in the early 1840’s.  Dr. Walton was a physician and preacher; he early saw the necessity of a proper place for caring for the sick and erected a small hospital on his own premises, where he cared for those unable to be properly cared for in their own homes.  He was a loyal supporter of the church and gave liberally of his means as well as personal service.  In his will he left to this church a fund in perpetuity for evangelism.

  And so on 'down the line, would that we had time to mention them all, but this is not possible at this time.


Ministers Serving This Church

  Other ministers that served this congregation besides those before mentioned were: M. D. Sharples, who became a resident of our village and will be remembered by some of our  members today.  J. B. Royal held many revival meetings for this congregation and it is told that in one such meeting 100 souls were brought to Christ and as far as was known none of these ever fell from grace; his record shows 5,000 converts to his credit.  Bro. Royal lived a long and useful life and has left with this community memories of a life lived for Christ.  D. E. Hughes first came to this congregation in 1888.  He held a three weeks’ meeting with thirty-two additions.  He was a forceful speaker and held his audience spellbound.  He was talented in music, in which field there seemed to be a splendid future, but he rejected it to be able to devote all his efforts in winning souls for Christ.

  Other splendid preachers we have had are Isaac Beckelhamer, C. C. Spencer, Thomas Weaver, J. T. Davis, J. W. Carpenter, J.W. Keefer, L. R. Toomas, C. H. Shiplett, Will F. Shaw, O. C. Bolman, Guy Ferguson, Paul Bolman, Earl Hines, G. W. Zink, Lee Maynard, Joseph Burgard and E. M. Gallagher, the last two mentioned being with us today.


Had Active Sunday School

  Our Sunday school has been a most valuable asset in the development of the spiritual growth of the youth of this community.

  Linked with the history of it’s beginning we have the names of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Ivins and family, Dr. and Mrs. J. J. Bluker, S. D. {Samuel "Doc"} Bader and wife and others.  Following is a secretary’s report as of Nov. 19, 1882:

  Sunday school opened by singing and prayer. Supt. S. D. Bader.  Officers all present but S.
J. Gibbs. 

Teachers all present.  
Class Attend.     Collected.
M. A. Bader…………  5 …………………   .21

Lizzie Lancaster………  7 …………………   .12

Ida Irvins …………….  7 …………………   .01

Jennie Eppert …………13 …………………  .00

Mary Bleeker ………… 16 ………………   .10

                                                                  ------

                                                                   .44

     Teachers & officers ---- 6

     No. not taking part ---  6

                                        -----

      Total present ----------  60


J. J. Bleeker, sec’y; received of J. J. Bleeker    44c. – Allie Irvins, Treasure.


Three Weddings in Church

  There had been three marriages ceremonies performed in this church.

  S. D. Bader and Anna Purdy, 1877, H. C. Littleton officiating.

  W. M. Venters and Maggie Diamond, 1878, H. C. Littleton officiating.

 
H. M. Stambaugh and Inez Bader, 1890, D. E. Hughes officiating.

  The church has the honor to claim one foreign missionary from it’s members, Miss Susie Mitchell, who has spent eleven years of her life helping to educate and christianize the African negro.  She is still at her post in Liberia.  May God Bless he for her great service to mankind.

  In the year 1928 a meeting was held to discuss plans for the erection of a new church building, the old building being inadequate and also in need of much repair.  The Builders Sunday school class was the enthusiastic promoter of this plan and members were given permission by a vote of the congregation, to assume the responsibility, with all members co-operating.


New Church Built In 1929
  The last service was held in August, 1928.  The building was then dismantled and services were held in the Ladies Aid hall.  The new buildings was erected at a cost of $4,150 and on May 26, 1929, the church was dedicated with Bro. W. W. Vose officiating.  A roll call showed a membership of 108.  The congregation is happy to have this splendid new building well equipped for carrying on the work of God's people.  The membership at this time numbers 128 with 98 resident and 30 non-resident members.
  This church in its history has had its joys, and it’s sorrows, its sunshine and rain, but the faithful group have realized down thru the years that God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our life through,  God hath not promised sun without rain,  Joy without sorrow, peace without pain But God hath promised strength for the day,  Rest for the labor, light for the way,  Grace for the trials, help from above,
 Unfailing sympathy, undying love.




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