History of the Baptist Churches of Woodford County, Illinois
By A.F.Marshall, A.B. (Shurtleff College 1879), who has been closely identified with the history of the Baptist Churches of this county for more than fifty years, 1913
CHAPTER III. The Metamora Baptist Church.
The Metamora Baptist church was organized December 26th, 1850, with 12 members, who were originally from Vermont, New York and New Hampshire. They were as follows: Elder August B. Cramb, Jonathan Sherman, James A. Sherman, Samuel Butterfield, Win. Fisher, Isabell G. Cramb, Betsy Sherman, Ophelia Sherman, Electa Sherman, Marie Sherman, Mrs. Mary Butterfield, Mrs. Abbie Fisher. Elders H. G. Weston, G. S. Baily and E S Freeman were present at the organization.
The nearest Baptist churches were Richland, five miles north and Washington, seven miles south. Elder Cramb, who had recently been ordained at Richland and preached here some time previous to the organization of a church under the patronage of the American Baptist Home Missionary Society, became the first pastor. The church united with the Association in June 1851, having 18 members. Owing to poor health Elder Cramb could not preach all the time and Elder J. M. Stooky preached every alternate Sabbath during the ill health of Elder Cramb.
In the year
1852, arrangements were made to inclose the meeting house. In the spring
of 1853 the church enjoyed an interesting revival, the pastor being
assisted by Elder G. W. Benton and G. S. Baily. The meeting was held in
the Congregational church, where Elder Cramb had been invited to preach
every alternate Sabbath. A general awakening took place thru all the
community and additions were made to all the churches. At the next meeting
of the Association the church reported 31 baptisms and 62 members. In the
fall of 1853, owing to the failing health of Elder Cramb, he was compelled
to resign; hoping that the climate of the Pacific coast would help him, he
accepted an appointment of the Home Mission Society to go to Oregon as a
missionary. A little later he was compelled to abandon the idea and in
June 1855 he went to St. Cloud, Minn., but his health still failing he
visited New York for medical aid in September 1856. He hoped to spend the
winter in the south, but being too feeble to stand the trip, he returned
to Metamora and died February 19th, 1857, closing his labors as a faithful
church minister at thirty years of age. In February 1854 Elder C. D.
Merrit became pastor of the church, preaching every alternate Sabbath, and
in 1854 the church reported four baptisms and 76 members. During the
summer of 1854, the house having been completed, it was dedicated November
22nd, 1854. It was a brick structure costing about $2000. Toward this
building Deacon Jonathan Bacheller, of Lynn, Mass., had contributed $200.
In the spring of 1855 Elder S. A. Estee assisted the pastor in a series of
meetings during which three were baptized, the total membership being 81.
In the fall of 1855, Elder Merrit being removed to Washburn and the church
desiring his services all the time, he resigned as pastor of the Metamora
church. G. S. Baily became pastor in December 1815 and in February 1856
Elder Benjamin Thomas assisted the pastor in a series of meetings and
eight persons were baptized, making the membership at that time 83. The
deacons were James A. Sherman, Joseph K. Stitt and Matthew Tool; clerk,
Edgar Babcock. Elder Berry served the church as pastor for a few
years. I am not able to find out hew long he was there and the
records being lost I can not tell who the last pastors of the church were.
The building was conveyed to the German Evangelical Reformed Lutheran on
May 10th, 1892, by the following trustees; J. A. McGuire, Matthew Toole
and J. E. Stitt.