Genealogy Trails

Wayne County, Indiana
Churches

West Grove (Friend's) Meeting.This church was organized in 1815, and its first Monthly Meeting was held in the woods in that year. A log structure, without a chimney, but with a fire-place in the center, in which a charcoal fire was kept up, was soon erected and used as a meeting-house. This was situated about three miles northwest of Centreville.
About 1831 the log meeting-house was torn down and the present edifice took its place. Among the early preachers were: Jesse Bond, Hannah Baldwin and Daniel Williams. Early members: Robert Commons, William Hastings, Benjamin Maudlin, Jacob Griffin, James Townsend, William Harvey, Exum Elliott, Obed Barnard, Edward Benbow, Abraham and Joseph Cook, Jehu Wickersham, John Brumfield, John
Maxwell, John Harvey, John Copeland, Robert Harvey, George Russell, Charles Canaday and Nathan Overman. The society is still in existence; its membership is now about 125.
A school was maintained by the Friends near the church for many years.

Centerville M.E. Church was organized in 1823. The class then formed consisted of seven members : Israel and Mary Abrahams, Peter Ringo and wife, Mrs. Martha Talbot, Sarah Booker and Mrs. Hart, known as "Mother Hart." Sarah Reed joined a short time after the class was formed. Israel Abrahams was the Class-Leader. There had been preaching by Methodists in the town from 1820. The meetings were generally held in the court-house. Some of the early preachers were : Revs. Bigelow, Strange, White, Haven, Wiley and Gath, some of whom were afterward noted as ministers and bishops. Members who connected themselves with the church early in its existence were: Elisha and Samuel King, Edward K. Hart, John Scott and wife, Mrs. Theresa Finch, Alfred Carter and wife, Ephraim J. Merritt and
wife, and others. Mrs. Ham, of Centreville, is the oldest member of the congregation now living, and in the absence of any early records has furnished the writer most of the data for this sketch. About two years after the first class was formed Israel Abrahams, who was then a merchant in the town, erected a building for a store and residence (part of which is still standing), and fitted the upper portion of it for
the use of the society. Here worship was held for nearly two years. A frame church was then erected in the eastern part of the town, and in it the first Sabbath-school in Wayne County was organized in 1827. The first conference ever held in Centreville was also held in this house later, Bishop Morris presiding. The present brick church was erected in 1842 and dedicated in October of that year. Just after the dedication the last conference ever held in the town convened in it.
Very interesting sabbath schools were held for several years succeeding by the M. E. and Cumberland Presbyterian churches together. When the new church was built the congregation had nine classes, the smallest of which numbered twenty-one members. In March, 1884, the church had 125 members and about 140 Sabbath-school pupils ; value of church property, $4,000. Wm. Boston is the present pastor;
G. W. Gates and A. D. Bowers, Stewards; G. W. Gates, Dr. Wm. Reed, A. J. Rambo, Chas. Bertsch and Dr. Hosea Tillson, Trustees; A. D. Bowers and Hayman Dobbs, Class-Leaders.

Baptist Church. A Baptist church was formed in the township as early as 1820, but ceased to exist many years ago. A meeting-house was built near Olive Hill. Among the first members were: Isaac Cotton and Samuel Taylor, who were preachers; John Stigleman, Richard Cheesman and Isaac Voorhees. There was also an early Baptist church in Centreville, which erected the house' which was afterwards
used by the Christians.
 
Centreville Christian Church was organized about 1839, principally through the efforts of Elder Samuel K. Hoshour. Elder James McVay held a series of revival meetings which prepared the way for an organization. Many of the members came from the Baptist-and Freewill Baptist denominations, both of which had organized many years previous. Among the original members were: Jesse Thomas and wife, Mrs. Judith King, Mrs. Lucinda Eliason, John Winder and wife, Mrs. Roundtree, Mrs. Sally Dewey, Mrs. Patsy Thomas, Daniel Crow and wife, Mr. Tallhelm and wife, Elder Daniel Winder and wife. Joshua Eliason is the oldest member now living. Meetings were first held in the seminary and in the court-house. Then the church came into possession of a house previously erected by the Baptists at the north end of town, which was used until the present brick house was built in 1878. The new church cost about $5,000. The church now has nearly 100 members. Among the pastors have been Elders S. K. Hoshour, James McCullough, A. I. Hobbs, Van Bushkirk, R. T. Brown, R. L. Howe, Wm. J. Howe and J. B. Ludwig, the present pastor.

Cumberland Presbyterian.
The Cumberland Presbyterian church, of Centreville, was organized by Rev. Le Roy Woods, in December, 1842. The original members mere: John B. Stitt, James Woods, Eliza A. Bolander, Sarah Garthwaite, James H. Hudson, Susan Hudson, A. F. Danham, Francis Smith, Henry Brown, Francis Smith, E. C. Seaton and Mary Stitt. The house of worship was erected in 1849. Among the pastors were: Revs. L. Woods, E. McCord. G . Black, Chas. Bond and H. D. Onyett. The organization, once flourishing, has become extinct and its church property was recently sold to the Friends.

Presbyterian. A Presbyterian church was formed in Centreville, April 14, 1866. Rev. James A. McKee and Rev. L. W. Chapman were present at the organization. Among the members were: John McFarland, Wharton Lyman, John M. Coyner and Samuel Wilson, with their wives; Michael Wilson, Elizabeth Young, Elizabeth Huston, Caroline Dickey, Jane Rowan, Kate Johnson, Louisa A. Cunningham. and Jane Doughty. The first Elders were: McFarland and Coyner. Pastors: Rev.F.L. Senour, S. S. Potter, Eben Muse and supplies. The congregation is small and has had no regular services for some time. The church edifice, a good brick building, was erected in 1868.

Centreville Meeting. The Friends organized a meeting in Centreville, in March, 1854. There had been meetings held for a year preceding, but no organization. There are about, fifty members belonging to this meeting, which is under the charge of the Whitewater Monthly Meeting. For their services they have purchased for $320 the church in Centerville, built by the Cumberland Presbyterians.
The History Of Wayne County, Indiana Vol. 1, 1884
Contributed by Brenda Wiesner

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