In the history of the Episcopal Church of Illinois Rushville stands pre-eminent as one of the first towns to establish a church of that denomination. Although the Diocese of Illinois was not organized until March 9, 1835, Christ Church Parish, Rushville, was organized in February, 1834. There were then but three or four other Episcopal churches in the State and when Bishop Chase, the first Bishop of Illinois, made his first visitation to the State, Rushville was included in his itinerary.
Little is known of the early history of the church in this city, but it is a matter of record that a church was erected and on March 19, 1837, was consecrated. There is added interest in the local history of the church for the reason that the Annual Convention of the Diocese of Illinois was held here on June 4 and 5, 1838, and again in 1842. In this latter year the church records show that there were but 491 communicants in the whole State.
It is not possible to review the early history of this church, for all the old members have long since passed away. In the 'forties the church maintained its own building and Rev. Robert J. Walker served the parishes of Rushville and Beardstown, giving alternate Sundays to each. He was succeeded by Rev. Clotworthy, who remained for a few years and sometime in the 'fifties regular services ceased and the building reverted to the donors. About ten years ago Rushville was made a station in the missionary field, and regular services are now held every fortnight, in a mission room which has been fitted up by the local congregation.
Excerpted from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Schuyler County, 1908, edited by Howard F. Dyson.
Transcribed by Karl A. Petersen for Schuyler County ILGenWeb
Copyright 1999, 2000 Robin L. W. Petersen; all rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use of the information contained in these pages is strictly prohibited without prior permission. If copied, this copyright must appear with the information.
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