CamdenChristian Church 

By William Fowler

The first preaching thatwas done by the ministers of the Church of Christ was in 1840, or nearthat time, by James McHatton, and the next by D. P. Henderson. In 1859Thomas Butler held a meeting and organized a congregation of 14 members.Not being able to support a minister they held social or Lord’s Day meetings.B. Pwatt was the first added to this small group of disciples.

In the fall of 1866 ElderHenry Smither of Rushville, held a meeting that lasted for two or threeweeks, assisted by A. H. Rice, the result of which was 25 good, substantialmembers (mostly heads of families), making in all thirty-five members,which enabled them to employ a regular pastor. The first pastor was Thos.Butler, and the next employed was Dr. David Ross, then living in Plymouth,who served one year. In 1872 Dr. Thomas Dunkiser of Mt. Sterling, becamepastor, and afterward David Sharples, of Fairberry, and the next year hewas succeeded by his son, M. D. Sharples, who was associated with the churchat Camden. In 1875 Henry Puett preached one year, and his labors were attendedwith great success in adding to the church of Christ many souls. Then A.Brown, of Macomb, preached part of his time; then J. Morgan, and the nextand present pastor, M. D. Sharpless, in 1882. The congregation consistsof one hundred members.

The church was built in thesummer of 1868. The audience room is 30×40 feet, with a 16 ft. ceiling.It cost $1,800, and has a seating capacity for 200 persons.

On the 24th day of September,A. D. 1881, a terrible tornado swept through the town of Camden, completelydemolishing the church, leaving nothing but the foundation and floor. Theywent to work in the fall of 1881 and spring of ’82, and rebuilt the houseat a cost of $1,000, using all the old material they could in the building,which is completed, a meeting having been held, conducted by M. D. Sharples,June 5th, A. D. 1882.

Source: The Combined Historyof Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, 1882
Transcribed by Carol LongwellMiller for Schuyler County ILGenWeb

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