TheChristian Church 

Elder James Hughes FoundedChristian Church Here In 1833
Held First Meeting Of ThisFaith In Ben Chadsey’s Cabin In 1829

It was in 1829 that ElderJames Hughes, on a preaching tour thru Indiana and Illinois, passed thruthis area in a company with Henry Johnston. They stopped off in Rushvillewith Benjamin Chadsey, the son-in-law of Mr. Johnston.

Here in the Chadsey log cabinhome, located two and one-half miles northeast of Rushville, in 1829, waspreached the first sermon of the Christian church denomination, by ElderHughes, whose sermons continued for one week to a much interested groupof pioneer settlers, before he continued on his way to Missouri.

Henry Johnston remained inthe locality, and purchased a farm four miles north of Rushville, wherehe erected a home. In the following year, 1830, Barton W. Stone of Kentuckycame here and held a meeting in the log court house on the north side ofthe Rushville square, and Robert Chadsey and his wife were the first tobe immersed in Schuyler county.

In 1831, James W. Davis andJames Urbank of Kentucky came and preached to an interested group of people,the meetings being held in the same log court house where the meetingshad been conducted by Rev. Barton Stone the year previous. At the closeof  these meetings, sufficient interest had been aroused in the causeto justify the building of a house of worship, for which preparations wereimmediately begun. Meanwhile another meeting was held in the court houseby Elders Hewett and Boker, and they organized a congregation of 15 members,with Thomas Payton as elder and Thomas P. Garrett as deacon of the firstChristian church congregation in Schuyler county.

Organized In 1833

With the coming of cold weather,the meetings were held in the home of Alexander Campbell on the southeastcorner of the square, where the Schuyler hotel once stood. In 1833 themeeting was moved to a small school house, and the present church sitewas purchased the same year from the owner of the private school. Therea new church was erected, and it was under the pastorate of Barton W. Stonethat the permanent organization of the First Christian church of Rushvillewas made on December 29, 1833.

The charter members of theChristian church congregation in 1832 were: Robert Chadsey and wife, RachelChadsey, Henry Johnston and wife, Alex Campbell, wife and daughter, WilliamBeverly and wife, Mary DeLapp (mother of the late Mrs. H. M. Dace), IraBridge, and Thomas Garrett and wife.

By the end of 1846 therewas a church membership of 180, and the house was remodeled by change ofpulpit in front, and elevation of the floor in the rear of the building.In 1850 a Sunday school was organized with 125 regular attendants.

Erect Church In 1875

In the year 1874 the congregationawarded the contract for the building of a new house of worship, with allfurnishings complete. The church edifice, 40×60 feet in size, was finishedin February, 1875, at a cost of $5,600, and dedicated by Pres. Thompsonof Abingdon college, March 1, 1875.

Ministers who served thisorganization down thru the intervening 115 years to the present time areas follows: James Hughes, Hewett & Baker, J. W. Davis, O. S. Osborn,William Brown, Sylvanus Bagby, William Lambert, Zibey Brown, A. H. Rice, M. D. Sharples, Tricket Puett, Orrin Dilley, W. M. Groves, Rev. Dillard,D. E. Hughes, G. M. Reed, Rev. Malone, G. W. Ford, C. B. Dabney, WalterE. Harmond, L. W. Crandall, R. A. Karraker, H. L. Maltman, Fred Wilson,George P. Snyder, H. W. Tally, M. A. Warren, DeWitt Sell, C. E. Adams,and M. P. Pierson.

Enlarge Church In 1924

It was during the pastorateof Rev. George P. Snyder that the church made its greatest growth and advancement.In 1924 the original church building that had been constructed in 1875was completely re-arranged and greatly enlarged at a cost of about $40,000,with a new connecting room being built for classrooms, dining room, andequipped kitchen. This building was dedicated March 23, 1924, and at thattime was estimated to represent an investment of more than $50,000.

On the 10th anniversary ofthis dedicatory service a second dedication was held  on March 23,1934, at which the building was declared free of debt. Since that timeother major improvements have been made, including the installation ofa pipe organ, and today the Christian church is one of the leading churchesin Rushville.

The Rushville Times,October 7, 1948
The Rushville Timesby permission.

Copyright 1999-2006 Judi Gilker; all rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercialuse of the information contained in these pages is strictly prohibitedwithout prior permission. If copied, this copyright must appear with theinformation.

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