THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
By William Fowler
The first preaching that was done by the ministers of the Church of Christ was in 1840, or near that time, by James McHatton, and the next by D. P. Henderson. In 1859 Thomas 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 Elder Henry Smither of Rushville, held a meeting that lasted for two or three weeks, assisted by A. H. Rice, the result of which was 25 good, substantial members (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, became pastor, and afterward David Sharples, of Fairberry, and the next year he was succeeded by his son, M. D. Sharples, who was associated with the church at Camden. In 1875 Henry Puett preached one year, and his labors were attended with 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 next and present pastor, M. D. Sharpless, in 1882. The congregation consists of one hundred members.
The church was built in the summer of 1868. The audience room is 30x40 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, completely demolishing the church, leaving nothing but the foundation and floor. They went to work in the fall of 1881 and spring of ’82, and rebuilt the house at 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 History of Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, 1882
Transcribed by Carol Longwell Miller for Schuyler County ILGenWeb
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