The Christian Church
Elder James Hughes Founded Christian Church Here In 1833
Held First Meeting Of This Faith In Ben Chadsey's Cabin In 1829

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

Here in the Chadsey log cabin home, located two and one-half miles northeast of Rushville, in 1829, was preached the first sermon of the Christian church denomination, by Elder Hughes, whose sermons continued for one week to a much interested group of pioneer settlers, before he continued on his way to Missouri.

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

In 1831, James W. Davis and James Urbank of Kentucky came and preached to an interested group of people, the meetings being held in the same log court house where the meetings had been conducted by Rev. Barton Stone the year previous. At the close of  these meetings, sufficient interest had been aroused in the cause to justify the building of a house of worship, for which preparations were immediately begun. Meanwhile another meeting was held in the court house by 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 first Christian 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 southeast corner of the square, where the Schuyler hotel once stood. In 1833 the meeting was moved to a small school house, and the present church site was purchased the same year from the owner of the private school. There a new church was erected, and it was under the pastorate of Barton W. Stone that the permanent organization of the First Christian church of Rushville was made on December 29, 1833.

The charter members of the Christian church congregation in 1832 were: Robert Chadsey and wife, Rachel Chadsey, Henry Johnston and wife, Alex Campbell, wife and daughter, William Beverly and wife, Mary DeLapp (mother of the late Mrs. H. M. Dace), Ira Bridge, and Thomas Garrett and wife.

By the end of 1846 there was a church membership of 180, and the house was remodeled by change of pulpit 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 congregation awarded the contract for the building of a new house of worship, with all furnishings complete. The church edifice, 40x60 feet in size, was finished in February, 1875, at a cost of $5,600, and dedicated by Pres. Thompson of Abingdon college, March 1, 1875.

Ministers who served this organization down thru the intervening 115 years to the present time are as 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, Walter E. 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 pastorate of Rev. George P. Snyder that the church made its greatest growth and advancement. In 1924 the original church building that had been constructed in 1875 was completely re-arranged and greatly enlarged at a cost of about $40,000, with a new connecting room being built for classrooms, dining room, and equipped kitchen. This building was dedicated March 23, 1924, and at that time was estimated to represent an investment of more than $50,000.

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

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

Copyright 1999-2006 Judi Gilker; 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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