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Cantrall, Illinois

The First Church of Sangamon County, Illinois

Organized May 15 1820
Stephen England

Bulletin for 100th Anniversary of Church
Pages 153 - 157

This is Page 1 of the 4 pages of Bulletin for 100th Anniversary of Church

1820                                                                1920


May 23, 1920

(Exact Date of Organization, May 15, 1820)



1820                                     1920

PAGE 153

10 O'Clock Bible School
Allen Cline, Superintendent
Lesson, "Israel's First King."
Text 1, Sann 9: 15-21; 9; 25-20:1
Call to Worship No. 55, "Shepherd of Israel"
Invocation - The Lord's Prayer (In Concert)
Anthem - "The Harvest Fields" Senior Choir
Prayer Mr. John Grant
Anthem - "This Joyful Day" Junior Choir
Reading of Scripture Rev. Elmer Stackhouse
Song Cantrall Quartette
The Message O. C. Bolman, State Evangelist
"The Church and Her Vision"
Hymn of Invitation, No. 163 Congregation
Hymn Communion "Break Thou the Bread of Life"
Lord's Supper (For all professing Christians)
Hymn No. 188 "Blessed Be the Tie That Binds" Congregation
Benediction Rev. John Lemmon
Afternoon, 2 O'clock
Hymn No. 186  "America" Congregation
Hymn (Elderly Members of Congregation)
Reading of Letters from Former Pastors (Paul Longerbon)
Anthem  "God Calling Yet" Senior Choir
Reading Church History Miss Jennie Longerbon
Solo "Rose, Rose, Rose" Miss Virginia M. Cerry
Anthem  "His Love is Far Better Than Gold" Junior Choir
Song Cantrall Quartette
Message Rev. John Lemmon
The Christian Invitation
Christian Endeavor, 7 O'Clock
Subject "Will a Man Rob God?"
Leader, Mr. Edward Keefner
Evening Worship, 8 O'clock
Hymn No. 71 Congregation
Hymn No. 8 Congregation
Prayer Allen Cline
Anthem "Victory" Senior Choir
Reading of Scripture
Anthem "Alone" Junior Choir
The Message Elmer Stackhouse
Life and Work of Stephen England
Hymn of Invitation, No. 163 Congregation (Standing)

PAGE 154

Elders Deaconesses
Henry England Mrs. Allen Cline
Allen Cline Mrs. William Mellenger
William England Mrs. Elmer Stackhouse
Elmer Stackhouse Mrs. John Britten
Mrs. Henry England
Trustees Mrs. Lewis Grubb
William Mellenger Mrs. Frank Brown
John Britten Mrs. William England
William England Mrs. Henry Power
Mrs. Sarah Mallory
Deacons Mrs. Arch Kincade
William Mellenger Mrs. William Gillock
Earl Grant Mrs. Earl Grant
Frank Brown Mrs. Ellis Grant
Charles England Mrs. Clarence Dunlap
William Gillock
Arch Kincade
John Britten
Ellis Grant
William England Chairman Official Board
Allen Cline Clerk
William England Financial Secretary
William Mellenger Treasurer
Miss Jennie Longerbon President C. W. B. M.
Mrs. Clarence Dunlap President Ladies Aid
Paul Longerbon President Young Peoples' Endeavor
Mr. J. Y. Taylor Director Senior Choir
Mrs. Alkire Assistant Director Senior Choir
Miss Marie Cline Organist
Mrs. Elmer Stackhouse Director Junior Choir
Miss Erma Alkire Organist

PAGE 155

Chronicle Of The Church

In the year 1819 a band of pioneers came from Kentucky to Sangamon county and settled on the north side of the Sangamon River. They were religious and God-fearing people and were thirsting for the religious privileges they had enjoyed in Kentucky, their former home.

There was one among their number, Stephen England, who had been a Baptist minister in Kentucky and they persuaded him to preach for them in his own home from Sunday to Sunday.

May 15, 1820, Stephen England organized a church. It consisted of nine members, namely: Stephen and Anna England, Jaconiah and Nancy Langaton, Levi and Fanny Cantrall, and Lucy Scott (Mr. England’s daughter.)*

The following agreement was signed by the members:

“We, the members of the Church of Christ, being providentally moved from our former place of residence and being baptized on the profession of our faith, meet at the home of Stephen England, on a branch of Higgins Creek, in order to form a constitution, having first given ourselves to the Lord and then to one another, agree that our constitution shall be on the Holy Scriptures, of the Old and New Testament, believing them to be the only rule of faith and practice.”

This was the first church organized in Sangamon County and was known as the “Antioch Christian Church.” It was also numbered among the first churches of its kind in the United States. Statistics show only eight similar organizations at this early date.

A home of worship was built on the land owned by Evans Britten opposite Britten cemetery. The building was a log structure, and in this building they worshiped for twenty-seven years.

In 1850, the second house of worship was built at Cantrall, near where the Catholic church now stands.

The third or present house of worship was built in 1870** and the name changed to the “Cantrall Christian Church.” Stephen England was the first pastor of the church and served until his death. His last sermon was preached while sitting in a chair, being too feeble to stand.

Officers of the First church-David England was the first officer of the church and served six years. Carlesle Cantebury, Hiram Powell, Levi Cantrall, Uncle Jack Cline and Carlysle Mitt were early and faithful officers.

Many great and good men and women have gone forth from this congregation to fields of labor. There are two pastors this church can claim, Uncle John England, who has long gone to his rest. R. E. Dunlap was born and raised in this community and was a member of this church, who afterwards served as its pastor. Brother Dunlap is now in Douglas, Arizona, doing a great work for the Master. This church at this time has one young man (Paul Longerbom), who is preparing for the ministry.


* Adelphia Wood and Mrs. Sarah Cantrall (wife of Wyatt Cantrall and daughter of Stephen England) were also charter members.

** The third church building was erected after 1874-see picture of the second structure in the 1874 Atlas of Sangamon County. The first building was a log structure built in 1823, sometime before Stephen England’s death, which was September 26, 1823.

PAGE 156

This church has the honor of having five generations of Stephen England as active members: Stephen England, David England, Henry England, William England, and Nellie England.*

The present membership of the church is 200. The oldest resident member is Henry England, having joined the church in May 31, 1869. Mrs. England joined in February, 1870.

Ministers who have served the church as pastors are as follows: **

Stephen England T. M. Jacob I. J. Sweet
John Lemmon John England R. E. Dunlap
Steers Hamilton J. Fred Jones U. R. Hieronymus
Sterns Renfrow H. B. Easterling
Batenfield Armstrong W. W. Weadon McClease
Overbaugh Robinson L. J. Faullers
A. E. Underwood Lewis Fisher C. R. Piety
H. T. Kerns Z. M. Brubeck Elmer Stackhouse
A great many of the present membership are descendants of those early disciples and their memory is very dear to us. Let
us then on this  One Hundredth Anniversary, arise to a new and continal effort to carry forward the cause of Christ in
Cantrall.  Let our watchword be the words of the song, "Move Forward, Move Forward All Along the Line."  Let us pray
for God's blessings and guidance in the future was our ancestors did in the past and let all our understanding be for
"Christ and His Church."

* The above 5 generations active in the church in 1920, also includes Dale England, a brother to Nellie. Dale England and his wife, Thela (Pogue) (Beck) England, have furnished most of the Church books we have use in this book. Dale was also a 5 generation in the church from the Canterbury-Grant line:

Another 5 generations in the church on 2 different lines:
Alice Canterbury Young was also a 5 generation in the church on:

PAGE 157

Antioch Table of Contents
Sangamon Index

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