History of North Grove Christian Church and Cemetery
Leaf River Township
See History and Cemetery Surname Index
Prepared for DAR Visit to North Grove Christian Church
April 18, 2002
The time is 144 years ago, almost to the day, April 19, 1858
that North Grove Christian Church was established in the North
Grove Union School House that was situated just south of the
present Church building. In the beginning days, there were 35
persons who claimed membership in this church - who were pastored
by what were called "Circuit Riders". In the first
10 years, the Church increased in membership to 56, at which
time they longed for a "church building" which was
built in 1868 and dedicated on Christmas Day, December 25, 1868.
Elder Fields gave the address for the day at which time a special
collection was given to him of $14.80.
Two of the men instrumental in organizing the building of the
church structure were Jacob Myers and Jacob Piper.
One of the Circuit Riders was the great-great grandfather
of a now present member of North Grove Christian Church and the
Rochelle Chapter NSDAR. Reverend George Atwood Brown started
his pastorate at NGCC on April 6, 1884 and continued at least
until May 1894 according to his Diary and the Church records.
The year of 1891, Pastor Brown received a salary of $350 and
two loads of hay and the following year he was paid $400, which
was supplied by Leaf River Christian Church and North Grove Christian
Church, two-point parishes. The Leaf River Church had been formed
from the older members of North Grove having moved into "town"
leaving the younger members to carry on.
All in all, there have been 12 ministers who have tended
the flock at North Grove Christian Church. Among the early pastors
was Reverend Pittman who was the minister for 23 years dating
from 1902 to 1914 and then being called back in 1923 to 1934.
Reverend Willis Thomas served 32 ½ years beginning in
The church became a two-point parish in 1892 with the sister
parish being located in Leaf River. The two churches shared their
pastor from 1892 until 1949 at which time each church went it's
The current Pastor, Reverend Carlton Easley, has been minister
of North Grove Christian Church 20 years this coming June of
2002. His wife, Lilly, is the director of the Children's Church
which meets the same time as the Worship Hour of 10:30 AM each
Sunday. Sunday School meets at 9:30 before Church Service. Pastor
Easley is also ministering to Ridott Community Church in Ridott,
IL, which holds their service prior to the one at North Grove.
There are many different facets meeting and socializing at
this little Church on the Prairie. The Ladies Aid was organized
in November of 1891 (during the pastorate of George A. Brown)
and is still meeting with a potluck luncheon and devotion time
each month at the Bertolet Building in Leaf River. There is the
Secret Sisters who also meet once a month having their "brunch"
in the church basement with different ladies hostessing each
gathering. There is a Tuesday night Bible Study, one for men
and one for women at 6:00 P.M. in the church.
There are quarterly meetings held during the year, which
are attended by members of the Church. The Church is non-denominational
and does not report to a "head" office
Church answers to God only and is strictly self-supporting.
Monthly offerings are received for Latin American Outreach
Missions and an annual offering for Southwest Indian Missionary
Association. There are occasional donations given for visiting
missionaries such as Carol and Paul Mayer in Mexico, Al Franklin
who works with the homeless in Chicago, and the Gideon's International.
The Church building is much the same as it was in its beginning
- even the pews still have the divider between them where in
"times gone by" the men sat on the south side and the
women on the north. The two front doors still remain, which one
time the men entered on the left and the women on the right.
The one new exception is there was a basement dug and a kitchen,
church parlor, office, bathrooms, and stairway constructed.
The Cemetery is located behind the Church structure.
The Church body is small but Mighty. God is truly working
in this little congregation. To Him all praises are given!
North Grove Christian Church
11702 North Mount Morris Road
Leaf River, Illinois 61047
Established April 19, 1858
Reverend Carlton Easley, Pastor
401 South 4th Street
Oregon, Illinois 61061
1982 - 2003
Submitted by Sharon
Nordman Ogle, great-great-granddaughter of Rev. George Atwood
George Atwood Brown (1841-1932)
The following article was found by Roger Cramer and believed
to have been written in the 1950's:
In the year of 1858 on April 19, in the North Grove Union
School house, south of the present church building, there appeared
what seems to be what were called Circuit Riders that began to
preach and to hold Gospel services. The names were as follows:
Rev. Liner, Marvin, Rice, Boyer, McMillen, Towner, Byer, Hnepper,
Linscott, Golp, and Elder Fields. There were two ministers by
the names of W. Morey and J. S. Hager who organized the first
Christian church in the Union School house on April 19, 1858.
At the time the church was organized 35 persons became members.
Their names were as follows: Peter Allen, Sarah Allen, Major
Allen, Henry Frost, Pheve Frost, Isaiah Miller, Nancy Miller,
Jeremiah Miller, Rhoda Miller, Eliza Ellen Miller, Joseph Kendel,
Henry Johnston, Ellen Johnston, Margaret Krouse, Aley Harrell,
Joseph M. Piper, Samuel Piper, Adaline Myers, Sarah A. Myers,
Caroline Myers, Perrin R. Allen, Margaret Allen, Louise Johnston,
Jacob Piper Sr., Anna Piper, Melle L. Businga, Mary Schrader,
Elizabeth Myers, Ruana Kitzmiller, Chester F. Allen, James Harrell,
John A. Harrell, Mary Piper, and Jacob W. Piper Jr.
On July 14, 1867 Jeremiah Miller and Jacob Piper Sr. were
appointed Deacons. During the first 10 years, the church increased
its membership to the number of 56.
During these 10 years there came an interest among the members
for a new church. In 1868 two members became instrumental in
founding the church which stands today. These men were Jacob
Myers and Jacob Piper. The land for the church and cemetery was
donated by Mr. Jacob Myers. So the present building was erected,
and it was dedicated on the 25th of December 1868. It was Elder
Fields who gave the address that day. A special collection for
Elder Fields was $14.80.
In the years 1889 to 1890, a man by the name of David Piper,
who was sexton of the church, had to walk about 1 3/4 miles to
care for fires in the church, cut the wood, ring the bell, and
other jobs for the sum of $33.70 per year.
By the year of 1890, many of the older ones were moving closer
to the vicinity of Leaf River and felt that a church was needed
there. It was in
1891 that the church was organized and in July 31, 1892, that
church was built. There were a goodly number that had taken their
membership from the North Grove Christian Church, leaving the
younger generation to carry on. The church at Leaf River was
named "The Christian Church" which is now called "The
United Methodist Church." The Ladies Aid was organized and
the first office holders were: Mollie Iler, President, Lizzie
Myers, Treasurer, and Lulu Brown, Secretary. The first meeting
was held at Charles Richtor's residence on the 18th of November,
1891. The Ladies Aid is still carrying on, though small in number.
It was on November 6, 1892 that the committees from the North
Grove Christian Church and the Leaf River Christian Church had
a meeting in regards to hiring a minister together. This kind
of ministry was carried on until October 1949. Since then, each
church has gone their separate ways.
Going back to April 4, 1891, the Minister Elder G. A. Brown
was hired for $350.00 for the year. The following year his salary
was raised to $400.00.
It is not known just how long Elder Brown stayed in this ministry.
The following ministers were hired: Rev. Pittman (April 13,
1902-August 30, 1914), Rev. E. G. Walk (October 11, 1914-1922),
Rev. Pittman was called back from 1923-1934, making a total of
23 years. On April 28, 1941, Rev. Willis Thomas was hired.
In all these years since organizing the North Grove Christian
Church, there have been 11 different ministers. At the present
time there are 38 members and an average of 49 for Sunday School
for the year.
The church and cemetery are located on Mt. Morris Rd. (north
of Rt. 72) and about one mile north of North Grove Evangelical
Above Photo's by Laverne M. Stauffer
Photo's below by Sharon Nordman Ogle
SURNAME LIST FROM MID 1980'S FOR NORTH GROVE CHRISTIAN
For more information contact one of our
- ALDEN, ALLEN, ASHCRAFT, BARNES, BARTOW, BAUER,
BAWINKLE, BEARDSLEY, BECK, BECKER,
BEEBE, BLAIR, BOMBERGER, BORGMANN, BRADLEY, BROWN, BRUEGGEMAN,
BYERLY, CAIN, CARSON, CHAPMAN, CHEEK, CRAMER, DAYHOFF, DELP,
FAUCH or FOUCH, FIEBRINK, FOSSLER, FROST, GAFFIN, GANN, GARWIG,
GERBOCK, GESIN, GILE,
GRAHAM, GREGORY, GROVE, HAGEMANN, HAIRE, HARMON, HARNER, HARVATH,
HAYUNGA, HEITER, HIGHBARGER, HODGES, HOFFMAN, HOOVER, HORST,
HUNDERMARK, HUNSICKER, HUSTON, IHNE, ILER, JACOBS, JOHNSON, KAPPENMAN,
KENDALL, KENDEL, KITSMILLER, KITZMILLER, KLINE, KNODLE, KONSTANT,
LEE, LIBBERTON, LIGHT, LONG, LOOKINGBILL, MALDEN, MEIER, MERRILL,
MOTTER, MUNK, MYERS, PALMER, PALS, PANNENBURG, PATTERSON, PETERSON,
POPPENBARGER ,POWERS, PYPER, RAPP, ROBERTS, ROBINSON, ROTHERMEL,
RUNYAN, RYAN, SCHELLING, SCHNULLE, SCHOTT, SCHRADER, SCHRIEBER,
SHANK, SHAW, SLUSHER, SMITH, SNYDER, STRICKLAND, STUKENBERG,
SWANSON, SWINGLEY, THOMAS, THOMSON, TRINE, TWIGG, WAGNER, WAKENIGHT,
- WILLIAMS, WILSON, WINCHE, WINDHORST, WINTERS,
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