CHRISTIAN CHURCH -- The first attempt to establish a Christian Church in Edinburg,
was made in 1834, although traveling ministers had visited the village at
intervals, previous to that date, and held meetings in the houses of the few
members in the town and vicinity.
Among these early preachers are remembered, Elders William Irvin, J.
Fawcett and James M. Mathes, under whose joint labors, on the 23rd day of
February of the above year, a small organization was effected, with the
following members: Gavin Mitchell, Rebecca Mitchell, David McCoy, C. McCoy, J.
W. Dupree, Thomas W. Thrailkeld, Elizabeth Thrailkeld, Abram Dupree and Hannah
Dupree. Of the above little band
who constituted the organization, all but one, Hannah Dupree, are dead. Elder J. M. Mathes, the chief mover in
the organization, is also living, at his home in Bedford, Ind. The society held its first meetings in
the residences of the different members, and later obtained the use of the building
erected by the Edinburg Benevolent Association in 1834. Here the church met and prospered until
1846, at which time the increasing growth foreshadowed the necessity of a building
of enlarged proportions. Accordingly,
in that year, a movement was inaugurated to erect a house of worship for the exclusive
use of the congregation. A lot on
Walnut Street was procured, and a frame house, 40X50 feet, erected, which is
still standing. The building is a
commodious structure, and at the time of its completion was the best temple of
worship in town. At the close of
1834 the membership of the society numbered twenty-two, and among the additions
of that year were the Thompsons, Knowltons, Waylands, Smiths, Vaughns and
others, whose names cannot be recalled.
In 1846, Abram Dupree was licensed to preach the Gospel, and for that
year the records show a membership of 198.
For a number of years after its organization the church was ministered to in word and doctrine by Abram Dupree, William Irvin and William Oldham. From 1834 until 1870, the church enjoyed the labors of twenty-eight transient preachers. The following is a list of the ministers thus employed: Elders McFadden, Lockwood, Roberts, Woodfill, Egan, New, Brewer, Cobb, Pritchard, Jones, McCorkle, O'Kane, Hall, Walden, D. Franklin, Benjamin Franklin, Snoddy, Gosney, Miller, Hoshour, McCullough, Buff, Ludwig, Davis, Holton, Goodwin, Brazzleton and Lanham. The first regular pastor appears to have been Elder B. K. Smith, who began his labors in 1852, and served one year. Following him in the order named, came J. R. Frame, Knowles Shaw, D. H. Gary, T. J. Tomlinson, R. T. Brown, J. F. Sloan, W. L. Germane, W. T. Sellers, William Hough, A. W. Conner, W. W. Carter, K. W. Darst, J. H. O. Smith, N. S. McCallum. The pastor at this time is Elder P. S. Rhodes, who began his labors for the church in 1887. He is a minister of fine ability, and has already won an abiding place in the affections of his congregation. The present official board is composed as follows: Elder, J. B. Rubush; pastor, P. S. Rhodes; clerk, C. W. Davis; treasurer, A. C. Thompson; deacons, D. Melville, A. J. Loughery, William Hood; trustees, A. C. Thompson, E. C. Thompson, H. C. Bailey, S. Cutsinger and Adam Mutz.
In 1886 a new building was commenced on that part of the lot lying south of the old house, and, when completed, will be the finest specimen of church architecture in Johnson County. The building covers an area of 90x6o feet, and the ceiling of the auditorium is twenty-eight feet high. Sunday school room in front will seat 300, gallery 100, and, when all the rooms are thrown together, which can be easily done, a congregation of 800 persons can be conveniently accommodated. The aggregate cost of the structure will be about $18,500. Not the least among the potent working forces of the church, is the Eureka Aid Society, organized December 8, 1883, for the ostensible purpose of raising funds for furnishing or assisting in furnishing the new house of worship. These ladies deserve great credit for their untiring efforts in behalf of the church. By weekly contributions, festivals, sociables, lawn fetes, lectures, and by making quilts, carpets, bonnets, etc., etc., they have succeeded in raising quite a large fund, thus materially aiding the completion of the present handsome temple of worship.
Banta, D.D.. History
of Johnson County, Indiana 1888 . Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888.
Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker