Recognized as a Historical landmark
by the Marshall County Historical Society July 1983.
Taken from a scrapbook at the Union Church
Note at bottom of page "The Ministral Board" the page is torn and there is no date to identify when it was written.
The Union Church was organized about 1848 with forty members. This territory had been a part of Pine Creek, and early preaching had been done by Abram Whitmer. The first preachers here were John Knisely, John Hoover and Marvin Hamilton. By 1881 the membership had increased to 175, with John Knisely presiding Bishop, Jacob G. Shively associate, M.A. Eisenhour, W. G. Cook, Jacob Appleman, Jacob Seiders and Aaron Kreighbaum, assistant ministers. (Jacob Siders and Aaron Kriegbaum were sons in law of Elder Knisely) There were two meetinghouses at that time, one built in 1871, four miles west and one mile south of Plymouth, Known as the Union House, and the other farther west on the Starke County line.
Since 1881 the congregation has been divided twice. In 1875 the Salem Congregation was organized. It now has a membership of about sixty. In 1916 the Plymouth Church was organized, taking a good part of the territory.
Under the able and agressive leadership of Elder John Knisley, Union was one of the most active churches in Indiana. As early as 1875 her people were taking active interest in Sunday School. Though it was not evergreen, yeat a prayer meeting too its place in the wintertime. Harvest meetings were held here as early as 1879. The year 1881 was marked by a large ingathering of members.
There was a council meeting held December 7, 1883, that was long remembered. Jesse Calvert and W. R. Deeter were visiting Elders. W.G. Cook was ordained to eldership. Jacob Seiders and Aaron Kreighbaum were advanced to the second degree of the ministry. Edward Bottorf, A. Rairigh, James Jones, Frank Hendricks, O. Deen, Noah Replogle and John Hoover were elected deacons. It was a day of general rejoicing.
Since 1883 Union Church has called to the ministry Eli Gable, James Norris, Harry V. Cargar and Cecil Reed, 1914. S. F. Hendricks has moved into the congregaton. The church has had for presiding bishops John Knisely, Jacob Shively, Jacob Appleman, W. G. Cook, J.F. Appleman and S.F. Hendricks. The present deacons are S.H. Beiler, J.S. Morelock, Frank Keyser and Willaim Garl.
Until the time of the automobile, people came from miles around in lumber wagons to attend revivals and communion. These people would bring bedding and stay right in the church, where meals were provided and meetings held.
Elder S.F. Hendricks, the present resident biship, has spent thirty two years in the Union Church. He was called to the ministry in the St. Joseph Valley, and was ordained in 1904. His wife Dora Kreighbaum, is a grandaughter of Elder John Knisley. Brother Hendricks has presiding charge of both the Union and Salem Churches.
In 1918 the church was disorganized, and was idle for about 26 years, except for homecomings and reunions, until the early part of the summer of 1945. Cyrus Nyfong, Frank Kyser and Virgil Welborn are trustees and Brethren Ben Cross and Herbert Zook are pastors of the church.
1848 - Union Church was organized.
1871 - Church was built.
John Knisley - Bishop donated the land. Land Value of the Church Property was $250.00, Church Building $1000.00. Labor and most of the materials were donated. The tools which were used in the building of this church, were donated to the McPherson College Museum, McPherson, Kansas by cousins of John Holdread. John Holdread's uncle was a carpenter.
1871 - September 10th. First meeting held in this church building. Funeral of Mrs. Margaret Bainter Knisely. Wife of Eler John Knisely.
1916 - Ladies Aid Society
1918 - Church was disorganized.
1945 - The Church was Rescued From Destruction. A group of dedicated Parishioners raised money to purchase the Church as it was scheduled to be auctioned off for the fine lumber and building materials.
1945 - September 11th - The Deed was filed with Marshall County by the Trustees of the Union Congregation of The Church of the Brethern. Cyrus Nifong, Frank Kyser and Virgil Welborn. (Interesting Note - this was 74 years and 1 day after the first service [Sept 10, 1871] was held in the Union Church Building.) Marshall County Recorder Book 126 pages 302 and 303.
1945 - December 16 - Church was reorganized.
1953 - July 30th - 50 Acres in Marshall County was purchased by the Board of Trustees for the sum of one dollar from Frank A. and Mary C. Kyser. I found it interesting that the Deed for this transaction states "It is also agreed and understood that the grantors herein reserve for themselves a manure pile, east of the house, limestone, start of flowers and shrubs, odd pieces of lumber around the bar and a small moveable hog house, together with the right to remove the same on or before ninety days from the date of this deed of conveyance." Marshall County Recorder Book 146 page 395.
1963 - April 15 - Additional property for the Church was purchased from Floyd W. and Leona Miller. Marshall County Recorder Book 175 page 504.
1970 - November 8. Pastor Clark to receive his license to the ministry of the Church of the Brethren.
1984 - October 23 - Historic Church Award
1984 - December - Union Church sponsors Hungarian Man
1992 - 1st Communion that was held in the Fellowship Hall.
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