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NABB PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH


HISTORY OF NABB PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
written January 8, 1906

The Church was formed December 5, 1885
Taken from the material of Mrs. Lola Bastian

A few scattered members of the New Washington and Lexington Presbyterian churches in this community, who were too far from either to attend services, desired to see a branch church established here in the town of Nabb. In March, 1885 the session of Lexington Church sent Rev. Frank M. Gilchrist to establish the church. The services were held frequently in the Clark County school house (located on the north side of Postal Drive, across from the present day Fire Department Building). Rev. George Earnest came on the field and the same year held a series of meetings, receiving several persons who desired to unite and organize a branch church. The Church was organized December 5, 1885 with the following persons as its charter members:

John H. Boyd, Ella Bussey, Frank Bussey, George C. Bussey, James C. Bussey, John M. Graves, Addie Henderson, Franklin Henderson, Robert Henderson, Sarah Alice Henderson, Mary Izzard, Rose Cole Johnson, Edwin Lukenbill, Lizzie Lukenbill, Mary E. Taflinger, Anna Belle Tilford, John Tilford, Mary Tilford, William L. Tilford, Hugh R. Usher and Mary J. Usher.

There was a total of 21 charter members, of which two are still living. The interest increased and the school building was too small to accommodate the worshipers. Talk was heard of building a church home. God in his kind providence opened up a way. Mr. William Gray came forward with his first offering, a gift of the ground on which the building now stands. He made a deed to the trustees of the Presbyterian Church. August 19, 1886 subscriptions were received until about $450.00 was raised. This made it necessary to appeal to the Presbyterian Board of Church erection for means to complete the building. The building was completed and opened for services Saturday night June 18, 1887. Rev. R. M. Gilchrist preached to a large audience whose hearts were filled with joy now that God's people had a church home. The next day, Sunday, was set for the dedication of the church.

Near midnight the cry of fire was heard. Everyone rushed out and saw the building on fire from ground to spire. Men, women and children wept.

Sunday morning was bright and fair and people began pouring in from far and near only to gather around the smoking ruins. Rev. John F. Baird, Rev. F. M. Gilchrist and others decided to hold an indignation meeting. The crowd was accommodated with room in Shapinskey's sawmill, which at present is site where Mr. C. W. Evans' brick home is located next to the store on Nabb-New Washington Road.

A powerful sermon was given by John F. Baird. It was decided to rebuild and money was pledged to the amount of $600.00. A bystander asked that the church be made a union church, but that could not be done because of the help received from the board on the first building and the funds necessary to complete the second building. The board holds a mortgage on the church for the amount of $400.00. Since other denominations gave some help toward the building it was verbally agreed that the building might be used for worship by the other denominations, when not occupied by the owners.

The Presbyterian board furnished $280.00 to complete the second building on which work was begun Monday, June 20, while the ruins of the first were still burning. Since the first was burned by incendiaries, an insurance was placed on material and required to be always kept on the building. (Oral history states there were several saloons in Nabb and it was thought that some of these patrons were the ones that set the building on fire. There was a lot of fear there would be too many trying to convert the saloon patrons.)

The second building was dedicated May 1888, Rev. T. G. Bosley preached the dedicatory sermon.

At the fall meeting of the New Albany Presbytery, at Hanover, Indiana September 17, 1905 a petition was presented from the Nabb congregation for the organization of a Presbyterian church, rather than a branch church of Lexington. Presbytery took favorable action, and petition appointed a committee consisting of Rev. J. S. Hawk, Rev. W.M. Elliot, and Rev. W. D. Malcolm. Said committee met at Nabb, October 16, 1905. Rev. J.S. Hawk was chairman, Rev. W. D. Malcolm Secretary, Rev. W. M. Elliot was to give the charge to the congregation. Rev. Dr. George Knox was asked to preach the first sermon since he was a Synodical Missionary. Church was dedicated in the name "Pisgah", (the Bible setting behind the Pulpit is imprinted with the name of Pisgah - 1999) since there was another church in county with a similar name near Bethlehem, the name, Nabb Presbyterian Church, was given. It was the 12th Presbyterian church in the county. After the sermon the following presented their letter from Lexington Presbyterian Church, thus becoming members of the new church to be known as the Nabb Presbyterian Church.

After sermon the following presented their letter from Lexington Presbyterian Church:

John Kennedy, William E. Bussey, Sarah Blair, Katie Blair Peck, Ansley Robinson, Harvey B. Alford, Mary A. Blair, Jennie Hite, George C. Bussey, Jane Murray, John M. Graves, Ella Bussey, John Tilford, Millie Cole Smith, Rose Cole Johnson, Iva Vest, Hugh Usher, Ethel Vest, Mary J. Usher, Grace Eberts, Mathew Watt, Hettie Jones Blocher Eberts, Mary Watt, Anna Vest, Pearl Watt Tilford Buxton, Addie Johnson, Sarah J. Blair, Martin McMillian, Emmett Tilford, Jefferson Staples, Flora Bussey Cole, Rosa Staples, John Vest, Millie Hancock Tilford (from Pleasant Ridge Methodist Church), John H. Boyd, William D. Tilford, Sanford K. Peck, Prudie G. Goddard and Charles I. Graves.

The following officers were elected, Elders 3 years John Kennedy, 2 years William D. Tilford and 1 year S. K. Peck. Deacons 3 years John H. Boyd, 2 years H. E. Alford and 1 year Emmett Tilford. Trustees - 3 years Mathew Watt, 2 years Emmett Tilford and 1 year George C. Bussey.

Ordination of Elders, Installation Deacons followed.

Rev. W. M. Elliot gave the charge to the people of the congregation.

1919 - Mathew and Martha Watt gave $100.00 to be used as Session saw fit.

1920 - Membership totaled 34.

1921 - The two doors in south end (where stain glass windows are today) of church were removed and made one large opening in north end, (Sanctuary entrance today).

1928 - Pews were purchased. Several of the short benches were sold to individuals, the remainder were put in the Legion Hall. (Believe the old pews in basement in 1999 are the original pews.)

1929 - The first Daily Vacation Bible School was organized by Miss Ada Crow, New Albany. Rev. William Smiley was pastor. Daily Vacation Bible School has been held annually ever since. The Vacation Bible School continued through the 1960's but ceased . Vacation Bible School at Nabb Presbyterian Church resumed in 1980. The last Vacation Bible School was held in 1981.

1931 - Rev. M. H. Kennedy preached his first sermon here Easter Sunday, April 5. He began his work here as pastor May 3, 1931.

1934 - Rev. Kennedy preached his farewell sermon Easter Sunday.

1935 - Dr. W. W. Logan held a meeting of officers and Sunday School teachers and discussed the need of Sunday School rooms.

The same year Ladies Bible Class organized, chartered by Sunday School board with 25 members. Mrs. Thelma Boyd Tate was teacher for almost 10 years.

Four Elders were chosen - John Boyd, C. M. Evans, Luther Campbell, Oscar Bussey. Deacons - Phoebe Gray, Mae Evans, Pearl Kimberlin, Evaleigh Koerner.

1938 - The church agreed to pay $10.00 per year for 5 years to Hanover College Building fund in order to help raise the $50,000.00 left in William Donner will. Brother Myiet a former graduate of Hanover College, in company with 4 young folks brought the dedicatory services to Nabb commemorating the fact that $50,000.00 was raised.

1938 - The state took a part of our church lot for the highway and gave us $150.00. (When State Road 362 was built.)

1939 - Willing Workers organization reorganized with 10 members. There are 16 active members to date.

Sent two young people to Mt. Tabor conference which has been done each year since.

June, 1941 - Nabb Presbyterian Church became a part of the Southern Indiana Parish.

1942 - Sunday School sent new Testaments to Soldiers.

Membership 75 totaled.

1943 - Sunday School bought their first $200.00 bond in the hope that sometime in the future there would be an addition added for Sunday School rooms and kitchen. We were granted the privilege of using the Legion Hall until the addition is built.

Sunday school bought $700.00 in bonds. Willing Workers $300.00 and Church $300.00. Making a total of $1,300.00.

Membership 80 totaled.

1946 - The Nabb Church was the first in the Parish to meet their quota of $341.00 in the restoration fund of $7,000,000.00 needed to do the Presbyterian Church's part to restore the work of the Kingdom.

April, 1949 - The excavating was begun for the basement. The plans included a full basement, with kitchen, oil furnace and also added 20 feet across the front for the two Sunday School rooms and a vestibule.

October, 1949 - Dedication was held. Rev. Don Morse read Scriptures, Dr. C. M. Hanna delivered the message and Dr. J. V. Roth the benediction.

1950 - Membership, 92 total with 7 elders: John H. Boyd, C. M. Bastian, John V. Koerner, P. M. Clapp, C. W. Evans, C. W. Wahl, Oscar Bussey. Six deacons: Viva Shepherd, Mae Evans, Evaleigh Koerner, Lola Bastian, Della Bussey and Mae Lightcap and 3 trustees: C. M. Bastian, W. J. Johnson and John Boyd.

1954 - Installation of folding doors in the rear of the Sanctuary.

An organ was secured through the efforts of L. M. Clapp, early in the Church history and used until 1916 at which time Miss Mary Gamble sponsored plays and musicals to help purchase a used piano used today (circa 1950.)

There have been around 40 preachers during the 65 years preaching here in Presbyterian denomination. The longest term served was Rev. W. C. Broady 1892-1900, 8 ½ years. The shortest time was Rev. Carroll, 4 months in 1911. The largest number additions at one time were 32. Rev. Alonzo Yates from February 18 to 27, 1921. His first sermon February 27, 1920 and last sermon April, 1924 at which time 57 members reported in good standing. He returned August 27, 1929 for 2 weeks services at which time 14 members were admitted. His salary was $300.00 and Benevolence was $50.00 at that time. Today's (ca 1950) Pastor's salary is $600.00 and Benevolence $340.00.

Any questions or comments on the history of Nabb Presbyterian Church, please contact Jeannie Noe Carlisle
Published here with the permission of Steve and Jeannie Noe Carlisle.

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