Presbyterian Church -West Ely

The Presbyterians settling the West Ely prairie at first united with the Big Creek church, which had been organized in 1834, but differing about the location of the church building, one portion made West Ely the place where they built their church. September 21, 1838, the West Ely Presbyterian church was organized by Rev. J. J. Marks, with the following members: James Hanson, Rachel Hanson, E. J. Hanson, Jacob Harbone and wife, John McKee, Sarah McKee, Mary Woods, Ann Eliza Woods, Lydia Brison, Rebecca Woods, Margaret Logan, Susan Riddle, Fannie Stone, Martha Tabb, Mary Tabb and a colored man named Jeremiah.

J. J. Marks was first stated supply, and the following persons were elected first ruling elders: A. J. Dallas, John Riddle, James Hanson, and John McMullen. In 1839 the Rev. Mr. March was appointed stated supply, and in 1840 Rev. John Blatchford, D. D., succeeded him. In the winter of 1841 an interesting meeting was conducted by the Rev. Mr. Buckingham, and 25 persons were admitted into the church. The Rev. Wm. T. Dickson became pastor for 1841, and at the first communion of his pastorate 13 more were added to the church. The Rev. Wm. T. Dickson held his pastorate until April, 1852, when he resigned and left the State. Then Rev. D. Emerson served the church until Oct. 8th, 1853. From June 1st, 1857, until Sept., 1858, J. P. Armstrong supplied the pulpit. Rev. James A. Darrah was installed as pastor April 19, 1859, which position he held until Sept., 1876, when he resigned his pastorate and removed to Ohio. Then the Rev. W. P. Cochran was stated supply from Oct., 1876, to Jan. 1, 1882. Rev. T. B. Lunsford then became supply until Oct. 1, 1883, when he resigned his connection with the church, since which time the pulpit has been vacant. This church has had many precious revivals, especially under the ministry of Rev. Wm. T. Dickson, when there were about 150 members, and the Sabbath congregations were large. It was a sad day for the church and community when he was compelled to resign. The church has been depleted by emigration and death until now it is very small. The immigrants that have taken the place of those that have passed away are mostly Germans, and are of the Lutheran denomination and have their own church and schools.