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East Baptist Church of Lebanon (1836-1881)


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Transcription contributed by Arne H Trelvik 27 Jul 2003

Sources:
The History of Warren County Ohio
Part IV Township Histories
Turtle Creek Township
(Chicago, IL: W. H. Beers Co, 1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, 1992)
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Immediately after the division of the Baptists at Lebanon, the party which favored missionary efforts organized a church with this name. Their first minute is as follows: “Saturday before the fourth Lord’s Day in October, 1836, a number of brethren and sisters, professedly Regular Baptists, met for the purpose of organization, and, after appointing Elder John Blodgett, Moderator, and M. Jones, Clerk pro tem., proceeded to business; first, voted that we organize ourselves in a church, adopting the constitution of Turtle Creek Church as our constitution, omitting the preamble.” At this, the first meeting of the church, one presented herself as a candidate for baptism, and, on the day following, being Lord’s Day, another was received. Elder Blodgett supplied the church until the following December, when he was called to the pastorate, and in this relation he continued until January 4, 1841, when his resignation was accepted. The church at first met in the meeting-house of the Presbyterian Church half the time. At once, however, they set themselves to work to build a meeting-house, and, in 1837 or 1838 the same was dedicated. Soon after this a Sunday school was organized but no minutes in reference thereto are to be found.

In February, 1839, some difficulty seemed to be created by reason of the introduction of the “bass viol” into the music of the church. Some of the members were sorely grieved at it and though, until it was seen, the music was thought to be much improved, yet the sight of it brought to mind the wicked one, and it could not be tolerated. In 1838, the church thus recommended: ”To raise an amount of money equal to $1 for each member for the benefit of the “Miami Missionary Society,” and thus, as also by its interest in all the benevolences of the day, did it evidence that it differed from the brethren of the West Church in more than a theory.

The pastorate of Elder Blodgett was a highly successful one. There was peace in the church and the brethren dwelt together in unity. There were two revivals under his pastorate; in 1838, thirty were added to the church, and, in 1840, fifty-five were received by baptism. During the six years’ pastorate of Elder John Blodgett, about 150 additions were made to the church. The memory of this Christian minister is warmly cherished by the Baptists of the Miami Valley. He died July 24, 1876, and many a warm tribute to his memory has been given.

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The ministers who have served the church as pastors are given below:

Rev. John Blodgett, October, 1836, to 1840; Rev. Lewis French, August, 1840, to 1841; Rev. Mr. Freeman, May, 1841, to October, 1841; Rev. Joseph T. Robert, June, 1842, to July, 1846; Rev. John Finlay, D. D., September, 1846, to August, 1849; Rev. W. H. Robert, June, 1850, to September, 1850; Rev. Isaac Niles, October, 1850, to April, 1851; Rev. H. S. Dale, September, 1851, to December, 1855; Rev. Marsena Stone, D. D., May, 1856, to July, 1861; Rev. L. G. Leonard, D. D., April, 1863, to June, 1871; Rev. F. A. Douglass, December, 1871, to 1873; Rev. J. B. Stone, May, 1874; died at Lebanon in October, 1874; Rev. George W. Baptiste, May, 1875, to 1878; Rev. Marsena Stone, D. D., December, 1878, to June, 1881; Rev. C. H. Salsman, July, 1881.

This church has its representative in the missionary field of China in Mrs. Eliza Ashmore, wife of Rev. Dr. W. Ashmore, and daughter of A. H. Dunlevy. Rev. Dr. Ashmore supplied the pulpit of the Lebanon Church for some months succeeding the resignation of Dr. Stone, in 1861. The church extended to him a call to become pastor, but he declined in order to return to his work in China.

The present convenient and commodious church edifice was begun in July, 1858, and dedicated in 1859. In 1860, the Miami Association met in this church. The pastors of this church had never received a salary of more than $1,200 until Rev. R. A. Douglass was called, who asked a salary of $2,000, which the church agreed to give. In this, however, they went beyond their ability and smaller salaries have since been paid.


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This page created 27 Jul 2003 and last updated 25 November, 2012
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