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Article from 1976 Journal-Register Newspaper
Submitted by Monya Havekost.
Churches before Civil War
The Journal-Record - Bicentennial Edition July 1, 1976 Section A, Page 4
MARION COUNTY CHURCHES DATED BEFORE CIVIL WAR
Hamilton prior to the Civil War the few Methodist in Toll Gate worshipped at Old Pleasant Ridge Church, two miles north of the town. [transcribed as published]
During these years P. K. BRINDLEY, Largus BELL, and Elbert NORTON were the pastors, Lebenon church was organized in 1867. Charter members were: Alexander HUEY and wife, Dr. M. H. KY and family, W. B. OWENS and family, Roben BELK and family, Nancy CASHION, R. W. CLARK, Thomas CARPENTER and family and Miss Della KEY.
The Methodist Church was moved to Hamilton in 1884. The Baptist Church was organized in 1896. The charter members were Mr. and Mrs. J. RAMEY, James HARRISON and family, E. J. GREY and family, A. J. THOMAS and family, and Stege WILSON and wife. The pastors of the Baptist Church have been R. W. CLARK, Terry JOHNSON, W. A. DARDEN, A. C. GREEN, E. G. FINN, A. J. DARLING, A. L. MAYS, W. C. KIRK, S. S. HACKER, Rev. GOODWIN, A. M. NIX, J. A. HILL, P. F. McGUIRE, Lee FRANKLIN.
The Church of Christ was organized in Hamilton in 1903. The courthouse was used for services until 1907 at which time the first building was erected. Charter members were: I. O. GUIN and wife, Henry HARRIS and wife. Henry HARRIS was the first pastor.
The first church was the Congregational Methodist housed in little log building about one mile south of the town. Some of the members were, W. W. FREDERICK, John COLEMAN, and B P. CANTRELL. They came out of this church and organized the Methodist Church South. The building for this church was erected in town in 1889. Because of some large cedar trees the church was called the Cedar Tree Methodist Church.
The Baptist Church was organized July 5, 1908. Some of the charter members were: J. M. CONDEN and family, J. L. VANDIVER and family and W. J. BRYAN and family. The Church of Christ was organized about 1912 and the Church of God about 1920.
The Guin Methodist Church was organized on February 22, 1890 with 14 members. Rev. D. A LOVE of the Beaverton Mission was the first pastor. It was organized at the home of Orse SILAS. The charter members were Watson BROWN, S. R. GUIN, Jim HUGHES, S. C. LOWE, R. T. LOWE, Minoree NORTHCUT, Mary Ellen BROWN, Mrs. O. E. HUGHES, Nance GUIN, I. R. FREE, Amanda FREE and Agnes PEARCE. The names of the other two are not given. A wooden building was the first built and served until 1927 when the present building was erected. In 1937 a beautiful parsonage was built.
After the Civil War the Methodist moved from Pleasant Ridge to Toll Gate. The Free Will Baptist moved in and took over this place of worship. They built a new building and worshipped thee for 15 years when the building was blown away by a cyclone. Another new building was erected and was used until 1937 when the present church was erected. The first pastors were L. L. NICHOLS, and James BUCKHAM of Horse Creek. Other pastors have been J. G. BOYETTE, V. L. PUCKETT, I. K. BOYETTE, C. R. PUCKETT, Hudson BURLESON, and Jim HOWELL. The charter members were: L. L. NICHOLS, Smith PARKER, Mattie PARKER, Clementine BELK, E. M. BELK, Josh LITTLETON, Lafayette PALMER, Sallie WHITE, J. B. PETERSON, Nancy NICHOLS, Cinda NICHOLS and Ashitliee WINSETT. The church now has over 200 members.
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