Other Early Clay County Churches
Liberty, a Christian church in the northwest part of Washington Township, on the N. D. WALKER place, west side of Eel River, built and dedicated in 1860. Having fallen partially into decay and needing repairs, it was turned over to the public in 1895 and was refitted as a union church.
Little Flock, a Primitive or Predestination Baptist church in Lewis Township, on the Thomas CRIST land, three-fourths of a mile west of the old J. T. LISTON crossing, the original log house built about 1850; the present frame house about twenty years ago.
Mt. Carmel, a United Brethren church in Washington Township, on the KILLION place, a mile and a half west of Bowling Green, on the Lower Bloomington road, built in 1871, and dedicated on the 12th day of November, by Bishop EDWARDS, when the entire indebtedness outstanding was liquidated by the contributions made.
Friendly Grove, a Missionary Baptist church in Lewis Township. This religious society, organized on the 28th day of June 1839, under the spreading limbs of a large elm tree on the Samuel CHAMBERS place, was the pioneer church in the southwest part of Clay County. The first house of worship built by this society, in the early forties, was a log one of most peculiar design and construction, unlike any other in the county or elsewhere. The main building was 50 X 20 feet, with a mid-way projection and recess on either side, ten or twelve feet square, through which the entrance was made into the auditorium. In one end of the main building were two of the old-time fireplaces. The pulpit stood in the transverse section, near the opposite side from the fireplaces. One end of the main structure (about two-fifths of its capacity, or floor space) was so arranged constructively that the suspended ceiling could be let down so as to form a partition, thereby reducing the capacity of the auditorium when so desired. The seating of this house was by the use of slabs made by splitting timber, in which holes were bored and legs inserted. This church was occupied until displaced by a frame one built in 1858, as remembered by survivors of that time. The present house, which is the third one, was built in 1892, dedicated on the 16th day of October, by Elder OGLE, of Indianapolis, the contributions exceeding by $293.43 the amount of money asked for. The carpenter work on the first frame was done by Rice M. STARK and Samuel WELSH. The second and present frame was built on contract by Levi FAIR, which was, at the time, the largest auditorium in the township. The primitive log church, though not a “house of seven gables,” was one of twelve corners, suggestive or representative of the twelve apostles. The pastors of this society, as nearly as they may be now named, have been: Abraham STARK, David STARK, George CRIST, Elias COOPRIDER, James KENDALL, Bert FUSON, George MARLOW, C. C. MARSHALL, James BARR, James SANDERS, J. L WEEKS, T. FUSON, J. R. COBB, E. A. BROWN, D. C. CARNAHAN (present one).
Pleasant Run, a Missionary Baptist church, held the first meetings in the homes of the members in 1843. Later they met in the GUMMERE School House. The first church house was built in 1871 a mile and a half southeast of Cory; it was first occupied in the month of May, when Rev. Samuel SLAVENS preached jointly the funeral sermon of George and Latham HUFF, so named from location, standing near the course of a small rippling branch of Eel River bearing this name. It closed in 1921.
Stwalley’s Chapel, an M. E. church at Bellaire, east side, built in 1881-82, dedicated on the 28th day of May of the latter year, named in honor of Isaac STWALLEY, deceased, who was a liberal patron and supporter of the church.
Wilson’s, a Free Will Baptist church in Lewis township, on the James WILSON place, a mile and a half northwest of Howesville, built in 1903 and dedicated on the 10th day of August of the same year.
The Seventh Day Adventists have held tent meetings at Bowling Green, Cory, Clay City, and Middlebury. The LANE Brothers preached at Bowling Green in the summer of 1873, and Rev. THOMPSON, at Clay City and Middlebury, in the months of July and August 1907. The meetings at Cory were held in the month of August 1882.