Baptist Church, Bushnell
On the 13th of February, 1862, a little knot of people of Bushnell, who were of the Baptist denomination, gathered together, and effect an organization of a society. Elder H. S. Warren acted as moderator of the meeting, and John F. Smith, as clerk. The original members of the infant church, that gave in their allegiance at that meeting, were: J. F. Smith, Jonathan Greene, William Greene, H. S. P. Warren, Mary A. Smith, Lucy P. Greene, Jane Fuson, Angeline Kinyon, William S. Hummel, Moses Wilson, Esther Adams, and Laura J. Warren. It was recognized as a church on the 16th of April, 1862, and Rev. H. S. P. Warren installed as pastor. Meetings were held for a time in the German Methodist church, and in Andrew's and Smith's halls. In 1866, the society erected a church, a neat structure, 36x44 feet in size, at a cost of $2,700. It has since been enlarged to 66 feet in length, and is valued at about $3,500. The growth of the church has been gradual, mostly by members moving in from other places, and in the conversion of the children and friends of its members. The church has had several revivals of religion, but no very extensive work. The present membership is 150.
As has been already mentioned, Rev. H. S. P. Warren was the first pastor. He retained that relation with the church until 1865, when he was succeeded by Rev. William T. Bly, who remained one year. Rev. E. Russ served from in 1866 to 1868, when he was followed by Rev. William T. Hill, who preached for about two years. In 1870, Rev. J. J. W. Place was called to this pulpit, and remained with this people a short time. Following him was Rev. G. P. Gyle, and he by Rev. Niles Kinney. Rev. Charles Cross served one year in the pulpit of the church, and was followed by Rev. J. C. Hart, who remained until 1879. Rev. R. C. Ray became pastor of the church during the year 1881.
Source: The History of McDonough County, together with sketches of the towns, villages and townships, educational, civil, military and political history; portraits of prominent individuals, and biographies of the representative citizens, 1885, page 467. Transcribed by Karl A. Petersen
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