Hamilton County, Illinois
Genealogy and History




HISTORY OF BELLE PRAIRIE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
Contributed by Kyle Shoultz

The church is located just up the road from Cherry Grove Cemetery. Contributor Kyl Shoultz's
great great-great-great-great grandparents, James and Pernecia Rawls, were charter members here in 1866.
The church was closed, sold and torn down in 2010 (Thanks Susan Johnson for this info!)

Belle Prairie Church

The pastors of the church are listed on the next page with the exception of 20 years from 1912-1921 as they were not listed in the church minutes or from 1866 until 1874. Thank you pastors for your services and dedication to the Lord and to Belle Prairie Baptist Church.

Deacons of Belle Prairie Baptist Church have been:

Clay Kennedy, Oliver Ross, George Hays, Alf Simpson, George Millenbine, and Dave Osborn.


Much of the information on Belle Prairie church and Belle City was burned in a fire at the home of Bessie Claunch.

The United Baptist Church of Belle Prairie later called Belle Prairie Missionary Church was built in 1866. The ground it sat on was not sold to the church until 1870 by James A. Maulding and Sarah J. Maulding for $40.00. The deed was drawn up between John Simpson, Kinth Rawls, and William Warfield. They later purchased the ground south of the church known as the grove, for $100.00. This also was purchased from Sarah J. Maulding and James A. Maulding in the year of 1894.

It’s said in the early years, probably the late 1800's or early 1900's membership was high. During revivals people would stand outside by the open windows to hear the singing and preaching. Around 1940, a piano was donated to the church by the Rawls family. We are told that we still have the same piano today.

Belle Prairie Church 1949-50
Belle Prairie Church
1949-1950

There have been many happy times at Belle Prairie church and also many changes. The old kerosene stove was replaced with a gas furnace. The walls were paneled and the windows were dressed up with amber plexiglass. We also got a new podium around 1974.

The church experienced growth in the 1970's and felt the need for a new addition of classrooms, fellowship hall, bathrooms and kitchen. Later in the 1990's the old part of the church got a new roof and siding. Around 2002 or 2003 new windows were put in the old part of the church.

Belle Prairie has seen many great revivals and lots of spiritual experiences. There have been many young preachers start their ministry here. It’s sad to see the decline in membership in these little country churches and ours is one of them. Attendance on sunday averages from 4 to 10, but Jesus said ”for where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”.

Belle Prairie Church today
Church today


PASTORS OF BELLE PRAIRIE CHURCH

Pastor

Years Served

 

Pastor

Years Served

Not Listed

1866-1872

 

Everett Apgar

1936

J .L Overstreet

1873

 

Hulbert Perry

1938-1939

K. G. Hays

1874-1875

 

H. F. Menke

1940

J. L. Overstreet

1876-1878

 

Birchel Page

1942

J. B. Smith

1879

 

Hulbert Perry

1943-1946

Seth W Derick

1884

 

F. Lloyd Trotter

1948

William Lowry

1886

 

Hulbert Perry

1949

B. D. Esmon

1887

 

Orval Overturf

1951

H. P. Cravens

1889

 

Minor Butler

1952

D. L. Ellot

1896-1899

 

Russell Monroe

1953-1954

J. H. Vollva

1898, 1900-1904

 

Carroll Phillips

1957-1958

W. A. Welgant

1905

 

Jim Fitzgerells

1961-1962

J. H. Vollva

1906

 

J, H. Carr

1963-1966

C. C. Allen

1907

 

Harold Mayberry

1967-1977

Cal Richardson

1908-1909

 

Vernard Lie

1978-1979

O. A. Barnwell

1911

 

Donald Williamson

1980-1985

Minutes Did Not List Pastors For 11 Years

1912-1921

 

Richard Huston

1986-1987

Lafe Perry

1922-1923

 

Bill Hampton

1988-1989

Ed Kleger

1924-1925

 

Donald Williamson

1990-1992

Birchel Page

1928-1929

 

Alan Monroe

1993-1998

W. M. Gloyd

1930–1932

 

Scott Webb

2000

     

Donald Williamson

2001-2006


The Four Pastors Serving The Church For The Longest Time Were:
Alan Monroe (7 Years)
J. H. Volla (7 Years)
Harold Mayberry (11 Years)
Donald Williamson (11 Years)




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