KNIGHTS PRAIRIE CHURCH
By Kyle Schultz
KNIGHTS PRAIRIE CHURCH is located seven and a half miles southwest of the city of McLeansboro, in Section I, Flannigan Township, on the Old Goshen Road.
The church was organized about 1840. The first church building was of logs and was built on the S. E. corner the present cemetery. Later a church building was erected near the center of the present cemetery near the large oak tree. This building was blown away by a tornado in 1885. In the fall of the same year the present building, a frame church 30 x 40 feet was erected at the cost of $700. The church building was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day 1885 with the dedicatory sermon being delivered by Rev. Laban Estes.
picture donated by Kyle Schultz
Through this archway can be seen the ancient oak where the second building set, and where early pioneers rest.
This is a historic spot in our county.
On Nov. 1, 1870 a deed was recorded to John Miller, Gilbert Flint and Wm. Hungate trustees by John Braden and Janette Braden heirs of Alfred Braden who had originally given the plot of land for burial purposes. Land for the present church site was donated by J.P. Moorman who was for many years a trustee of the church.
The church joined the Franklin Association of United Baptist in 1847. The following article was taken from the "History of Franklin Association of United Baptist” written by W. P. Throgmartin, it reads;
"At the seventh annual meeting held with Friendship Church, Johnson County, began Friday before the first Lord's Day in October 1847, and continued in session for four days.
"The introductory, or annual sermon was delivered this year by Elder T. M. Vaure from Matt. 5:14.
"Elder Wm. Ferrell was again chosen moderator, Brother N. Harrelson was continued as clerk, and Elder Wilford Ferrell was re-elected his assistant.
"Two more churches were this year taken into the Association, Knights Prairie Church, Hamilton Co. and Golconda, Pope County."
The church at a later date joined the Fairfield Association of Baptist and was the oldest, largest and most attended church in the Association for many years. The church had over two hundred members at one time on the book.
Some of the ministers who served the church were
John B. Maulding
Ralph C. Daily
Joseph Oglesby and others.
Probably the most outstanding ministers were Laban Estes and T. Hunt. Laban Estes at one time held a revival meeting and baptized 85 people in a pond nearby. Uncle Tom Hunt as he was commonly called, was pastor for many years and is buried in the cemetery nearby.
Some of the early members of the church were….
Col. H.W. Hall
Mary Foore Moorman
Alice McGuyer Moorman
W. D. McGuire
Joel Clark, and others