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Illinois Genealogy Trails

 Jefferson County Illinois
White Swan Baptist Church


White Swan Baptist Church
Pastor: Mr. Lindell Knox
Submitted By: White Swan Baptist Church

White Swan Baptist Church located in Jefferson County, about a mile east of the Washington-Jefferson County line was organized under the name of the Union Freewill Baptist church on October 13, 1891. Meetings were held in the White Swan School building that then stood just across the road from where the church now stands.

Charter members were:
William Gray
Mrs. Rebecca Gray
Amos Downes
Mrs. Sarah Downes
J.I. Gray
Mrs. Sarah C. Gray
Mrs. Susan Henderson
J.L. Gray

On March 31st, 1892, the members decided it was time to start a church building so all could come and worship together. A building committee was chosen consisting of: D.A. Foster, William Gray, G.C. Benjamin, Brother McKinzie, A.W. Downes

Rev. J.F. Kirk and Mattie Deets were also instrumental in the organization of the church. Land for the building site was donated by Amos Downes.

The first Deacons were Amos Downes and J.I. Gray. The first Pastor was Rev. Riley Fox. Amos Downes was the first church clerk.

On September 8, 1894, the members of the Union Freewill Baptist Church voted to change its name to the White Swan Freewill Baptist Church. Late in 1894, the first church building was completed, painted and ready for services. On October 12, 1895, it was dedicated by Rev. J.F. Kirk, assisted by Brother Skaer and Brother Morgan.

On September 12, 1914, our church joined the Southern Illinois Baptist Association of Freewill Baptists with admitttances to the Judson Association. In 1931, the church was remodeled changing the two narrow front doors into one large double door. The outside was covered with white shingles. In 1953, we left the Judson Association and joined the Northern American Baptists as a National Association of Baptist. In 1968, a foyer was built, a steeple and a bell were added to the front of the church. A large all purpose room has also been added which gives us plenty of space for serving dinners. It is also used for classroom space for the younger children for Sunday School. We also enjoy central heating and air conditioning. In 1982, new carpeting was installed and new pews were added.

The church was had a time when attendence was low, now average attendence about 20. They still have church in the orginal building and use the side room for dinners.


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