Union Christian Chapel church covenant, charter members, early history and early memberships
(Note: The records of this church, located in Lowe Township, were in the possession of the late Jesse Kinney who donated them to the MCH&G library. We are indebted to his family for preserving them down through time, thus enabling us to record another chapter in Moultrie County history.)
We whose names are hereunto subscribed desiring to form an establish a Christian Church, in the Township of Lowe, County of Moultrie, State of Illinois, and to unite ourselves there in for mutual love and fellowship in christian work, do here by on this sixth day of October in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and eight-nine, accept the following church covenant: [sic]
Thankful for God's everlasting mercy and for his great gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, our Lord, we covenant and agree together to seek to know and do his holy will and to promote so far as in us the triumph of our Savior's Kingdom over a wicked world, heartly believing that holy scriptures were given by inspiration of God, and that they are profitable for doctrine for reproff for correction and instruction in righteous and also that christian freedom requires that they be interpreted by individual judgment.
We covenant together to accept the Bible as our supreme standard of faith and duty, and to recognize as Christians and worthy of our fellowship all who devoutly love the Lord Jesus Christ and sustain a life of vital christian piety as taught in the word of God, anxiously desiring that all differences which separate Christ's people may be removed and that there may be one flock and one shepherd, we covenant together to lay aside all distinctive and party names and taking our title from the great head of the church to be known simply and only as Christians.
And further more realizing that the success of each church depends on the consecration of its individual membership, we covenant together to attend the service of the church, to contribute according to our means for its support, to labor together to maintain its peace and harmony and so far as possible in every way to promote its temporal and spiritual welfare, looking for our reward to the peace of God which passeth all understanding and to the crown of rejoicing laid up for all who loves Christ's appearing.
Joined under Brother J. Brown:
R. M. Hughes joined December 21, 1887
Lizzie Hughes joined December 21, 1887
Alonzo Kinney joined December 22, 1887 (died June 24, 1923)
Hattie Kinney joined December 22, 1887 (died December 22, 1929)
John S. Jones joined December 25, 1887
Nancy E. Jones joined December 25, 1887
George Hughes joined December 27, 1887
Charley Jones joined December 27, 1887
Lena Hughes joined December 27, 1887
Minnie Jones joined December 27, 1887
Kitie Williams joined December 27, 1887
Thaddeaus Montgomery joined Dec. 26, 1887 (died Jan. 18, 1921)
Cnitha Frederick joined December 26, 1887 (Cnitha Montgomery)
Organization of the Church
October 6, 1889, Eureka School House
After sermon with Sister Miller in chair, the following officers were elected: Secretary - G. H. Erhardt, Elder - Michael Erhardt, Deacons - G. H. Erhardt and James Griffin. Members appointed on the Financial Committee - Treasurer, Nimrod Taylor, Sister M. Hilgenberg, Sister S. E. Shultz, and Brother G. Hughes.
June 7, 1890 - Sister Miller give us a brief sermon on the Epistle of Timothy after which with Sister Miller in chair, Bro. M. Erhardt, Bro. James Griffin, and G. H. Erhardt were elected to select pastor for next year. Bro. Robert, Bro. N. Taylor and Bro. R. Hughes were elected as Soliciting Committee. Sabbath morning listened to a good sermon found in Rev. 22:17 (text - whoever will let him take the water of life freely). - G. H. Erhardt, Sec.
July 12, 1890, Eureka School House - After sermon with Sister Miller in chair, the minutes of previous meeting were read and approved. Bro. Chess Roberts and Bro. J. M. Erhardt was elected as delegates to conference and as alternate Sister Nora Taylor and Sister Alace McDonald, then proceded to ballot on pastor in which Sister Miller was chosen. - G. H. Erhardt, Sec.
January 10, 1891 - After prayer and social meeting remarks by different brethren in regard to building a new church house. The chair appointed for Building Committee: M. Erhardt, Chairman; G. H. Erhardt, John Holten; A. Sentel; T. G. Roberts. Soliciting Committee: M. Erhardt, R. Hughes; J. McDonald; N. Taylor; J. Griffin. - G. H. Erhardt, Sec.
April 4, 1891 - Building Committee met and decided on plan of house, viz. Size 30 feet by 40 feet by 14 feet high, between one-third and one-half pitch, arch ceiling, stone foundation with 25 pillars, two by six studding, rafters 14 x 22, eight light windows. Motion to let Fuson & Davis Bros. furnish lumber at amended by adding price of lumber which was $410 first cost. Also located church building ground, S. E. quarter of S. E. quarter of Section 3, Twp. 15, Range 6 of Moultrie County, Illinois. Seventeen rods, ten feet west, thence north nine rods, thence west five rods, thence south nine rods, thence east five rods as 45 square rods. - G. H. Erhardt, Sec.
April 10, 1891 - Four of Committee met and talked over church business in regard to best way to be safe in building church. Bro. Sentel absent.
April 11, 1891- Three of Committee met at Pierson and let contract to Fuson & Davis Bros. to do carpenter work on church building. Amended by adding price of carpenter work which was $120, also agree to use sheeting __?__. Sentel and Taylor absent. - G. H. Erhardt, Sec.
April 18, 1891, Eureka School House - After a warm prayer and social meeting with Sister Miller in chair, the minutes of previous meetings were read and amended by fixing prices to lumber and work for church building. Three trustees of church elected: Nimrod Taylor, Michael Erhardt, Geo. H. Erhardt.
May 16, 1891, Eureka School House - Sister Miller reading part of third chapter of Titus, then prayer and social meeting, after which roll was called, only a few members present. Bro. and Sister Taylor with Bro. and Sister Shultz and others requested their names transferred from Atwood Church book and placed on ours. The chair requested the Elder and Deacons to see after a few young members who have been negligent of duty. By vote of house Sr. Gussine Heinzelmann was granted a letter. - Geo. H. Erhardt, Sec.
June 21, 1891, Eureka School House - After prayer and social meeting with Sister Miller in chair, proceeded to ballot for name of church in which Union Christian Chapel was selected. Sister K. E. Miller chosen as Pastor for ensusing year. Sister K. E. Miller, Pastor - G. H. Erhardt, Clerk.
July 18, 1891, Eureka School House - After prayer and social meeting with Sister Miller in chair, minutes of previous meeting were read and approved. Roll called, ten answered to name. By vote of church, Sister Minnie Roberts, Sister M. E. Hilgenberg and daughters, Jennie and Carrie, were granted letters. Moved and seconded for G. H. Erhardt to act as Finance Committee for church. Bros. H. C. Wood and R. B. Schultz were elected as delagates to conference, alternates, Sister Lucy Wood and Bro. Edward Erhardt. - G. H. Erhardt, Clerk.
October 17, 1891, U. C. Chapel - After prayer and social with Bro. Lawrence in chair, minutes of previous were read and approved. Then chairman of Building Committee made a report in regard to cost of church. Motion received report as read prevailed. Moved and seconded to appoint or let someone volunteer to take care of church one month and alternate month about. Geo. H. Erhardt volunteered. Meeting closed by singing and collection $2.10. Benediction pronounced. - Geo. H. Erhardt, Clerk; Geo. D. Lawrence, Pastor.
(Editors Note: Minutes were not found on month by month basis. No minutes were found from July 18, 1891 to October 17, 1891, when it was first recorded in minutes that they had moved in the now U. C. Chapel and the change from Sr. K. E. Miller, Pastor to Geo. D. Lawrence, Pastor. This book is extremely fragile and very difficult to read, but there is a gold mine of records and history in it dating from 1887 through 1959. Someone has added extra dates of baptism, death, moved away, etc. to the names listed on the membership.)
Members joined under Sister K. E. Miller, March 1889
A. C. Roberts
John A. Hilgenlerg
Nellie Hilgenberg Buxton
Henry W. Hilgenberg
Geo. H. Erhardt
Mary Hilgenberg Buxton
Benjimine (?) Erharett
M. E. Hilgenberg
Jacob M. Erhardt
Members joined at Revival held by Sr. K. E. Miller Dec. and Jan. 1890-91:
J. L. Clark
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