Sangamon County Church Histories

Advent Christian Church

The Advent Christian Church is located in Auburn, Illinois. It was organized in 1869 through the efforts of Elder Caulkins of Carlinville, Illinois. He held a number of meetings in Auburn prior to the establishment of the church and served as its first pastor. The early church met in the Masonic Lodge building for awhile. The first church was built in 1870, was remodeled about 1916 and is still used today.

The Advent Christian Church was not accepted at first by the other churches of Auburn due to the revolutionary beliefs upon which its faith is based. The main one of which was the Second Coming of Christ. However, its members were steadfast and firm in their beliefs and it soon became one of the strongest and largest chruches in Auburn. As the years have passed the older members passed away and their families moved to larger cities for their education and employment. The demonination being small over the country as a whole, few new people who came to Auburn had even heard of it and they were members of other churches. Thus the membership decreased rapidly and at the present time is quite small but those who remain are faithful to their church.
Rev. Bert M. Harrison


The history of the Mechanicsburg Christian Church had its beginning between the years of 1842-1846. A group of forty to fifty people I gathered at the home of Willoughby Churchill and organized the Church of Christ. Mr. William Pickrell donated the ground for the church lend parsonage; he also personally supervised making the brick in his own kiln. The building was started in 1854 and was dedicated in 1857 by Alexander Campbell, the found of the Christian Church of America. Among the leaders were the Pickrell's, Hampton's, Garvey's, Elkin's, Churchill's, Mrs.Langston and others.
[Source: "The Past and Present of Sangamon County" Transcribed by Debbie Quinn]

METHODIST CHURCH - Mechanicsburg

In 1837 the Fullenwider, Bullard, Morgan, Hall, Constant, Correll and Bird families, who were Methodist from Kentucky, organized a society and built their first church. This was used until 1863 and then made into a dwelling by Stephen Short. In 1861 the building of the present church was started. Josiah Smith was the architect, his brother William, and John Carman. During construction it was used for a recruiting station for Civil War Soldiers, and in August 1862 many of the members of Co. A, 73rd IL Inf. enlisted there. William Smith was Captain; Edward Bennett, lst Liet.; Thomas J. Underwood, 2nd Liet.; and Oliver McDaniel, Sgt. Others in the company were Emanuel Cross, Thomas Fortune, William Hazelrigg, P. H. Kiser, Jack Hesser, D. C. Fletcher, John Carman, John North, James Northcott, John Churchill, Richard and Thomas Baker, W. S. Bullard, and W. H. Bullard. The church was finished in 1863 when J. Montgomery was pastor.
[Source: "The Past and Present of Sangamon County" Transcribed by Debbie Quinn]


The first church was organized in 1857 with 12 members and was known as The First Presbyterian Church. John Wilson and Thomas Wilson were the Trustees. John Ledlie deeded Lots 13 and 14 Block the Trustees of the First Presbyterian Church and their successors. Among the first Ministers were Rev. J. G. Bergan, D.R. Todd, E. W. Thayer, W. G. Keady and B. E. Mayo. James Large was Village Blacksmith and served as the first Minister for said Church. In 1887 the Trustees of this Church deeded the property to the Trustees of the Christian Church of Dawson. J. M. Munson, James Large and Stephen Cooper were the Trustees. On April 26, 1930 at a meeting of the Board of Trustees it was decided to sell the Church and in April 1930 was sold to Margaret A. Morgan, one of the first members of the Church. The Wilsons, Wrights, Berrys, Richardsons and Constants were familiar names on the Roll.


Aaron Morgan and wife deeded to the Trustees of the Dawson M. E. Church on April 7, 1863, Lots 1 to 6 Block 2 Original Town. In 1864 a small one room structure made of brick with a belfry was built. The brick used for building the church was molded from clay taken from the church yard. Rev. Mr. Peter Cartwright was Presiding Elder when the Church was built and preached in the building before it was plastered. Rev. Hiram Buck was assigned Minister. Oak lumber was used for the seats and bricks were under each end of the boards. This type seat was used for over a year. In 1881 through the efforts of B. F. Valentine a bell costing $50.00 was purchased for the Church and put in the belfry and as it rang out to a quiet agricultural people in the bygone days it seems to have just the right note for the restless rushing age of today. Among the first preachers were I. C. Kimber, G. W. Fairbanks and Archibald Sloan. Dawson was first a part of Mechanicsburg Circuit, then with Riverton until 1902 when Dawson formed a Pastoral charge. Rev. J. B. Houts was Pastor in charge during the latter part of the late war 1864-1865. When President Lincoln was killed the Church was draped in mourning for 30 days. A most remarkable event happened when the Revival meeting of 1887 brought forth 85 converted souls.


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