Andalusia, Illinois Churches

The earliest meetings of the Methodist Episcopal Church Society were held during 1849, at the residence of Mrs. Sarah Buffum. At this time there were only about seven church members of all denominations in the township, and ministers were doing missionary work. Subsequently their meetings were held in various places, until the organization of the class at the residence of Joseph Garnett, at Sulphur Springs, in the Fall of 1858. The original members were: Mrs. Sarah Buffum, Elizabeth Eby, F. A. Cobb, Joseph Garnett, Mrs. Clara W. Ferguson and Mrs. Susan Garnett, at which time W. J. Giddings was pastor, succeeded by Reverend Mr. Linthecum, and Reverend Mr. Welsh in 1859. During their pastorate, the district school house was improved for the Baptist Church, and there they held their meetings. The Reverends Ashbaugh and Richmond in 1861; J. W. Barteles in 1864, and Mr. Martin in 1865. In 1866 the society built a house of worship, which was dedicated in March, 1867. The first church of the United Brethren in Christ, of Andalusia, held their first meetings in the Summer of 1863 in the district school house, the Reverend John Wenger preaching the first sermon; meetings only being held occasionally. It was mainly through the influence of H. S. Thompson and wife the services were had, and led to the organization of the church by Reverend Samuel Knox in September, 1864, at the school house. H. S. Thompson and wife, M. M. Thompson and Cynthia Smith were the original four members. H. S. Thompson was the first class leader and steward. The pastorate of the church was first filled by Reverend Samuel Knox. Reverend St. Clair Ross, during his pastorate in 1868, devised means for building a suitable house of worship. The Sabbath school maintained by this church, had its origin in a Union Sabbath school organized May 1, 1859. As the various churches grew strong enough, denominational Sabbath schools were established. The First Baptist Church of Andalusia held their first meetings in 1867. Pursuant to a business meeting of the Baptist Church held at Edgington the second Saturday in November, 1866, authorizing the Members of the church residing in Andalusia and vicinity, to form a separate organization. A meeting was called at Andalusia May 1, 1867, for the purpose of forming a church organization, which was done the evening of May 15, 1867, with a membership of twenty-five. They succeeded in providing a suitable meeting house at a cost of about $2,000, on a lot donated by S. M. Boney and others. Reverend O. T. Conger was the first pastor, followed by Reverends J. C. Post, Mr. Lamb, of Davenport, Iowa; James Young, S. D. Ross, Gilman Parker, Thomas A. Williams.

Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908

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