The Ash Grove Christian Church was the first church founded in this community. It was founded on the first Sunday in June, 1832, and on the first Sunday in June, 1956, they celebrated their 124th anniversary.
The first meeting place was a log building heated by a large fireplace. The seats were made of split logs hewed with a broad axe. The seats had legs but no backs. This building was used until 1856. This church was organized with 18 members and the Reverend John Storm was their first minister. This man was very influential in the early life of this fine community. The hardships that he and his congregation endured have brought to our present time a heritage that will continue to live as long as time lasts.
On the first Sunday in June 1856, the congregation, having outgrown the log church, a new frame building was dedicated. This building was adequate until 1887 when the present building was erected. Improvements were added as needed and in 1929 and 1930 the building was modernized and rededicated on the first Sunday in June 1930.
This is the oldest church in our community and they are to be congratulated for their long life of service to not only this immediate vicinity but to the Christian cause in the world
Services are held regularly and each year on the first Sunday in June they hold a meeting which has been called the "June Meeting" for many years and at which time they celebrate the anniversary of their church. People come from long distances to attend this meeting which lasts all day, they having services in the morning and afternoon with a bountiful basket dinner at noon. The Rev. B. J. Steed is the present pastor.
The Sand Creek Church of Christ was organized in 1834 by Elder John Storm. There were 11 members at first. By 1880 they had a membership of 85. Elder Grinder was their minister for 44 years and Elder P. P. Warren was associated with him in this capacity for 30 years. The 109th Anniversary was held August 5, 1934. This church has produced several ministers who have become forceful speakers an t have done much to build the cause of Christ in the community. The present building was built in 1874 at a cost of $1200.00. This church is active and has services regularly.
The first Methodist Church in this community was built in 1840 near Sulphur Spring and was called the Sulphur Springs Methodist Church. It was a log house 30x40 feet. It was heated by a fireplace and the seats were hand hewn split logs on legs. This building served the church until 1870, when a nice frame building was erected. The congregation disbanded a few years ago, the members who were left transferring their membership to other churches. The church building was torn down in 1954.
There were services held in Whitley Township in people's homes. The first sermon was preached in the cabin of Samuel Linley in 1828 by the Rev. Miles H art, a Methodist minister Wm. Martin, a Baptist, preached here in 1820 and organized a society the same year. The first church was built in section 8 by the Baptist Church, Rev. Whitfield being one of the first ministers. It was a hewed log structure with puncheon seats and floor. This church prospered for many years. No services have been held there for some time but the church still stands as a silent reminder of the meetings held there in the long ago.
The Smyser Christian Church was built soon after the Whitfield Church in 1837. The church was constituted by Elder Tobias Grider. There were only two charter members, John Hendricks and his wife, Cynthia. Samuel M. Smyser joined the church immediately after its organization. His wife and the following: John W. Edwards and wife, Nancy Drain, Joseph Lilly and wife joined a short time afterward. In 1841 Elder Grider, being engaged elsewhere, the congregation called Elder Levi Fleming to preach for them. They held a meeting for three or four days and eight or ten were added to the church by baptism. By 1843 there were about 25 members and by 1877 there were around 120 members. The present church was built in 1875. This is today a very active church with regular services as well as Sunday school. The Rev. Leroy Truloek is the present pastor. The 100th Anniversary was celebrated August 1, 1937.
A C u m b e r I a n d Presbyterian Church was organized in 1850 and a church was built of logs on Sand Creek and was called Pleasant Grove. After the city of Windsor was located, the congregation moved to town and erected a building on the corner of Ohio and Elm. This building was 44x60. The name was changed from Pleasant Grove to Windsor. The Rev. W. M. Barber came to this church in 1865 and with the exception of five years spent in Colorado, served this church as Pastor until his death in 1921. In 1875 a new church was built on the corner of Ohio and Maple Streets at a cost of $2000.000. This Church disbanded several years ago and the building was sold to the Bethany Church of Christ who now occupy
About 1840 a log house was built for meeting purposes in the northwest part of Windsor Township. They were a part of the Sand Creek congregation until 1871 when they decided to organize a separate congregation. They met in the Dodson and Baker schoolhouses and were known as the Wolf Creek congregation. They built a new church in 1874 for $1100.00 and changed their name to New Liberty. This church is active and holds services regularly.
The Richland Church was formed by John W. Morgan in 1855. This church has been interdenominational most of the time, ministers of different churches doing the preaching. The Rev. W. W Barber preached there some as did Baptist and Methodist ministers. The church has been closed for several years.
The First Methodist service held in Windsor was held in a cabinet
shop and J. W. Morgan preached the first sermon here. The first minister sent here by the Conference was the Rev. J. B. Reynolds in 1858, and services were held in homes Ol some other convenient place. On July 8, 1863 the trustees of the Church bought a lot from Ryder and Huggins for $1.00, and one from Will Cochran. A small building was built on this lot and this served as a home for the Church until 1882. In that year a brick building was built during the pastoral of the Rev. M. B. McFadden. At this time the church had 102 members. Commencement exercises, lecture courses, and many community affairs were held here. A union revival held by the team of Kirkland and Leonard 1911 was very successful and the old building being too small, they voted to build a new church. The new church was dedicated on Sunday, March 9, 1913, with an impressive service. All the ministers of the town took part, in addition to the visiting pastors. This was the first building in town to be lighted with electricity. The Central Illinois Public Service Co. made a special effort to get it connected. This Church has been quite active through the years and deserves a lot of credit for its service to the community. They have had an active Ladies Aid Society, which has done much to help in the work of the Church. The present church membership is 270.
The Windsor Christian Church was organized some time prior to 1859. The first building was erected in 1859, the ground for the Church being given to them by Dr. Jesse York, Windsor's first physician. The first building cost $2,500.00 and vitas dedicated by Elder John S. Sweeney of Paris, Ky. Dr. Jesse York, before his death, gave $1000.00 to be invested for the Church. The Church has been remodeled several times and a basement has been added. At this writing the Church is undergoing a complete overhauling. The capacity is to be almost doubled and it will be a beautiful Church when completed. This Church has enjoyed a steady growth for many years and is to be proud of its accomplishments in the Christian way. The Centennial will have a special significance with a fine new building. The Rev. Joe Veach is the present minister Present membership is about 400.
The Bethany Church of Christ held it's first meetings in a schoolhouse in the Bethany community in 1869. They took membership in ~ and Creek Church until their church was built in 1871, then transferred there. The building cost $1200.00, much of the work being done by members of the Church. They purchased the old Presbyterian Church in Windsor in 1952, selling the old house Church, and moved their meeting place to Windsor. They are quite active and hold services each Sunday. Elder Forrest Sisk - is their present minister.
Gaskill Church was named for John Gaskill, an early-educated Methodist minister, who was licensed to preach in Ohio in 1844. He enlisted in the Union Army in 1861 in Company C, 51st regiment, Ohio Infantry, and on account of poor health resigned and came home in December 1862. He was a Captain when discharged. He built up the Gaskill Church on his return from the Army and in 1865 he was a traveling minister on the Windsor Circuit. He was a Whip and east his first vote for President for Wm. Henry Harrison in 1840. Gaskill Church still has services on alternate Sundays and Sunday school every Sunday.
The Fletcher Chapel Methodist Church was built in 1874 at a cost of $1800.00. The first minister was J. W. Lapshaw. Meetings had been held before then in a log building, built by J. W. Reynolds in 1860. No meetings had been held in the Church for a long time, so it was sold and torn down in 1952. The last minister was H. H. Higgins.
In connection with this early history of the churches of our community, the author thought that this item should be included here. This item was taken from an old Windsor paper.
Carrie Brunk, daughter of Dr. C. H. Brunk, who later became the wife of Dr. E. M. Scott, was an accomplished musician. She had the first melodeon in Windsor and later owned the first piano. At one time she played for all three Windsor churches, they holding services at different times to make this possible.
The Windsor Universalist church was the last church to be organized in the Windsor community. It was organized on August 19, 1880, anal the church was built soon after in about 1882 or 1883. It was on the northeast corner of Chestnut and Broadway. The church was disbanded in 1917 and was torn down in 1934.
A church known as the Webb Church was located about three miles south of Windsor. It was of Baptist denomination and was torn down about 25 years ago.
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