ORGANIZATIONS.
The United Presbyterian Church—Was organized in 1855 by the Rev. Matthew Bigger, and was at that time known as the Twin Grove
congregation. The names of the first trustees elected are as follows John Mitchell, chairman ; W. P. Collins, secretary ; trustees, S. E.
Kussell, J. B. Mitchell, and W. P. Collins. The membership then numbered twenty-eight, and was organized under the care of the Associate Reform Presbyterian at Monmouth. John Collins, John Mitchell, Sr., and Samuel Ross were members of the session. The first regular pastor was the Rev, D. C. Cochran, who was installed in the spring of 1857. There has been since the organization of the society about 325 members united with them. The present membership is 110. The largest number of members attending services at any one time was 130. The present pastor is the Rev. W. S. McClannahan.
The present session is composed of the following-named members : Richard Gardner, J. C. Pinkerton, Leonard Hogg. Richard
Aitkin, James Stewart, and S. E. Russell. The present trustees are :W. C. Breckenridge, John Ashenhurst and S. E. Russell. The Sabbath
school in connection is in a very flourishing condition and numbers about 100 members. This congregation is one of the largest and most
prosperous in the county. The church building was erected in 1857; in 1876 additional improvements were made. The entire cost of the
building was about $4,500.

Methodist Episcopal.—This society was organized in 1867. The first trustees being Delos Crosby, Jonah Flora, James M. Walker,
E. J. Morgan, Elias Beachlor, George Griffin, and O. R. Morey. The church building was completed in 1870. The first pastor was the Rev.
Theodore Hoagland. Owing to very imperfect records the data in regard to this organization are very meagre. The society was first
organized by the Rev. J. Fleharty, who held meetings in the old brick school house, and through whose earnest efibrts many converts were
brought into communion with Christ.

Congregational Church—This society was organized in 1857, by the Rev. C. H. Eaton, who acted as the first regular pastor. The
church building was erected the same year. The first trustees were B. C. Perkins, Joseph Schofield, George Bolton, Thomas Merriman, John A. Hoffman. This organization was in a very flourishing condition until about 1865-6, but having been originally composed of memberswho had previously belonged to other denominations, it began to decrease in number and soon became practically extinct.

Presbyterian.-This, society was organized April 22, 1872, in the old Congregational church building, and was made up principally of
persons who had formerly been members of the Edwards river congregation, and the old Congregationalist church at Yiola. The first pastor
was the Rev. E. Robb, licentiate of Auburn, New York, seminary. The first elders were Russell Park and Hopkins Boom. In 1878 the
society erected a church building at a cost of about $2,700. This building is pleasantly located, surrounded by a natural grove, and is
an ornament to the village. The interior of the building is handsomely finished, and furnished to correspond. The congregation is in a prosperous condition, and is at present under the supervision of the Rev. R. H. Fulton.

Bethel Church.—About four miles west of Viola a society was organized in 1854, and was called the Bethel Free Presbyterian Cliurch.
At the time of organization the membership numbered twenty. .J. R. Whittim was the first pastor, and the tirst trustees were James McClure,
William M. Carnahan, and John Carnuhan, The church was known by the above name until 1866, when slavery had ceased to be an issue
and the name was changed to Wesleyan Methodist, and since has gone by that name.

 

History of Mercer & Henderson Counties

 

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