Celebrating 150 years of ministry
The history of First Baptist Church Toulon really begins west of Toulon in a little know place called Fahrenheit. "On June 15, 1839, when Stark County was but about three months old, the Society of Baptists known as the Fahrenheit Church, was organized in Goshen Township, in what was called the Miner Settlement. Among the early members were Charles H. Miner and his wife, Selden Miner and wife, Elisha Gill and wife, Mrs. Parrish, J. M. Stickney and wife, and Susan M. Eastman. Elder Jonathan Miner, who was active in organizing the church, served as pastor until 1844. Meetings were held at Mrs. Chas. H. Miner's until about 1830, when the church building at Lafayette was completed." (1)
In 1848 a Baptist Church was organized at Toulon. J. M. Stickney. Elisha Gill and H. T. Ives were chosen delegates to the Illinois River Association. Stickney and Gill had withdrawn from the Fahrenheit Church, as had a number of others, to assist in the organization of the Toulon Baptist Church.
The first record of the Toulon Baptist Church begins as follows: "May 13, 1848. Several persons, all members of Baptist churches in this vicinity, met in conference at the house of S. W. Eastman in Toulon. On motion, Elder Elisha Gill was called to the chair and W. M. Miner was chosen clerk. After religious services were over, the subject of becoming a regular Baptist church was fully discussed. Whereupon the following resolutions were by us, adopted:
1- That we hereby resolve ourselves into a church conference, viz. - Elder Elisha Gill, Elder J. M. Stickney, Ozias Winter, Henry T. Ives, Abigail Gill, Cynthia Stickney, Helen Winter, Hannah Parrish, Susan M. Eastman, Mrs. H. T. Ives, and Mrs. Sarah Chamberlain.
2- That we call a counsel to meet at this place on Saturday before the 4th Lord's Day in June at 10 ½ o'clock A. M. to recognize us as a church, if thought best.
3- That the clerk be instructed to invite the following churches to meet by their delegates, viz. - LaMarsh, Berwick, Monmouth, Galesburg, Oxford, LaMoille, Mt. Palatine, and Washington.''
On June 24 the group met and "after deliberation, it was unanimously resolved to adopt the Covenant and Confession of Faith as found in the minutes of the Ills. River Association of 1845."'
On the same day, delegates from the following churches gathered as a Council as called by the Toulon Conference; LaMarsh, Oxford, Washington, Wethersfield, and Fahrenheit. (This last named church was situated about midway between Toulon and LaFayette and later moved to the latter place. Some of its members joined the Toulon church.)
The Covenant and Articles of Confession of Faith adopted by the Conference were examined together with their circumstances and prospects and having been found satisfactory, it was voted to recognize the Conference as "The First Baptist Church of Christ in Toulon, Stark Co., Ills.," This was done the following day in a rather elaborate ceremony "performed by the Counsel before a large and attentive congregation."
The new church seems to have had a steady growth, one or two new members having been received at nearly every covenant meeting.
On July 22, 1848, "Rev. J. M. Stickney was invited to continue his labors with us as heretofore" and a committee was appointed to circulate a subscription for the Rev. Stickney. Monthly Covenant meetings were held regularly and Communion services quarterly.
"In June 1848, Elders Gill, Stickney and H. T. Ives were chosen delegates to the Illinois River Association. Elder Stickney was clerk, succeeded by W. T. Bly in June 1848. Rev. C. E. Tinker and Elder Gardner presided here at the council of recognition in this month. In July Ozias Winter was appointed clerk. Mrs. Catherine Buchanan joined the church in 1848, also Geo. W. Buchanan and Martha Merchant were baptized, and Lucretia Rouse. Thos. Godfrey and wife, Hugh Y. Godfrey, Armina and Elizabeth Godfrey were received by letter. In 1849 Mary Winn was received. In 1850 Elder Gross, who succeeded Mr. Stickney, in August 1851, came here and preached at intervals. The Colburns, Gardners, Whiffens, Parmelia Barton, Belshers, Baldwins, and Nelsons were received in 1850-1. During the revival of November 1851, John and Pleasant Culbertson, W. B. Sweet, and a number of others were received, Rev. Barry assisting."(2)
Perhaps no church in our county, surely none in our town, ever conducted series of revival meetings that attracted such general attention, and were attended with such surprising results as this. We learn from the records that on October 21, 1851, Elder Barry, from Little Falls, New York, was first introduced to the church by Elder Gross, its pastor. And Moody and Sankey with all the eclat derived from their European tour, can hardly monopolize public attention more completely in the large cities they visit, than did Elder Barry and his preaching, the attention of our little town in 1851. As the result of this meeting, about thirty persons, all of mature age and high standing, were immersed and received into the communion of the church, at one time, besides many more who followed soon after the meeting had formally closed. The devout clerk records that he reckons a richer treat was never enjoyed by American Christians! (3)
"And again in 1853, the church held meetings at the old court house every day from December 30, until January, 29, 1854, on which day fourteen more were immersed, and in all twenty-one received. Thus this church waxed rich and strong, and seemed to be favored by Heaven, above all her contemporaries. She built the substantial brick edifice just south of the court house square, and inscribed it as the "First Baptist Church of Toulon, erected A. D. 1854." (4)
"Covenant meetings were held on the Saturday afternoon before Communion. Some now, do not know what a Covenant meeting was. Members were expected to attend and if they neglected to do so a few times and were careless about church attendance, a committee was sent to call and find out the reason. It was no uncommon thing for such members to have the hand of fellowship withdrawn, or to be excluded because of unchristian conduct. The records of these meetings closed many times with the words "a heavenly spirit pervaded the meeting" or "a good degree of spiritual enjoyment." Sometimes it was "we had an interesting time" or "a good degree of union exists but great want of spirituality." Many who had been dealt with returned asking forgiveness, acknowledging their sin, and wishing to be reinstated. It is interesting to note that on Covenant Meeting Day the farmers laid aside their work at noon. The family dressed in their best and in farm wagons, jogged to church. Crops did not seem to suffer from this, for these people seemed to prosper.
"On one occasion, one of the Deacons asked to be granted dismissal; said he did not want to be a stumbling block in the path of any. Before taking action, the report of a committee was asked for, a committee which had been delegated to call on a brother who had been absenting himself from services. The report of the committee was that man guessed he did not believe like the church anymore, and that he did not like the above mentioned Deacon and some other members. He was at once dismissed from membership and no more attention paid to the Deacon's request. Later, this man came before the church for reinstatement, confessing his sin, and was accepted. One old Irish woman who could neither read nor write wanted to be a Christian but love of strong drink caused her to fall. Several times she was excluded for unchristian conduct but would repent and beg forgiveness. She finally conquered and lived to old age, doing the best she knew." (5)
"Up to 1851 meetings were generally held in the courthouse. A revival in November 1851, added several new members to the congregation and early in 1852 a movement was started to build a church." (6) "In 1852, Benj. and Hannah Packer were received, also Catherine Whitaker. In July 1852, S. W. Eastman and L. E. Miner were elected deacons."(7) In September 1852, the church considered the question of securing a lot and erecting a building. "In October the first meeting to discuss the question of building a meeting house was held, and the pastor asked to confer with J. C. Van Osdell, architect, of Chicago, regarding plans, etc. Eastman, Sweet and Jones were appointed a committee on subscription in town, and H. T. Ives, Benj. Packer and Ephriam Colburn in the country." (8) On November 4 following, the church voted to purchase the lot on which the present building stands and on February 12, 1853. a deed was executed to the Trustees of the First Baptist Church of Toulon for this property, the consideration being $137.00. Plans were drawn for a brick house to be 36 feet by 58 feet and bids were secured for this building. The cornerstone was laid in 1854 and the building was completed and dedicated in a special service on March 25, 1855.
"Once in 1859 the sisters were asked to come at 9 o'clock on a certain morning for the purpose of cleaning the house of worship. Those who did not come were asked to send 25c to be applied on the expenses of the church. At another time, it was resolved "to employ some person to take charge of our meeting house for the purpose of keeping it clean, and in order to light the lamps, make fires when necessary, and ring the bell on Sabbath days at the hours of service, under the direction of the Deacons." Brother Wagner then proposed to do all of said work for a term of one year for a wage of $25." (9)
"This church waxed rich and strong, and seemed to be favored by Heaven, above all her contemporaries... These were the palmy days of her life wherein she rejoiced, but storms were gathering, although the cloud at present seemed "no bigger than a man's hand." Thereafter her history was to be a sort of travesty on the "decline and fall of the Roman Empire." Abuses of power on the one hand, and fierce resistance on the other, charges, conflicts of opinion, expulsions for heresy, impeachment and excommunication of one leader, only to effect a change, not a redress of grievances, until after a bitter experience with a so-called revivalist, Elder S. A. Estee, February 1868, it was finally 'resolved, that whereas, the troubles and difficulties existing in the First Baptist Church of Toulon have reached so great a magnitude, that we can see no way of settling them so we can live in peace, and advance the cause of Christ, therefore, resolved, that all the members of this church who subscribe to this resolution, have the privilege of asking for letters of dismission, and that the same be granted by the church. ' " (10)
"Here now was revolution and secession all in a nutshell; and a fiercer than political contest was waged by a few determined spirits to prevent the dissolution of the old church; but the majority triumphed and the vote to disband was cast February 29th, 1868. And "all the property of the first Church, was to be surrendered to a committee, to be held for the benefit of another Baptist church hereafter to be organized." This majority then adjourned "to meet in Mr. Hiram Willett's store building the next Sunday morning at 10½ o'clock."
"The pastors of this body since 1848, down to the division in 1868, were, named in the order of time, Elders J. M. Stickney, A. Gross C. Brinkerhoff, Myron H. Negus, William Leggett, A. J. Wright, E. P. Barker, Dodge and S. A. Estee.
"But Mr. Culbertson had made a deed of the church property, only so long as it remained in possession of the First Baptist Church at Toulon, and in the event of that body ceasing to exist, the church building would revert to his heirs. Therefore, the most strenuous efforts were put forth by a few to sustain an organization that should comply with the conditions necessary to hold the property.
"They still continued to meet in the old church, and although but a handful, proceeded to engage Rev. Brimhall as a pastor, and in August 1868, elected as trustees, John Culbertson, Owen Thomas, Jacob Wagner, and Harlan Pierce. (11)
As a result of this situation, a number of the members withdrew from the First Baptist Church and on March 4, 1868, formed the Second Baptist Church of Toulon. A lot was purchased at the corner of Main and Olive streets for the sum of $600.00 and a deed was executed on April 27, 1868. "The Second Baptist Church may be said to have been organized March 4. 1868. and to have continued in existence until September. 1877. From 1858 to 1868 the question of title to church property led to disagreements and ultimately to the formation of the Second society. In March 1868, a new society was organized, and a house of worship erected the same year at a cost of $2,372. Elders W. A. Welsher, Gowan, Negus, Hart and Van Osdell were the leading preachers. Among the leading members were Stephen W., Mrs. M., Miss Eliza and Miss Celestia Eastman, A. F. Stickney, Luther Geer, H. Y. Godfrey, Benjamin Packer and wife, Abram, Mrs. C. and Miss Lettie and Miss Martha Bowers, Mrs. C. Lyon and Miss M. Henry, Otis Dyer, L. Clark, Julius Ives and Hiram Willett, the latter losing fellowship in 1870 because he "could no longer conscientiously maintain and indorse the articles of faith as interpreted by the church." The consolidation of the old and new churches in 1877 healed up all contentions, and the building and lots were sold to the Catholic congregation." (12)
"On July 8, 1868, a number of the few remaining members of the first church assembled, with S. A. Estee moderator and acting clerk. Seven resolutions, of a conciliatory character were adopted dealing with the case of Reverends Estee and Barker. In August 1868, Rev. S. Brimhall was called, and on January 1, 1870, he was elected trustee, vice John Culbertson, deceased. On April 8, 1871, Elder Stickney was recalled as pastor and clerk, and served until September 1873.
"But to return to the annals of the first Baptist church we find it reduced to about half a dozen members, and asking Elder Stickney to again minister to its spiritual wants, as he had done at the beginning. This for a time he did, but the real leader of this little flock is the Elder's wife, Mrs. Cynthia Stickney. One of the original members of this church, which really drew its life from her father's family and her own, she has shared its fortunes with unswerving fidelity; shrinking from no labor, however toilsome or distasteful, sparing no expense, whatever the personal sacrifice, she today sustains the remnant by her own indomitable will. While we cannot share her convictions, or believe that "the hand of the Lord" is discernible in the record we have been tracing, we can stand in the outer court, in this era of apostasy and materialism, and admire a faith and courage so sublime, qualities that in the by gone ages would have made their possessor a saint or martyr, or perhaps both. But, a prophet is still without honor among his own; and this lady walks humbly amongst us, claiming little, and perchance receiving less." (13)
"In May 1875, Elder L. D. Gowen's name appears for the first time. He was here also in 1876 until succeeded by Elder J. C. Hart, who was here when this old church consolidated with branch or new church, which had its meeting-house on Main Street." (14)
On September 21, 1877, a meeting was held to consider the question of consolidating the two Baptist churches of Toulon, under the title, "The Baptist Church of Toulon." Squire Van Osdell presided H. Y. Godfrey, clerk. The question was decided affirmatively, and B. Packer, S. W. Eastman. N. F. Wynans, Owen Thomas and H. Y. Godfrey were elected trustees. In October Benjamin Packer was chosen treasurer, solicitor and collector; John O. Weed, sexton, and Messrs. B. Packer, Geer, Eastman and Williamson, deacons. At this meeting a resolution to sell the frame church on Main Street, and hold the brick house for worship was carried. In November 1877, Rev. A. C. Keen was called as pastor at an annual salary of $700. In December, James M. Stickney, Benjamin Packer and N. F. Wynans were appointed delegates to the conference at Farmington. In this month also the trustees purchased the Otis Dyer property for a parsonage. In April 1878, the Main street church was sold for $1700, one-half cash and balance standing out at ten per cent. In 1878 the ladies of this church supplied dinner at the Stark county fair grounds, realizing $303.13, less $152 expenses. Dr. A. E. Baldwin became a member. In June 1879, Rev. B. F. Colwell was called as pastor. In January 1880 Mortimer Packer was chosen collector, vice B. Packer. The members who signed the constitution of the consolidated churches in September 1577, are named as follows: Abram Bowers and wife, Mrs. Martha Berfield, Mrs. Harriet Blair, Andrew Baldwin, Julia Baldwin, Sarah Berfield, Eliza Beers, Albert Bowers and wife, S. B. Barton, Mrs. Polly Crandle, Mrs. Mary Crumb, Miss Charlotte Cross, Mrs. Emma Cooley, Margaret Conover, Mrs. Celestine Dack, S. W. Eastman, Mrs. Martha Eastman, H. Y. and Henry S. and Miss E. and Miss Isabelle Godfrey, Maggie Greer, Mrs. A. Flora Gill, Flora Gill, Clarence Guire, John E. and L. D. and Mrs. A. M. Gowin; Luther, Abba, Avery and Kate Geer; Ellen, Frances, Lucy and Mrs. Hickson Mrs. A. House, J. C. Hart and wife, Harriet Hall, Minerva Lyon, Caroline Lyon, Jenny Lyon and Modella Lyon, S. W. and Sarah Mering, Nancy Mote, Martha Perry, Mrs. Louisa Phillips, Benjamin, jr., Mrs. Hannah Mortimer, Charles and Miss C. Packer, Bethuel, Mrs. Regina and Mrs. Caroline Pierson, Mrs. C. Pliter, Mrs. L. Rennick, Mrs. J. Rankin, John Riggs, Miss N. Remington, and Mary Robb, Mrs. Simmerman, Mary Sarah Shockley. Mrs. Lettie Silliman and Sarah Silliman, John H. Stickney, Mrs. C. K. Stickney, Mrs. Esther A. Smith,' Mrs. Ester Twiss, Mary Twiss, Mrs. E. J. Treat, Owen Thomas and Mrs. Sarah Thomas, G. C. Van Osdell, Mrs. C. A. Van Osdell, Mary Willett, Nancy White, Elisabeth White, Joseph Weed, N. F. Wynans, Sarah Wynans, Miss Laura Wise, Frank Williams and wife, Jacob Wagner and wife, Mrs. John O. Weed, Sarah Weed, Mrs. Charlotte Woods, Mrs. Nancy E. Walling, Rose Whitwell, Mary Winn." (15)
From that time on, the interest seemed to increase and the church grew in numbers and power.
From the beginning, the church was affiliated with the Illinois River Association and the record shows it entertained the Association in 1866, which was before the present Peoria Baptist Association was organized.
"Back in 1886, after much discussion, a baptistry was installed by the pulpit in the south end of the room. Some still preferred to be immersed in running water and the records tell of such occasions at Spoon River, in the Jug Run vicinity, and also in Indian Creek. The baptistry and pulpit were placed at the west when the church was rebuilt and the pews arranged as they are now. Dressing rooms for the baptistry were built later at the west but with the understanding that the old wall must not be disturbed. This probably accounts for the round window that used to be over the baptistry. That was removed when the church was remodeled about 1915 but the shadow still shows through the paint. The baptistry has had its ups and downs, leaks, and so on. Finally the women told the Trustees that if they would fix it right, the women would foot the bill, which they did to the tune of $300. A water heater was also provided." (16)
The original building was used for services from its completion in 1855 until the record states that on "September 22, 1894, 1:40 A. M. church was struck by lightning and destroyed by fire. Walls standing. Furniture mostly saved. ' ' The local newspaper carried the following article. "During the heavy thunder storm of Friday night the Baptist church was struck by lightning and set on fire and burned to the ground.
"About one o'clock or half past one a terrible crash aroused all the people in the neighborhood of the church who were not already awakened by the violence of the storm. The bolt struck the tall steeple of the church and slivered it up but apparently did not do any further damage. Several in the immediate vicinity looked out of their windows or doors but saw no signs of fire.
"About half an hour after the crash the families of Cyrus Worley, Knot Keffer and several others in the immediate neighborhood were awakened by a great glare of light. Looking out they saw a most magnificent and awe-inspiring spectacle. The tall steeple was wrapped in flames. They had burst out in one great blaze completely enveloping the belfry and towering spire.
"Immediately they raised the cry of fire and in a few seconds the fire bell was at work. Added to the din of a hundred voices screaming, yelling and hallooing fire a freight engine at the depot began the most unearthly whistling and aroused all in that end of town, for which the train crew deserves a vote of thanks. The sleeping citizens of our town were given every opportunity to awake and for those who did not we feel profound pity, for it forces us to believe that Gabriel's trump will fail to waken them and they will miss what is advertised to be the grandest pyrotechnic display ever seen or imagined.
"The fire company and hundreds of people were soon filling the court yard and streets around the burning building. It hardly looked as though the building could be saved with the insufficient apparatus which our town has furnished, but the boys went bravely to work. With the help of many men and boys a part of the furniture and fixtures were saved in fair condition.
"It was such a wet night the other buildings were not in any danger. Had it been dry, as it was six weeks ago, it is quite likely that the Court house would have burned and perhaps the wooden row on the north side of Main Street. There was a very heavy wind blowing from the south and a great shower of sparks poured over the maples In the court yard covering the roofs of the county buildings but men stood on guard and no anxiety was felt on that score.
"The church burned for about an hour. The boys managed to get control of the fire after the main building was completely gutted, except the south half of the floor. The roof was burned off the wing and the door and middle casing destroyed but the floor was saved and the new furnace is reported all right. The loss total would be $8,000 or $10,000, but it is thought the walls are all right for use again. If so it will cost about $5,000 to refit and refurnish it. Strange as it may seem there was no insurance, so the loss will be total. Immediate steps have been taken to rebuild this church. Every person in any way interested in the welfare of this town should give at once and liberally.
"This church, especially during Mr. Hick's pastorate, has done untold good towards the right up building of our town and county and it should not be allowed to stand idle. Our citizens have, in the main, been very generous in these matters, and we think we can safely say to our Baptist friends that if they go to work at once (while the spell is on) that they will be able to hold Thanksgiving service in their new church The News stands ready to do all it can to forward the work.
"Last Sunday the Baptists of Toulon, that is the Baptist church organization, were without a home. For the first time for forty years the old bell failed to call forth its people. It lay dismantled amidst heaps of ashes and debris. The once handsome church edifice was a mass of smouldering ruins and blackened walls. Where the sunlight often broke through tinted windows, lighting in softened colors on floor and pew, it now streamed through great holes in the bare walls and seemed trying to brighten up the dreary interior where but a few hours ago all was so bright and cozy.
"While all feel greatly the loss of this fine old building, to many of the members its loss means more than most of us realize. To some there are associations most dear. Some look to it with reverence and tenderness. It was where they first saw the great light of their God's love and first understood why that love was precious and so lasting. Some look to it with a feeling akin to love. It is there they have met with loved ones in the many years that are past and while many of those have gone to worship in God's eternal tabernacle those who still remain, gathered each week to renew their pledges and together rejoice in the light of His promise. To these it almost seemed the spirit of the departed faithful gathered and worshiped with them. Those who have thus labored in this of the Lord's great vineyard had come to regard their church with almost the same feeling as home. To one especially, Mother Stickney, will this loss come heavily. Through months of trouble she came, each Sabbath day, rang the bell, read the bible and praised God, all alone. Others might desert the old church but she remained faithful and when the storm was o'er the old church rang again with the sweet music of prayer and praise until now it lies broken and blackened.
"Let us hope that out of the ashes it will rise, pure and noble and good, Indeed "tried by fire" and "found not wanting."
"At a business meeting of members of the Baptist Church, held in the Town Hall, Tuesday afternoon, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
Resolved, That we hereby express our thanks to the members of the Toulon Fire Company for their labor and heroism on the night of the fire which consumed our church building and we acknowledge, also, the kindness of all whose services were so freely given on that occasion,
Resolved, That we acknowledge the courtesy of our sister churches offering us the use of their church buildings in our calamity, and return but sincere thanks therefor."(17) The church immediately rebuilt and during the time of rebuilding services were held in the Town Hall. The next extensive repairs were made in 1915 when the addition on the east was added and the building arranged as we have it at the present time.
About the time of the completion of the rebuilding a paper was presented to the Old Settlers of Stark County. The section on the Baptist Church is quoted below:
"As the new Baptist church nears completion and the expectant members of that organization are impatiently waiting to occupy the new edifice, my mind has been busy with the past, and the editor of the News has asked me to write some reminiscence for the columns of his paper. Feeling sure that there are many still living who feel an interest in those who constituted the membership and congregation forty years ago, I have concluded to give a pen picture of the church as it appeared to me at that time. Elder Brinkerhoff of New Jersey had been chosen pastor, and stood on tiptoe behind an enormous pulpit, trying to see the congregation, and the congregation were equally anxious to see the preacher, yet all that was visible to the naked eye was his towering intellect.
"After reading the twenty-first chapter of St. John, he took for his text the last part of the seventeenth verse: "Jesus saith unto him, feed my sheep." No carpet was to be seen save a narrow strip behind the pulpit for the preacher to stand upon, to drown the sound of his feet--for some ministers will preach with their feet. The aisles were about four inches lower than the pews. The latter had small doors, and these doors were fastened by some sort of a fixture needing an expert to open them, and it was nothing unusual to see people from the rural districts, not familiar with the city airs, standing amazed at this strange combination, and finally striding over the door and seating themselves in the pew; but later the janitor was instructed to open all these doors before the service began, and thus obviate this difficulty. At a still later date the doors were removed and the aisles were raised to a level with the pews, doing away with the obstruction, so that the custom of coming into the pews on "all fours" became obsolete. For several years after Elder Brinkerhoff returned to his native state the ministers seemed to be selected with reference to the height of the pulpit, and we had a series of long, lean men.
"At the time of which I write, the Baptist bell was the only church bell in our town, and the first Sabbath it called the worshipers together was quite an event in the history of the people. It was not a bell such as we hear in the cathedrals. It was not silver-tongued, but its tones were always sweet to those who gathered at its call in the old brick church, and, as it lay silent amid the debris after the church was in ashes, I looked upon it with feelings of tender regret, much as I look upon an old friend whose voice is hushed forever. This bell has been called "a cracked bell," "a nuisance." Perhaps these epithets were deserved, but do we speak thus of a friend after the sweet mellow voice of youth gives way to the harsh and broken voice of age? This bell will never disturb us any more. It has tolled its last requiem for the dead. It has said "Come" to the old church for the last time. The choir occupied the gallery on the north end of the church. Judson Brinkerhoff was the organist and James A. Henderson played an accompaniment on the violin. The singers were Amos P. Gill, Jerome B. Thomas, Mr. Carpenter, Henry Greenwood, Hugh Y. Godfry, Miss Ruth A. Meyers, Miss Mary Whittaker, Miss Mary J. Harris and Miss Abby Gardener. Messrs. Carpenter and Greenwood were transient residents of our town--both fine musicians. They were civil engineers and were engaged in surveying the "Air line railroad." A few years later Mr. Carpenter took a sea voyage for the benefit of his health, and died at sea. Mr. Greenwood was murdered in New Mexico, Amos P. Gill long since passed from sight, yet the rich tones of his bass are remembered by many still living here. Ten years ago James A. Henderson passed to the "summer land" within sound of the old church bell. Jerome B. Thomas is a resident of Dayton, Ohio. Hugh Y. Godfry lives at Lake Geneva, and still gladdens the hearts of his Toulon friends by an occasional visit, but he is such a good Baptist that nothing less than a lake can satisfy his craving for water. Miss Ruth A. Meyers, now Mrs. Turner, is an honored member of Toulon society, but sings the songs of Zion in the M. E. Church. Miss Mary Whittaker married E. H. Phelps, now of Kansas City. Miss Abby Gardener married Dr. Kitchen of Rockford, Ill. Miss Harris moved from here many years ago and her whereabouts are unknown to the writer. The officers of the church were Benj. Packer, Stephen Eastman, Robert Robb, Luther Geer, deacons; Oliver Gardener, church clerk; Jacob Wagner, janitor. Jacob Wagner and his good wife Gertrude kept the lamps trimmed and burning. All the officers above mentioned are sleeping the sleep of the just in our cemetery, excepting Deacon Packer, who is still with us, and is still busy with the interests of the church of his choice. Age cannot abate his zeal or cool his ardor. His devotion to the Master's work is surely worthy of commendation. This church has passed through some fierce conflicts, but those who have never been in battle know little about wearing the armor. As devout worshipers gathered there as ever knelt at a shrine. At this time the membership numbered about seventy, the congregation twice that number.
"One custom of these early days of which I must speak, was that of the congregation rising and turning around in the pews so as to face the choir, which, as I said before, occupied the gallery. Perhaps this fact could be accomplished with far less embarrassment now than in those days when it was the fashion for the ladies to wear exceedingly large hoops, so large that if by chance more than two ladies were seated in one pew, the matter of facing about was accomplished with much difficulty and serious results were liable to follow. These tragic movements had to be enacted three times during each service, and those seated near the gallery were obliged to stretch their necks like cranes to get a glimpse of the choir.
"At no time in the history of this church has the choir enjoyed such a reputation for first-class music as in those early days of its existence, the credit of which in great measure may be accorded to Mrs. Dr. Chamberlain, who was at that time a devout member of this church, and it was by her personal effort that the best musical talent of the town was secured.
"All that remains here today of those constituting the membership of the church forty years ago are Benjamin Packer and wife, John Berfield and wife, Mrs. Cynthia Stickney, Mrs. Stephen Eastman, Mrs. Luther Geer, Mrs. Miles A. Fuller, Mrs. Emily Culbertson and Mrs. P. M. Blair. "Old things have passed away, and behold all things have become new." (18)
In a deed dated December 4, 1877, the Trustees were given possession of a property on East Jefferson Street for use as a parsonage. (This is the property where Mrs. Cora Downend has resided...) The cost of this property was $1,000.00. This was used by the pastors of the church until 1898 when it was decided that it would be more convenient to have a building nearer the church and, after considerable discussion, it was decided to erect a building on the east end of the church lot. Additional ground was bought to make the lot larger and the present parsonage was then erected in 1898.
The records show that in the early days baptisms were held in Indian Creek west of town and in the river east of the Jug Run school house. In the summer of 1886 a baptistry was built in the church but after that date, some coming into the church insisted on being baptized in the creek or river.
The pipe organ which we now enjoy was dedicated in November 1925, and was a gift from Mrs. Nellie Packer and Mr. William E. Cardiff in memory of Hazel Packer Cardiff who had been a member of the church and a member of the church choir.
There have been a number of families through the past years prominent in the work of the church. Among these appear the names of John Culbertson, B. F. Thompson, Stickneys, Packers, Winans, Price, J. C. Hart; and many others.
Special mention should be made of the Stickney family. "In January 1847, Elder Stickney arrived here from Rochester, Wis. and preached at Fahrenheit (then the name of the Miner settlement, northwest one and one-half miles of Minott Silliman's residence), in widow Miner's house. Among the members of the Fahrenheit church were-- Hays, Wm, and Mrs. Miner, Charles H. Miner and wife, Selden Miner and wife, Mrs. Parrish, Elisha Gill and wife, J. M. Stickney and wife, and Susan M. Eastman." (19) Elder J. M. Stickney was the first pastor of the church. He and his wife were charter members and Mrs. Stickney is given credit for maintaining services without interruption during the days when the church was divided. One of their sons was John Stickney who was Superintendent of the Toulon Schools for a number of years. Another was Andrew Stickney who served as Deacon, Trustee, and Treasurer for many years. His daughter, Miss Bessie Stickney, served the denomination for many years in the work of the Baptist Training School in Chicago. Rev. J. M. Stickney gave the sum of $3,000 to the Peoria Baptist Association as a fund to be invested and the income to be used to help small and weak churches in the Association.
"In October 1880, Rev. B. F. Colwell resigned. In February 1881. J. M. Stickney filled the pulpit, and during this month H. Y. Godfrey was chosen solicitor and collector. Dr. H. L. Pratt's name appears on the minutes about this time. In October 1881, Rev. E. C. Cady, accepted a call as pastor and commenced to labor here November 1, that year. In September 1882, M. A. Packer succeeded H. Y. Godfrey as church clerk. In 1884 Andrew F. Stickney and wife were admitted to membership by letter from Wyoming. In October 1884 Rev. Mr. Cady resigned; Elder Stickney was pulpit supply for three and one-half months. In June 1885, Rev. E. W. Hicks accepted a call, and in January 1886, E. B. Packer was elected clerk." (20)
Rev. E. W. Hicks was a long time pastor of the church and left in 1904. The following article appeared in the local paper. "After nineteen years of active and faithful service as pastor of the Toulon Baptist Church, Rev. E. W. Hicks has retired from the pastorate, and today leaves Toulon for other fields. His resignation was handed in some time ago, as was duly noted at that time.
"In his departure the entire community will suffer a distinct loss, as Rev. Hicks did not confine his labors entirely to church work. Whatever he believed for the good and advancement of the town or community in general, he championed and aided with moral and financial assistance. He succored the sick, aided the needy, and lifted up the lowly. Many are those who can testify to his benevolences which were given in an open-handed and unostentatious manner. No one in distress had any fear of approaching Rev. Hicks for assistance, for in him they were sure to find a friend in need. "He has ever been a strong temperance advocate, and also a great friend to education. "While many differed from him in opinions, there were none but what admired him for the manly course he pursued in all things.
"Monday evening, May 30, 1904, upwards of two hundred and fifty of the citizens of Toulon gathered at the Baptist Church at a farewell reception for Rev. Hicks. The affair was a complete surprise to him, as he went to the church expecting to attend a business meeting.
"A program was given, opened with a song, which was followed by prayer by Rev. Wilkinson. Then came short speeches by the different pastors--Rev. Metzler of the Christian Church; Rev. Wilkinson, of the Methodist, and Rev. Sutherland, the supply for the Congregational. W. W. Wright spoke for the community, Dr. L. L. Long in behalf of the Academy board of trustees, of which Mr. Hicks was a member, and Mrs. Effie McKeighan in behalf of the W. C. T. U., in which Mr. Hicks was actively interested. All expressed regret at losing so valuable a helper and co-laborer. To close the program Judge B. F. Thompson, in a few well chosen words, presented Mr. Hicks with a gold watch and a purse of forty dollars, gifts from the members of the church. "Refreshments, consisting of cake and strawberries, were served and the guests departed after spending a very pleasant evening.
"Mr. Hicks spent his boyhood days in the city of Rockford, which place he left to go to school. He was graduated from the Baptist Theological Seminary, as it was then called, but now known as the Divinity School of the Chicago University.
"He held the pastorate of four churches before coming to Toulon; at Naperville, Newark, Shabbona and Sandwich. He came to Toulon in the spiring of 1885. having charge of the church here nineteen years--a long and faithful service. The church has increased in membership from 104 to 215, and the other departments have advanced proportionately.
"Mrs. Hicks died a couple of years ago (before he retired). She had long been a helpmate and companion of her husband, and an active helper and supporter in his various works. In her death he suffered an irreparable loss.
"Mr. Hicks leaves this morning for Upper Alton, where he will attend the commencement exercises of Shurtleff College. As he is historical secretary of the Baptist state association, he will probably remain at upper Alton several days, arranging the papers and records which are kept there.
"From Upper Alton he goes to Chicago, where he will spend a couple of weeks, after which he has no definite plans, except to take a vacation.
The following resolutions were adopted by the members of the Baptist church last Sunday:
WHEREAS, The Rev. E. W. Hicks, after nineteen years of faithful and consecrated service as pastor of the Baptist church of Toulon, has resigned the pastorate of the church, and is about to depart from among us to continue his work for the Master in other fields and among a new people, therefore be it.
Resolved, That we acknowledge our great and many obligations to him for his long and faithful service, and patient and Christian bearing among us, as the pastor of this church; and that we recognize and appreciate his good works in this church and community.
"As a pastor he has ever been zealous, earnest, faithful, untiring, unselfish in his work, all for Christ and His church, nothing for himself, always consecrated to the upbuilding, and to the advancement and honor and glory of the kingdom of the Master--nothing for worldly honors or popular applause.
"As a man and citizen he early won and retained and deserved the respect and confidence of all the people of this community, without distinction of creed or station. He has been a friend to all, and all are his friends; and all regret his departure from among us.
"We heartily commend him as a faithful and conscientious pastor, a true Christian, an upright man and citizen, a friend to all mankind, and especially to the poor and lowly, whose appeals for aid and sympathy have ever found in him a ready and willing listener and a prompt and liberal helper.
"We pray that God's choicest blessing may rest upon him, wherever he may go and in whatsoever he may be engaged, and that his life may be full of joy and happiness.
"'And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.'--Psalms 1:3." (21)
Elder E. W. Hicks was a tireless worker and in addition to carrying on the work in the church proper, he also held meetings at Saxon, Stringtown, and in the Jug Run, Ham, Quinn, and Winans school houses. These consisted of Sunday Schools and preaching services with special revival meetings at times. Many of the members of this church were added to its rolls as a result of these efforts. During Rev. Hicks' pastorate there were 218 additions to the church, 162 of these being by baptism.
Probably the next big event in the life of the church took place in 1908 when First Baptist Church Toulon went together with the other churches in town to bring in an evangelist Rev. Ira Evans Hicks for a month's crusade. First Baptist Church Toulon had scheduled to hold the annual association meeting at Toulon that year but asked to have the associational meeting moved to Monmouth and asked if they might hold the meeting the following year. The evangelistic meetings were a great success as can be seen from the numbers of people who united with the church in the months after the meeting. The articles in the local paper probably best describe the proceedings.
"The greatest evangelistic meetings ever held in Toulon, or Stark County, are now in progress. The first meeting opened last Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock. The gospel singers, Mr. and Mrs. Scholfield, had not been on the platform five minutes until all present were convinced that the song service of these meetings would exceed the most sanguine expectations of all interested parties. Evangelist Hicks had not spoken five minutes in his clear, logical, forcible, loving and scriptural manner until all were convinced of his power. Thus, under the brightest auspices, on a beautiful Sabbath afternoon, in a large and elegant building, the meetings began which are to end in the conversion of hundreds, if not thousands, of the good people who reside in little Molly Stark, a county which God has blessed as but few others.
"The picture, which could have been seen of this first meeting, was one that would have graced the walls of the Celestial City. Nearly every seat in the mammoth building was occupied, while on the platform were a hundred or more of our choicest singers, whose melodious voices, led by Mr. and Mrs. Scholfield, blended together in praises to God. There were the faithful pastors of our churches, there were those with locks whitened by the frosts of many winters, and the little girls with their curly locks and boys with their roguish eyes, all mingled together in a grand effort to bring sinners into the beautiful light of the gospel. With such a beginning, there is only one way for these meetings to end, and that is in the conversion of all who attend and have not hearts of stone, and even then the sweetness of Mrs. Scholfield's voice would so mellow a heart of stone that the spirit of God could enter.
"There is one very fortunate thing in the make-up of evangelist Hicks. He possesses all the good qualities of the many great evangelists none of their failings. It goes without saying that too many evangelists are like the cow that gives the bucket full of good rich milk and then kicks it over. Rev. Hicks never kicks it over. He says the right thing, at the right time and in the right manner. He does not make you mad, but he does make you laugh. We have had evangelists in this town who could not ask the ladies to remove their hats without making them mad. Rev. Hicks had them all laughing as they were taking their hats off in the first meeting. It is all in knowing how. Rev. Hicks knows how. He is an eloquent pulpit orator, a scholar, but he does not shoot above the heads of his congregation, but hits them square in the heart. If Evangelist Hicks and the gospel singers that accompany him cannot convince the people of this county that they should get right with God, then any further effort would seem useless. But the people are going to be convinced. You can breathe it in the atmosphere. We read much in the daily papers now-a-days about, the "new Bryan." We will have a new town and a new county when these meetings shall have closed. In more than one home new carpets will go down on bare floors, the garden will be cleaned of weeds and the house painted, and the old hovel of the dissipated man will have flowers in the window and be transformed into a Christian's cottage. These, and many other like changes, you will see all over our county. This is what the right kind of a revival does. This is what true religion does. Do you want to see it? Then get busy. Come to the meetings; bring your neighbors and friends. In his first sermon the evangelist told of a few results left to a community by a revival. Among other things he mentioned the fact that men would pay their honest debts and thus benefit business; that money expended in riotous living would be spent in a manner to brighten the home. But space forbids even a brief synopsis of his able sermon. You must hear him. Cold type cannot express to you even a partial value of these sermons; you must hear the words as they fall warm from lips fevered with an enthusiasm from God. Beginning today, there will be services every after noon at 2:30 and every evening at 7:30. J. Knox HALL, Secretary" (22)
Again on September 16 came the following article.
"[Reported by the secretary of the meetings.] As the days go by the interest in the special evangelistic meetings increase. They are growing in interest and attendance. The good seed sown by Evangelist Hicks at the first meetings evidently fell upon good ground and has thus soon ripened and a great harvest will surely be gathered. Each sermon that falls from the speaker's lips gets stronger and more forceful, inducing you to take one more step nearer heaven. While he strikes sledge hammer blows at those whose names are on the church roll, but who have experienced more of "that sweet comfort and peace" that never fails to accompany true religion to the heart, yet his sledge-hammer has a handle of love, and the hammer is loaded with gospel truths and every blow is dealt in kindness. For about the first time in the history of this community, an evangelist has been among us for nearly two weeks, and no one is mad. Saint and sinner alike are singing his praise. He is no coward. He handles sin without gloves on. He calls things by their right name, but he has the happy faculty of doing it in the right way.
"Last Sunday morning found every seat in the mammoth building occupied. The large audience seemed to inspire the speaker and, from the theme "The Happy Man," he preached a sermon that not one present could fail to carry home, and in years to come memory will bring fresh to the mind his vivid and impressive word painting of "The Happy Man." Sunday evening was the largest gathering thus far. Standing room was at a premium and such a sermon. If there is a person who has ever doubted that Rev. Hicks stands among the greatest of pulpit orators, among the greatest of Bible students, among the greatest of scholars, his sermon Sunday evening certainly removed that doubt. His subject, "Why I Believe the Bible," was handled with the skill of a master. If that sermon could be printed and placed in every home in this fair land, infidelity would take wings and fly. His reasoning was so logical and every fact brought out so plainly that "he who runs could read." It was one of the most comforting sermons to Christians that we have ever heard, and consequently one of the most discomforting to the unbeliever.
"Sunday afternoon was specially given to the young people and it was one of the most impressive services of the day. The evangelist took for his subject "A Good Memory," and from those three words preached a sermon that caused twenty-three of our brightest and best young people to turn their faces Zionward, and in the presence of that large congregation marched to the front and gave their hand to the minister and their heart to God. Having taken hold of the plow let us hope that not one of them will ever look back.
"On next Sunday the regular services will be held at all our churches at the morning hour. Union services for men only, at 2:30 p. m. and the regular union meeting in the evening at 7:30. The Sunday schools will all meet at 9:30 next Sabbath, and each Sabbath this month.
"Never before have the citizens of Stark County been given such an unusual feast as they are receiving at these special meetings. The voices of over one hundred of our best singers blending together in praises to God is a treat none can afford to miss. While the large congregation enjoys this treat, but few realize the sacrifice many of the singers are making to thus entertain us 'without money and without price." Businessmen, teachers, students, tired mothers, all leave their work and give their time and talent freely to the good work. Director Scholfield admits that never before has he had such work from the singers. They are always in their place ready and willing to do their part toward the success of the meetings, and their part is no small part for
"The man that has no music in himself,
And is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons stratagems and spoils."
"As fine as is the music rendered by the chorus choir, it is not more sweet than the voices of the little "sunbeams." In the three front rows of seats are the bright-eyed boys and girls from whose voices sin has as yet removed none of that heavenly sweetness which falls only from the lips of innocent childhood. If there was no music but the "sunbeam" choir it would pay you well to travel miles to hear them.
"Music that gentlier on the spirit lies,
Than tired eyelids upon tired eyes."
"But at this musical treat you are not only given a treat by the chorus choir and the "Sunbeams," but Mr. and Mrs. Scholfield never fail to render a solo or duet, the equal of which has never been-beard in this community. Last Sabbath morning they sang "Happy in Him," and were a thousand listeners, you could have heard a pin drop anywhere in the building. Surely they have been called by God to their present work. Thus soon has there sprung up between Mr. and Mrs. Scholfield and our music loving people a friendship that is as pure as the snow from heaven and will be as lasting as the mountains whose peaks its white flakes cover. Let us all try to live In such a way that we may all hear their rich musical voices through all eternity."
"The merchants of our town have one and all consented to close their stores each evening at 7:30 o'clock, except Monday and Saturday evenings. The church people appreciate this act and will hereafter give them all their patronage which in some instances has been divided with Montgomery Ward and others.
"Come out tonight and hear the evangelist, subject "Behold, I stand at 'the door and knock." ''West Jersey was well represented Sunday. Among the many present we noticed Bert Lee and family, Archie Addis and wife, Frank Addis, Miss. Grace Whitten, and three daughters of Mr. and Mrs. William Lee.
"Grant Dexter and family and Mr. and Mrs. Everett Miner, of Saxon, have reported "present" at every meeting thus far. They certainly possess "The Old Time Religion."
"Among the subjects upon which Evangelist Hicks will speak during the next meetings are "Come Unto Me all Ye that Labor and are Heavy Laden, and I Will Give' You Rest," "Thine Heart is not Right with God," "What Wilt Thou Say When He Shall Punish Thee,"
"Don't forget Sunday school at 9:30 a. m. at each of the churches.
"For the convenience of mothers with babies that might disturb the meeting, a "rest room" has been secured where competent help will take the best of care of your child while you enjoy the meeting. Any lady who will volunteer to assist in this good work of being a nurse for an evening should report to Mrs. Ezra Packer. There will he a meeting for men only next Sunday at 2:30 p. m." (23)
The final article appeared on October 7, 1908
"The most successful revival meetings ever held in Toulon came to a close Monday evening. By successful, we do not mean the number of conversions, alone, but the good accomplished from every standpoint. There is not a Christian, who has attended these meetings, but what is a better Christian today then when the meetings began. There is not a live working Christian in any church in Toulon but is more alive and capable of doing better work for the Master than when the meetings began; so the unconverted did not receive all the "showers of blessings" that fell from the skies,
"The Christian spirit which has prevailed among the four churches of our town during these meetings is most commendable. Our four faithful pastors have labored as four brothers of the same family, and each of their flocks followed the good example. We doubt if between the oceans there is a town where a better feeling exists among the Christian people than in Toulon at the present time. May it ever continue.
"There are many regrets that the meetings had to close. It seemed as if the great work had only fairly started, but the building had to be vacated and so, reluctantly, the meetings closed. The "Lehman building" will ever be a sacred spot to many. In this elegant structure 247 persons were brought from darkness into light, and three times this number of Christian workers got in close touch with each other and in closer touch with their God.
"As a result of these meetings our churches will all take on new life. The harvest is not yet completed, and many who were "almost persuaded" will yet come into the fold.
"Those who have been pleased to say that all evangelists are grafters" certainly got their lips sealed Sunday evening if they were present. Rev. Hicks came to us without a pledge, except his actual expenses. A free will offering was to be taken for him the last Sunday at each service. Sunday evening, at which service there were several hundred more than could even get standing room in the building, the evangelist announced that no collection would be taken. The collection belonged to him. There were hundreds present to whom it would have been a pleasure to contribute, yet in the spirit of a Christian gentleman he said: "You people were very liberal to me this morning, and no collection will be taken tonight." Let those who have had so much to say about "graft" ask themselves what they would have done under like circumstances?
"Again it has been demonstrated that the citizens of Toulon and vicinity are liberal to a fault. If you have something good to offer them; something to elevate and bring manhood and womanhood to a higher standard, there is no limit to what our people will cheerfully do. After over five hundred dollars had been raised to meet incidental expenses, over twelve hundred more was raised on Sunday as a free-will offering for the evangelist and his gospel singers. It was raised in a few minutes and those who gave seemed to find real pleasure in so doing.
"All interested in the meetings appreciate the fine support the meetings have received from Elmira Township, both spiritually and financially. It goes without saying that Scotchmen always know a good thing when they see it, and a wise man could not fail to know that the meetings could not fail to be a blessing to this community. Many of the unconverted seem to take rare delight in pointing out the hypocrite in the church. It has to be admitted that there is no flock without its black sheep. While this is to be regretted, why not turn the tables and look at the white ones and leave the black ones unnoticed. Look at the ones who have just paid out nearly two thousand dollars in cash and given a month's time and labor to help sinners to lead a more happy life. These men and women who have paid this money and given this time and labor have not done so for their own benefit--but to help others, and if you cannot appreciate their efforts, then silence, at least, would be golden.
"One thing can be said that saint and sinner will alike endorse, and that is, that Mr. and Mrs. Scholfield, the gospel singers, will ever have a warm corner in the heart of every person who has met them. Alexander, Towner, Excell and Fischer are gospel singers of national fame, but one has not got to look far into the future to see the name "Scholfield" at the head of the column. If Mr. Scholfield ever has a successful rival in the field of gospel singing, it will be his own wife, whose voice for sweetness and culture the birds of the forest may well envy. They have made friends of all with whom they have come in contact. Not only by their musical voices, but by their many Christian graces. Their lives are plainly stamped upon their faces and their love for the Master, whose praises they so sweetly sing, sparkles from their eyes so plainly that he who runs may read.
"If the meetings had accomplished no good except to bring the Christian people of the town together as one family, they have been worth all they have cost and then some. Before the meetings they hardly knew each other, now they are like one family traveling to the same distant city, and ready to help each other over the rough places. May it remain so to the end of the journey when as one family, they will pass in thru the Pearly Gates to that "house not made with hands" where in fact and in truth they will be one family thru all eternity.
"Sunday evening the big revival wave that has been so long expected struck the Lehman building with such force that it put the lights all out for a time, but they soon returned, amid even in total darkness one could hear ''that still small voice'' pleading with the unsaved to "Get Right with God." The evangelist seemed specially inspired for his work and preached one of the most convincing sermons ever delivered in this town, at the close of which forty-three enrolled their names with the children of God. In the number were many business men, young men and young ladies of influence, mothers with silver threads among the gold. They came from our best homes and from the humble cottage. But all received the same warm welcome here and caused the same rejoicing among the angels of heaven. (24)
The following names were listed in the Stark County News as converts at the meeting:
Mrs. Hugh Anderson
F. B. Brady
Mrs. Ross Claybaugh
C. C. Claybaugh
Mrs. Rolla Co'e
E B. Cox
Mrs. Myrtle Daily
A. H. Grange
Mrs. Myrtle Grubb
Mrs. James Hartley
Mrs. John Kenny
Mrs Luella Kerns
Mrs. N. J. Kilby
Mrs. W. O. Long
Mrs. Troy Miller
F. A. Orwig
G. C. Platt
Mrs Harry Rowe
Mrs. Gertrude Rowe
Mrs. O. E. Smith
George E. Smith
Ballard St. John
Mrs. Charles Talbot
Mrs. J. C. Tilson
Mrs. Emma Tuthill
R. E. Wheeler
Mrs. Frank White
Mrs. Belle Worley
Special mention should also be made of the Packer family. The record shows that Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Packer joined the church on January 3, 1852. Mr. Packer served as Deacon and Trustee for a long time and was usually on the finance committee when funds needed to be raised for any purpose whatever. Two of his sons, Eli and Mortimer, became ministers of the Gospel and served as pastors in different fields. A third son, Dr. Elmer B. Packer, was baptized into the church membership on Nov. 23, 1879. A few years later he served as Clerk of the church and then as Treasurer for many years and in 1906 was elected as Deacon and served in this capacity and as Deacon Emeritus up to the time of his death in May 1947.
The Winans family is another one which has been prominent in the work of the church for many years. We find that N. F. Winans was one of the very early members of the church and he served as Trustee and on many appointed committees. He was evidently acquainted with Elder J. M. Stickney, the first pastor of the church, as they had both come to Stark County from Lyon's Farm, New Jersey. He was the grandfather of Frazee Winans who later became a member of the church and married Miss Faye Dexter. He was followed to Stark County from Lyon's Farm by Joseph Henry Winans and his son William H. Winans who settled on the present Winans homestead in Goshen Township. Mr. J. H. Winans was a strong Christian leader and he organized and became Superintendent of a Sunday School which met in the Quinn school house and he served here for a period of twenty years. Later when the Winans school house was built, he started a Sunday School there and carried on its work for many years. He became a member of this church in 1884 and was active in its affairs up to the time of his death. His two children, W. H. Winans and Mrs. May Winans Price, also became members of the church here and were active in its affairs. Mrs. W. H. Winans but recently passed away. Some of their children continued as members of this church and interested in its work were Harry Winans, Mrs. Lyda Price, Mrs. Bessie Bamber, and Elber Winans. Robert and Elsie (Dutton) Winans are still members at the celebration of the sesquicentennial. Their son William with wife Barbara (Windish) and two children, Wendy and Joe are still active in the church even today (1998).
At the celebration of the centennial Rev. Arthur O. Charsky, was the pastor. He entered upon his work here on January 11, 1948. The following news article appeared in a local paper about the celebration: The celebration opened with a banquet for members of the church in the basement at 6:30 o'clock. The tables were decorated with bouquets of gold and white flowers, and lighted tapers In crystal holders. The menu was also in keeping with the colors of gold and, white.
The following program was given in the church auditorium:
Piano solo, Sally Turner.
Reminiscences, Mrs. Artie Packer.
Cornet duet John Campbell and Robert Price.
Honors to the 50-year members: Mrs. Mae Price, Mrs. Grace Howell, Miss Adelle Berfield, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Price, Harry Winans, Mrs. Cora Hartley, Miss Elsie Goodale, W. A. Hall and Mrs. John Berry.
Reading, Janice Nowlan.
Reading, Mrs. Dean Hart, of Peoria.
Vocal solo, Robert Campbell.
Letters were read from the following pastors of the church: Rev. Arnold Kuzee, Rev. R. B. Favorite and Rev. Harvey Preston.
Greetings were extended by Rev. Elner Grafft, a former pastor.
Closing remarks, Rev. Arthur O. Charsky, the present pastor.
The program will be continued Sunday. At the morning worship service at 10 a. m. the pastor will preach on the theme, "A Look Backward; The Church, Its Faith in a Modern World."
At the close of the service the pastor will baptize eight candidates into church membership. (Candidates: Janet Martin, Marilyn Dexter, Shirley Dexter, Joan Wilkinson, Jean Van Dran, Carol Dutton, Doris Harrington, Sarah Harrington. Other members of this group recently baptized: Sally Turner, Rebecca Edwards, Mrs. Pansy Edwards.) Special music is to be given by the choir, and a vocal solo will be given by C. P. Patterson. The evening service will be at 7:30 p. m. with Dr. R. G. Schell, of Chicago, as guest speaker.
The following note appeared in the history of the church written in 1973. "The Gleaners Class was organized in the middle 1940's. It was a combination of three smaller classes known as the Philathreas, the Loyal Daughters, and the Amomas. Mrs. E. B. Packer, beloved and faithful teacher of the Loyal Daughters, became the first Gleaner teacher and served until ill health prevented her from doing so. She was succeeded by Mrs. Charles Griffith and Mrs. Lester Winans who both served for several years. The present teacher is Mrs. Inez Anderson who has served for some eight years. Other faithful teachers have included: Ethel Porter, Grace Howell, Maude Blakey, Alice House, Lucille Price, and Gladys Beamer. The present class consists of over thirty members with several of these on the inactive list. For many years these ladies did such things as serve dinners for various occasions. They meet monthly for business and devotions, as well as making lap robes, quilts, etc." Although this class is today (1998) no longer meeting because of the members have joined that heavenly class, other classes have now taken its place.
Another class that was predominant in years gone by was the U. F. C. Class. In a paper prepared for their class reunion in 1966 the following is reported.
"As far as I can recall, it must have been in December 1943, or January 1944, that some of us began talking about forming a new Sunday School class at the Toulon Baptist Church, which would consist of both men and women. Anyway, we, Theo. and I, invited a group of members and friends of the church to meet in our home the evening of February 3, 1944 for this purpose. I do remember that our living room was wall to wall with people.
"After a period of discussion on the subject of the hour, Harold Trimmer was appointed temporary Chairman and Mable Trimmer, Secretary so that we could proceed according to hoyle. Prior to this meeting, a nominating committee consisting of lola Ferris, C. P. Patterson, and Harold Trimmer had been selected, and the following names were submitted for offices.
President Ruth Winans
Vice President C. P. Patterson
Secretary Mable Trimmer
Treasurer Roy Dutton
Membership Committee Grace Pyle, Lucille & Russell Wilkinson
Social Committee Harold & lola Ferris and Delbert & Mae Martin
Card & Flower Committee Beulah Patterson and Edith Peterson
Christian Service Harold & Lena Kidd and Theodore and Ethel Laub
"The slate of officers were voted upon and duly appointed to their respective offices. Now we were properly organized, but needed a name.
"Again there was a period of discussion and finally Harold Trimmer came up with a name which pleased everyone. From that time on we were and are still known as the
U.F.C. Class. U.F.C. Meaning United For Christ.
"Now we needed a teacher. Reverend Preston suggested that we ask Mr. Griffith, who accepted, and he became our first teacher. After I wrote our teacher here, I tried to think back about being in class, but I could not make any memories come back, so Theodore kindly tells me that there really is a reason why I can't remember this time. I wasn't in the class, I was down in the Primary Dept. then.
"Those attending that first meeting were--Rev. and Mrs. Preston, Harold & lola Ferris, Harold & Lena Kidd, Harold & Mable Trimmer, (we were blessed with Harolds), Tom & Ruth Cathcart, Mason & Mary Williams, Delbert & Mae Martin, Truman & Betty Phillips, Owen & Goldie Bland, Earl & Louise Turner, Pat & Beulah Patterson, Marvin & Nellie Dexter, Mr. & Mrs. Earls, Ruth Winans, (Lester was in the Navy then), Margaret Price, and Theo. & myself. There were 31 all told.
"Mable Trimmer helped with refreshments that night and I will never forget how embarrassed I was. As you all know sugar rationing was on, so it became a little bit of a problem to do much baking- -however, I had a recipe for brownies made with Karo syrup, so I thought brownies with ice cream on top would be good and it did taste good when you could finally get it to your mouth. When I went in to pour more coffee, everybody was trying to be so polite but the problem was that when the ice cream hit the brownies made with the Karo syrup, it made them so hard that no one could get a fork into them. Anyway, when I noticed what was happening, I said something (I don't know what), Beulah started to giggle and we all had a good laugh over it, which helped the embarrassment on my part.
"Our second meeting drew a group of 40 in number. It was a pot-luck supper, and I suppose some of these were children, as you know this was 23 years ago and I don't think baby sitters were too much in use then. The record says that at this meeting a dish pan was required to receive the offering, but it failed to say how full the dish pan was . However knowing this group as I do, I imagine there was a great deal of fun connected with this statement.
"It's nice to note that right away this calss began to work for Christ by serving the F.F.A. Banquet the following Tuesday evening and we cleared the whole sum of $28.00.
"The second year of our existence I guess we decided we weren't making enough money, so a basket was placed in the Sunday School room so that anyone who missed a meeting could make their contribution the following Sunday. I don't really know if that basket ever got any attention or not.
"Our meetings were varied. Besides our regular ones, we had pot-lucks, picnics, chili suppers, oyster suppers, weiner roasts, a hard time party and a recording party.
"Note this, Reverend Anderson. - In June of that year, this class was in charge of plowing, furnishing seed, and planting the preachers garden, and again I can't remember why. Maybe someone else can.
"Would you like to know some of our projects and accomplishments those first three years? We served the FFA Banquet, the Musical Club, the Home Bureau Luncheon, and a Sunday School Convention. We also had lunch stands at several farm sales. Two in particular I remember. Ira Carter, we cleared $69.46, and Wolf & Warren we cleared $89.25. We had a food sale, cleared $40.00 and we served a Faculty dinner where we cleared $26.00.
"Our offering at our very first meeting was $2.65, which was an average of 9 cents apiece. In those first three years our offerings varied from $2.65 to $6.40 with the exception of one meeting when it was $l7.25. I just don't know where all the money came from that one particular time. Either someone had struck it rich or had a mighty guilty conscience. Our smallest attendance was 21 and the largest was 44, with the exception of one which was a picnic at Lake Calhoun when there were 54 there. That was the time we got the big money.
"Now I must tell you what we did with our money. We bought one share in World Mission Crusade to help rebuild war torn mission hospitals, schools and churches in Asia and Europe. One share costs $108.00 which was paid in three installments. We gave $20.00 toward packing Service kits for Russian Relief and 12 members met at our home to pack these. The kits actually cost more than that, but the rest of the church helped with the costs of this. We gave $25.00 to World Emergency Funds. We bought 10 trays for the church kitchen. We gave $25.00 toward choir robes. We started the church basement fund with $125.00. Bought new curtain cranes for the new drapes on the balcony, gave money to Mission Union for White Cross material, bought and sent 3 doz. bud vases to the old folks home, bought and sent towels to the children's home. Paid for flowers to be given to mothers on Mothers Day, paid for and sent flowers to sick members of the church, gave money to the Red Cross, Boy Scouts, and Polio Drive. One year we canned and sent 160 quarts of fruits and vegetables to the Children's Home. Harold Ferris made shelves for the nursery room and we painted them after: trying for about three months to get somebody else in the church to do it . We also painted the small chairs and screens for the Sunday School and made scrap books for the nursery.
"By the end of three years we had grown considerably in number. Had we all been together at one time there would have been 75. The members at this time were Rev. & Mrs. Preston, Clarence (Pat) & Beulah Patterson, Harold & lola Ferris, Mr. & Mrs. Earls, Harold & Lena Kidd, Russell & Lucille Wilkinson, Harold & Mable Trimmer, Mr. & Mrs. Wilbur Dustin, Tom & Ruth Cathcart, Bob & Mildred Green, Mason & Mary Williams, Roy & Zella Dutton, Truman & Betty Phillips, Milo & Harriett Nowlan, Owen & Goldie Bland, Wilbur & Wilma Sams, Lester & Ruth Winans, Edgar & Mildred Sams, Bob & Grace Pyle, Fred & Lucille Price, Earl & Louise Turner, Guy & Ruby Dennis, Marvin & Nellie Dexter, Paul & Jesse Smith, Wayne & Martha Stone, Roy & Dorothy Schmidt, Ernie & Mary Winings, Frank & Mary Bowman, Fannie Jackson, Clifford & Cecilia Berry, Margaret Price, Theodore & Ethel Laub, America Appenheimer, Mrs. Hart?, Edith Peterson, Mrs. Florence Roach?, Rev. Graft,
"This brings us up to November, 1946 and we left the class in February, 1947, moving to Kewanee. However, we will always cherish the memories of having been a part of the U.F.C.ers and we thank you for the many invitations to return. This is not just a Sunday School Class to us, but we feel you are a group of warm, wonderful sincere friends who we will never forget.
"We also feel that U . F .C. also means, United, Faithful, Christians.
It's been fun recalling all these things. Sincerely,
Ethel and Theodore Laub (25)
Today meeting in good fellowship is the Yansy Class. This class was organized in about 1950 when a group of young married couples decided there should be a class between the high school and U.F.C. class. Jane and Doyle Phillips were instrumental in this class' formation. The group's initials - YANSY - represent "young and not so young." Besides meeting as a Sunday school class, they also meet periodically for business and social time. These couples are active in raising money for many church projects. Many of the church Sunday school teachers also come from this group.
We feel special mention should be given to Miss Fannie Jackson, who was served as our church organist very faithfully and capably for 39 years. She also served other areas of our church work with equal dedication. Her lovely music and Christian work was greatly appreciated.
"The church as first built was enlarged in 1889 by the addition of a room on the east for use of Sunday School and Prayer Meeting. This, with some other repairs, cost about $2,000, which was paid in full at the completion of the work, largely because of the enthusiasm aroused by the generous gifts of two men." (26)
Numerous physical improvements have taken place in our church buildings over the years. January 4, 1959, was a cold day of 18 below zero as we held regular services followed by the annual business meeting. It was during this meeting that the project of digging out the northwest corner of the church basement was discussed. The decision was made to get plans for this project under way as soon as possible. Mr. George Coakley, Mr. Paul Smith, and Mr. Truman Phillips, members of the project committee, met with Mr. Earl King of Galva to get the plans laid out. Several church men donated considerable time on this excavation, with Mr. King finishing the job. The ceiling was then installed under the direction of Mr. Phillip Anderson. Mr. and Mrs. Harold Kidd and Merlyn painted the interior walls of the room. Finally, tables and chairs were purchased and the room was ready to be used for Sunday school classes and as a dining room for many of our activities.
This major project was followed by others just as worthwhile. First, in 1962, the old, open front steps were removed and replaced by an attractive enclosed entrance. Again the project was directed by Mr. Phil Anderson. In 1966, the outside church walls were covered with aluminum siding. What an improvement this move has been to both the church and the community. Our parsonage was remodeled and repainted in 1965, and a new, natural gas furnace was installed there in 1969. It is generally felt that the church members have continued to keep the church buildings in good repair since these improvements have been instituted.
The church did have some problems concerning the music of the church over the years as noted by Mrs. Packer in 1948. "The desire for a melodeon brought about quite a conflict, in fact, almost split the church. The opposition was so decided that if one attended a service where an instrument was in use, he should not sing. And if they did have an organ; it must not be used in prayer meeting. One member, Hugh Godfrey, offered to serve as janitor for one year without pay if they would buy an organ. His offer was evidently rejected because the organ used by the church belonged to him and when the church divided, he left and took his organ with him. He also led the choir and was particular that certain notes in every measure be emphasized. There seems to be no record as to when and how the next organ was acquired. About 1910, a fine Estey organ with double bank of keys, foot pedals, and several stops was purchased, and gave much pleasure until the pipe organ was installed in 1925. This was the gift of Mrs. Ezra Packer and her son-in-law, W. E. Cardiff, in memory of Hazel Packer Cardiff." (27)
"It may be of interest to learn a little about that first building. The walls of our present auditorium are the original walls. The entrance was in the north where the large window is now. There was a hall and over it a balcony. The choir used to sit here and the pulpit was in the south end. A double row of pews occupied the center and more pews on each side with stoves about half way to the front. East of the pulpit were a few pews facing west, called the Amen Corner. The pews had doors and the latches were hard to manage unless one knew how to handle them. So the Janitor was instructed to leave them open until the people were seated. When the choir sang, the people rose, turned and faced it. This was rather a difficult performance as hoop skirts were the style and more than two women in a pew rather complicated the maneuver. Later, the choir was moved to the position it now occupies. It was suggested in one record that if there were not many present, church and Sunday School should be held in the balcony. A Sunday School was organized about the time the church building was completed." (28)
The church was affiliated for a number of years as a member of the Peoria Baptist Association in the Illinois Baptist Convention. In 1969, a change took place, and we were placed in the Ottawa Association, Area I of the Great Rivers Region. We are now working in this group of churches and fellow Christian people.
On January 2, 1954, Reverend Eugene Anderson came to our pulpit as a supply minister. He accepted the pastorate on March 21, 1954. The following is only a small portion of the record that he left behind
REV. EUGENE ANDERSON PASTOR OF THE
TOULON BAPTIST CHURCH
These Associated With His Church
Marvin Spiegel & Ruby Roark
Dwaine Dynes & Shirley Dexter
Melvin E. Hammer & Mary Dutton
Roger E. Nowlan & Judith Ann Ford
Dobald E. Pickens & Marjorie Bailey
Robert C. Price & Shirley M Young
Robert Turner & Frances Cullins
Robert . Armstrong & Janet E. Martin
James Thomas Brooks & Esther Joan Wilkinson
Ronald Ouart & Shirley Gerard
Dean Larry Wilkinson & Marilyn Armstrong
Phillip Eugene Woolsey & Iola Mae Martin
Wayne Cameran & Linda Campbell
Charles H. Hall, Jr & Sara Harrington
Milan P. Dexter & Loraine K. Seckman
Bruce L. Simmons & Helen M. Foffel
James M. Clayton & Sarah L. Turner
Keith A. Clement & Carol Dutton
Marvin L. Olson & Janice H. Nowlan
John David Goodwin & Bonnie Kay Morrell
Fredrick James Sams & Dorothy Joan Bartlett
William Thomas Patterson & Mary Pauline Gusman
John Robert Gerard & Donna Bea Fortman
Adron Eugene Cross & Jane Louise Ogburn
David Ray Hall & Linda Carole Cameron
Larry Dean Blair & Sandra Sue Edwards
Edward Allen Workheiser & Carol Jean Booker
Dennis Roach & Shirley Lillie
Robert Roach & Nancy June Coleman
Lawrence Samuel Kramer & Sue Ellen Winnans
Danny Lee Blakey & Sandra Kay Frail
Marvin Marsh Brant & Mary Kathleen Sams
Robert Arthur Williamson & Jacqueline Lee Miller
Bruce Harold Dutton & Janette Lee Pyell
Marvin Lee Cinnamon & Nancee Jo Warren
Marty Joe Blakey & Marian Charlane Frail
Richard Wellington Pabst & Alexis Joy Schmidt
Edward Phillip Webster & Connie Louise Schmidt
Danny Gene Hahn & Katherine Ruth Montgomery
Philip Lee Pyle & Rebecca Ann Baldwin
James Lukens Traenkenschuh & Janice Sue Cox
David Lee Cover & Margaret Ann Deuel
REV. EUGENE ANDERSON
Of People Associated With His Church
Annie M. Pierson Feb. 22
Mrs. Della Peterson June 12
Bruce Berfield Oct. 29
Mrs. Carrie Bond Feb. 27
Marshall U. Faw Jan. 12
Infant Thos. Appenheimer Feb. 14
George Wilson May 5
Frank Chamberlain Aug. 8
Mrs. Blanche Tamlinson Sep. 7
Sam G. Lewis Dec. 27
Frank C. Gerard Jan 20
David John Edwards June 25
Mrs. A. Appenheimer July 24
Mrs. Einifred J. Sams Aug. 14
Henry C. Winans Sep. 3
Bert Blakey Nov. 12
Mrs. Maude B. Goodale Jan. 15
William C. Edwards Jan. 20
Mrs. Clarence Appenheimer Feb. 25
Fred Owen Booker Feb. 28
Oscar Lee Hagy Aug. 23
George W. Barton Sept. 15
Elmer Burcham Sep. 27
Fred W. House Dec. 23
Walter Green July 31
Miss Elsie Goodale Sep. 29
John Wesley Morrell Oct. 18
Louis Cinnamon May 10
John Berry May 21
Mrs. Grace Howell Sep. 15
Jerome D. Scott Sep. 16
Mrs. Sarah S. Whittaker Sep. 26
Lee M. Burkey Oct. 11
Mrs. Ezra Bass Feb. 23
Mrs. Ellen Winans Feb. 25
Earl T. Gibson Mar. 2
Benjaman E. Bass Mar. 8
Mrs. Mary Chamberlain June 26
Lee B. Howell Oct. 2
Louis Cree Oct. 4
Roy Warren Nov. 11
Fred B. Harmon Jan. 28
Mrs. Edith Durbin May 20
Mrs. Artie C. Packer Nov. 2
Jasper Berfield Mar. 25
Thomas H. Pyle Mar. 27
Morrow Whittaker June 12
Rosemary Rybacki June 10
Miss Ida Baker Aug. 23
Charles Robert Hagy Dec. 7
Fred Wilson Dec. 24
Miss Elizabeth Shearer Dec. 28
Frank L. Price Mar. 13
Mrs. E. C. Coakley Jul. 19
Vern H. Keckler Aug. 5
Harry Vincent Cree Sept. 14
Mrs. Louise Morrell Weidman Oct. 4
Mrs. Howard Gaddie Oct. 30
Ralph Price Nov. 7
Mrs. Arthur (Cora) Hartley May 9
Mrs. James (Maude) Kidd Nov. 20
Harley Joseph Rhodes Feb. 16
James Durbin May 6
Mrs. Alma Chamberlain May 10
William F. Bruning June 8
William A. Coakley June 23
Marvin J. Frain July 27
James Preston Burcham Aug. 4
James Percy White Oct. 30
Paul C. Nicholson Dec. 6
Harold Alvin Mortimer Dec. 19
Mrs. Dora Harrington Jan. 4
Clifford Anderson Feb. 7
Mrs. Horace (Mary) Churchill Feb. 23
Mrs. Grover (Bertha) Scott Mar. 21
Robert H. Whittakre Nov. 17
Mrs. George (Bertha) Wilson Jan. 5
Leonard Dean Hagy May 1
Doyle Lee Phillips July 8
William Robert Whittaker Aug. 7
Martha Louise Coakley Oct. 23
Mrs. George (Gertrude) Fell Nov. 3
Milo R. Nowlan Dec. 31
Mrs. Charles (Laura) Baker May 13
Cynthia Lou Dunn Apr 29
George D Allen Oct. 24
Mrs. Harold (Mabel) Trimmer Nov. 27
Benjamin F. Swango Dec. 6
Paul H. Smith Dec. 14
Claude C. Claybaugh Jan 20
Marcus Benjamin Plotner Jan 21
Mrs. Edward (Ora) Miller Feb. 5
Mrs. Lee (Martha) Howell Mar 24
Leo T. White Mar 29
Grover Scott Jul 16
Mrs. Mason (Mary) Williams Aug. 16
James Emery Brady Sep 1
Mrs. Wylie (Lola) Sturm Dec 22
Mrs. Joseph (Kitty) Peterson Jan. 19
Mrs Robert Grace Irene) Pyle June 3
Philip T. Pyle May 24
Charles Baker Sep. 10
Ross Shockley Sep. 16
Miss Pauline Pyle Oct 21
Archie T. Allen Jan. 25
Edgar (Mildred) Sams Jan. 26
Herbert L. Allen Feb. 1
Nelly Jean Workheiser Feb. 2
Mrs Fred (Ella) Harmon Jul 3
Joseph T. Peterson Jul 27
Mrs. Donald (Mabel) Tracy Aug. 1
Harold J. Trimmer Sep 11
Mrs. Doyle (Jane) Phillips Oct. 26
Mrs. Claude (Lula) Perkins Nov. 30
Orval L. Colwell Jan. 24A celebration was held on May 2 and 6, 1973, to commemorate 125 years at First Baptist Church Toulon as was reported in the local paper:
The 125th anniversary of the Toulon Baptist Church was observed last week, beginning with a banquet on Wednesday evening, May 2, 1973. Approximately 190 people attended the banquet.
The program opened with a piano and organ duet by Mrs. Kenneth Blakey and son, David. Mrs. Dean Hart of Peoria was the featured speaker of the evening. She told about many of the church activities of the early 1900's. Mr. C.P. Patterson of Monmouth, former director of the church choir was the guest soloist, he sang, "The House of God". A musical selection "You'll 'Never Walk Alone" was presented by a quartet of boys from the High School Sunday School "Class, namely, Steve Foglesong, Chris Cinnamon, Alan Kitterman, David Price, accompanied by Kevin Kitterman.
The following fifty year members were present and given special recognition:
George Coakley, Gladys Dexter, Marvin Dexter, Nellie Dexter (Mrs. Marvin), Verena Mahany Faw (Mrs. Marshall), Clara Dailey Flanagan (Mrs. Joseph), Flora Ham Morrell (Mrs. Wesley), Harriet Price Nowlan (Mrs. Milo), Fred Price Jr., Stella Wilson White (Mrs. Leo), John Lester Winans and Fannie Jackson, Winnie Cinnamon (Mrs. Louis) and Don Tracy were also recognized as members of the Osceola and Toulon Baptist Churches for over fifty years.
Letters from former pastors, distant members, former members and friends were read by Mrs. Lucille Frain.
Miss Fannie Jackson, the church organist, was honored by the church for her thirty-nine years of devoted and continuing service with an inscribed plaque and silver candle sticks. She was also presented with a crystal bowl of sweetheart roses by the choir.
The Rev. Eugene Anderson, pastor of the church for almost twenty years brought the message at the regular Sunday morning worship service and presided at the communion service. Mr. William Winans was the worship leader. A solo was sung by Miss Janice Miller. An anthem was presented by the choir.
A special anniversary service on Sunday afternoon, May 6, opened with an organ and piano prelude by Miss Fannie Jackson, organist and Miss Deborah Musselman, pianist.
The anniversary address was given by Dr. A. J. Gernenz of Springfield, executive minister of the Great Rivers Region of American Baptist Churches. Former ministers assisting in the service were Rev. Robert Taylor of Goodfield, Ill., and Rev. Elner Grafft of Thomson, Ill.
Vocal solos were presented by Chris Cinnamon, Toulon and two former members, Robert Campbell of Dunlap and Wayne Nowlan of Peoria. Former ministers and clergymen from Toulon brought greetings.
The service was followed by a tea and fellowship hour. The tea table was centered with a floral arrangement given by Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Cox in memory of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. O.C. Cox. Approximately two hundred forty people were in attendance Sunday afternoon.
TOULON BAPTIST CHURCH (American Baptist Church) Eugene Anderson, Minister Sunday, May 6, 1973 Worship Service -10 a.m.
This is our Worship opening the Anniversary Sunday observance of the 125th celebration of our church's founding. The sermon by the Minister: "The Mission of the Church." The Worship Leader will be Mr. William Winans. The Communion will be observed during the hour. Our Music will include Vocal solo by Miss Janice Miller "I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked" The Anthem by the Choir: "Our Father, Who Art in Heaven" (Bell) Organ numbers by Miss Fannie, Jackson: "Thou Art My Rock" (Mueller) "Consider and Hear Me" (Pflueger) "Toccato in D. Minor" (Sergisson) The Acolytes are Janice Allen and Michael Dexter. The' Greeters are Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Holt and Mr. and Mrs. Roger, Nowlan. Sunday School 11 a.m. A class for all age levels. 2:30 p.m. Afternoon session of the Anniversary Program. The Guest Speaker will be Dr. A. J. Gernenz, Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region. All people are welcome to attend.
An exhibit was on display depicting the one hundred twenty-five years of history. Included in the exhibit were, pictures, newspaper clippings, 'old Bibles, hymn books and record books. One record book on display was the original church clerk's book dating back to May 13, 1848. A scrap book prepared by Dorothy Schmidt was on display. Pictures and records of future events will be added to the scrap book.
There were monetary and floral tributes received by the church. The church wishes to acknowledge the floral gifts from the State Bank of Toulon and the Wyoming Florist. A memorial plant was given by Mr. and Mrs. Philip Anderson and Mr. and Mrs. Delbert Aidredge.
People were in attendance from Kewanee, Peoria, Washington, Galva, LaFayette, Neponset, Monmouth, Dunlap, Eureka, Wyoming, Bradford, Buda, West Jersey, Sterling, Batavia, Farmersville, Troy, Edeistein, Williamsfield, Princeton, Evanston, Wyanet, Goodfield, Bushnell, Springfield, Danville, East Peoria, Champaign, Alpha, Moline, Thomson, Toulon, all Illinois; Weslaco, Texas, Kansas City, Kansas, Madison, Wisconsin, Kenosha, Wisconsin, Almyra, Arkansas.
As we come to celebrate the sesquicentennial there are many changes that have taken place in the last few years. As far as the building is concerned, a new baptistery was added in April of 1990. The old one had so many leaks that it became a full time job to get if filled for a baptism. Another improvement became necessary when the old and tired boiler finally gave out. A new one was quickly installed with the funds for it being raised in almost record time. In 1995 the auditorium was given a much needed painting and the beautiful gold trim around the windows was retained. In 1996 the trustees came up with the wonderful idea of adding two window air conditioners to the windows in the balcony. These have been much appreciated and enjoyed on several warm days the last few years. The biggest project of late was the addition of the south side disability entrance. Under the able leadership of the building committee the work was completed at a minimal expense. Gene Musselman is deserving of much gratitude for the many and long hours he put in to accomplish such a welcome addition. We need to also thank the many other men & ladies of the church who helped make that a reality. We have also recently remodeled the Nursery down stairs to give us another usable class room. Presently the trustees are having some of the windows of the parsonage replaced little by little and plans are in the works to pave the south parking lot.
The present pastor is Al Harmon, a native of this area. He is a graduate of Illinois Missionary Baptist Institute in Washington Ill. He has served at two other churches before coming to Toulon. He served for seven years in Brimfield and seven years in East Moline. He and Nancy, his wife of 29 years, have three children, Howard 27, Mike 23, and Victoria 2. Al and Nancy attended and graduated from Wyoming High and were married in 1969. Shortly after accepting the pastorate the church began a children's Bible club which has steadily grown over the last three years. The church mails a monthly news letter called The Messenger which is available to all who request it.
J.M. Stickney 1848-51
A. Gross 1851-55
C. Brinkerhoff 1855-57
Myron H. Negus 1857-59
William Leggett 1859-61
A. J. Wright 1861-63
E. P. Barker 1864-66
S. A. Estee 1866
Elder Dodge 1867
Elder Bodley 1868
S. Brimhall 1869-71
J. M. Stickney 1871-72
L. D. Gowan 1872-76
J. C. Hart 1876-77
A. C. Keene 1877-79
B. F. CoIwell 1879-80
E. C. Cady 1881-85
E. W. Hicks 1885-1904
Joseph Jenkins 1904-10
Joseph Pengelly 1911-13
C. C. Colby 1914-18
J. H. Pierce 1919-22
Ray Starr 1922-27
Arnold Kuzee 1928-32
R. B. Favoright 1933-36
Robert Taylor 1936-40
Harvey Preston 1940-44
Elner Graffi 1944-47
Arthur 0. Charsky 1948-53
Eugene C. Anderson 1954-74
I. Wayne Brackett 1975-82
William Shermer 1983-89
Kevin Bengtson 1990-94
Albert Harmon 1995-
Since 1973 the church has received the following memorials.
Twenty Choir Chairs were purchased by Truman Phillips and family in memory of Bette Phillips and Lloyd Phillips.
The north folding door on the balcony class rooms was purchased by Mr. & Mrs. Philip Anderson in memory of Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Pyle, Mr. & Mrs Arthur Anderson.
A fireproof door in the basement was purchased by Mr. & Mrs Philip Anderson in memory of Maude C. Pyle and Georgia Anderson.
One hundred-fifty new hymnals were purchased by Mr. & Mrs. Donald Coakley in memory of George C. Coakley.
The United States and Christian flags on the pulpit were purchased by friends in memory of Inez Anderson.
A Cabinet for the memorial book was purchased by Fred Price Jr. in memory of Lucille Price.
Two Candlabra were purchased by family and friends in memory of Leslie Roberts.
Contributions to carpet and pew fund by friends and relatives in memory of Nellie Dexter.
The center section of pews was purchased by Marvin Dexter and family in memory of Nellie P. Dexter.
Seventh pew Bibles were purchased by friends and relatives in memory of Winnie Cinnamon.
Two overhead fans in the sanctuary were purchased by the family in memory of Clara Goodwin.
Contributions to the piano fund by friends and relatives in memory of Winnie Cinnamon, Gladys Beamer, Mr. & Mrs. Rolla Cole, Ileen Minton, & Bert Campbell.
$2,800.00 to the speaker system by friends and relatives in memory of all the church members who have passed away.
The bulletin board in front of the church was purchased by Lena, his wife, Merlyn, his son, Donna Allen his daughter, relatives and friends in memory of Harold E. Kid.
$100.00 for the window fund by her daughter Irene Burcham in memory of Ethel Burcham.
$483.00 for the window fund by relatives and friends in memory of David Harrington.
$500.00 for the window fund by his wife Jessie Burcham in memory of Preston Burcham.
Contributions to the window fund by friends and relatives in memory of Elizabeth Packer.
Two new stoves were purchased for the kitchen by friends and relatives in memory of Mrs. Julia Holt and Mrs. Bertha Miller.
Contributions were given toward the purchase of a copier for the office by friends and relatives in memory of Jessie Burcham, Lucille Wilkinson, Louise Turner, Dean Briner and Henry Winans.
A new baptistery was purchased by friends and relatives and friends in memory of Mr. Roy Schmidt.
The cabinet holding the Memorial Book, some choir robes were purchased and contributions toward the copier by his family and friends in memory of Mr. Fred Price Jr.
A computer was purchased by friends and relatives in memory of J. Merlyn Kidd.
Computer software was purchased by friends and relatives in memory of Donald Blakey.
A VCR was purchased by friends and relatives in memory of Alice House.
A TV set was purchased by friends and relatives in memory of Donald O. Phillips and Mrs. Goldie Bland.
Baptismal gowns and boots were purchased by friends and relatives in memory of John Henry Campbell.
Chorus books were purchased by friends and relatives in memory of Julia Campbell.
A duel deck tape recorder was purchased by friends and relatives in memory of Sara Newman.
Contributions were made toward the purchase of Children's baptismal robes and choir robes by friends and relatives in memory of Ronald Holt.
Choir robes were purchased by friends and relatives in memory of James Marvin Cinnamon Jr.
Choir robes were purchased by friends and relatives in memory of Jessie Smith Miller.
Fifteen choral music folders and three videos and two books were purchased by the family in memory of Mr. Mrs. Roy Gehrt.
Contributions were given toward the purchase of a copier for the office by friends and relatives in memory of Frank Deuel, Harvey Packer, Burt Willard Eltzroth and Bess Bamber.
A six piece parchment set and two stoles were purchased by friends and relatives in memory of Leslie Cox.
Contributions toward the purchase of a washer and dryer for the parsonage by family and friends in memory of Marguerite Allen and Lena Kidd.
Sound equipment and air conditioners were purchased by her son William Henry Price in his will to the church in memory of Fannie May Price.
Bibles for the Pioneer Club were purchased by friends and relatives in memory of Irene Lomelino.
An overhead projector was purchased and contributions received toward the purchase of air conditioners by friends and relatives in memory of Edgar Sams.
Contributions toward the purchase of air conditioners was given by family and friends in memory of Margaret Price, Edith Peterson and Lillie Beall.
A video projector was purchased by family and friends in memory of Kenny Blakey.
Twenty chorus books were purchased by friends and relatives in memory of Lucille C. Frain.
Contributions were given toward the new south entrance of the church by friends and family in memory of Muriel Briner, Roy Dutton, Fred Price Jr. and Marvin Dexter.
There is over $15,000.00 in the memorial fund which was given in memory of the following people: Mrs. Irene Hagy, Howard Negley, Mrs. Pansy Edwards, Earl Roark, Don Tracy, Matt Miller, Mrs. Lucille Cox Meyers, Glen Dixon, Mrs. Ethel Burcham, Ezra Bass, Mrs. Bette Phillips, Garnet Booker, Everett Dutton, Miss. Gladys Dexter, George Coakley, Leslie Roberts, Lester Winans, Mrs. Lucille Price, Mrs. Inez Anderson, Lloyd Phillips, Mrs. Nellie Dexter, Mrs. Flora Morrell, Mrs. Laura Campbell, Merle Bell, Truman Phillips, Rev. Eugene Anderson, Mrs. Lora Dixon, Mrs. Margaret Bell, Mrs. Winnie Cinnamon, Mrs. Kate Berry, Mr. & Mrs. Rolla Cole, Mrs. Clara Goodwin, Ira Carter, Raymond Carter, Bert Campbell, Mrs. Gladys Beamer, Elizabeth Packer, Ileen Minton, Harold Kid, David Harrington, Bertha Miller, Mrs. Julia Holt, Mrs. Jessie Burcham, Mrs. Lucille Wilkinson, Mrs. Louise Turner, Henry Winans, Marvin Dexter, Dean Briner, Mrs. Verda Roark, Mrs. Goldie Bland, Donald Phillips, Ruby Dennis, Roy Schmidt, Donald Blakey, Alice M. House, Bess Bamber, Fred Price Jr., Bonnie Packer, Mrs. Roy Gehrt. Burt Willard Elzroth, Jessie Smith Miller, J. Merlyn Kidd, Roy Dutton, J. Henry Campbell, Jim Cinnamon, Ronald Holt, Mrs. Julia Campbell, Frank Deuel, Mrs. Lena Kidd, Mabel Keckler, Sara Newman, Roger Blair, David Anderson, Robert E. Brady, Marguerite Allen, Leslie Cox, Edgar Sams, Margaret Price, Edith Peterson, Lillie Beall, Irene Lomelino, Sadie Jackson, Mae Martin, Betty Cinnamon, Lucille Frain, Irene Scott, Jim Williamson, Kenny Blakey, Muriel Briner, Wilma Sams, Kenneth & Jean Poole, Virginia King, Preston Burcham.
The church has also received several monetary gifts from members and non-members of the community toward the several different projects that the church has and is undertaking.
Fifty Year Members
Phillip Allen 5-19-35
Ruthe Anderson 1-24-26
Donna Allen 4-10-41
Verna Blakey 12-28-41
Irene Burcham 5-11-24
Zella Dutton 5-11-24
Verena Faw 3-9-13
Fannie Jackson 4-4-17
Harold Mortimer 4-21-46
Marilyn Musselman 5-16-48
Louetta Mason 5-19-35
Harriet Nowlan 5-5-18
Roger Nowlan 4-21-46
Katherine Patterson 1-31-26
Robert Price 4-21-46
Irene Price 4-6-41
Dorothy Schmidt 4-16-33
Stella White 3-8-21
Elsie Winans 5-8-27
Robert Winans 5-11-24
Moderator Cal Lomelino
Co-clerks Alice Hedges Marilyn Musselman
Treasurer Cindy Jackson
Asst. Treasurer Millie Schmidt
Benevolence Treasurer Sue Hardman
(4 Year Term)
Lee Dutton 1999
Eugene Musselman 1999
William Winans 2000
Duane Allen 2000
Robin Nowlan 2001
Dan Hardman 2001
Dale Jackson 2002
(3 Year Term)
Alice Hedges 1999
Lyndia Meaker 2000
Mary Lomelino 2001
Alice Lewis 2001
(3 Year Term)
Philip Allen 1999
Dorothy Schmidt 1999
Ronald Musselman 2000
Philip Anderson 2000
Bob Price 2001
Lorraine Dexter 2001
Cal Lomelino 2001
(1 Year Term)
Harry Foglesong 1999
Milan Dexter 1999
Board of Christian Education
Connie Webster 1999
Michelle Hendrick 1999
Mary Beth Kelly 2000
Vicki Nowlan 2000
Marlis Dutton. S.S. 2001
Sue Hardman 2001
Violet Cox 2001
(1 Year Term)
Alice Harrington 1999
(1 Year Term)
Judy Nowlan 1999
Superintendent- Marlis Dutton 1999
Treasurer- Lee Dutton 1999
Secretary- Michele Hendrick 1999
Mary Beth Kelly
Harry Foglesong, Ch.
Sue Hardman, Ch.
PASTOR RELATIONS COMMITTEE
Ron Musselman Ch.
Sue Hardman, Ch.
Mr. & Mrs Duane Allen, Co-Ch.
Mr. & Mrs Dan Hardman, Co.-Ch.
Mr. & Mrs. Shane Milroy
Mr. & Mrs. Roger Nowlan
Mr. & Mrs. Phil Allen
Mr. & Mrs. Richard Hendrick
1. Stark County Illinois and its People by J. Knox Hall Volume I Published 1916
2. Stark County History M. A. Leeson Published 1887
3. Stark County and its Pioneers Mrs. E. H. Shallenberger Published 1876
4. Stark County and its Pioneers Mrs. E. H. Shallenberger Published 1876
5. Paper read by Mrs. E. B. Packer on May 13, 1848 Side Lights
6. Stark County Illinois and its People by J. Knox Hall Volume I Published 1916
7. Stark County History M. A. Leeson Published 1887
8. Stark County History M. A. Leeson Published 1887
9. Paper read by Mrs. E. B. Packer on May 13, 1848 Side Lights
10. Stark County and its Pioneers Mrs. E. H. Shallenberger Published 1876
11. Stark County and its Pioneers Mrs. E. H. Shallenberger Published 1876
12. Stark County History M. A. Leeson Published 1887
13. Stark County and its Pioneers Mrs. E. H. Shallenberger Published 1876
14. Stark County History M. A. Leeson Published 1887
15. Stark County History M. A. Leeson Published 1887
16. Paper read by Mrs. E. B. Packer on May 13, 1848 Side Lights
17. Stark County News September 27, 1894
18. Pictures of the Past, Memories of Old Toulon, Presented tot he Old Settlers of Stark County, Mrs. H. M. Blair, Date unknown, after 1894?
19. Stark County History M. A. Leeson Published 1887
20. Stark County History M. A. Leeson Published 1887
21. June 1, 1904 Stark County News?
22. Stark County News Wednesday September 9, 1908
23. Stark County News September 16, 1908
24. Stark County News October 7, 1908
25. Paper prepared by Ethel and Theodore Laub for the 1966 class reunion.
26. Paper read by Mrs. E. B. Packer on May 13, 1848 Side Lights
27. Paper read by Mrs. E. B. Packer on May 13, 1848 Side Lights
28. Paper read by Mrs. E. B. Packer on May 13, 1848 Side Lights