Historical Sketches of Iowa Baptists, 1886
S. H. Mitchell
by Burdette Co., Burlington, Iowa
|Eden Associations' Organized in 1853
First Appears Upon our Records in 1856
In State Convention Missions 1855 to 1886.
EDEN Association comes next to the Central in date of
organization. Said to have been organized in in 1853, its first
appearance in our records is in 1855, when the list of churches,
pastors, numbers baptized for the year, and total membership in the
order named is as follows: New Garden, A. Vanderpool, 1, 51; Peoria,
Wm. Barnett, 5, 37; Bethel; 16 members; New Providence, no pastor,
14 baptisms, 44 members; Pleasant Hill, I. M. Seay, 20, 71; Vernal,
I. M. Seay, 6, 56 Goshen, no pastor, 12 members; Walnut; Creek, 40
members; Unionville, 1, 13; Bethesda, H. Pearce, 12, 39; Bremen, S.
Dewese, 2, 18; Union, A. M. Green, 1, 13; Mount Eden, no pastor, 3,
20; Mount Pleasant, no pastor, 3, 20. The Association therefore
starts out with 14 Churches, 6 pastors, reports 66 baptisms and 450
members. The Bethesda Church was in the southwest part of
Madison county some 12 or 14 miles from Winterset. Bremen about the
same distance northwest of Albia, Monroe county. Otherwise the
territory of the Eden Association was chiefly in Wayne, Ringgold,
Lucas, Claris, Union, and possibly Appanoose counties. In 1856, as
elsewhere noticed, Rev. I. M. Seay received the first commission
issued by the Iowa Baptist State Convention to labor as its
Missionary, "It being understood that his labors should be
principally expended within the limits of the Eden Association." In
1857 there were Churches 16, pastors 8, baptized 49, total
membership 552. Chariton, Moravia and Albia are represented by small
Churches. The pastors are T. Davis, Wm. Barnett, A. M. Green, A.
Thompson, S. Dewese, J. AV. Bolster, and L. L. Greenlee. L. L.
Greenlee is clerk.
1858 ... The Annual meeting is with the
Bremen Church in the northwest part of Monroe county. J. D. Morris,
Corydon, is clerk. A year of very great prosperity. Rev. A. Thompson
has labored as Missionary of the with marked success has Convention
for this Association; baptized 82 himself and reports that 214 have
been converted. Churches 19, pastors 9, baptisms 205, total
membership 774. Chariton reports Rev. Wm. Whitehead as pastor, and
Albia Rev; J. W. Bolster. In 1859 Mount Eden is the place of
meeting, N. M. Longfellow of Centerville clerk.. Churches 21,
pastors 10. baptized 110, total membership 868. Rev. John Warren is
pastor at Chariton where he has been ordained during the year. This
is the step-father of Dr. G. J. Johnson. Rev. D. Winters is active
among the ministers of the Association. Rev. J. Parker is preaching
at Walnut Creek and Moravia, and Rev. N. Hays is at Albia.
1860 ... Peoria is the place of the Annual meeting this year, N. M.
Longfellow clerk. Another quite successful year is reported. One new
Church, the Little Flock, is added this year. Churches 22, pastors
10, baptized 135, members 965. Nearly all the Churches are supplied
with preaching a part of the time. Among the pastors not noticed
before is Rev. J. L. Cole at Corydon, W. Drummond at Pleasant Hill,
and H. S. Cloud at Bremen, Lovilla Post-office. The Association met
in 1861 at Unionville. Brother D. T. Case is clerk. Churches 24,
pastors 11, baptized 48, total membership 980. Received the New Hope
and Wayne Churches, and dismissed the Bremen (Lovilla) Church to
unite with the Oskaloosa Association. Rev. J. L. Cole has labored at
Corydon as Missionary of the Convention part of the year but finds
it a very discouraging field at the present time. The proximity to
Missouri and the unhappy state of things there, are mentioned as
principle elements of discouragement.
1862 ... The
Association met with the Bethlehem Church, Wayne county, D. Given
clerk. The statistics this year are very imperfect, and results
nearly the same as last year. In 1863 the Mt. Ararat Church, six
miles east of Centerville, is the place of meeting, T. Davis
Greenville, clerk. Churches 25, pastors 15, baptisms 57, total
membership 1029. Met in 1864 with the Union Church, A. H. Dunlap,
Chariton, clerk. Six Churches not reporting this year are left out
of the list, leaving Churches 18, pastors 9, baptized 48, total
membership of the reporting Churches 728. Pastors not before noticed
in the Association, Wm. Hildreth at Chariton, I. Blakely at
Columbia, A. Haines at Little Flock, J. Christie at New
Providence, C. Bullock at Union, and T. W. Jones at Wayne.
1865 ... Met with the Chariton Church, Friday before the third
Sabbath in September. A. H. Dunlap, clerk. Eight Churches of this
Association were dropped from the list, not having reported for
several years. Two of the pastors have died during the year, viz.,
Rev. labored as itinerating missionary under the appointment of the
State Convention, and reports 56 baptized. There are now 18
Churches, 7 pastors, 105 baptized and a total membership of 798. In
1866 the annual meeting was with the Cambria Church. A. H. Dunlap,
clerk. Churches 17; pastors 9; baptized 73; total membership 770.
Brother Bolster reports 34 baptisms at Franklin and Brother Haines
18 at Little Flock. Brother Bolster has been laboring for a part of
the year as missionary pastor at Centerville, in the Fox River
Association, but on the 4th of August was laid aside with a stroke
of paralysis, from which he has since only partially recovered. Rev.
I. A. Blakesley received appointment and labored in this Association
as missionary for two or three months, when owing to ill health he
was obliged to practically suspend labor. The Association at its
annual meeting selected Rev. N. Hays as their missionary again and
asked the Convention for aid to sustain him. In 1867 the place of
meeting unknown. Clerk, A. H. Dunlap. Statistics same as last year.
$73.75 were raised for Convention work, and the itinerating
missionary was employed a part of the year.
1868 ... Dixon
Given is clerk. There are now 22 Churches, 14 pastors, 200 baptisms
reported and a total membership of 1,051. It has been another year
of revival, evidently. Albia reports 29 baptized, J. C. Miller,
pastor, transient. Chariton 23, L. Casler, pastor. Nothing further
is remembered of this name, and it does not again appear—may be a
mistake. During a part of this year and last, Rev. P. S. Whitman did
valuable work as pastor here at Chariton. The writer remembers a
Sabbath spent here and a sort of dedication, or reopening of the
meeting house which had been undergoing repairs. There were four or
five hundred dollars to raise, and it was a doubtful pull. During
the effort a stranger arose in the congregation and gave 850. No
body knew him, and it was a surprise and an inspiration. The name is
not remembered, but he had just moved into the neighborhood of
Russell, some 9 miles east of town, and hearing of the meeting at
Chariton, he "came" and "saw" and "conquered " that debt with his
gift, for the effort was a success, assured thereby. Mount Ararat,
A. Saladay, pastor, also reports 22 baptisms. Rev. W. H. Turton
appears as pastor at Franklin; Livingston P. O. The Association in
1869 met at Goshen Church, west of Chariton. Moderator, Wm. Barnett,
clerk, D. Given, Churches 23; pastors 13; baptisms 132; members
1,270. Prosperity again attends. Rev. L. S. Livermore is preaching
at Chariton. Albia is pastor-less, but reports 36 baptisms and 100
members. But numbers do not always assure an efficient or a living
Church. They must be lively stones or the work of gathering is in
1870 ... Met with the Mount Pleasant Church. Elijah
Crawford, of Corydon, clerk. Churches 25; pastors 12; baptized
96; total membership 1,312. Eleven of the Churches report Church
property valued at $22,800. The largest number of baptisms is at
Livingston. Franklin Church, Rev. L G. Parker, pastor, 25. The
largest Churches in the Association are in the country. Mount Ararat
leads with 166 members, Goshen 107, Albia makes no report this year
but is counted 100 members, from last year's report, Chariton 91 and
Corydon 47. In 1871 the Association met at Livingston. Elijah
Crawford, clerk. Churches 25; pastors 15; baptized 95; total
membership 1,355. Albia drops to 69. Only one Church reports above
100. Meeting in 1872 at Peoria, September 10. Elijah Crawford still
clerk. Churches and pastors without marked charge. Sixty-six
baptisms reported and 1,346 members. Chariton and Corydon, county
seats, without Isaac Christie and Dr. A. W. Everett. Rev. N. Hays
has pastors. The name of the Albia Church disappears, and reappears
in the Oskaloosa Association with 14 members. In 1873 Otter Creek
was the place of the annual gathering. E. Crawford, Peoria,
clerk. The organization of the Centerville Association on the east
takes several Churches from this body. We miss Mount Ararat, the
largest Church in the Association. Churches 15; pastors 19; baptized
85; present membership 649. Rev. W. Sturgeon, from Illinois, is
pastor at Chariton, Rev. J. M. Nelson at Corydon. Peoria, Rev. Wm.
Barnett, pastor, is now the largest Church, having 102 members; 21
baptized the present year. Met in 1874 at Corydon. E. Crawford still
clerk. Rev. L. M. Newell appears as pastor at Corydon. Churches 18;
pastors 10; baptisms 29; members 762. Chariton, Rev. Wm. Sturgeon,
reports 12 baptized. None other more than three.
The Association met with the Goshen Church. Brother Crawford still
serving as clerk. Churches 17; pastors 6; baptized, only 3;
total membership 690, against 700 last year. The figures need no
comment to show fearful decline in spiritual power. Doubtless,
could we have attended this anniversary we should have found
faithful hearts bowed low in humiliation and anxious supplication
for a return of the Spirit's quickening presence. Shall we see
evidences of it in the next or subsequent reports? Assembled in 1876
at Bethlehem Church Elijah Crawford, clerk, is now located at
Allerton. An improvement upon last year is shown in the reports,
though no very marked revivals. Churches 16; pastors 5; baptized 39;
total membership 522. Rev. Wm. Sturgeon has closed his labors
at Chariton and is preaching at Corydon. Ten were baptized at
Chariton and they are now without a pastor.
1877 ... The
anniversary is at Confidence; clerk, Rev. D. Given. A Church at
Allerton is reported with nine members. Churches 14, pastors 4,
baptized 43, members 611. Cambria, J. M. Nelson pastor, report 18
baptisms; Peoria, Wm. Bartlett, 15, and Highland, L. L. Greenlee, 5.
Ten churches report no preaching, among them Corydon and Chariton,
although the latter reports three baptized and twenty added by
letter. Evidently they have had preaching a part of the year.
Cambria has the Association again in 1878. D. Given clerk; churches
13, pastors 4, preaching to 9 churches; baptized 49, membership 565.
Rev. F. M. Archer is preaching at Cambria and Corydon, the other
pastors are D. Winters, Wm. Barnett, and G. W. Smith who reports 22
baptisms at Otter Creek, Brother Barnett ]? at Goshen. Met in 1879
at Highland Church, M. Nelson, Cambria, clerk. Rev. B. F. Mace is
pastor at Chariton and reports 8 baptized. F. M. Archer 13 at
Cambria and G. W. Smith 18 at Otter Creek. Rev. A. C. Edwards
appears at Allerton. A church at Russell has appeared in the minutes
this year and last with 22 members and no other statistics. There
are good elements here and this Church will be heard from ere long.
Churches 14, pastors 5, baptized 48, total membership 616.
1880 ... Chariton welcomes the Association. M. Nelson, clerk.
Churches 12, pastors 6, baptized 27, total membership 590. Rev. C.
E. Higgins joins the roll as pastor at Allerton. Corydon has no
pastor. Little other change to note. In 1881 the Association was at
Sharon Church, C. E. Higgins clerk. Churches 13, pastors 6, baptized
31, members 632. Rev. F. M. Archer succeeds Pastor Mace at Chariton
and E. A. Spring appears at Corydon. But one pastor has been with
his present charge since 1879, two years. This is Rev. Wm. Barnett,
Highland Church. In 1882 Allerton entertains the Association. J. F.
Moody, Allerton, clerk. A year of great revivals in some of our
churches, and great religious activity, Churches 13, pastors 7,
baptisms 231, total membership 859—A larger number than any other
Association in the State. Brother Archer at Chariton has baptized
100, considerably more than doubling the membership of the Church;
Spring of Corydon 69, six other churches from 2 to 15. The
appearance of the Leon Church in this Association in 1881 should
have been noticed. Rev, F. Edwards began a good work here in 1880.
He has baptized 15 in 1882. Rev. C. E. Higgins resigned his work at
Allerton to take charge of the Walnut Street Church Burlington, and
Rev. J. F. Moody succeeds him.
1883 ... The Association met
at Corydon, R. E. Dye clerk. Churches 16, pastors 9, baptized 17,
total membership 866. Rev. M. W. Akers is pastor at Allerton. Rev.
N. H. Dailey has succeeded F. M. Archer at Chariton, he having
removed to Ida Grove in the Western Iowa Association. Rev. T. K.
Tyson has become pastor at Russell, where he reports 7 of the 17
baptisms in the Association. A very neat house of worship is about
or quite completed. They report a grand total of expenditures for
the year of $3,239.47, a good showing for a Church of 46 members.
Rev. F. Edwards has been leading a like work at Leon. They have
raised this year $2,394.75. Russell with their new house is
permitted to welcome the Association in 1884, R. E. Dye clerk.
Churches 17, pastors 9, baptized 94, total membership 929. There is
something that looks a little more like permanency in the pastoral
relation. Most of the pastors date their present settlement back to
1883 and one to 1880. Rev. R. H. Shafto is settled at Corydon, but
Allerton is without a pastor, and as we write this in 1886 it is
with the knowledge that Brother Tyson has been away from Russell
almost a year, that Brother Shafto has gone from Corydon, and that
Brother Daily has removed to Northwood in the Cedar Valley
Association, and Brother Archer has been recalled from Minnesota to
Chariton. Rev. F. Edwards is becoming quite a
veteran in Leon
1885 ... Leon welcomes the Association into her
new house of worship. R. E. Dye is still clerk. Churches 16, pastors
7, baptized 9, total membership 889. Newly settled pastors are Wm.
Carpenter at Corydon, and T. M. Rickman at Russell with F. M. Archer
recalled to Chariton. It is an off year truly as to baptisms. But
one Church in the Association numbers over 100 members.
While the history of this Association shows the great frequency of
changes as to pastoral service, yet there are honored names of
ministers who have held up the standard of truth through a long
period within the bounds of the Association, some of them through
very nearly its entire history of over 30 years. Revs. D. Winters,
Wm. Barnett, J. M. Nelson, L. L. Greenlee, and F. Edwards come now
to mind. Others might be named who have made an honorable record,
laboring much of the time at their own charges. An encouraging
feature is the increased contributions to Missionary objects.
Without taking time or space to verify the statement, the writer can
state from a careful examination of the figures that the times of
greatest spiritual prosperity in this Association are the times when
most liberal contributions have been made to the Missionary work of
In 1886 the Eden Association furnishes a
creditable report, evincing considerable vigor of life. Baptisms 91,
total membership 873; contributions for home expenses, $3,360.43;
Foreign Missions, $85.72, eleven churches contributing; State
Missions, $105.33 from seven churches; total Denominational
Benevolences $208.39; grand total for all purposes, $2,568.82.
Pastors generally holding on. A good sign.
Rev. F. Edwards
settled at Leon in 1880. He reports 26 baptized in 1886, and there
is every evidence of a healthy activity. This, prior to his
settlement, had been for many years seemingly an unfruitful field.
Rev. Gr. W. Smith has been at Highland church since 1882, and they
report 58 members. Chariton reports 27 baptized. At this writing
Rev. F. M. Archer has again resigned and been succeeded by Rev, A.
H. Post, recently of Harlan, Iowa. As compared with last year the
figures are very encouraging. Baptized in 1885, 9; in 1886, 91.