BRETHREN-L ArchivesArchiver > BRETHREN > 2008-08 > 1220072677
Subject: [BRE] Black Swamp church, Ohio
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 01:04:37 EDT
The Gospel Messenger Nov. 20, 1937 page 23-24
Memories of the Black Swamp Church
We have not records of the early church at this place, the books having been
destroyed by five when one of the members’ home burned in 1904. Hence we
have had to rely on the memories of the older members for most of our
The earliest recollections seem to be of services held in the home of the
members every four or six weeks. Later services were held in a log house which
stood about half a mile north of the present church site and was owned By
Bro. Wm. Garner, Sr., better known as “Daudy Garner.”
He later donated the ground on which to build a church.
During this time the communion meetings, or love feast as they were always
called, were held in the barns belonging to the members.
Before the church was built, the members occasionally attended the church
near Lindsay, Ohio, which was originally the Black Swamp church. they had no
speedy cars in those days, but traveled back and forth with horses and wagons.
Some of the early preachers were Brethren Noah Hendricks, J. B. Light, John
Ebersole, Elijah Horn, Jonathan Whitmore, Christ Kraybill and S. A. Walker.
After the church at Lindsay was abandoned, the few remaning members became
members of the Black Swamp church here. On of these members survives, Sister
Salome Adams, but she is afflicted with tine infirmities of age, and is no
longer attend services.
At the time this church was built there were some thirty members. Most of
these have passed on to their rewards; only two sister survive; Sister Mary
Baker and Sister Lucy Marsh.
While the church was in the process of erection, a cyclone passed through
this territory and took the roof off a house adjoining the church property; but
the partly built church was in no way damaged. It was completed and
dedicated in the fall of 1887.
Bro. L. H. Dickey was the first elder and there were three deacons: Brethren
Jake Baker, Sam Baker, Sr. and David Harr. The first revival meeting in the
new building was held by Bro. Perry McKinney and the district meeting was
held in March of 1891. There have been two district meeting held in the church
since, one in 1903 and the other in 1923.
Sunday School was held only during the summer months for several years. Mrs.
Harry Smith was the first superintendent in about 1888. Around 1900 it was
decided to begin having Sunday School the year around and it was called the “
Evergreen Sunday School.”
The elders that followed Bro. L H. Dickey were: Sam Losse, C. L. Wilkins,
James Deary, Jacob Kiser, Will Stutzman, Joe Guthrie and our present elder,
Geo. W. Garner who has serviced us in the capacity for about ten years.
In 1914 the Toledo church was organized with twenty- one members who up
until this time had been members of the Black Swamp church this left us a
membership of 33. We have increased through the years until at present we have a
membership of 124, most of whom have been baptized into this church. the
oldest member ever baptized was the father of Eb and Jack Smith at the age of
102; and the youngest, Ruth Garner, at the age of seven.
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