Marshall County

Congregational Church of LaPrairie

This Society WBS organized at Blue Ridge January 16, 1846, by the Rev. L. N. Parker, of Galesburg, through the joint exertions of Nathaniel Smith, Ebenezer Stowell and Dr. Wilmot. The first sermon was preached by Rev. R. C. Bristol. The preamble to the articles of faith adopted recited as follows:

"Whereas, Amid the light now shining, the manufacture, use and sale of intoxicating liquors, as well as the holding of slaves or apologizing for slavery by enacting pro-slavery laws, are sins against God and these covenant vows, etc."

As this was a time when slavery had not been largely agitated, and the majority of men preferring peace and quietness to turmoil were averse to raising questions involving peril, and an abolitionist was looked upon as little better than a horse thief, it will be seen it required no small degree of courage to thus put one's self upon the record, yet the brave little band were prepared to assume the responsibility of their actions, and this advance ground has been maintained by the congregation to this day.

No member was admitted without assenting to this article, and no one refused to join on its account, but a good old Elder from abroad, publicly reading the articles of faith once on a time, carne to this clause hemmed hawed, and jumped it. But, as was quietly remarked, his race has long since passed away.

The Society grew and flourished, and in 1856 constructed a very neat church for the times, which two years later was demolished in a wind storm and soon after re-constructed. The present fine edifice one of the best in the county was built in 1876.

Extracted 23 Feb 2014 from Records of the Olden Time

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