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First Christian Church of Henry

The First Christian Church and Society, of Henry, were organized the 9th day of February, 1850, in the Protestant Methodist Church, in Henry, by Elder S. L. Pervier, with sixteen members, namely : Thomas Harless, Henry B. Burgess, William Bell, Henry Harless, John S. Scott, S. L. Pervier, Isaac Rickets, Adna Buckout, Polly Scott, Viletta Bell, Abeliny Wiley, Catharine Rickets, Polly Burgess, Clarisa Burgess, Rebecca Harless and Philena Pervier.

Their place of worship was in the Protestant Methodist Church, until they built a substantial brick 35 by 50 feet (some twenty-five feet from ground to roof), which was dedicated in June, 1851, Elder Josiah Knight, of Ohio, preaching the sermon of dedication. Thomas Harless and Richard Garretson were the principal contributors to the fund for the erection of this building.

S. L. Pervier was the first pastor; Thotnus Harless, Henry B. Burgess and S. L. Pervier, the first Trustess; H. B. Burgess, first Church Clerk; Thomas Harless and B. F. Carpenter, first Deacons; Win. D. Robinson, first Collector; Richarl Garretson, first Treasurer.

In 1852 Elder Chester Covell, of New York, was called to take charge of the Church, and in 1860 Elder J. C. Goff, of Irvington, N. J., was chosen, who remained some thirteen years as pastor.

In June of 1852 this modest edifice was the scene of a nine-days discussion which attracted wide attention at the time, the subject being The Divinity of Christ. The participants were Revs. Luccock, of Canton, and Phelps, of Princeton, Ill., of the Methodist Episcopal Church, affirmative; Rev. Oliver Barr, of Aurora, Ill., and Revs. H. Summerbell and A. L. McKinney, of Ohio, of the Christian Church, negative. A reporter was employed with a view to the subsequent publication of the proceedings and arguments in full, but his notes were never prepared for the press.

Extracted 23 Feb 2014 from Records of the Olden Time


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