History of Madison County
Darby Township Churches
From History of Madison County, W. H. Beers & Co, Chicago, 1883
The first Christian society was organized by the Methodist Episcopal Church about the year 1812. Its first church building was made of hewn logs, closely notched at the ends, and, from its resemblance to the primitive block-house used in frontier life, it was called the Block Church. Its location was about one-half mile south of Plain City, near the present cemetery. For many years this was a flourishing society, but subsequently it united with a recent organization of the same order, and built the first church in this place in 1840.
Converse Chapel. – This was a Methodist society and organized in 1816. For many years, the only place of worship was the Converse Schoolhouse of that neighborhood. This society subsequently became the most flourishing organization in the township. In 1840, it erected the largest church edifice in this part of the county. For about thirty-five years, this commodious building was used as a place of worship. There are those yet living who, with heartfelt emotions, can point to the once graceful but now dilapidated edifice and say, "Yonder stands my Christian Alma Mater." About the year 1875, this society was united with that of Plain City.
PLAIN CITY CHURCHES
The Methodist Episcopal Church numbers about one hundred and sixty, and is in a flourishing and prosperous condition. Its Sabbath school organization is largely attended, and is instructive and attractive. The church edifice, situated on North Chillicothe street, is a recent superstructure, presents a fine appearance, large and commodious, with many of the most approved modern improvements. Its parsonage, standing upon the same lot, is really a mansion in appearance, beautiful and convenient withal.
Presbyterian Church. – This society numbers about one hundred and thirty. The most of its members are residents of Union County, and was organized here in 1850. The condition of this society is that of prosperity. The Sabbath school is interesting and well attended. The church edifice is situated on East Main street, a brick structure, graceful in appearance, and commodious and convenient.
Universalist Church. – This society was organized in 1850. Its membership is about one hundred and twenty. Its condition is prosperous, and has in connection an interesting and well-attended Sabbath school. The church is situated on South Chillicothe street. Having been built for several years, it therefore fails in some of the more modern improvements.
Catholic Church. – The membership of this faith is quite numerous. Like others of a similar belief, they are gathered in for many miles. Those that have been baptized into this faith are members of that society most easy of access. They have no church, but a former private residence has been fitted up for a temporary place in which to hold services. The Catholic population is steadily growing, and doubtless in a few years will be sufficiently strong to erect a new edifice.
Baptist Church. – The society here is in its infancy, therefore its membership is rather limited. It has regular pulpit services, but no Sabbath school. Its church edifice is a rented one, belonging to the United Brethren, a society once in a flourishing condition.
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