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CLINTON CHRISTIAN CHURCH


In the spring of 1851 Walter P. Bowles and William Springer were holding a meeting four miles 
south of Clinton at the house of Hiram Dotsen; while there elder Springer proposed to W. P. 
Bowles and others present, the building of a meeting house at the county seat. All present 
approved of the move. A meeting was called and a building committee was appointed, consisting 
of William G. Springer, William Bowlin, and Samuel Brown. The committee secured the lot where 
the church now stands, as a gift from Judge David Davis, and in the early part of 1852 had the
house ready for use.

Still the congregation was not yet organized. there were members enough for a small congregation
living in and around Clinton. In the fall of 1852 William G. Springer, then acting county 
assessor, commenced a protracted meeting , during which Elder Shockey, of Indiana, came to 
Clinton and assisted in the meeting; At the close of the meeting the Clinton Christian Church 
was organized. The first elders were William  Bowlin, W.G. Springer; deacons, Abram Crum and
Milton Oakerson.  The preachers who have labored for this congregation are William G. Springer,
William Morrow, C.F.  Short, Dudley Downs, J.J. Miles, D.D. Miller, J.C. Tulley, G.F. Adams and
Samuel Lowe. Protracted meetings were held by William Brown in 1856, W.P. Shockey in 1858; W. 
Houston in 1859; John Q.A. Houston and dudley Downs in 1860-6-. Ath this meeting the crowd was
so great that the meeting that the church floor broke down, and produced quite a stampede. David
Walk in 1862; Benjamin Franklin in 1863; R.B. Roberts and George Owen 1867; Alexander Hutcherson
in 1868; E.T. Bennett in 1869; and the following named ministers have preached  for the church
occasionally; Charles Rowe, James Mitchel, James Robinson, Harry Vandervort, W.H. Crow. and 
Elijah Stout.  The Present officers are J.J. Miles and Edward Allyn, elders; R.B.Bowles and, 
--------, deacons. present membership thirty-two. Two public discussions have been held have 
been held in this church a the first between William Shockey, Christain, and Rev. Josiah Davis,
Universalist; the second between Dudley Downs, Christian, and Dr. Summerbell, (newlight,) 
Christian. The church has a Sunday school in connection with the social meetings and meets 
regularly every Lord's day. this church has had a hard struggle to keep up its organization, 
and its meetings have not been very regular in the past; It has had its times of prosperity and
adversity, and we trust a brighter day is dawning for the struggling congregation.  Dudley 
Downs made his home with this congregation several years and the period of its greatest 
prosperity was when he labored for it; he was a man of great zealand piety, an eloquent and 
persuasive speaker, and a sweet singer. His singing added much to the interest of his meetings.
For a time he was one of the editors of the Christian Herald, a monthly, first published at 
Wapella and afterwards at Eureka. His writings, like that of his preaching, was full persuasive 
eloquence. He was born 1836, and came to this county in 1861. by his preaching large numbers 
were added though the various congregations throughout this county. In 1869 he went to Tennessee,
and from thence to Minnesota in hopes of restoring his health, but his labors had been unceasing,
and his exposure so great, that consumption hurried his body into the grave, while his spirit 
winged its way into "the realms of the blest," and "He knows what what it is to be there," 
(one of his favorite songs). He died at St. Paul, Minn., in 1870, at the age of thirty-four. End.
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