ELM-GROVE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Elm grove Presbyterian church, is situated in Barnett township, De Witt County, about none
miles north-west from the Presbytery of Bloomington, Revs. Samuel Hart and A.L. Knox, and Elder
William Haynie,---the following persons being present by letter from the Presbyterian church of
Waynesville:----Thos. C. Robb, Margaret L. Robb, E.H. Robb, Clarissa J. Robb, J. Robb, Carmi
Goodrich, Margaret Goodrich, Z.D. Cantrill, Susan Cantrill, H.B. Jones, Matilda Jones, John H.
Adams, John E. Brittan, Jacob Leper, Martha Leper, G.B. Smith, Almeada Smith, James Jones, Nancy
Jones, John E. Bradley, Sarah J. Bradley, G.W. Hoffman, L.A. Hoffman, E.L. Hoffman, Laura A.
Hoffman, S.A. Graham, Sallie Graham, A.W. Bell, Elizabeth Bell, Susan Milsted, Flora Goodrich,
Isadora Bradley, Deborah Ingham, George R. Ingham, J.H. Robb, Charles Robb, Peter L. Robb, Perry
Robb, S.B. Clayton, S.B. Clayton, J.M. Goodrich, D.W. Lauterman, b.S. Lauterman, George W.
Wright, Alexander Stewart, and Henry Graham, Miss Tillie Adair (now Mrs. John Adams), from the
United Presbyterian Church of Sunbury, Pa.--45 members in all.
Z.D. Cantrill and J.E. Brittan were elected as elders. Mr. Brittan was ordained and the two were
installed elders (Mr. C. having served as elder in the Presbyterian church of Waynesville,Ill.)
Thomas C. Robb and Jacob Leper were elected deacons--they having served as deacons in the church
at Waynesvulle, were duly installed as deacons. John Bradley, W.W. Graham, and Thomas C. Robb
were elected trustees. Feb. 16, 1873, Mrs. Susan Cantrill, Miss Sarah Ida Brittan, and Miss
Martha Robb were admitted on examination. March 1, 1873, George W. Mabury, Carmi G. Cantrill,
Henry A. Goodrich, Willis B. Morse, Robt. B. Banks, and Miss Emma Brittan were added on
examination; Thos.W. Hull and Maggie Hull on certificates. Aug. 17, 1873, Miss Sarah J. Adair
on certificate. May 17, 1874, J.T. Jones on certificate. December 15, 1875, Perry was dismissed
by letter, Aug. 21, 1876, Thos. C. Robb, Margaret Robb, and Martha Robb were dismissed by letter
to Presbyterian church at Lincoln, Ills., and Miss Sarah J. Adair to the U.P. Church in Chicago,
Ill., April 23, 1877, A. Stewart to the M.E. church of Waynesville, Ills. June 3, 1877, James E.
Longbrake, Edgar H. Williams. Henry M. Teal, and Mrs. Ida M. Teal were added on examination.
June 7, 1877, John H. Adams Sam'l. A. Graham were elected ruling elders. Z.D. Cantrill having
resigned. E.H. Robb, G.B. Smith and A.W. Bell were elected trustees for two years. June 16, 1877,
Mrs. Sarah A. Longbrake and Mr. William Ellis were admitted on examination. Jan. 26, 1879, Mr.
George W. Wright dismissed to church at Miron, Ind. April 10, 1880, letters of dismission to
Elder J.H. Adams, Matilda Adams, and Edgar Adams to Presbyterian church at Appleton City, Mo.;
J.W. Leper and Martha Leper to Presbyterian church at Waynwsville, Illinois; James T. Jones to
M.E. church, Pilot Grove, Missouri.
Since the organization of this church with forty-five members, there have been added on
examination fifteen, and on certificate four---making a total of sixty-four members; of which
thirteen have received letters of dismission, ten have left without letters, and removed without
the bounds of this church; and there are about ten who do not attend to any of the church
meetings or or take part in the support of the gospel of this church--- leaving the present
membership to be nominally thirty-one. Of these only a few are active members, and only one
elder, to bear the most of the expense of the church, viz: J. E. Brittan, who has ever been
faithful to the Master's cause.
Sabbath-school has maintained in this church pretty regularly since its organization, except in
some of the winter seasons, and has proved to be a benefit to the neighborhood, as we find that
accessions have been made from its number to the church. The ministers who have served this
church are: Revs. S. V. McKee, J.W, McDonald, S.A. Srevenson, W.W. Faris, and A. H. Bates.
These have spent a part of their time with this and the church at Waynesvill, except Rev. W.W.
Faris, who was the pastor of the Presbyterian church at Clinton and supplied the pulpit about
once a month. the church at present is without a supply, but arrangements are being made for a
Present elders: J.E. Brittan and S.A. Graham; although Mr. Graham is really outside the bounds,
but has not changed his membership.
The First Presbyterian Church ever organized is what is now De Witt county, was organized at
Waynesville, June 25, 1836, (Waynesville being a part of McLean county,) by a committee
appointed by the Presbytery of Sangamon, Rev. Lemuel Foster; Rev. Flavel Bascom being absent.
The following persons being received by letters from other churches, viz: Joshua Cantrill and
Rachel, his wife, Samuel Baker, and Margaret, his wife, Zebulon G. Cantrill and Sarah, his wife,
Zebulon Cantrill and Polly, his wife, Wm. Dye and Nancy, his wife, John S. Polk, Mary M. Polk,
Mrs. Mary Dunham, Mrs. Minerva McIntire, Mrs. Mary Atchison, Mrs. Eliza Dunham, Zebulon P.
Cantrill, Levi Cantrill, Polly Cantrill, Nancy Cantrill, amd Mrs. Marsha Hull. the above
named persons adopted the following as their Covenant:: "You do now in the presence of God his
holy angels and this assembly avouch, the Lord Jehovah to be your God. God the Father to be
your Father and perserver. God the Son to be your intercessor and Saviour. God the Holy Ghost
to be your sanctifier and comforter, and the word of God to be your only rule of Faith and
practice. And you do now solemnly dedicate and give up yourselves and give up all you have to
him, confessing that your sins deserve his wrath and trusting solely in his mercy through
Christ for pardon and salvation. You cheerfully promise that you will rely on the proffered
and needful aids of his Spirit for the discharge of every duty, and lead a life of piety and
devotion toward God, of sobriety and watchfullness towards yourselves and uprightness and
benevolence toward men; that you will that you will seek the glory of God, and the prosperity
to the Redeemer's Kingdom as your supreme object, and that you will take Christ for your example
and walk with his people all the days of your life. And since he has appointed spiritual
administrations such as sacraments to seal and signify and exhibit the benefits of his death
and purchase; also administrations for the disorderly, censures for offenders, consolation for
the penitent; teaching quickenings, exhortations, brotherly watchfullness and church discipline
for the perfecting of the saints; you faithfully covenant that you will yield your influence and
support, cheerfully submit to the to the regular dispensation of all these in the church of
Christ; that you will walk in love and charity with its members and conscienciously labor to
promote its purity peace, unity and edification till in the providence of God your relation with
it shall be dissolved." With an affecting belief that your vows are recorded on high and will
be reviewed in the day of final judgement, to this covenant you give your cordial assent.
Joshua Cantrill, Samuel Baker were then elected elders and on Sabbath, June 26, Mr. Baker was
ordained and these two brothers installed into the the office of ruling elders. The Lord's
Supper was administered. It was a solemn, precious season, and the appreance and feelings of
many seemed to say that God was there..Thus was organized the first Presbyterian church in
central Illinois. the church was organized in a log barn, about one and a half miles west of the
village of Waynesville. Worship was maintained in private houses until the spring of 1839, when
a small frame house 22x28 was built on the lot where the present building now stands, which
served its purpose until 1854, when the present building was erected, 36x54, at a cost
of $2,200, This money was raised on subscription except $100, which was received from the
treasurer of the Presbyterian Church Erection Fund. The church went with the new school branch
of the church 1837, and returned to the old school branch in in the fall of 1851.
The following ministers have served the church: --1st. Rev. Lemanel Foster, who organized the
church and preached a few times; 2d, Rev. Cyrus L. Watson, one year, one-third of his time, 3d,
Rev. Josiah Porter, who commenced in March 1839, serving the church for six years and six
months; 4th, Rev. Adam Johnston, Jan. 1, 1846, served three years; 5th, Rev. James Walker,
October, 1850, served six months; 6th.Rev. Amos M. Rogers. served four years and six months.
During this time he lost his health and was compelled to resign; 7th, Rev. Wm. P. Carson who
served three months in the winter of 1854-55; 8th, Rev. John B. Dodge served four months in the
summer of and fall 1856; 9th, Rev. Thomas M. Newel commenced October 1853, served the church
eight years and six months. He died suddenly May 10, 1865 while getting ready to attend the
Wednesday evening prayer meeting; 10th, Rev. Samuel Hart, Jan. 1st, 1866 served two years and
four months; 11th, Rev. Samuel V. McKee Sept. 1863, served three years and six months; 12th,
Rev. B. E. Mayo, Jan. 1873, served one year and three months; 13th, Rev. J.M.C. McDonald, Sept.
1874, served four years and six months; 14th, Rev. A.H. Bates, Nov. 1880, served ten months,
Rev. Macomb is their minister now. The following are the names of the ruling elders: 1st,
Joshua Cantrill, Sr.,and 2nd, Samuel Baker,Sr., who was elected at the organization; 3rd,
Zebulon Cantrill. March 4, 1839; 4th, Levi Cantrill; 5th, James R. Robb Dec. 4th, 1841; 6th,
A.B. Lewis, Feb. 7, 1848; 7th, Elijah Hull; 8th, Dr. J.B. Hunt, March 17, 1852; 9th, Peter
Lauterman, June 16, 1854. April 2, 1857 Zebulon Cantrill agreed to be dismissed to go into
a new organization at Atlanta, Ill., to serve as elder Dr. John B. Hunt having moved to Clinton
and returned again was re-elected elder June 6, 1857; Zebulon Cantrill having returned his
membership from the church of Atlanta was re-elected elder Feb. 5, 1859; 10th, Col. Smith
Minturn; 11th, Dr. . J.C. Ross was elected Feb. 1859; Dr. J.B. Hunt having moved to Atlanta
and returned was elected elder Oct. 5, 1861; 12th, Zebulon B. Cantrill; 13th, Eber Davenport;
14th, John Robb was elected Sept. 4, 1869, making the whole number fourteen. Of this number
eight have died and are buried here. Three have been dismissed to other churches and three
remain and are the present elders,viz: Levi Cantrill, who has been an elder for forty years
and one of the original twenty-five, has only been absent from the meetings of his session but
once in forty years' active service. Truly this a faithful service for his church, and not
often does it occur in the history of any church.
The record does not give a full list of the deacons and trustees, the present deacons are Wm.
Whiteman and Wm. M. Sampson, and trustees are Eber Davenport, Wm. H. Cantrill and George Robb.
Of the original twenty-five only four are now living, Mr. Wm. Cantrill, M. Cantrill, Mr. Levi
Cantrill and Mrs. Nancy Robb, the last named being a member of the Presbyterian church of
Hayworth, Ill. Since the organization of this church, forty-five years ago, there have been
many precious times when the Lord has visited this branch of his vineyard and most graciously
blessed his church by various additions that have been made to its membership. There have been
added to the original twenty-five on examination 278, and on certificate 139, making the total
number 442, or a little over nine for an average of each year. Of these 442 about 110 have died,
243 have removed with letters of dissmission, 30 left without letters and fourteen are
unaccounted for; the remaining 45 are still with us and are faithfull. The ordinance of
baptisim has been administered to 100 adults and 140 infants. END.