DeWitt M.E. Church:

The town of DeWitt (formerly known as Marion), forty-five years ago, gave name to an important
Methodist mission, several hundred miles around it. In early years this was the focal point 
where camp meetings were held. Gabreil Watt, Amos Shinkle, Col. Geo. Lemon, Wm.. Cottingham 
and others, were members then. In 1853 a house of worship was built, and the Society met in 
this place till six or seven years past it fell, or was blown down; and has not been erected
since. A parsonage was secured in 1860, which is still occupied by the ministers still in 
charge. George Nixon, who has died a few years since, was a member of this society. Mr. Nixon 
had been a trustee of the church in Clinton, and was a heavy contributor to that elegant 
structure. The Society has, by courtesy of the Protestant Methodists, worshipped in their 
church since they lost their own. The numberof members is only about twenty.  Rucker chapel 
Society belongs to DeWitt circuit. Before 1865, for many years a Methodist Society worshipped
at Britton's school-house, on the north fork of Salt creek. Mr. William Walden, Nehemiah Cain, 
--Charles Cain's family, Mr. Vandewater, and Mr. Gear. The Brittons and others, held many 
joyful meetings in those years in that neighborhood. For a long time the house of Chas. Cain 
and his brothers was the resting-place of many a weary preacher. Mrs. Charles Cain was one 
of those "elect ladies" who left a sweet and hallowed influence on all who knew her. the elder
Mr. Gear was one of the best of class-leaders, and like "Barnabas" a son of consolation. In 
1864 the church was built, and the following winter a revival of impressive  interest followed.
The writer was assisted by Rev. Robert Taylor, of the Cumberland Presbyterian church, in 
conducting these meetings.  The Society is the largest Methodist organization in the county; 
not belonging to any town. In 1881 they renovated their church inside and out, and it is said 
to look better now than when it was finished seventeen years ago.

Weldon Society also forms part of the pastoral charge of DeWitt circuit. Weldon, on the 
Wabash railroad, has been built only a few years. In 1876 there was a small number of 
Methodists living in the vicinity of Weldon; these aided largely by the citizens,  erected 
quite a creditable Methodist church. Little progress, however, has been made in adding to the 
numerical strength of the Society.  Swisher's school-house is the place where preaching is 
held by the ministers of DeWitt circuit. There is a small society here.  Parnell Society: this 
infant church organization began like the village itself, in 1881. The first thing done was 
the election of a board of trustee, and then building a church dedicated on January 8th. 1882 
by Rev.. W.H.H. Adams, D.D. , of Illinois Wesleyan  University.  These five Societies, De Witt,
Ruckers chapel, Weldon. Swisher's, Parnell, and with Deland Society in Pratt county form De 
Witt circuit pastoral charge.  the pastors who have presided on this circuit have been: In 
1861, G. Adams; 1862-3, H.C. Hockensmith; 1864-5, J.C. Rucker; 1866-7, H.C. Hockensmith; 1868,
G. Garner; 1870, T.D. T.D. Weems; 1871, D.A. Grimes; 1872,.W. F. Lowe, 1873, D. Brewer; 
1874-5-6, N.S.  Morris, 1877, -8, P. Deatheridge, 1879 and 80, W.A. McKinney;1881, Uriah 
Warrington-----Choate. The presiding elders have been the same as for Farmer city station.
Return to Churches:
Home Page: