Was organized at Lincoln, Kansas, in the year of 1879 by a few of the early settlers at the residence of T.V. Malone. The present church building was built in 1906. Rev. J.S. Strange was one of the early ministers, followed by such men are Rev. E. Cameron, O.B. Whitaker and Fred Cooper. Its present minister is Rev. R.L. Hendrickson. It has grown from a mere handful to its present membership, which number about 100 active members. The Sunday school, under the superintendence of Calvin Couse, is gaining rapidly in membership. The church principles are: The Bible our only Creed; Private Interpretation to all; Fellowship to all Christians; Government—Congregational.
First Baptist Church
The first steps taken towards this organization was on the 25th of January, 1873, when a number of Baptists in and about Lincoln got together and discussed the propriety of organizing a church. The result of this conference was a decision to organize, and at the same time a call for a council from sister churches to recognize the church. The date chosen for this occasion was March 1st of the same year and on that date the church was duly organized and on the same date delegates from sister Baptist churches met and recognized her as a regular Baptist church.
Rev. J.A. Woody of Salt Creek, was moderator and N.C. Davis, clerk. Rev. J.R. Downer, of Salina, preached the sermon and gave the church the hand of fellowship while Rev. J.A. Woody offered prayer and delivered charge to the church.
The charter members were D.W. Henderson, S.A. Henderson, T.S. Henderson, L.C. Gunn, S.A. Gunn, Vista Perkins, Ebenezer Perry, R.D. Perry, S.A. Perry, A.C. Allen, F.E. Allen, U. Farnsworth, James Askey, Eben Perry Jr. and the first officers [unreadable]; S.A. Perry, clerk. For trustees: D.W. Henderson, L.C. Gunn, James Askey, A.C. Allen, and Ebnezer Perry. Rev. J.A. Woody was chosen pastor and the place of meeting was the school house in Lincoln. Afterwards they moved to Lost Creek school and later back to town to the court house, after which in 1878 they managed through much discouragement and sacrifice to erect their first church building, which they occupied until the present structure was erected in1903 during the pastorate of the late E.L. Barber, under whose labors the church reached its highest efficiency.
The five-room parsonage was built in 1886 duing the pastorate of the Rev. J.C. Henry. This splendid plant with its fine location has not a dollar of indebtedness against it.
The membership is small but Sabbath school is maintained regularly.
Free Methodist Church
The Free Methodists have had regular work in and about Lincoln for at least 20 years.
At the present they have a neat little church and parsonage two blocks north of the court house square, where a full gospel, i.e., a salvation from the "guilt, power" and "being" of sin, is preached every Sabbath. They also have a small Sunday school which we believe is growing in interest.
While their membership is not large they remember that Christ said: "few there be that find it," so they believe that quality counts more than quantity and strive to obtain and proclaim that "holiness without which no man shall see the Lord."
W.H. Cook is just beginning his first year’s pastorate and the Lord is blessing them with some victories which we hope are only the "mercy drops" before the showers of revival with which He is going to visit them.
In 1873 Rev. H.C. Bradbury came to Lincoln for the purpose of organizing a Presbyterian church. He found three Presbyterians, Mr. and Mrs. E.B. Bishop and Miss Lizzie McNair, who served as the nucleus of the organization.
In 1875 they began the erection of the old stone church. Money was scarce in those days. It required much time as well as large sacrifice on the part of the people to complete the building. It was not until 1879 that it was ready for dedication. For those early days it was a very substantial structure. The building was improved from time to time and it continued the house of worship until the present time.
In 1881 Rev. E. Bradbury, father of H.C. Bradbury, became the minister of the church. He was followed by W.S. Ward, W.A. Simpkins, Wm. Campbell, Wm. Mack, B.F. McMillan, R. Arthur, John M. Parsons, S.B. Lucas, Geo. McNab, Geo. R. Jackman, Frank Dametz and Jay C. Hanna.
In 1911 it was found necessary to put up a small building beside the church to provide room for the growing Bible school. Last spring it was decided to erect a new building to meet the increasing demands. In September, the old building was torn down. The corner stone of the new church was laid October 21 of this year.
The present elders are J. Albert Smith, clerk; George Hawkins and Edgar Baker, deacons; W.W. Troup, W.E. Lyon and Wm. Smith.
The Sunday school superintendents are W.E. Lyon, Mrs. J.A. Smith and Mrs. Herman Knoch.
The history of the Catholic Church in Lincoln county had its beginning in the mystic age of romance and discovery in the New World, back to the time of the earliest exploration in America, and as it is impossible to give the date of the first celebration of the Holy Mass in Lincoln county, we feel assured that the first priest to set foot upon the soil of the county was the padre who accompanied Francisco Vasquez DeCoronado in his exploration of the west. This was about the year 1541, and for centuries afterwards the history of the church in this county is unknown, for not until the year 1867 do we find any trace of a priest within the confines of what is now Lincoln county.
The first Holy Mass celebrated in Lincoln county was at Rocky Hill in 1867, by Rev. Father Lemarte, a Frenchman, who afterwards died of the cholera in Ellsworth, Kansas, and whose body was later disinterred and buried at St. Mary’s, Kansas, and today there are several persons living who were devout adorers at that Mass and whose account of it is as vivid as though it happened yesterday.
The structure was a log cabin; the priest had come from Ellsworth, Kansas, and was not see again for months, but the offer of free homes had been heralded far and near and the fertile valley of the Saline was soon the home of a large number of Irish Catholics.
In the early days Holy Mass was celebrated once or twice a year and the coming of the priest was looked forward to with the greatest of pleasure by the Catholics who then dwelt in Lincoln county.
The log cabin, with dirt roof, was the only shelter that could be found and Cathechetical instructions were given to the little ones and confessions were heard on the bank of the Saline beneath a friendly cottonwood tree.
The priest slept at nightfall wherever he could find sufficient space to stretch his weary limbs and often the saddle was his piillow and the hard earth his bed. He had long and weary rides on horseback, through a country infested with Indians and wild animals, blizzards in the winter and dashing rains in the torrid days in summer. Instead of well defined roads, there were only the great game trails made by the freighting trains that comprised the only means of transportation in that early day.
The names of the priests who attended to the spiritual interests of Catholics of Lincoln county were as follows: Fathers Coffey, Fogerty, Temphouse, Nutman, Logker, O’Connor, Kelly, Brockett, Carius, Mangan, Caravan, Regan, McNamara, Donovan, McGuiness and the present pastor, Father Fitz Gerald.
It was not until the year 1878 that the first Catholic church was erected in Lincoln county by Father Temphouse, and the founders of the townsite of Lincoln Center were considerate enough to deed to the church a block of ground.
During Father McNamara’s pastorate a new parsonage was built, and later the old church was replaced by the present magnificent new St. Patrick’s valued at $10,000. Including St. John’s Church, of Vesper, which is a mission attached to Lincoln, the Catholic membership numbers about 325 souls.
Towards the erection of the above said buildings the citizens of Lincoln and residents throughout the county, irrespective of creed and nationality, contributed generously. We trust God will bless and enrich them one hundred fold and indeed it affords us great pleasure to again renew in this mammoth edition of the Lincoln Sentinel and in the name of the Catholics of Lincoln county our heartfelt gratitude and sincere appreciation of your valued and generous material assistance.
The stones that form the building we meet in are knit together and cemented into one great whole or unity, and form a poem – a song of praise poured forth from the grateful hearts that raised it, in mute eloquence to the Most High God.
The Church of Christ
The Church of Christ at Lincoln held its first meeting for the purpose of organization under the supervision of M.P. King, evangelist, Aug. 23, 1885, at which time 18 persons enrolled as members and at a meeting in November of the same year trustees were elected. In June 1886, [can’t read] Morgans, evangelist, held a four-weeks’ meeting and the membership was increased to 63.
July 2, 1886, the organization of the official board was completed by the election of Elders and Deacons.
In the spring of 1887 the erection of a house of worship was begun and on July 31, the building was dedicated.
The Bible School has from the beginning held a prominent place in the church work, and has been instrumental in bringing many souls to Christ.
C.H. Brown is minister and R.J. Brunt superintendent of the Bible School.
All desiring to worship with this congregation are cordially invited to attend any or all services.
The Methodist history in Lincoln county dates back to April 2, 1871, Brother J.N. Bartels of Salina preached the first sermon as a preacher in charge of Lincoln county and parts of Ottawa, Ellsworth, Russell and Mitchell counties. The first points that were held as regular preaching stands in Lincoln county were what is known as Rocky Hill and Elkhorn school house where many interesting services were held for many years by John Medcraft [can’t read several words] and L.A. Green. Church was also organized at the Moore school house and what was known as Colorado with about 40 members. Services were held at this point every two weeks, with very gracious results. Then came the grasshopper years of 1872-73. In 1874 organization was effected at what was known as Marton school in Ottawa county. All these were east of Lincoln. West of Lincoln there were Vesper, Sylvan Grove school houses and also at the house of Chas. Heaton on Twin Creek. The preacher was A.N. Maxon assisted by J. Medcraft and P. Barker. But with the grasshopper years everything stopped and all the preachers left except J. Medcraft who was fixed so that he could not leave. In 1872 the church was organized in Lincoln by the following charter members: John Medcraft, T.A. Mathews and wife, L. Farnsworth and wife, J.C. Parker and wife, Henry Bizick [Buzick?] and wife, Urban Farnsworth and wife and Mr. Stewart and wife.
The ministers of the church since its organization are as follows: O.H. Maxon, J. Medcraft, J. McDowell, S.A. Green, J.M. Miller, J. Medcraft, W. T. Robinson, J. McDowell, J.A. Stayt, W.H. Sweet, C.W. Casley, D.G. Murry, N.P. Tedrick, W.L. Cannon, H.M. Mayo, R.H. McDade, R.A. Hoffman, W.D. Schermerhorn, H.O. Hotler, W.H. Sweet, A.N. Smith, S.A. Chappell, J.W. Snapp, B.T. Stauber, C.W. Stevens and G.R. Hall who is in charge at this time.
The church has grown from 13 members to 320 and the Sunday school has an enrollment of about 50 and the average attendance last year was 320 and this year will reach about 335.