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Hopewell Church
Gillespie Township, Illinois
 
By Robert Webb
 
      Hopewell Church was organized August 6, 1831, at the home of Brother Joseph Hilyard, by the following six members, viz., Elder Pleasant Lemay, Genetta Lemay, Patton Walker, Martha Walker, John Allen and Joseph Hilyard. The presbytery consisted of Elders John Morris, Alexander Conlee and William Jones, and Brother David Gimblin. It was the first church in Gillespie township.
 
       Elder Lemay was chosen pastor in September 1831, and continued in that office until his death in 1845. He was followed by Elders William F. Jerrell, David Gimblin, G. W. Jones, W. I. Dobbs, A. J. Witty, and J. A. Modlin.
 
       Hopewell Church first joined the Illinois Association. In 1834, the church united with the Apple Creek Association. Hopewell Church was one of the churches dismissed from the Apple Creek Association, which organized the Concord Association in November 1838.
 
       In April 1836, the church granted "a request from the Otter Fork to send our ministerial aid to assist in constituting them into a church, if found in order, on the last Saturday in April and first Sunday in May." In 1838, the church dismissed six members to organize Sugar Creek Church. In February 1852 the church sent ordained help to constitute brethren living on Cahokia into a church.
 
       In May 1835, the church agreed to build a meeting house. In May 1851, the church appointed a committee of three "as a building or repairing committee, for to build or repair the meeting house." In April 1852, the church requested a deed to be obtained for the one acre of land on which the meeting house stands. No other mention of the site, or description of the meeting house, is given. The church was apparently located in Gillespie township, on Spanish Needle Prairie, and near the Wheeler Cemetery.
A photo of the meeting house has not been found.
 
SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:
Adams, Allen, Ambrose, Best, Blevins, Broderick, Buchanan, Carroll, Chasteen, Conlee, Cottrell, Davis, Dewhurst, Dobbs, Ewing, Gilley, Gimblin, Gray, Grimes, Gwin, Harris, Hilyard, Huddleston, Jarvis, Jerrell, Johnson, Jones, Keel, Keller, Keltner, King, Lemay, Mahurin, Masters, McPeak, McWilliams, Miller, Milton, Modlin, Morrison, Nesbitt, Rafferty, Ramey, Reeves, Rice, Robertson, Robinson, Rose, Rusher, Sanders, Simmons, Skeen, Smith, Snelson, Stitts, Stratton, Suiter, Swan, Taylor, Thomas, Voyles, Wagner, Walker, Ward, Webb, Weller, Witt.

 

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