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Xenia

Illinois

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 Churches

The churches of the village are three in number, viz., Methodist, Baptist and Christian.

Early churches

Religious worship has been held within the township since a very early date. Among the early settlers, as has already been noticed, were some zealous ministers, who lost no opportunities to appeal to the consciences and hearts of the people. A suitable place for meeting, however, presented no small barrier to their prosperity, and yet they would meet in their rude cabin homes, and there listen to the rough eloquence of their pioneer teachers. The first religious gathering, of which we have any account, was held at the house of John Onstott about 1830, and was conducted by a Rev. Whiteley, of Baptist faith, and a resident of what is now Songer Township, and the man who taught the first school in Xenia Township. Of those present at this meeting, we know of none now living except Uncle Isaac Elliott. The Baptists afterward formed a society and erected a log church near the residence of John Onstott. This house has long since been torn away, and replaced by a frame building near the same site.

The first Methodist society was organized about 1832 by Rev. Simeon Walker, consisting of about twelve members, among whom were Isaac Elliott and wife, Jacob Songer and wife, and Abram Songer and wife. For some years they worshiped in the private houses, later in the schoolhouse in old Xenia, where they finally built a brick church.

Simeon Walker, referred to above, was a man of wonderful endurance, earnest and very forcible in his appeals to the hearts of his people, and now has two sons who are noted ministers in the Methodist Conference.

The first Methodist Episcopal Church was built in Upper Town about 1845. It was a brick structure, and was built with the aid of but little ready cash, and was paid for with cattle, colts, sheep, hogs, or whatever the patron might be able to contribute. The only church of the society now in the township is the Xenia Methodist Episcopal Church, a brick building that was erected in 1865, at a cost of about $4,000. This society consists of about seventy-five members, and is the principal society of the Xenia Circuit, which comprises four appointments. Since the building of the new church, the following-named pastors have served the society: Revs. Myers, J. S. Barns, Ray, C. D. Lingenfelter, C. W. Branine, Abram Campbell, R. M. Carter, S. J. Harrington, T. J. Massey, W. B. Bruner, S. P. Chapin, and H. Manifold, the present preacher in charge.

A society of the Methodist Episcopal Church South was formed in 1864, consisting of about two dozen members, most of whom withdrew from the Methodist Episcopal Church proper. They were organized by J. W. Westcott, of Xenia, and among the original members were Abram and Jacob Songer with their wives, Caleb Lovelace and wife, William Smothers and wife, Louisa, Priscilla and Sarah Lovelace, Mary J. Songer and others. Their church, which is a humble log structure, was built in 1865, and is located on the farm of Caleb Lovelace, on Section 15, and known as the Pleasant Grove Church. It was dedicated by Rev. M. R. Jones. Their pastor of first year was J. W. Westcott, succeeded by Rev. J. A. Beagle ; the succession of ministers to the present time being Rev. Pierson, J. W. Westcott, T. M. Prickett, Rollins, T. M. Ragsdale, and H. K. Jones, the present pastor.

The organization of the Christian Church dates back to 1857, and was effected by the Rev. Philo P. Dibble, with thirty-seven original members, among whom were Hiram Gibson and wife, Michael Davis and wife, William La Rue and wife, Abram Gibson, John Bradley, James Fisher, Mrs. Symonds, Dr. H. Winans, Phoebe Dunn, James Fisher and others. The society first worshiped in an old wooden building in Upper Town, which they rented for the purpose ; and in 1871 their present frame church was erected, costing about $2,600. Revs. Bradley, John A. Williams and R. B. Henry have been the principal pastors. Their present official board consists of Hiram Gibson, Deacon ; Wesley McGrew, Elder ; and Asa Porter, Clerk.

Besides their church in the village of Xenia, the Baptists have a neat little frame church on the old Onstott farm, near where was built the first church of the township.

Extracted from History of Wayne and Clay Counties, Illinois 1884

1884 - Churches three in number

1926 - Baptist Church work nearing completion

The Xenia Baptist church is now nearing completion of the much needed work started last fall by Contractor H. O. Deabler. That is complete so far as the exterior is concerned. The interior work will be delayed until spring to test out leaks that have always been bothersome around the belfry. By this improvement we hope to have eliminated this trouble and soon as spring comes the plastering and papering will be done as fast as possible. The efforts of the members in raising sufficient funds to complete this work was greatly assisted by many laymen both in and out of Xenia. An honor roll is being prepared and will hang in the church as a token of appreciation for this assistance.

Extracted from the Flora Journal-Record - February 18, 1926

Xenia Christian Church

Address:

328 S Main St, Xenia

Phone:

(618) 678-4255

Xenia Community Church

Address:

323 E 3 St, Xenia

Phone:

(618) 678-2331

New Hope Community Church

Address:

4309 Xenia-Iola Rd, Xenia

Phone:

(618) 678-2446

Oak Mound Community Church

Address:

987 Shortleaf Rd, Xenia

Phone:

(618) 678-2845

Xenia United Methodist Church

Address:

102 3rd St, Xenia

Phone:


Pastor:

Bob McNeely