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I’m back from Costa Rica where I joined the MOVE (Men Of Vision Evangelize) Ministry team to build an Open Bible Church at Nazareth, Costa Rica. I hope to write about this effort next week.
The High Point M. E. Church was located five miles east of Wishard Chapel or one mile west of Blackmore Corner. It was built about 1875 and its history was recorded by L. O. Imus and S. L. Thompson in early Record-News newspapers. Raymond Banner covered the history of Liberty Township, where High Point was located, in a book about eighteen years ago. High Point closed about 1949.
Many of Ringgold County’s earliest churches have beginnings that aren’t as well known. My notes say the Salem Evangelical Church in southwest Athens Township, was dedicated December 25, 1890. However, other records say the church began in 1894. The post office in the Salem community was called Wanamaker.
There was a Methodist Church about six miles southwest of Diagonal called Grant (Township) Center. My notes say it was dedicated March 8, 1891. That dedication date tells me it was built in late 1890 and the congregation probably spent the winter finishing the interior. The building was sold at public auction November 7, 1927.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at Lesanville was dedicated August 2, 1891. Carl DeVries bought the building in December 1931. Highway 2 ( Highway 3 at that time) was graveled in the fall of 1931 allowing folks to drive to Mount Ayr or Kellerton for church if they so desired.
A Baptist Church was built near Oakland (Saltzman) Cemetery by contractor Thomas Johnston in 1896. The 28’ x 42’ structure was dedicated June 14, 1896.
The first frame church building in Ringgold County was built in 1859 (give or take a year) in section 16 of Jefferson Township. It only lasted about 12 years. It may have been poorly constructed as 1859 is very, very early for frame buildings in Ringgold County.
I have yet to find the beginning of Pleasant Hill Church in Middle Fork Township. Different sources say 1918 or 1920. I’m sure it’s in a newspaper somewhere; I just have to find it.