This was the first church organized in Cass county. As early as December 26, 1829, John Smith, James Smith, Charles Polk, David Patrick, Rhoda Shields and Mary Ross met for consultation concerning the organization of a Baptist church. As a result of this preliminary meeting, these same parties and probably others, met on February 20,
Pastor Martin Post
1830, and perfected an organization, assisted by John Knight and John Lemon from Deer Creek Baptist church, and Elder Samuel Arthur of Wea church. James Smith was chosen permanent moderator and Charles Polk, clerk of the church. The name, Eel River Baptist church, was adopted, often designated as the First Baptist church. Meetings were held in private houses and the Old Seminary, a brick structure, the first public building erected in Logansport, on the northeast corner of Market and Fourth streets. Elder .James Smith administered to the spiritual wants of the society once or twice a month at these meetings, assisted by Elder William Berry, until 1838, when Elder William Corbin was employed. The latter continued with the congregation until his death, November 8. 1841, only thirty-two years of age. His wife died the month previous and both lie at rest in the old cemetery.
In the spring of 1842 Rev. Wm. M. Pratt, brother of Hon. D. D. Pratt, was engaged and a great religious awakening followed and the membership increased to two hundred.
Soon after Reverend Pratt left the charge, in 1843, dissensions arose about the rules and doctrines of the church, and there were many withdrawals, especially of the prominent members, yet the church struggled along until April 3, 1852, when the Eel River or First Baptist church ceased to exist and was supplanted by
The Second Baptist Church
Before the disbanding of the First Baptist church, the withdrawing members from that congregation on April 4, 1847, organized the Second Baptist church. The organization meeting
The Old Baptist Church Building
Torn Down in 1911
was presided over, by Rev. C. M. Richmond, and Samuel A. Hall, then editor of The Pharos, acted as clerk. The following list of charter members appear on the roll: Dr. James A. Taylor, S. A. Hall, Wm. Aldrich. W. H. Aldrich, Daniel Ivans, J. H. Crain, C. M. Richmond, Mary A. Aldrich, Virginia Loomis, Mary P. Richmond, Lucinda Weirick, Elizabeth Richardson, Harriet Neff, Adkins Nash and Timothy Merritt. Rev. C. M. Richmond was chosen the first pastor and Adkins Nash, J. A. Taylor and S. A. Hall, trustees, and T. Merritt and A. Nash, deacons.
During the fall of 1848 a church site was purchased on the northeast corner of Seventh and Broadway for $475 and a small frame building was erected on the north end of the lot for a temporary house of worship.
In the year 1854 a substantial brick church was erected and occupied soon after, although not fully completed and furnished until 1862, being dedicated on March 9th of that year. This brick church served the congregation until 1911, the last farewell meeting held in the old church was on February 20, 1911, and the next day workmen began to tear down the old building to give place to the present commodious and beautiful church. It is constructed of light colored brick and stone built on the old Grecian style of architecture. It was dedicated May 20, 1912, by Rev. E. A. Hanley, assisted by the pastor.
The cost of the building and furnishings amounted to over $40,000. In 1885 a residence for the pastor was built in the rear of the church at a cost of $3,400. In 1880 the first pipe organ was purchased, costing $2,200, which was sold when the old church was razed in 1911, and the present new organ represents a capital of about $5,000. The church is prosperous, and had a membership in 1912 of 445. A Sunday school was early organized and continuously maintained. The old church bell was purchased in 1862. It cracked and a new bell was bought in 1868, weighing 1,360 pounds. This old bell, the largest in the city, could be heard for miles, and was often rang on important occasions during the Civil war and since.
In 1908 the congregation took steps to change the old name of Second Baptist church to Logansport Baptist church, by which it is now officially known.
The present officers are: Trustees, Henry Tucker, Chas. E. Richardson, H. C. Johnson; Deacons, Wm. Rowe, Ben Vail, E. D. Closson; Clerk, Mrs. B. F. Campbell; Treasurer, E. M. Hatch; Sunday School Superintendent, Frank Beroth.
The following pastors have served the congregation: Rev. James Smith, 1830-32; Wm. Reese, 1832-38; Wm. Corbin, 1840-1; Wm. M. Pratt, 1842-3: Demas Robinson, 1843-4; E. G. Manning, 1845; C. M. Richmond, 1846-8; Demas Robinson, 1848-50; John C. Barnett, 1850-2; H. A. Skinner, 1852-4; W. F. Parker, 1854-5; J. R. Ash, 1855-8; E. W. Clark, 1858-60; Silas Tucker, 1860-71, died 1871; A. H. Stote, 1871-7; H. L. Stetson, 1878-87; W. D. Slocum, 1887-90; W. H. H. Marsh, 1890-4; F. M. Huckleberry, 1895-1905; A. A. Mainwaring, 1906-9; J. F. Fraser, 1910-1913.
[From Jehu Z. Powell, Editor, History of Cass County, Indiana, Volume I, 1913, pp. 421-423. Scannhutched and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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