History of the Springfield and Lockland Baptist Churches
Hamilton County, OH
J. H. Tangeman, 1875
To the Delegates of the Churches, constituting the Miami Association, convened at Franklin, Warren County, Ohio:
It would give us great pleasure, If we were able to furnish a full and connected history of our church from the time of its organization. It would seem from the records of the asaociational minutes, that our organization date was in 1798. From this date, to the year 1840, their place of worship was one mile north west of Lockland, in Springfield Township. This accounts for the name, Springfield church, in its early history. The house stood on the summit of a high hill, and could be seen for miles away; and if the membership reflected a sanctified and saving influence as many miles around them, as this house could be seen, they must have been a power for good. It was here, the writer heard the first Baptist preacher - Elder James Lyon, who was pastor of the church for many years. Once a month he would commence his service Saturday, at three o'clock, and end with the Sabbath. The pulpit was placed in the side of the building, near the center, which was reached by many steps, so that the speaker's feet must have been nearly ten feet above the floor below. The membership were scattered for miles around. All the membership of the Springfield church, that constituted the Lockland church in 1840, have died, except our much beloved Sister Pratt, now about seventy years of age, in very feeble health. We are not able to furnish a fuller history of the Springfield church for the want of records which ought to have been handed down to the present date. In the year 1833, Mr. Athearn and his wife settled in Lockland. Mrs. Atbearu had been a member of the Baptist church for many years, and we doubt not but it was through her influence and liberal subscription, that the old Springfield church were induced to build in Lockland in the year 1840, and after that date, called the Lockland church.
It now became evident to the church, that the once a month system would no longer answer the demands of their new place of worship, and therefore extended a call to Elder Daniel Bryant, who was pastor of the church for seven years. Under his ministry the body became large and strong. The first baptism witnessed, numbered twelve men and four women.
At one of the protracted efforts held by Elder Bryant, some three miles west of Lockland, it was said, that not a single unconverted person came to that meeting, who was not then, or soon after converted. The writer was present at this meeting, and bears testimony to the wonderful outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the people. In 1844, two men and fourteen women presented themselves to the Lockland church from Hamilton, to be recognized as a branch of the Lockland church. This relation continued until 1846, when letters of dismission were granted to thirty names. Elder William Rouey becoming their pastor.
With the year 1846, commenced the pastorate of Elder Blair, at $300 per year. April 1847, Elder J. V. Hopper became pastor of the Lockland church, and continued for two years.
May, 1849, Elder Webster supplied the church about six months, during which time, the question of church members dancing came up for discussion, and condemned by' a vote of the church.
In 1850, J. S. Goodman was installed pastor, at a salary of $350 per year, and continued to
serve the church until near the close of 1852, when he became missionary to Africa. During the pastorate of Bro. Goodman in Lockland, there appeared in that community a Mr. Morris, late of England. The doctrines he presented pleased the English-born membership of the three churches in Lockland, (Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist,) with the exception of the Pratt family of our church. The members of the Baptist church had been highly esteemed and beloved up to this time: but because of their embracing the views of Mr. Morris and following after him, (thereby neglecting the church of which they were members,) were excluded. The essential and specially obnoxious doctrine of Mr. Morris' creed was what is commonly known as " Annihilation," by which is understood the theory that immortality or eternal conscious existence, belongs only to such members of the human race as have been saved by grace, through faith in Christ.
With the year 1833, began the pastorate of L. C. Carr, which was quite successful in the salvation of many souls that were perishing in their sins, and strengthening the faith of members. Bro. Carr resigned in 1856. Our next pastor was Bro. George E. Leonard, under whose pastorate we find a very valuable resolution passed which reads:Resolved: If in the providence of God, any of the members of this church are so far removed from our place of worship, as to prevent their attendance upon the meetings on the Lord's day, and another church of like faith is sufficiently near, it shall be the duty of such a member to take a letter of dismission from this, and join such church, and if there be no such church near, then it shall be their duty to report their location, and spiritual condition, to the church as often as once in six months.In 1858, J. B Sutton became our pastor. Our church had not been well built in 1840, and it became necessary to take the building down to the very foundation, and rebuild in a substantial way, likely to answer as a place of worship for the next hundred years. In 1875, we Reseated, Carpeted, Papered, and made changes Costing $14OO. This history is no doubt, already longer than the association will be willing to publish; but we would like to place before you, the names of all our pastors, and allow you to judge whether or not, they were second classed men in the ministry. We will therefore add the following names:
Dr. J. W. B. Clark, Elder J. R. Powell, Elder D. E. Owen, Elder John Branch, Dr. F. D. Bland and Elder A. S. Moore, who is now in the sixth year of his pastorate. We would also say of our history, that we have always found our church ready to give a hearty support to Home and Foreign missions; to support Sabbath schools in winter as well as summer, and have always paid our Pastors the amount promised them.
Respectfully, J. H. TANGEMAN.
P. S. - Sister Pratt, who was the last remaining member of the old Springfield church, died last November.
[From Miami Baptist Association Minutes 1875, pp. 17-18. Document from the Miami Baptist Association Office, Cincinnati. - Transcribed and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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