Ebenezer Baptist Church History
Two photos contributed by Roberta Smith
Manley, Edward M. “Ebenezer Baptist Church Organized on Jan. 3, 1851 By 24 From Hazel Creek.” The Messenger, Central City, Ky., Thursday, July 1, 1954
Ebenezer Baptist Church was organized Jan. 3, 1851 by Elders James Utley Spurlin and C. Meacham with 24 members holding letters from Hazel Creek, the mother church. The names of the members were:
- Elder James Utley Spurlin
- Elder C. Meacham
- Joseph, Mary and Elizabeth Adcock;
- Hannah and Martha H. Bell;
- David, Mary and Robert Casebier;
- Martha, Susan and J. J. Cundiff;
- Elizabeth Dukes (or Dakes);
- William Jones;
- R.B. Landrum;
- Ann E. Langley;
- Henry Rhoades;
- W.A. Turner;
- Susan Unsel;
- J.M. Vaught;
- Margaret Wade,
- and John A. Wilkinson.
Elder James Utley Spurlin was born in Christian County, May 2, 1824 and was the third son of John and Rebecca Spurlin, who had removed from North Carolina. Elder James Spurlin's wife was Linnie Meacham. They were the parents of eight children. One son, J.U. Spurlin, was a minister in Union County during the 1890s.
The early ministers of Ebenezer Church follow:
- 1851, C. Meacham;
- 1852, W.D. Pannell;
- 1853, C. Meacham again;
- 1854 to 1861, W.D. Pannell;
- 1862-63, T.D. Rust;
- 1864 to 1871, W.H. Woodburn;
- 1871 to 1876, F.M. Sharp.
For 1851-52 there were 39 members; 1853 had 70 members; the members numbered in the 80s until 1873, with the exception of 1867 where there were 74. Occasionally a few members would ask for letters when a new church was organized nearer their home. It was not until 1873 that Ebenezer had passed the 100 mark when it had 113 members. In 1860, Elders Spurlin and Rust held revivals and the membership increased and again in the 1870s, Elder F.M. Sharp and the Rev. Franklin M. Wellborn held revivals.
Bunnie Baugh, a cousin of this writer, owns the four corners of land where Ebenezer Church is situated. While visiting there in 1952 she stated much of her land had been part of a Casebier old farm.
J.M. Vaught was the clerk of Ebenezer Church for 1851; B.S. Cundiff was clerk from 1852 to 1856 inclusive, followed by J.J. Cundiff, who held that office from 1857, and still clerk in 1876, the last record I have.
Ebenezer Church joined the Gasper River Baptist Association the year of its organization in 1851. At the annual meetings of Gasper River Association, the church sent messengers.
- From Ebenezer in 1851, M.H. Utley, R.B. Landrum and J. Rhoads were the messengers;
- 1852, J. Rhoads and B.S. Cundiff;
- 1853, Utley, Rhoads, and Cundiff;
- while in 1854 Utley, Rhoads and R.B. Landrum went;
- 1855, had M.H. Utley and R.W. Cundiff;
- 1856 B.S. Cundiff, J. and H. Rhoads (Henry, I imagine);
- 1857 had the same two Rhoads and L. McCown (that could have been Louis McCown);
- on through 1861 the same messengers represented Ebenezer,
- but in 1862 W. Casebier, D. Rhoads and Noah Adcock were messengers.
- The same three again for 1863.
- 1864 had J.A. Wilkinson and D. Rhoads;
- 1865 had A. Wilkinson, J.J. Cundiff and W.W. Casebier;
- 1866 had G.V. Rhoads (evidently Gilbert) and again J.J. Cundiff.
The Cundiffs, Casebiers and Rhoads alternated until 1872 when a new messenger's name appeared - J.F. Casselberry, also W.R. Wellborn. No new messenger's name appeared until in 1875 when W.W. Casebier, J.J. Cundiff and M. Helsley were the messengers along with J.C. Rhoads. For the last year I have records for, 1876, again J.J. Cundiff and W.W. Casebier were messengers for the Ebenezer group.
Hannah Bell, whose name appeared as a charter member of Ebenezer Church, was the wife of Thomas Bell, natives of North Carolina and Virginia respectively. Both are buried in the churchyard cemetery.