Eel River Township Churches

Organized April 1834

Ari Church of God

19225 Wappes Road at DeKalb County Line Road, R.R. # 2 Churubusco, IN, PO Box 91 Churubusco, IN 46723

Organized in 1875, the church building was dedicated May 12, 1876. After 135 years serving the northwest Allen County community they closed December 12, 2010. Their story was told in the December 8, 2010 Churubusco News ( busconews.com ) article below.

Ari Church of God closing its doors Sunday

"On Sunday, December 12, the Ari Church of God will officially close its doors with a service of celebration at 3 p.m. Former pastors, members and friends are invited to share pictures and memories and for a fellowship time following the service.

On January 10, 1875, Rev. John Parker, a Church of God circuit preacher, held protracted meetings for the purpose of exploring the possibilities of starting a new church. The meetings lasted two weeks and were held in the old Mason Schoolhouse located about a mile southwest of Potter’s Station (now known as Ari).

Twenty-three people made professions of faith and Rev. Parker remained in the area for about a year to nurture the seed that was planted. Lycurgus Bowman, who had moved from the Wolf Lake area (and had been identified with the Wolf Lake Church of God) served as ruling elder. Elam Disler was elected deacon.

A church was organized with the following people as charter members: Mr. and Mrs Amos Manning, Mr. and Mrs. Abram Disler, Mr. and Mrs. James Mason, Mr. and Mrs. Lycurgus Bowman, Alvira Nahier, Phobe Potter, Margaret Hutton, Catherine Disler, Mary Potter, Anne Kinney, Henrietta McBride, Catherine Manning, Sara Richards, Elam Disler and Silas Potter.

James Potter contributed land on which the church was built. The building committee was composed of Ira Kinney, James Mason and Lycurgus Bowman. John Young served as building contractor. The church structure was completed in June 1876 at a total cost of $1,360. Dedication services were held May 12, 1876 with Rev. Mary E. McColly, assisted by her husband, John McColly II.

As a means of raising funds to pay for the church, the building committee promoted an excursion trip in the fall of 1877 over the Eel River Railroad from Logansport, Indiana to Jackson, Michigan. While at Jackson, the group visited places of interest and were conducted through the Michigan State Prison. A substantial amount was raised from this trip.

Improvements were made over the years which included the digging of a partial basement and installing a furnace. A light plant was purchased to take place of gasoline lights and in later years electric lights were installed. (During the first 51 years, the congregation was served by twenty-seven pastors).

In the spring of 1949, a new foundation was put under the church and the basement was completed to make room for Sunday School classes. After these improvements were made, the church was re-dedicated by Rev. Marion Shroyer.

A few years later the church purchased a house and had it moved to its recent location to serve as a parsonage."

First Eel River Baptist Church and Eel River Cemetery

11022 Carroll Road, Churubusco, IN 46723

260-693-6513 Organized in 1844. In 1850 the first church building was dedicated and was also used as a schoolhouse. In 1919 the present church was dedicated. Contact church regarding records.

German Baptist Church

Corner of Wesley Chapel and McComb Roads, Churubusco, IN

Organized in 1874. In 1875 a church was built on the corner of Wesley Chapel and McComb Roads. Some members came from the German Baptist Church in Cedar Creek Township. The church building is no longer there and no records could be found.

United Brethren Church

Organized in 1853. In 1874 some members left to form the Wesleyan Methodist Church. The church disbanded in 1874 and sold the building to Wesleyan Methodist Church.

Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church

13733 Wesley Chapel Road, Churubusco, IN 46723

Organized in 1837, Wesley Chapel was the first place of worship in Eel River Township. The first structure was a log house built in 1843, opposite the present church. In 1865 the present church was built at what was known as Johnston and McKee Corners, later known as Hellers Corners. Contact church regarding records. A history of the church is available at the Allen County Public Library. May 15, 2012 a newspaper article Area Methodist church marks 175 years by Rosa Salter Rodriguez appeared in The Journal Gazette newspaper recalling some of the early church history.

Wesleyan Methodist Church

Madden and Hefflfinger Roads, Churubusco, IN

Organized in 1874 by some members of the United Brethren Church. Church building no longer there. No records could be found.

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