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Brownstown United Methodist Church (Brownstown, Jackson County, Ind.) records

Identifier: LOC-2010-0003

Collection Statement

Brownstown United Methodist Church records from 1874 to 2005 including: anniversary materials, Calendar Circle records, clippings, consecration day records, education annex records, directories, history, membership records, official board minutes, photographs, quarterly conference records, Woman's Society of Christian Service records, United Methodist Women minutes and Sunday School record books.


  • 1859 - 2005


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Copyright interests for this collection are retained by the United Methodist Church.

Historical Sketch

The history of the Brownstown United Methodist Church may be traced from the earliest circuit riders who reached the county seat of government and Justice in 1824. One of those first itinerant preachers became a friend to Walter Benton. Together, Ebanezer Patrick and Benton then were able to organize a Methodist Episcopal group in Brownstown. That effort would not have been possible without Patrick's ride north from Salem. Initial worship services were held in private homes and in the old courthouse. In June 1826, Benton purchased the abandoned public building and had it moved to a lot on the east side of the county courthouse public square. That two-story building was soon equipped with a new pulpit, altar and seats which converted the structure into a church for religious worship. It was first offered for use by those of the Methodist persuasion. Other denominational members worshipped there on some rotating schedules until early in February 1842. Less than one year later the Methodists decided to build a new church at the corner of Spring and Poplar streets. That frame structure was used for worship services until 1859. Just before the outbreak of fighting in the Civil War in 1861, Peter Cartwright arrived to dedicate the new building. That building was located at the corner of Walnut and Poplar Streets in Brownstown. Some 30 years later, some extensive repairs, including a choir loft and arched ceiling and bell tower were added. The 1,100 pound bell was hoisted into that tower. David H. Moore was present on October 9, 1892 to rededicate teh refurbished church. Just after 1914 the rooms on each of the choir loft were added and a metal ceiling and new floors were completed. During the lengthy times needed for repair work, interior redecorating in 1923, worship and services were held in the court room. Two years later the congregation was able to celebrate its 100th anniversary. Membership growth brought a need for establishing departmental Sunday School services. Rooms were required, along with a fellowship hall but in June 1950, plans were set in motion to build a brand new church house for worship services. The final service in the old building was held April 1, 1951. Demolition started immediately. Worship services were moved to the high school during construction. About six months later, in early August 1951, the cornerstone was set into place. On June 1, 1951 the new building was dedicated. Seven years later a new parsonage was completed. The Brodhecker land was purchased and reserved for construction of an educational wing. It opened for use in 1971, but was not consecrated until the end of the year. Later David and Joyce Greger donated the steeple as a memorial to their father, Arthur J. Greger, who was a great-great grandson of Walter Benton, the founder of the church.


1.5 Cubic Feet (1 document case, 21 Methodist volumes)

Language of Materials


See also:

Church History vertical file - Brownstown United Methodist Church (Brownstown, Ind.)

Jenney Taylor
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Archives of DePauw University and Indiana United Methodism Repository

Roy O. West Library
405 S. Indiana St.
Greencastle Indiana 46135 United States