Fayette County History & Genealogy

History of Fayette County

From R. S. Dills' History of Fayette County



The organization of this society was effected, in 1829, by the Rev. Father Dobbins of Jamestown, Greene County, Ohio, and at first consisted of the following members:

Henry Burnett and wife, Thomas Burnett and wife, Peter Fultz and wife, John Coile and wife, and George Hinkle and wife.

For fourteen years services were held in the winter season at the different dwellings of the members, and in summer, in barns and in the groves—"God's first Temples"—Father Dobbins removing from Jamestown at stated periods to minister to his small congregation. In 1831, he removed to the banks of Sugar Creek, four miles west of Washington, and settled in the midst of his small flock, in whose interest he labored assiduously till his death, which occurred January 13, 1860, at the advanced age of ninety-two years, eight months and twenty-three days. He was a man of superior talents, oratory and energy, and represented Greene and Fayette counties each two terms in the Ohio Legislature. His life has been written by the Rev. Charles Caddy.

In 1843, this little congregation, with the help of some outsiders, erected a large hewed log church, on the banks of Sugar Creek, on land owned by Daniel Bush, which was dedicated as a Methodist Protestant Church, but which was named " Union Church," as it was understood that when not occupied by the Methodist Protestant Church, it was to be free to any and all other denominations. Though the membership increased slowly, yet the pioneer Christian did not falter in his duty, and their hopes that the future would bring a glorious reward to their labors were fully realized in 1848, when a glorious revival occurred, which gathered into the church many of the young married people of the neighborhood, and also several of the older people. That revival is still remembered with gratitude by the few surviving members, as one of the most happy Christian experiences of their lives. Though at this time Father Dobbins was eighty years of age, yet his mind was as active and powerful as ever, and he labored day and night at this meeting.

About the year 1856, it was thought best for the convenience of some of the members to divide the class, which was accordingly done, and the branch organization held services in what was called the Coile school house, two miles north of the present church, till 1863, when the society erected an elegant frame church on the farm of Isaac Coile, near the Coile Cemetery on the Plymouth pike, and named it "Sugar Creek Chapel," from the name of the creek on whose banks it stands.

The members remaining in the class at Mount Olive, considering the old church too much dilapidated for further use, in 1863 selected a site on the farm of Samuel Coile, on the Wilmington pike, three miles west of Washington, on which, in 1864, they built a commodious frame church at a cost of seventeen hundred dollars, the plans and specifications, of which, were similar to those of the Sugar Creek Church. These two classes have made rapid growth, and are supporting good Sunday-schools.

Harmony Church on the Plymouth pike, six miles northwest of Washington, a full account of which appears in the history of Jasper Township, is an outgrowth of the Mount Olive Church. The seed sown by the Rev. Father Dobbins so many years ago fell on good ground, and the three above named churches are the fruit thereof. These churches are embraced in the Washington Circuit of the Methodist Protestant Church.

The following is a list of the ministers who have preached at one or all of these churches

Revs. Father Dobbins, A. McGuire, Joel Dolbey, sen., Jonathan Flood, sen., A. H. Bassett, C. Caddy, S. Evans, — Pealon, — Stubbs, — Trumbo, — Riely, T. D. Howe, — Warrington, J. Litter, P. F. Johnson, R. K. Davis, C. S. Evans, R. M. Dolbey, Joel H. Dolbey, and Jason F. Hinkle.

The following named gentlemen have served as snperintendents of the Sabbath-school since its organization, in 1849: At Union Church, Noah Hinkle four years, Amizi Hyer five years, Enoch Bush two years, John Fultz two years, Jesse Hyre fourteen years, Moses Carl one year, Daniel B, Tupes one year, J. F. Henkle one year, and N. S. Henkle two years.

Union Township