Warren County Iowa Genealogical Society




    Summerset Baptist Church

    Summerset Baptist Church, 13951 Summerset Road, Summerset, IA 50125


    History of Summerset Baptist church, written by Lamar ADAMS, copied from “Data on Warren County Churches” at the State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines, IA, film # War-56 (LDS film # 1034022)

    During the winter of 1877-1878, a few Christians began holding prayer meetings in the school house. These meetings were held each Lord’s Day [Sunday] evening and were well attended. During the early fall the writer [Lamar ADAMS] united by letter with the Spring Hill Baptist church of which Elder Thomas MILLER of Winterset was pastor. Brother MILLER kindly offered to come to Summerset and give us an evening service on the Friday proceeding his Lord’s Day appointment at Spring Hill. This gave us preaching once each month; this was continued until the April following, when arrangements were made for preaching on Lord’s Day morning and evening once a month. Elder MILLER was authorized by Spring Hill church to receive members at Summerset for that church. As a result, eight were received, seven on relation of their experience and one by baptism; to this number was added three by the removal of brother and sister LLOYD and son, J. J. LLOYD from Spring Hill to this vicinity making with the writer twelve in all.

    At the September meeting on Lord’s Day the date is not given, it was voted that brethren at this place meet the second Saturday in October, the twelfth, for the purpose of taking steps toward organizing a Baptist church in Summerset. Accordingly the meeting was held and was called to order by brother Lamar ADAMS and the object of the meeting stated. Brother ADAMS was appointed moderator and brother James LLOYD, Secretary. After a season of earnest prayer for divine guidance, all present felt that responsibility of the step to be taken.

    On motion of brother James LLOYD voted that the twelve members residing in Summerset and vicinity ask letters of demission from Spring Hill Baptist church with a view to organizing a Baptist church at Summerset. The moderator was instructed to address letters to Carlisle, Indianola, and Spring Hill Baptist church inviting them to send delegates to a council to meet at Summerset November 16th. To this invitation the churches at Spring Hill and Carlisle responded. This council met at the school house (which had been moved into town) at 10:30 am, Nov 16th. Rev T. R. STITT, of Carlisle was chosen a moderator. Mrs. M. A. McCOREGAL of Carlisle, secretary. The names of the delegates constituting the council were: Brethren GEORGE, Bishop of Spring Hill, and sister, M. A. McCOREGAL, T.R. STITT, and William SMITH of Carlisle. The names of those presented as charter members were: brother J. B. HICKS and wife, sister Ruth HICKS, brother Abie EDWARDS and wife, sister Eliza EDWARDS, brother James LLOYD and wife, sister Susan H. LLOYD and son, J. J. LLOYD, brother Lamar ADAMS and wife, sister Jennie E. ADAMS, sister Mary WELCH, sister Angie TURNIPSEED, and sister Phebe HOLBINY. After some discussion on the part of the delegates present, it was voted that it would be for the best interests of the cause of Christ that a Baptist church be organized here. Officers were chosen as follows: Elder Thomas MILLER, pastor, Lamar ADAMS as clerk and treasurer, and brother James LLOYD deacon.

    A short conference followed in which the brethren expressed joy because of the consummation of their hope in the organization of a church in Summerset. To brother MILLER, the pastor, this was an occasion for rejoicing, he had sacrificed much in order that he might preach the gospel here. He had patiently led the little flock always keeping in mind that as a result of his labors a church would be organized and now that object of his labors had been realized. Brother MILLER has years since gone home to glory, but in the hearts of the older members of this church, some of whom he led to the watery grace, he is held in grateful remembrance. A recognition was held Lord’s Day morning, November 17, at 10:30 am. Following this service, the Bible school was organized. The evening service was conducted by pastor; it was a precious meeting long to be remembered by those present. Three came forward and were received for baptism. The meetings were continued during the week and in these meetings others were added to the church.

    January 18, 1879, brother MILLER resigned and March 15th, brother T. R. STITT was called to the pastorate of the church. Brother STITT remained one year during which time six were received into the fellowship of the church by baptism. During the summer of 1880, brother W. A. CAIN then pastor at Indianola, supplied the church and became pastor September 1880. The years 1880-1882 were noted in the history of this church because of the manifest presence of God. The Bible school which had been organized with three classes had increased to ten and at one time during the period there were thirteen classes. Our reports during these years show numbers received from the school into the church.The school house in which we met was crowded each Lord’s Day to overflowing at both preaching and Sunday-school service, and in warm weather it was necessary to send some of the classes out of doors. Class collections ran sometimes over three dollars at each session. At every Lord’s Day service the need of more room became more and more apparent. In August 1882 a meeting was called to discuss the availability of building a chapel. At this meeting a committee was appointed consisting of Pastor W. A. CAIN, Mrs. C.M. WELCH, James SNYDER and Lamar ADAMS, to report at regular business meeting of the church last Saturday in August. This committee met under the shade trees in the school house yard and discussed the question thoroughly. Where was the money to come from? The church membership all poor in this worlds goods, but realizing that great need of the church for a home, and with a firm reliance on the God who had hitherto let us, the committee resolved that we arise and build – that we proceed immediately with the work.

    At the business meeting of the church, August 29, 1882, the committee reported and the report was unanimously adopted. A committee was appointed to solicit money for the work. Already nearly enough of the brick had been donated for the foundation and flues. The foundation was build during the fall. The years which followed were marked by seasons of discouragement, and yet in the face of obstacles apparently insurmountable, the work went slowly indeed, for want of funds. The year 1886 dawned upon us with house not yet completed. At the January business meeting it was resolved that an earnest effort be made to have the building ready for dedication by the latter part of April. The brethren took hold of the work with renewed energy and zeal. The sisters manifested their interest by helping in the work nailing on lath, carrying the hod and mixing mortar until the work was at last completed in April 1886. Where had the money come from? From the east and from the west, from the north and the south, our brethren responded to the call for help, money from New York City, money from San Francisco, and other cities. In Iowa, money came from Des Moines, Davenport, Council Bluffs, and many other cities of the state. The train passed through Summerset one day, on board was Pastor CAIN, a traveler looking out the window asked about the building being erected on the hill, and learning it was a Baptist chapel and learning Brother CAIN was the pastor, handed him some money with the remark that he was always glad of the opportunity to contribute to a Baptist church, this man was from Minneapolis. This is only one instance of many of how much of the money came. The church was dedicated April 25, 1886, the venerable Dr. NASH of Des Moines, preaching the sermon and prayer was offered by Rev. T. S. BOVELL, then pastor at Indianola. There was not a dollar of debt. Among those who were present at this service and in past years had rendered valuable service to the church, were Rev. U. McKAY of Des Moines, others who took deep interest in the work were Rev. J. F. CHILDS then of Des Moines, now of National City California. Father WASON of Hartford, and brother GUILD, of Carlisle, who have both gone to be with the Lord. W.A. CAIN who was pastor of his sound doctrinal sermons which did so much to establish the church in the faith of the gospel, of Brother GAINS whose pastorate was brief but marked by a precious ingathering of the young people from the Sunday schools, of Brother TRELOAR whose pastorate was marked by another precious ingathering of souls, of Brother TULL, who only remained with us three months; of Brother TERRY, the beginning of whose pastorate was marked by another gracious manifestation of God’s presence; of Brother FRONING’S pastorate of two years during which time seven were baptized; of Brother BALES pastorate of eighteen months, marked by earnest preaching of God’s work.

    I cannot close this paper without calling to your mind those of our number who have gone to be with the Lord. Brother J. B. HICKS, a charter member who stood so loyally by the work in the midst of opposition, of Sister Mary Bishop PEGRAM, a teacher in the Bible school, whose humble Christ like spirit gave us the example of what the religion of Christ can do in our lives. Sister S. M. LLOYD, of meek and quiet spirit, Deacon James LLOYD whose life was one of constant devotion to the Master. Brother and sister LLOYD were charter members. Sister Ella CASADAY who was called away in the morning of life, she fell asleep in Jesus rejoicing in the hope of a glorious resurrection. Deacon L. D. McCLINTIC, who gave himself to the Lord in declining years. His life was a benediction to all whom he came in contact. His closing days were marked by intense suffering yet amid it all his faith did not waver. Sister M. A. BROWN, whose outward adorning was a meek and quiet spirit. Two died while yet candidates for Baptism. Brother Jesse MILES who was a great sufferer and yet bore with Christian resignation his sore affliction. Sister Ida MASON who joyfully anticipated the hour of her release, longing for the hour when she should depart to be with the Lord. They rest from their labors but their works do follow them.

    “Baptist Church at Summerset Burned” copied from “Data on Warren County Churches” at the State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines, IA, film # War-56 (LDS film # 1034022)

    Last Wednesday night, January 13th, the little town of Summerset and the surrounding country was awaken by the call of “fire” and on investigation found the Baptist church was all ablaze with such a good start there was no chance to save it. The origin of the fire is not known, but some think the lighting plant may have been the cause, as they held prayer meetings that evening in the church. It was a nice little church and the membership had worked faithfully to get out of debt which they thought would have been done the next day at the Hemphill sale where the Ladies Aid of the church served the lunch with the prospect of making enough to clear the church debt. There was one thousand dollars insurance which is not enough to build a church such as they had, but will make a good start.