Franklin Township Church History
There are three religious societies in the town of Freedom, the oldest of which is Mount Zion Baptist Church organized in the year 1842 by Elders John Mugg and B.D.C. Herring. There were fourteen members who went into the organization, among whom were John Defore and wife, Mr Hockman and wife, Mrs Henry Puckett and John Johnson. A log house of worship was built in the year 1847 and stood two miles north of the village where the congregation met until the year 1854 at which time the organization was moved to the village and a new frame building erected on the north end of Main Street at the cost of $400.
In the year 1822, a new temple of worship was built near the central part of the town. It was a substantial frame structure with a seating capacity for a congregation of 300 persons and represents a value of $1200. Among the pastors and stated supplies of the church since its organization were: Reverends John Mugg, Herring, Bartholomew, John Chord, Henry Grim, Benjamin Ashbaugh, William McNutt, R. Moore, and D.D. Swindoll. The membership in 1884 was seventy five. The officials of the church are: P.C. McIntosh, Moderator; George McBride, Clerk; P. C. McIntosh, W.H. Johnson, Moses Pierson and Samuel Myers, Trustees. P.C. McIntosh is Superintendent of the flourishing Sunday school which is attended by an average of eighty scholars.
Freedom Christian Church
The first meetings of the Disciples in what is now Franklin Township were conducted by Elder Thomas Johnson about two miles northeast of Freedom as early as the year 1844.An organization was effected that year with a good membership and meetings were held regularly thereafter at private dwellings and schoolhouses. In the year 1852 a log building was erected on land owned by Lavisa Phipps. This house was destroyed by fire about the year 1859, after which the organization was moved to the village, and a new building commenced, which was not completed until about the year 1865. It stands in the north part of town on ground purchased of Issac Darnell and was erected at a cash outlay of $1000.
The following ministers have preached for the church at intervals namely: James Blankenship, Jacob Wright, Perry Blankenship, B.M. Blount, William Littell, Joel Dillon and Henry Ford. The preacher in charge in 1884 was Elder Dillon who preached for the congregation once a month. The church was strong in number at one time, but by 1884 had dwindled to only thirty members.
Methodist Episcopal Church of Freedom was organized as early as the year 1850 at the residence of Dr. Minnich where meetings were held at stated intervals for several years. A good house of worship was afterward build in the northeast part of the village on ground donated by Samuel Folsom and cost the sum of $1200. The church enjoyed an active membership in the mid 1880's and was a power in the community.