MARION TOWNSHIP CHURCH HISTORY
Among the early settlers of Marion were some who never faltered in the discharge of their religious duties, although no organizations were effected or houses of worship built for several years after the appearance of the first pioneers. Itinerant ministers of the Methodist church visited the eastern part of the township in an early day and preached to the sparse settlers from their dwellings. They were pious, patient, laborious men who collected their people into regular congregations and did all for them that their circumstances would allow. Their progress was at first slow, but their zeal and perserverance at length overcame every obstacle.It was no disparagement that their first churches were shady groves and their first pulpits, a kind of rude platform constructed of rough slabs and clapboards.
The western part of the township was visited by the Old School Baptists who organized a church on Lick Creek in the year 1840. Among their early preachers were Elders Daniel and Abraham Stark and George Criss. The early members of the organization were: William J. Sparks, Sarah Sparks, William Ward, Amelia Ward, Michael Idol, Nathaniel Spurling, Susannah Spurling, Noah Ward, Mathusa Ward, Jeremiah Spurling, Cloah Spurling, Elizabeth DeBord, Jane Phipps, Andrew Toliver, Hannah Toliver, Susannah Morris, John Dobkins, John G. Hulet, and Margaret Hulet. The organization became very strong at one time and numbered over 100 members, but in 1845 a division occurred, caused by a missionary movement and many withdrew and connected themselves with the Missionary Baptist Churches. This proved the death blow to the old society and from that time its fortunes began to wan, and at present there is no organization maintained.
About the year 1845, work was commenced on a frame house of worship but owing to the division the building was never completed and the church held all of its meetings in the neighboring schoolhouses.
Red Brush United Brethren Church
Located in the southwest corner of the township it is a flourishing organization and meets in one of the handsomest temples of worship in the county. Among its members are many of the leading citizens of the community and in point of efficient work it will compare favorably with any other aggressive church in the country.
In the vicinity of the Denmark Village is a settlement of German Baptists or Tunkers. They have a large church building, an active organization and exercise a wholesome influence in the community.
Pleasant View Missionary Baptist Church
Located in the southwest corner of the township, it is an offshoot from the Jefferson Church at Coal City and dates its history from the year 1870. It was organized by Rev. W.L. Bicknell, with a membership of twenty persons. A frame house of worship was erected a short time after the organization on land belonging to Tipton Thompson and cost the sum of $700.The present church membership is about forty.
In the southern part of the township is a society of Mennonites, the history of which was not learned. They have a substantial temple of worship and an active membership.
(As there are many, the town of Lancaster Churches will be found under the section of that title, even though they are of Marion township)