The first meetings of the Church were held in the homes of members. Sometime in the 1840’s the services were conducted at irregular intervals in a log schoolhouse located on the west side of South Poplar Street in Westport (where Nancy Blauvelt’s home stood in 1976). About 1850, L. S. Giddings, having joined the Christian Church in Ohio, located in Westport. He, with L. C. Stott, William Williamson, their wives and others, organized the Church. They continued to worship in the log schoolhouse until about 1859 or 1860.
Our Church – 1924
This is a picture of the original building here.
Westport Christian Church
We are so thankful to the families that invested in future generations by building this church. We know that ‘the church’ isn’t really a building but the people – we are eternally grateful for their sacrifices that made our congregation possible.
Here is a picture of some of our original Saints.
Top Row – Edna Talrington Barnes, Opal Thurston, Rich Branis (Teacher), Mina Small Evans, Blanche Stewart and Glodis Thye. Middle Row – Rosie Tucker, Mary Mathews Cunningham, Mayme Baker Tyner, Vola Grayson Burns, Theodicia Small and Pearl Thrope. Front Row – Ethel Tucker Sharp, Lena Knarr and Velma Ketchum.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it..
They had it right even in the 1850’s. Our church has embraced its children for years and poured scripture into them. These children have grown and passed down the Word of God for generations now.
On September 11, 1854, Wilson and Mary C. A. Pottinger sold a lot to the Christian Church for $50.00. This lot (the south part of lot #33) was situated in Simeon Sharp’s first addition to Westport. In 1976, the home of Ruth Low was situated on the lot which was the site of the old Christian Church building. In the early 1860’s, a frame building was built, and a bell for it was purchased for S75.00 just before the Civil War. This frame building was used until the present brick structure was completed in 1912 for a total cost of $8999.83.
According to and edition of the Greensburg Standard, dated June 26, 1885, “…a full five hundred persons attended services and listened to an interesting sermon by Bro. Card on Sunday evening (June 21, 1885).”
One of the Church’s greatest revivals was held during the fall and early winter of 1885 during the ministry of William M. Gard, who served the Church from 1883 — 1885 and again from 1887—1890. During the set dates for the revival, ninety-eight or ninety-nine new members were received into the Church, but Rev. Gard extended the meeting for a few nights until the total number of new members became one hundred. On Sunday, November 15, 1885, Rev. Gard baptized forty-two persons at Westport, including Minnie Grayson and John C. Cann (then eight years old). According to John C. Cann, the baptism took place in Millstone Creek, just west of the present residence (1976) of Miss Mary McCullough. It was necessary to cut the ice on Millstone before the baptism could proceed. The new converts were then wrapped in heavy blankets or garments and taken home hurriedly in buggies or wagons. This great revival meeting closed on Thursday, November 26, 1885, and the Rev. Gard left almost immediately to his new field of labor at Vevay. Rev. Wilson of Greenwood took the pulpit vacated at Westport by Rev. Gard.
Rev. H. B. Sherman, father-in-law of Gertrude Sherman of Westport, was a well-known minister of the Christian Church for a period during the 1890’s.
On September 15, 1912, the present brick building was dedicated, the dedication being presided over by J. V. Coombs of Danville. The members of the building committee were Thomas Milton Deupree (chairman), J. T. McCullough, O. F. Welch, and M. R. Scott, the pastor. The officers of the Church at this time (1912) were: Elders-Dr. William Hause, James W. Williamson, A. C. Harrell, Dr. O. F. Welch, and W. F. McCullough; Deacons—J. M. Harrell, T. M. Deupree, J. T. McCullough, Jacob F. Ketchum, E. L. Shaw, E. G. Davis, D. C. Buell, George B. Hendrickson, Edgar Boner, Roy Kenady, Levi Burns, and Albert Ricketts; Trustees—James H. Keith, Jacob F. Ketchum, and G. B. Hendrickson. The Sunday School Superintendent was J. T. McCullough, and Mary A. Hause was president of the Ladies Sewing Society.
The women of the Church were responsible for the Sunday School addition built about 1929. The Ladies’ Aid, under the presidency of Elizabeth Welch, raised the money and bought the materials used.
Rev. M. R. Scott held the longest pastorate, which was a period of nine years (1909-1918). The Rev. Robert E. Davidson of Westport served as pastor from 1969—1976. The pastor in 1976 was George Evanson.