Saturday, October 25, 2008

Indiana Divides Into Districts

On October 25, 1866 representatives from Indiana congregations met in the Antioch congregation in Andrews, Indiana for the purpose of dividing into three districts. This special State Conference was in accordance with a recommendation from the Annual Conference.

Officers for this special meeting were George Hoover, moderator; Jacob Miller, foreman; Hiel Hamilton, clerk; and Daniel Miller, assistant. The work of suggesting a division of churches had been assigned to a committee of six which reported on their work. Eighteen congregations were assigned to the Southern Indiana district and another eighteen to the Middle Indiana district. The following nineteen congregations were assigned to the Northern Indiana District: Portage, Baugo, South Bend, Bremen, Pine Creek, Union, Yellow Creek, Elkhart, Turkey Creek, Union Center, Solomon's Creek, Rock Run, Springfield, Shipshewana, Washington, Cedar Creek, Tippecanoe, Pigeon River, Fawn River (English Prairie).

The Northern Indiana District of Indiana also included the southern part of Michigan. We do not have the membership of those early churches but by 1882 we have a report of the churches that shows the number of congregations had grown to 34 with the following memberships totaling over 3,800: Baugo (110); Blue River (100); Bremen (55); Cedar Lake (64); Camp Creek (50); Cedar Creek (36); Columbia City (40); Elkhart (275); English Prairie (147); Elkhart Valley (91); Flat Rock, Dekalb County (35); Laporte (76); Little St. Joe (35); Pleasant Hill (40); Pleasant Valley (30); Pleasant Ridge - now Wawaka (32); Pine Creek (320); Pigeon River (88); Portage (102); Rock Run (240); Solomon's Creek (260); Shipshewana (107); St. Joseph (140); Springfield (32); South Bend (175); Tippecanoe (140); Turkey Creek (125); Union (175); Union Center (200); Van Buren (46); Walnut (62); Washington (162); Yellow River (100); Yellow Creek (90).

Source: History of the Church of the Brethren in Indiana, Otho Winger - 1917