Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Turkey Creek

Turkey Creek was the third church established in the Northern Indiana District when it was organized in 1838. The historic church building, located at Gravelton four miles east of Nappanee, dates from 1878.

Elder John Leatherman is credited with organizing the Turkey Creek District. He was born in Maryland in 1776 and moved to Ohio as a young man before moving to Elkhart County, Indiana in 1836 where he became a part of the church in the Elkhart District (now West Goshen) only seven years after its beginning.

Turkey Creek was the local church sponsor of Annual Meeting in 1852 when it was held at Baintertown and was also a sponsor for Annual Conference in 1882 held at Arnold's Grove, located southeast of the intersection of US 6 and SR 15. It was at this conference that a major denominational division occurred which led to the formation of what is now the (Ashland) Brethren.

About a fourth of the Turkey Creek membership left with the Progessives when the split occurred, although some later returned to the congregation.

Early minutes of the congregation (dating from 1884) are complete with disciplinary actions taken. The minutes are brief but use the full names of the individuals. Among the disciplinary actions are those taken for misconduct, hunting on Sunday, using bad language, attending a saloon, ladies wearing hats, having two living companions, and wearing a mustache without wearing the full beard.

Source: Planting the Faith in a New Land
Turkey Creek Church of the Brethren 160 Years - 1838-1998