Blue River Chapel
Christian Union Church
Shelby County Indiana
This somewhat peculiar religious sect was the outgrowth of the late rebellion, and had its beginning
in a convention held at Columbus, Ohio, in February, 1864. The delegates were from the various religious denominations of the
country, who had become aggreived[sic] at and had withdrawn from their respective churches because of the real or fancied intolerance and
fanaticism of its members and ministers. This new sect was organized on the basis declared by the convention as follows:
Having a desire for a more perfect fellowship in Christ, and a more satisfactory enjoyment of the means of religious edification and
comfort, we do solemnly form ourselves into a religious society, under the style of The Christian Union, in which we avow our true and
hearty faith in the received scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the work of God and the only sufficient rule of faith and
practice, and pledge ourselves through Christ which strengtheneth us "to keep and observe all things whatsoever he hath commanded us.
" Mr. A. M. Hargrave returned from the convention thoroughly in sympathy with the teaching of the new church, and with
the following named members of Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church withdrew and
established what has since been known as Blue River Chapel: Henry Wolfe and wife, August Handy and wife,
Alexander Smith and wife, Mrs. William Handy, John Jackson and wife, Mrs. Dallas Smith, Charity
Wolfe, Simpson Chandler and wife, and Mrs. A. M. Hargrave. These were all Democrats and all the early
accession to the church were from the same party, consequently the class was for many years known as the "Democratic Church."
Indeed, the same was true of all the organizations of this sect --- it was at first composed almost exclusively of members of that party.
The first preliminary meeting with a view to organizing a class was held at Gale's schoolhouse in Hancock County, in
the summer of 1864. An organization was soon perfected and meetings were held in said house until the erection of the present frame
church in the early part of the seventies. The church building is 40x52 feet in dimensions, and was completed at a cost of $1,000.
Rev. O. H. P. Abbot, now of Indianapolis, was the first regular pastor and served the church for many years.
Brant & Fuller now move their discussion of Shelby
County's Religious History to the
Lutheran churches - pmf
History of Shelby County, Indiana, Brant & Fuller, 1887, page 398.
Copied by Phyllis Miller Fleming
The Shelbyville Daily Democrat
Services at the Chapel
to-morrow morning at ten a.m. Sabbath school two p.m. Evening seven
p.m. Subject for evening: "None Rejected."
Saturday, January 16, 1886
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming