Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Fairfield, Wayne County, Illinois

North Central Presbytery

Synod of the Midwest

Fairfield Cumberland Presbyterian Church
1700 West Delaware
Fairfield, Illinois 62837


Fairfield.--The new church building of this city was dedicated Sunday, August 27. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. H. Clay Yates, of Vincennes, Ind. His theme was, "The Supreme Manifestation of God's Glory is in the Regeneration and Salvation of the World." This masterly and eloquent discourse was one that only a thinking mind, devoted to years of hard study, was capable of producing. The church is modern in style, and the auditorium and lecture rooms are seated with beautiful assembly chairs. Notwithstanding the fact that money is very scarce just now and that the bulk of the money of this city was inaccessible on account of the failure of the bank, there was raised in cash and in pledges $792.72.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, September 7, 1893, page 5]



Front view                                                                                               Side View

Two photographs on the cover of The Cumberland Presbyterian, October 20, 1921



By invitation the writer spent Sunday, October 9th, with that prince of pastors, the Rev. J. T. Coleman, and his people, at Fairfield, Ill., in the dedication of their beautiful, commodious and substantial new house of worship. The day was idea, audiences large and the Holy Spirit's presence and power was clearly manifest.

Preceding the sermon at the morning hour twelve members were received into the church, making a total of sixty-one since Brother Coleman became the pastor in December of 1919. The subject of the sermon was "Christ the Light and Life of Men," based upon text found in John 1:4.

At the close of the sermon the chairman of the Building Committee announced that the plant had cost something more than $20,000.00 and that there was a deficit of several thousand to be provided for before the Board of Trustees and Board of Elders could ask that the house be formally dedicated, whereupon the writer took up the task of raising the necessary funds, and the sum of $6,750.00 was raised in cash and subscriptions.

At three o'clock in the afternoon the writer delivered another address, and the Board of Elders asked that the house be then dedicated. In the presence of a full house the ritualistic service found in Blake's Handbook was read, and the dedicatory prayer was offered by the pastor, and the best and most substantial house of worship in the beautiful city of Fairfield was dedicated as a place of worship for the local Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Fairfield is the county seat of Wayne County, to which Cumberland Presbyterians are to the manor born, since Cumberland Presbyterians were the first to hold religious services in the territory of the county and the first to organize a congregation in the village, which has grown into the city of Fairfield. Besides our own, there are two Methodist churches, two Disciples churches, a Northern Presbyterian church and a Baptist church, with all of which Cumberland Presbyterians are in close co-operation in all things that make for the higher interests of the city and community.

Having held a number of revival meetings in Fairfield years ago, one very pleasant feature of the writer's visit was the meeting with many of the converts of his meetings who are now the substantial members and workers in the different churches and participating in our own church.

Under the efficient leadership of Brother Coleman the Fairfield congregation is well organized, thoroughly harmonious and in love with their pastor and his interesting family, and we predict for the congregation great usefulness as an instrument in the hands of God for salvation of men and the building up of the kingdom of God. Fairfield is within forty miles of the birthplace of the writer and is now within the bounds of the Ewing-McLin Presbytery, the presbytery in which he served his probation and by which he was ordained to the work of the ministry. But one of the ministers of the presbytery, the now venerable John W. Borah, attended the dedication. We were truly glad to meet Brother Borah, who is an uncle to Senator Borah of the United States Senate and the pastor of the congregation in which the senator was born and raised and in which he still takes an interest.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, October 20, 1921, page 13]


53. FAIRFIELD CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 1841--, NE. corner of Main and North, West Second Sts., Fairfield, Wayne County.

Organized in 1841 by Rev. Hamilton. Congregation had no regular place of worship but met in groves and courthouse until a log church was erected. This served until a frame structure was built in 1893 and dedicated in August 27 of the same year. Present edifice, constructed and dedicated in 1921, a reddish-gray brick building with art glass windows. First settled pastor, Rev. Hamilton, 1841-(?).

Present pastor, Rev. J. L. Mitchell, 1939--, 106 North, East Fourth St.

Session Minutes: 1871-- (1903-29, missing), 2 v. hdw., Volume 1 (1871-1902), in custody of C. E. Castle, 110 N. Union St., v. 2 (1930--), in custody of Session Clerk, C. E. Haefele, 205 North, East First Street.

Register: (baptisms, marriages, members, communicants, deaths), 1871--(1903-29, missing) included in Session Minutes.

Financial Records: 1931--, 1 v. hdw., in custody of Treasurer, C. E. Haefele.

Sunday School Records: 1921--, 21 v. hdw.

Women's Missionary Society Records: 1902--, 3 v. hdw., in custody of Mrs. C. E. Castle, 110 N. Union St.

[Source: Inventory of the Church Archives of Illinois: Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Chicago, Illinois: Illinois Historical Records Survey, Illinois Public Records Project, February 1942, prepared by Illinois Historical Records Survey, Division of community service programs, Works Projects Administration ,page 81]


Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Fairfield, Illinois

The Fairfield Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized 1841, under the leadership of the Rev. Woods Hamilton. The Rev. David McLin was the first Missionary to the community. He began his work in the sparsely settled area in 1821. In the year of 1827 the first religious service was held in the small village of Fairfield in a private home. The Cumberland Church was the first completed and dedicated church in the village of Fairfield. It was dedicated in 1841. The present building was erected under the pastorate of the Rev. J. T. Colman who came to the church in 1919. The church was dedicated by the Rev. J. L. Hudgens, October 9, 1921. Rev. J. T. Colman is now living at Madison, Tennessee. The present pastor of the church is Rev. J. G. Whiteside. This plate is sponsored by the Guild Missionary Auxiliary of the church, December, 1955.

[Source: text on back of commemorative plate, December 1955]


A Short History of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Fairfield, Illinois

The Cumberland Presbyterian Church as a denomination began on February 4, 1810 in Dickson County, Tennessee, as an outgrowth of the "Great Revivals" of the 1800's. It was soon after this, in 1818, that the Rev. David McLin, who has been named the "Father of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Illinois," crossed the Ohio River and brought the gospel into the then sparsely settled southern regions of Illinois.

In 1827 the first services were held in the homes of the people in the community of Fairfield. These services were continued until the year 1841 when a formal organization of the Fairfield Church was effected under the leadership of the Rev. Woods Hamilton.

The first building was erected at 404 East Delaware on the land described as Lot 60 in the Henry B. Fidderman's addition to the town of Fairfield. In 1892, the old building was pulled by sled across the road to where the A&P Store parking lot is today, in order that services could continue while a new building, the second, was being constructed on the original lot.

After only 14 years in their new building, the congregation received a shocking blow - the "Attempted Merger of 1906." The church made plans to continue as a Cumberland church and the congregation was allowed to continue meeting in the building. In 1919 under the leadership of the Rev. J. T. Coleman, the congregation made plans to relocate and build a new church. In 1920, the SW 1/2 of Lot 48 in the Edward Bonham addition, 123 West Main Street, was purchased for $500. It was hoped that the church could come to an agreement with Ewing Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church USA, whereby the Presbytery would give the Church building to the Cumberlands, and that this building would be moved to the newly acquired lot. and that Ewing Presbytery would keep the original lot, the lot in question. On May 7, 1920, Ewing Presbytery granted a deed to the Cumberlands for the building and lot. It was then decided that it would be better to sell the building and lot and to build a new church at the new location. On February 20, 1921, the old church was sold to the Fairfield Church of Christ for $2,250 and construction of a new building began. After selling the church, the Cumberlands rented the Pershing Theater until their new home was completed. On Sunday, October 9, 1921, the Rev. J. L. Hudgens, the editor of the church paper, brought the dedicatory sermon. This was the third home for the Cumberlands costing approximately $20,000. The 93rd meeting of The General Assembly met May 17-23 in 1923, in this building.

The Records of the Minutes of the Session show that in 1957, during the 18 year pastorate of the Rev. J. G. Whiteside, a congregational meeting was held to discuss future expansion regarding relocation or the acquiring of additional land since the church building sat on practically every inch of property. No decision was reached.

In 1964, under the leadership of the Rev. Virgil Bailey, the idea of future expansion was again introduced to the congregation. The majority of the congregation voted in favor of relocation, but the Session felt that the majority was too slim to undertake such a venture. Therefore, additional property was purchased east of the church for parking and a new entrance way was constructed on the church in 1965.

In November of 1969, the congregation overwhelmingly approved the purchase of approximately 15 acres of land on Outer West Delaware for future relocation at the cost of $28,000. This property was subdivided and named Cumberland Heights addition to the City of Fairfield. Two streets run through the property being named, Cumberland Drive and Whiteside Lane. Approximately 6 1/2 acres were reserved for the church and the rest divided into 10 lots for homes. One of these lots was reserved for the building of a new manse. (The church has three remaining lots to sell.)

In 1971 the old manse was sold for $12, 250, and a new manse was built valued at $35,000. The old church building at 123 West Main was sold to the Assembly of God Church in 1972 for $35,000. Construction began on the new building and the first service was held February 3, 1974. The Dedication of the new building was October 6, 1974 with special guests, The Rev. David Brown, Moderator of the General Assembly and The Rev. C. Ray Dobbins, editor of the "Cumberland Presbyterian."

The Church owns the following properties: $7,500 3 lots; $25,000 property; $35,000 manse; $225,000 church; total $292,500.

The Church has a total indebtedness of $100,000.

The church was fulfilled all of its commitments to Presbyterial, Synodic, and denominational causes during its relocation program, plus receiving Second Mile Certificates every year. The church as now voted to help build a church in Columbia, South America.


(First Services held as early as 1827 by the Rev. David W. McLin)

Rev. Woods Hamilton 1841
Rev. David W. McLin  
Rev. Joel Knight  
Rev. John Porter  
Rev. James Alexander  
Rev. Harris  
Rev. William Finley  
Rev. Felix Trousdale  
Rev. Henry Phelps  
Rev. J. H. Hughey 1871-1872
Rev. H. W. Russel 1872-1874
Rev. William Murray 1875-1880
Rev. E. W. Elder 1880-1882
Rev. William Murray 1882-1885
Rev. S. L. Rea 1885-1887
Rev. James Thomason 1887-1888
Rev. Charles Fields 1888-1889
Rev. J. L. Riley 1889-1891
Rev. J. L. Hughey 1891-1892
Rev. William Howe 1892-1893
Rev. F. A. Grant 1894-1895
Rev. Joseph Latham 1895-1897
Rev. Joseph Hawkins 1897-1899
Mr. Wallace Stephens 1900
Rev. W. A. Dillon 1900-1901
Rev. D. A. Roberts 1901-1903
Rev. A. J. Curtill 903-1905
Rev. E. M. Johnson 1905-1906
Rev. James Harvey Morgan 1907-1908
Rev. J. S. Sproul 1908-1910
Rev. C. A. Galloway 1910-1912
Rev. J. S. Sproul 1912
Rev. W. C. Lloyd 1912-1913
Rev. G. W. May 1913-1915
Rev. J. M. Turner 1915-1916
Rev. John M. McLane 1917-1918
Rev. S. E. Ragland 1918-1919
Rev. J. T. Coleman 1919-1924
Rev. J. W. Parrish 1924-1925
Rev. A. D. Rudolph 1925-1927
Rev. John A. McLane 1927-1930
Rev. M. E. Wright 1930-1932
Rev. H. R. Robinson 1932-1935
Rev. J. T. Coleman 1935-1937
Rev. C. J. T. Straub 1938-1939
Rev. J. L. Mitchell 1939-1942
Rev. Colvin Baird 1943-1944
Rev. G. C. Krieg 1945-1946
Rev. J. G. Whiteside 1946-1963
Rev. Virgil Bailey 1963-1966
Rev. Earl Roberts 1966-1969
Rev. Denny Shepard 1969-

[Source: Dedication booklet of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church Fairfield, Illinois, October 6, 1974)

Updated May 12, 2009

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