Church and Family History Research Assistance
for Ray County, Missouri

CHURCHES:

NEW HOPE (NORTH BLUFFTON)(RICHMOND)

New Hope Church, near Richmond, was organized in about 1820 or 1821, under the name of North Bluffton. In November 1823 it was one of seven pioneer Baptist churches in the area which constituted the Fishing River Association, viz., Mt. Vernon, Fishing River, Rush Creek, Little Shoal, Big Sni-a-bar, North Bluffton and Big Shoal. The records of North Bluffton from the beginning to February 1828 were lost or destroyed.

Pastors and ministers who served the church, beginning in 1833, included Elders Solomon Kimsey, James Williams, Humphrey Mount, Orange Mott, William Turnage, Isaac Odell, W. T. Brown, Allen Sisk, and G. E. Higdon. Others who have been ordained by this church included Elders W. T. Brown, Thomas B. Fisher, and W. C. Perdue.

Brethren who were licensed to preach included Michael Turnage, W. T. Frazier, Thomas B. Brown, and Thomas A. Brown. Brethren who served as clerk included James S. Holman, E. W. Holman, Thomas B. Brown, William A. White, James M. Campbell, Walter S. Leek, W. P. Thompson, Charles A. Brown, and others at later dates. Deacons included James Holman, Nathan Smith, Robert Rowland, Thomas B. Brown, Thomas A. Brown Sr., W. A. White, John F. Brown, W. P. Thompson, George M. White, and Jesse D. Brown.

The first church house was a log building, about four miles north of Camden, or North Bluffton. The name of the church was changed to New Hope in April 1846. In 1873, a frame house was built on the site, which was replaced by another frame house in 1897, at the same site.

Some of the names of the earliest members included: James Holman, Nathan Smith and wife, Patrick Dorsey, John Stone, Abel Lee, Samuel Riggs, Wynant Vanderpool, Hardy Holman and wife, Nancy, Willis Elliott, John Cates, Allen Good, Aaron Linville, Henry Rowland, Thomas B. Brown, Willis Brockman, Holland Vanderpool, Cain Adams, and Benjamin Hannah.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Adams, Allison, Artman, Atwood, Bales, Bateman, Bates, Brockman, Brown, Burk, Campbell, Cash, Cates, Colley, Cox, Crowley, Davis, Dickey, Dorsey, Eaton, Elliott, English, Farmer, Faulkinson, Fisher, Fortune, Frazier, Goode, Grooms, Hall, Hannah, Henley, Hines, Holman, Hornback, James, Key, King, Kirtley, Larkey, Leak, Lee, Lillard, Linville, Logan, Malott, Martin, Mathis, McCorkendale, Morris, Mosby, Mott, Mount, Nowlin, Odell, Owen, Owens, Parker, Parmsley, Peck, Pence, Perdue, Prewitt, Ramby, Redd, Rhymer, Riggs, Rimmer, Roark, Rowland, Schooley, Smith, Snowden, Stevenson, Steward, Stone, Tanner, Thacker, Thomas, Thompson, Thornton, Treadway, Turnage, Vanderpool, Wagoner, Ward, Welcher, Wells, Whetlock, White, Williams, Woods, Woodson (incomplete list).

FISHING RIVER (FLOYD)

Fishing River Church was organized in 1822. This church hosted the constitutional meeting of the Fishing River Association in November 1823. The church grew, and lettered out members to form several other churches in an early day, and at one time numbered nearly 100 members. In about 1858, trouble entered the church and a division occurred, each party dwindling away until they were almost extinct. The old meeting house was vacated and fenced in with a farm, and the members were scattered. Bro. Thomas Lloyd was a deacon, and he and Mr. John Dorton, who was not a member, decided to build a new house of worship, and the two parties reunited in October 1890, and several were soon baptized, and the church obtained the labors of Elder W. T. Brown. The church was located at Floyd, on the Santa Fe Railroad.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Fortune, Lloyd, Martin, Turnage, White (very incomplete list).

NEW GARDEN (EXCELSIOR SPRINGS)

Old New Garden Church, three miles east and 1 1/4 miles south of Excelsior Springs, was organized at the home of John Turner, in Ray County, on thd 3rd day of April, 1824, with fifteen charter members, viz., Jessie Fletcher, Elsy Clevenger, Caleb O'Dell, Smith Hutchings, John Turner, Jane Turner, Nehemiah O'Dell, Rachel O'Dell, John Hutchings, Elizabeth Hutchings, John Clevenger, Mary O'Dell, Patsy Turnage, Nancy Chapman, and Lucy Wood. The presbytery was composed of Elders James Williams and William Turnage.

The church soon obtained an acre of land from Richard Clevenger and built a log meeting house on the west side of the acre, just north of where the present house stands. A larger frame building was erected in 1858.

Pastors have included Elders James Williams, William Turnage, Robert Hicks, Humphrey, Isaac O'Dell, Allen Sisk, W. R. Riggs, Emerson McAfee, Leon H. Clevenger, Lee Bryant, Jerry M. Smith, Wilmer Harper, Kenneth W. Clevenger, and Norman L. Clevenger.

Deacons have included John Turner, Joel P. Moore, Eli O'Dell, Aaron O'Dell, S. E. O'Dell, Edwin O'Dell, Noah McGuire, Cornelius Cown, John Starkey, William R. Riggs, Richard Clevenger, Daniel Clevenger, Moses Clevenger, Russell Duncan, J. R. Duncan, William O'Dell, Barlet Monroe Clevenger, Henry Christensen, Franklin Duncan, Andrew Clevenger, Jewell S. Clevenger, Addie O'Dell, Irvin Robinson, Ronald Duncan, and Willis Sharp. Some of the clerks included John Clevenger, John Welton, A. W. Dickey, Allen Sisk, David McGuire, Richard Clevenger, Willis Duncan, Caleb O'Dell, Franklin Duncan, Sarah Duncan, and Ronald Duncan.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Adams, Branch, Chapman, Clevenger, Corwin, Craven, Creason, Curtis, Daniels, Dickie, Dowden, Drake, Duncan, Estes, Fletcher, Garrett, Griffey, Gross, Hicks, Hightower, Hunbard, Hutchings, Massengill, McCorkle, McCroskie, McGuire, Moore, O'Dell, Perkins, Porter, Riggs, Rogers, Rowland, Sharp, Sisk, Smart, Smith, Stallings, Still, Stoman, Summers, Turnage, Turner, Turnidge, Waller, Whitton, Wilson, Wood, Woods (incomplete list - more to come later).

CROOKED RIVER (RAYVILLE)

Crooked River Church, near Rayville, united with the Fishing River Association in 1831, and was probably organized about that time.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Adams, Adkins, Akers, Bateman, Brown, Callahan, Campbell, Cates, Cencibaugh, Clevenger, Colley, Collins, Cox, Crowley, Curtis, Dale, Dobins, Duncan, Endsley, Francis, Griffey, Hale, James, Joiner, Jones, Lamar, Lloyd, Magee, Martin, Mazy, McGaugh, Moore, Murry, Narramore, Odell, Ogle, Parker, Phillips, Querry, Rasco, Robinson, Routh, Searcy, Seek, Shirley, Stewart, Thomas, Thompson, Treadway, Turnidge, Webb (incomplete).

MARION (MARION)

Marion Church was a long-time member of the Fishing River Association. The church dissolved in October 1942.

SURNAMES OF MEMBERS:

Brookshire, Campbell, Clark, Craven, Duval, Groom, Harris, Higdon, Kincade, Lile, Maddox, McGaugh, Moffitt, Mosby, O'Dell, Schooler, Stark, Stone, Thompson, Vanbebber, Vanderpool, Yoakum (very incomplete list due to records not having been located).


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