The Heritage of Daniel Haston

 


Mill Creek Baptist Church -
Village of Hamburg near Luray in Page County, VA


The log church building (pictured above) is situated two miles west of Luray, VA where the old road in the village of Hamburg (county route 766, just off U.S. 211) crosses Mill Creek (38° 39.514′ N, 78° 30.729′ W).  

Much has been written about the Mill Creek Church located near what is now Luray, Virginia, but only in bits and pieces of chapters in various books or articles by a wide variety of writers.  Much of what we know - or think we know - is based on oral history or other sources that can not be verified as factual.  And contradictions between the sources are common.  For example, the historical perspective of the Mill Creek Church as recorded by Mennonite historian Harry Anthony Brunk (History of Mennonites in Virginia, 1727-1900) is very different from the perspective presented by Baptist historian Robert B. Semple (A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia).

But, there are some reliable documented facts that help to frame a history of this historic church--a mother church that greatly impacted its community in its heyday and influenced many churches far beyond its locality in the little village of Hamburg, VA. 

The following historical overview attempts to be as factual as possible, based on documentation of varying degrees of solidity or knowledge that has been commonly accepted as valid.  But, in cases where opinions are all we have to fill in the gaps, I have tried to make it clear that I have left the realm of known facts in order to meander in the realm of possibilities. 

The Mennonite Era

In 1733 Jacob Stover was granted a patent for a 5,000 acres tract on the east side of the Massanutten Mountain and began conveying deeds shortly thereafter.  Very soon then, and probably even before the patent was granted and deeds could be officially conveyed, Swiss-German Mennonites began occupying Stover's land, moving into the Massanutten settlement and surrounding areas.  Most of them had immigrated through Philadelphia and settled briefly in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania before seeking more, better, and cheaper land in the northern neck of Virginia. 

As was the common practice of Mennonites in those days, religious services were conducted in their homes.  Due to the religious intoleration and persecution their ancestors had experienced for more than 200 years in Switzerland and Germany, Mennonites had never enjoyed the luxury of regular meeting houses like Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, or members of the Reformed Church. 

One of the earliest Mennonites to settle in the Massanutten settlement was John Rhoads, a minister.  Rhoads likely arrived in Philadelphia on August 24, 1728 and probably moved directly to Virginia. Other Mennonite ministers such as Jacob Strickler and Martin Kauffman I (died in 1749), all of whom were untrained lay ministers, were among the early Swiss-German pilgrims in the new settlement.  So there is little doubt that Mennonite religious meetings were conducted in homes of these Mennonite families from the outset of their arrival in the Massanutten area.  Whether or not these Mennonite meeting groups considered themselves to be a singular church in those earliest years, we do not know. 

Until about 1800, the Mennonite leaders in Virginia were ordained in Pennsylvania and matters of ecclesiastical oversight were vested in the Lancaster County conference.  Mennonite churches of Virginia were considered to be an arm of the main body of American Mennonites, that body being located in Pennsylvania. 

In about 1760, Martin Kauffman II (son of Martin I; Martin II died 1805), a Mennonite minister as was his father, built what is somewhat famously known as the "White House," on the east bank of the South Fork Shenandoah River where US Highway 211 now crosses the river.  The house was built during the French and Indian war (1754-1763) and included a fort cellar, for protection in case of Indian attacks.  For its time, the White House was a large home, large enough to accommodate a fairly large congregation of Mennonites who came there to hear Martin Kauffman II preach.  At some point in time, the name "White House Church" began to be used to identify Kauffman's congregation.

The Baptist Revival

John Koontz, a man of German descent, was living in Front Royal near Winchester, VA in the 1760s when he began to be influenced by the sermons of Baptist preachers.  In December 1768, Koontz traveled to Fauquier County, VA and was baptized there, becoming a Baptist.  Soon after his baptism, he began to preach in the area near where he lived.  John's brother, George, lived in the Mill Creek community of then-Frederick County, approximately 25 miles south of Front Royal.  In November 1770, John visited his brother and learned that the people there, even most of the religious ones, were ignorant of the genuine grace and true peace of God through Jesus Christ the Savior.  When John preached there, God opened many hearts and he returned often to preach prior to moving into the Mill Creek community in the mid 1770s.

Being the son of a German immigrant, Koontz could preach in German or in English and would often do both with the same congregation. His ability to do German-English bi-lingual ministry in a community heavily populated with German speakers was a significant advantage for him.  According to 19th century Baptist historian James B. Taylor, vast crowds attended his meetings and other Baptist ministers, such as Lewis Craig, Samuel Harris, James Ireland, Anderson Moffett, and John Picket, visited the county and assisted in the novice preacher's exciting ministry.  Elders Samuel Harris and Lewis Craig (and probably other visiting ordained ministers) baptized those who were converted, because Koontz was not yet ordained in the earliest years of his preaching ministry. 

The response to his preaching greatly affected many of the Mennonites of the area and a Baptist revival broke out in and around the Mill Creek community.  If the assessment of a Moravian missionary who visited the area in 1748 is accurate, the spiritual life of many of these Mennonites was probably non-existent and their religion was nothing more than formalities.  No doubt, the fruit of revival was ripe for the picking.

But Koontz's Baptist work was not without opposition and occasionally he was physically beaten by ruffians.  Mennonite leaders opposed  the Koontz ministry in general and the man John Koontz specifically, seeing the Baptist revival as "the work of Satan."  Hearing of the Baptist encroachment into the Virginia Mennonite community, several Mennonite preachers from Pennsylvania visited his home in attempts to persuade him to change his doctrine.  These labors were in vain and Koontz stood firm on his Baptist convictions.  And Koontz commented that these visiting Mennonite leaders were "entire strangers to vital godliness, denying the existence thereof."  An inscription of his memorial monument highlights the hardships he endured: "No primitive Baptist preacher suffered more at the hands of opposers." 

Although preachers Anderson Moffett and another minister (Martin Kauffman II) were in the congregation in the early 1770s, in 1774 or 1775 the church asked John Koontz to be their pastor, even though he was probably still living in Front Royal.  In October 1776 John Koontz was deeded 86 acres from David Kaufman, another son of Martin Kauffman I, in Shenandoah (later, Page) County and moved there from Front Royal.  Ten years later (March 29, 1786) he sold that land to Daniel Mauck.  At about the time he moved to Shenandoah County, Koontz was ordained and received the title of "Elder" and began to pastor the Mill Creek Church, in which role he continued for about 50 years.  Anderson Moffett became the pastor of the Smith Creek Baptist Church in New Market, west of the Massanutten Mountain. 

Some sources say that the Smith Creek Baptist Church was constituted off of the Mill Creek Baptist Church, but an official Baptist document indicates that the Smith Creek Church was started more than a decade before John Koontz began preaching in the Mill Creek area.

A church constituted August 6, 1756, at Smith Creek, a branch of North Shannandoah, in the province of Virginia, was received into the Association the first day of meeting. The first, and present minister of this church, is the Rev. John Alderson. The original constituents were but eleven, now they are thirty, including the eight that were baptized this year. One died since the constitution.
Source: 1762 Minutes of the Philadelphia Baptist Association Minutes

Henry Strickler (pages 279-280, Short History of Page County, VA) surmised that, while the Smith Creek Baptist Church was constituted in 1756, due to the evacuation of the area during the French and Indian War (1754-1763) the church probably became inactive during the war.  Then, the church was restarted near the end of the hostilities through the influence of the Baptist revival that was spreading from Mill Creek.  But this still does not account for the fact that 1762 was a few years before John Koontz arrived at Mill Creek, across the Massanutten Mountain from Smith Creek.

The Mennonite preacher Martin Kauffman II was one of Koontz's first converts, but he retained some of his Mennonite convictions when he adopted immersion as the only correct mode of baptism and some other Baptist distinctives in order to join the Koontz movement.  Many other Mennonites followed Kauffman's lead and began uniting with the Baptist group.  After his conversion, Kauffman was quickly accepted as a Baptist minister.  John Koontz and Martin Kauffman then became co-laborers in the ministry of the Baptist church on the South Fork Shenandoah River near Mill Creek.  The Martin Kauffman home ("the White House") which had been used for Mennonite meetings probably began to be used for Baptist meetings at this time or shortly after.  By around 1770 a flourishing Baptist church had been planted in this community--a community largely consisting of Mennonite families.  Eventually, nearly all Mennonites of the county would adopt the Baptist faith.

The Hiestand family was one of the Mennonite families to be impacted spiritually by the Baptist ministry of Rev. John Koontz, which might be expected since Koontz, for a while, owned land adjacent to the Henrich Hiestand family.  Although we do not know the full extent of his influence on the Hiestands, we do know that he officiated marriages for some of Henrich Hiestand's grandchildren, Jacob's children:  Jacob (1784), Abraham, to the widow of Mennonite minister Jacob Strickler (1787), Elizabeth (1784), Magdalena (1799) and John, to the daughter of Mennonite minister Jacob Strickler (1794).  Source: "Samuel Hiestant" - Wikipedia.
Note: There is some apparent discrepancy between 1784 of the Hiestand marriages and the August 25, 1785 date when Koontz was first granted legal permission to perform marriages.

But Abraham Hiestand (same person as in the previous paragraph), grandson of Henrich Hiestand through Jacob, signed himself in 1794 as "minister of the Church of the Mennonite Society" before he joined the young fledgling United Brethren denomination as did his brother Samuel.  ("Samuel Hiestand," Wikipedia)  So in the 1790, there were still Mennonites in the area and Jacob's son Abraham vacillated back into the Mennonite fold.  In his classic work, A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia, John Wayland stated that when a Mennonite settlement was formed in the Thornton Gap area, three miles east of what is now the town of Luray, Abraham Hiestand ministered there as early as 1786.  And in 1794, Abraham was the first Mennonite in Virginia to issue a certificate of church membership.  In 1790, Abraham build an impressive stone house* on the original South Fork Shenandoah River land his grandfather purchased in 1743.  Soon after the house was built, he traded the house to Colonel Daniel Strickler for land in Thornton's Gap, probably to be nearer the church in which he ministered.

*It is possible that Abraham's father, Jacob Hiestand (oldest son of Henrich) began building the stone house, but upon his drowning-death, Abraham inherited the project and the house.

Question: Did Baptist preacher John Koontz perform the wedding of Abraham Hiestand to the widow of Mennonite minister Jacob Strickler in 1787, if Abraham was a Mennonite minister at the time?  Perhaps there was no Mennonite minister qualified, at the time, to perform marriages.

From Christian Newcomer's Journal we know Samuel Hiestand's family was already associated with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ and one of its founders as early as 1796. "On the 20th [October 1796] I rode to Messinurte; [Massanutten] on the 21st preached here with uncommon liberty, from Matthew 5 — v. 3. At candle light, I spoke at Br. Hiestand's, from Psalm 44-v. 15. The people here are rather hardened: may God have mercy on them." "5th [August 1799]—After considerable enquiry and difficult search, I this day arrived at Br. Hiestand's, where I lodged for the night."

Source: Page 22 of The Life and Journal of the Rev'd Christian Newcomer, Late Bishop of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, translated by John Hildt, printed by F. G. W. Kapp, 1834.

Note: In January 1807, Abraham Hiestand was on a jury in Fairfield County, Ohio.
Source: Page 32 of Pioneer Period and Pioneer People of Fairfield County, Ohio by C.M.L. Wiseman (1901).

Note: On July 8, 1810 (and on a few other subsequent occasions) Christian Newcomer stayed at Abraham Hiestand's house, west of Zanesville, Ohio.  (Page 189, Newcomer's journal)

Reverend Abraham Hiestand died in Harrison County, Ohio.

Henrich Hiestand, Daniel Haston/Hiestand's father, would have been in his mid-60s when Koontz began his Baptist ministry there and while many of his Mennonite neighbors were abandoning their religious roots, roots that were generations-deep.  How did he respond to the Baptist revival?  We do not know for sure.  In November 1776, he was still making a "solemn affirmation" (instead of taking an oath), which would be consistent with Mennonite convictions.  And in his March 22, 1777 will, Henrich censured his son Daniel and his daughter Magdalena for, as he said, "a reason which I now do not like to mention."  Many of Henrich's descendants have conjectured that Daniel and Magdalena might have converted and become Baptists, thus displeasing their diehard Mennonite father.  That is certainly possible, and it fits the era of Baptist fervor in the Mill Creek community.  Add to that the fact that Mennonite Dr. John Neff/Nave (died 1784), father of Daniel's wife Christina Nave (married September 28, 1773) did not mention Christina in his will, although she was very probably his daughter.  Did Dr. Nave censure Christina for the same reason Henrich censured Daniel--leaving the Mennonites to join the Baptists?  All of this is conjecture, based on limited evidence.

Daniel's older brother, Abraham, did leave a Baptist trail as he migrated from Virginia into what became eastern Tennessee (previously western North Carolina).  He and is family became members of the Cherokee Creek Baptist Church near Jonesborough, Tennessee and the Big Pigeon Baptist Church near Newport, Tennessee, then later he joined the Mill Creek Baptist Church near Tompkinsville, Kentucky.  But even though Daniel traveled from Virginia to eastern Tennessee with his older brother, we have not found a for-sure record that (our) Daniel was a member of either of the east Tennessee Baptist churches.  And when the Big Fork Baptist Church existed about a mile from where Daniel settled in White County, Tennessee, his name does not appear on any of the extant church records.

The Kauffman-Koontz Split

The December 31, 1787 will of Philadelphia Woodman indicates that she bequeathed "1/2 of her money to Martin Coffman's church to relieve the poor" and "1/2 to John Koontz's church to relieve the poor."
Source: Page 516 of A Genealogy and History of the Kauffman-Coffman Families, Part Two by Charles Fahs Kauffman.

Apparently, the co-leadership of Martin Kauffman II and John Koontz was not long lived in the Baptist church on the South Fork Shenandoah River.  As the country entered the Revolutionary War, many of the Baptist church's members began organizing and equipping to defend themselves from Indian and British hostilities.  Kauffman's Mennonite anti-war conscience was not prepared to deal with this part of Baptist faith and practice.  Elder Koontz did not see the issue as being as important as Kauffman viewed it and tried to persuade Kauffman to remain a Baptist, with the freedom to disagree on the issue of war and defense.  But Kauffman's convictions against war were too strong for him to remain in the Baptist congregation and 10 or 12 other ex-Mennonists followed his lead.  But apparently the feelings between Kauffman and Koontz remained friendly.  Kauffman was known as a very pious man with strong prejudices, but was inoffensive and not harsh toward his Baptist colleague and continued to be affectionate toward Koontz and his Baptist friends.  And Koontz passionately pleaded with Kauffman to remain in the Baptist ministry with him. 

Rather than return wholeheartedly to the Mennonite denomination, Kauffman made a half-step and pulled away from the Baptist church led by Koontz to begin what would be known, by Baptist minister James Ireland and others, as a Mennonist Baptist Church, an independent congregation, which met in his own home, the White House. This congregation was built around Kauffman's personality, a little man with a strong voice.  Mennonite historian Harry Anthony Brunk stated that, at the height of its growth, Kauffman's church had a membership of 60 or 70 members.  Koontz's church was probably much larger.

Brunk also said that in 1793, Martin Kauffman petitioned the government of Virginia, in the name of the "Separatist Independent Baptist Church," for military exemption similar to that granted to Mennonites and Quakers.  Kauffman's petition was rejected. 

In the mid-1790s, as Martin Kauffman was well past his prime age, it appears that his church was disintegrating.  Some of the Mennonist Baptist members were seeking to join the Koontz's Mill Creek Baptist Church and "orderly members" from Kauffman's congregation were received into the Baptist church.  Brunk says that even Martin Kauffman twice sought to re-enter the Baptist church pastored by his former colleague, John Koontz, but was unable to do so.  By this time a Martin Kauffman III (son of Martin II; Martin III died in 1824) was a church leader on the scene and writers often seem to confuse the father and son. 

Martin Kauffman II died in 1805.  His will (recorded in Virginia in 1809) gave 100 pounds to the President of the United States "to be by him applied to use of and relief of any poor and worthy objects of charity in the United States."  Why did he not donate this relief money to a church for the church to distribute?  Perhaps late in his life he had no church with which he identified. 

Prior to or shortly after his father's death, Martin Kauffman III led a group of former members from the White House church to Fairfield County, Ohio and formed the Pleasant Run Baptist Church.  Some sources say that slavery, a very hot topic in Virginia at the time, was likely a major factor in this Mill Creek exodus.  But perhaps equally, or even more, important was the desire for inexpensive land that was abundantly available west of the Appalachians. 

Mennonite historian Brunk and Baptist historian Benedict claimed that the move to Ohio occurred in 1801.  But other sources say 1805 or 1806.  Perhaps 1805 or 1806, after the death of Martin Kauffman II, is a more reasonable date.  Semple, the 19th century Baptist historian, said that Kauffman's church dispersed after the death of Martin Kauffman II. 

In 1813, Baptist historian David Benedict (1779-1874) wrote:

The High German Church at Pleasant Run near Lancaster (Ohio) is most distinguished in that the church was formed of Martin Coffman's followers who seceded from Rev. John Koontz's church near Whitehouse.  In 1801 six of these families gave 15 members to the Pleasant Run Church.  By 1809 there were 70.  Almost the entire Whitehouse congregation moved to the new location in Ohio.  the pastors were Lewis Sites, Samuel Comer, and Martin Coffman (III) who preached in English and German.  These members were largely drawn from the Mennonites who were opposed to slavery, war, and legal oaths.
Source: Page 521 of A Genealogy and History of the Kauffman-Coffman Families, Part Two by Charles Fahs Kauffman (from Bennedict's History of the Baptist Denomination, 1813).

The Pleasant Run Church minutes indicate the the church was first constituted on April 19, 1806 and Martin Coffman (III) was the moderator until August 1809. Source: "Pleasant Run Baptist Church" in A Complete History of Fairfield County, Ohio by Hervey Scott, 1877.

John Umble's 1932 Mennonite Quarterly Review article which states that the church was founded in 1806, says there were 90 members in 1809, including "such well-known Mennonite names as Coffman, Giger (Geiger), Cagy (Keagy), Wise, Miller, Musselman, Hover (Hoover), and Histand (Hiestand). These had no doubt been swept into the Baptist church during the period of the Great Awakening in Virginia."
Source: Page 7 of "The Fairfield County, Ohio, Background of the Allen County, Ohio, Mennonite Settlement, 1799-1860" by John Umble from The Mennonite Quarterly Review (Volume 6, January 1932).

Some of the Virginia Mennonite names that appeared on the early membership list of the Ohio church include Kauffman, Hite, Ruffner, Cagy, and Histand.  In the original group, was Maria Elizabeth Brumbach Histand, the widow of Jacob, Henrich's oldest son (Daniel Hiestand/Haston's brother) who drowned in in the South Fork Shenandoah River in 1795.  Hiestand family historian David Trimble indicated (page 7) that on October 13, 1804 Jacob Hiestand's widow and children settled Jacob's estate and moved to Fairfield County, Ohio.

But a May 1809 entry in the minutes of the Baptist Association held for the Orange District says: 

"A letter came to the Association from the Menonist Baptist church, at the White House, praying for a reconciliation; which church separated from us in the time of the war because they would keep no slaves, swear no oaths, nor bear arms in defence of their country.  A letter was written by the Association in answer to the one received, and a committee appointed to wait on the church, who reported to the next Association that they attended and found that there was no probability of a reconciliation."
Source:  Pages 248-249 of A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia by Robert B. Semple, 1894.

The above entry in the association's minutes indicates that the movement led by the Martin Kauffmans did not end with the death of Martin Kauffman II or the move to Ohio by Martin Kauffman III.  Branches of the "Kauffman Church" continued to function in the area around where the Kauffmans had exerted their spiritual influence.

Continuation of the Mill Creek Baptist Church

Speculations vary greatly regarding when the log church building, commonly known as the Mauck Meeting House, was constructed and which group built it--Mennonites or Baptists.  Construction date theories range from as early as 1740 to as late as about 1800. 

Harry Anthony Brunk claimed that "the old Mill Creek Church (log building in Hamburg) was built under the auspices of the Mennonites in the first half of the 18th century."  Although he does not cite the evidence, Brunk stated (page 12) that "reliable evidence points to construction before 1750."  He also says that the late addition of a balcony for slaves, which was not part of the original building, is evidence that the Mennonites, who did not own slaves, built the house and it was later taken over by Baptists, some of whom were slaveholders.  Brunk, a Mennonite historian. went on to conclude that the "'Mauck Meeting House,' the old Mill Creek church,' was no doubt the first meetinghouse that the Mennonites of Virginia helped to build and use."

In his book A Short History of Page County, VA, Harry Strickler stated that the building was probably built between 1769 and 1800 and that it may have been built much earlier.  In a footnote on the same page (page 273) Strickler notes that Mann Almond (1796-1883) of nearby Luray said that the building was constructed about the time of the Revolution.  Almond was a member of the Mount Carmel "Old School" Baptist Church in Luray, a sister congregation of the Mill Creek congregation and would have known a lot about the history of the Mill Creek Church.  The American Revolution would have occurred at or near the time of the Kauffman-Koontz split, which would make sense.  Perhaps, the split triggered the need for a separate building for the congregation that followed John Koontz? 

According to Harry Strickler, Miss Mary Brubaker, whose grandmother was a daughter of Daniel Mauck, wrote:  "My father always told us that the old meeting house in Hamburg was built the year his father was born--1798."  His mother was the daughter of Daniel Mauck.  Source: Page 283, A Short History of Page County, VA.

Could it be that the meeting house was built during the time of the American Revolution but significantly remodeled, with the balconies, etc., in 1798?

The oldest existing minute book begins with August 18, 1798, but several of the earliest pages are missing from the book.  An old fly leaf, seemingly from the minute book, contains this inscription: "Mill Creek Church, March 1798." The earliest minutes begin "Church of Christ Mill Creek" but on July 20, 1799 the minutes begin with "The Baptist Church of Christ Mill Creek."  This was several years before the Alexander Campbell - Barton Stone "Restoration" (Church of Christ / Disciples of Christ) Movement" began.  "Baptist Church of Christ" was a common descriptor for Baptist churches prior to the time that Alexander Campbell began to use the name for churches who affiliated with his baptismal regeneration doctrine.  

Deed for the Lot

In the early years of this country, it was common for church buildings to be situated on property belonging to one of the prominent church members or its leader.  Then, at a later date, the lot on which the building sat would generally be deeded to the congregation. 

In 1776 Elder John purchased 86 acres from David Kauffman, son of Martin Kauffman I and brother of Martin Kauffman II.  This acreage adjoined land owned by Daniel Mauck.  John's wife, Elizabeth, and Daniel Mauck's second wife were sisters.  Then, in 1786 John Koontz and Elizabeth conveyed the 86 acres to Daniel Mauck.  It is possible that the church lot was situated on this land. 

Not only are we unsure of the time the log building for the Mill Creek Church was erected, but we also do not know who owned the land on which the building was constructed.  Tradition says that it was built on land owned by Daniel Mauck, thus the name "Mauck's Meeting House."  But, did Daniel Mauck own the land when the building was initially erected?  Did he purchase the land from John Koontz after the log church was built?  One thing seems clear--it was not built on a lot deeded to the church at the time of its construction.  That deed came later. 

In 1807, Joseph Mauck (son of Daniel Mauck who had died in 1803), owner of the land on which the building stood, conveyed the property to the "sundry persons friends of religion and good order" who had been using it.  he language of the deed is indicative of the strong religious feeling prevalent at he time:

This indenture Witnesseth that whereas Sundry persons, inhabitants of the County of Shenandoah in the state of Va., friends of religion and good order, did by Subscription build a house of worship on the land of Joseph Mauck of said County which house is commonly known and called by the name of Mauck's Meeting House in which house it was intended by the projectors or Subscribers afore said all orders of Christians and all worshipers of God preaching a moral doctrine and behaving decently should be allowed to preach and it was also their intention to buy a small lot of land on which said house stands a title to which should be made to no one or more o them but that the house and lot aforesaid should forever devoted to the public for advancement of religious and other pious purposes...

Download the application for the National Register of Historical Places, which includes this excerpt from the 1807 deed.

Note:  Even though the deed indicates that the church was for use by any denomination, it seems that it was used exclusively by Baptist throughout the 1800s.

In 1811 Joseph Mauck, conveyed two tracts of land to John Brubaker, land that had been devised to him by his father Daniel Mauck.  This land included the above Koontz tract.  The deed excepts the Mill Creek church lot:

Excepting and reserving one acre and twelve square perches of the said tract of land as the same was laid of, and a meeting house built thereon by the neighbors for religious purposes, commonly called and known by the name of Mauck's Meeting House.

It is not clear if John Koontz or Daniel Mauck owned the lot when the church building was constructed. 

 

Still working on this section.

As per meetings, appears that they often met in private homes even after the log building was definitely available. 

Meetings in the early 1800s, as per the minutes, alternated between Big Spring and Mill Creek, but from about 1802 they all were held at Big Spring.  On January 16, 1809 it appears that permission was granted to members in the Mill Creek area to have the full privilege to act as a church as "we have been at the Big Spring."  John Koontz was moderator for that meeting.

 

multiple campuses - one church, multiple locations - see page 156 of Strickler's Massanutten

Big Spring - as early as 1798, probably older

In November 1824, the members at Big Spring requested letters of dismissal so that they might organize a separate church. This church was established on 7 May 1825. (LVA catalog: Mill Creek Church (Page County, Va.)
Minute books, 1798-1847 2 vols.

How many locations? Dates? etc.

Old School

The church eventually became anti-missionary and joined the Old School Baptists. - LVA catalog

When? In the 1820s & 1830s
Old School = "primitive (meaning original) Baptists", no instrumental music, no Sunday schools, anti-missionary, election and particular redemption,

disagreement arose in the 1820's and 1830's over the use of Missionary Societies, Sunday Schools and Theological Seminaries
http://www.oldschoolbaptist.org/History.htm

When did Mill Creek Baptist choose to go old school?

School there - when?  More info on the school.

 

Civil War - Stonewall Jackson at the Mill Creek Baptist Church? (May 21, 1862)

April 3, 2017

Mr. Haston:

When I retired from Virginia Tech in 2011 and moved to the Colonial Beach area, I discarded the thousands of note cards I used for the Jackson book.  I therefore and unfortunately cannot throw any additional light on the church where Jackson bivouacked.
 
Best wishes, 
James I. Robertson, Jr.

John Koontz was pastor of the Mill Creek Baptist Church from the mid-1770s to 1824, about 50 years, and died in 1831.  He lived to be over 90 years old.

 


 

 

More photos?  Any early ones?


 

Timeline of Key Early Events Related to the Mill Creek Church

Add more to timeline - from material above
and etc.

1728
August 24
John Rhoads arrived in Philadelphia on the ship Mortonhouse and probably moved directly to the Massanutten area of Virginia.
Source: Page 9, Brunk.
1738 One Mennonite author says that there is reliable evidence that the Mill Creek Church was begun in 1738 and the work was completed in 1740.  If this is accurate, the church would have been a Mennonite church at that time.
Source: Page 12, Brunk.
1739
March 26
Birth of John Koontz in Opequon, VA in Frederick County, VA.
Source: Page 4, Koontz.
1740 The road that runs in front of the Mauck Meeting House was ordered to be built by the Orange County Court.
Source: Page 272, Strickler - Page County.
1748
 
Moravian missionary who visited the Massanutten area wrote that the  Mennonites there were "in a bad condition." "Nearly all religious earnestness and zeal is extinguished among them."  Other similar statements a bit later by Moravian visitors: "dead place where their testimony found no entrance."  Regarding Hans Rothen (John Roads), "he is a good pliable man, but without life."
Source: Page 15, Brunk.
1756
August 6
The Smith Creek Baptist Church, a sister church of the Mill Creek Baptist Church, was constituted on the west side of the Massanutten Mountain, near New Market, VA. As per Semple's History of the Virginia Baptists, the Mill Creek Baptist Church would appear to have been older than the Smith Creek Church.
Source: Page 391, 392, Wayland.
About 1760 Martin Kauffman II built the "White House" on the east bank of the South Fork Shenandoah River, which was used as a meeting house.
Source: Pages 36-37, Strickler - Massanutten.
1768
December
John Koontz lived near Winchester, VA but traveled to Fauquier County, VA and was baptized there, becoming a Baptist.
Source: Page 5-6, Koontz.
1764
November
Daniel Mauck bought 283 acres from Lord Fairfax adjoining the land of Martin Kauffman on which the meeting house was later built.
Source: Page 11, Brunk.
1768 Rev. James Ireland located at New Market, VA, west of and across the Massanutten Mountain from the Mill Creek Church.  Ireland, a former Presbyterian, became a co-laborer with John Koontz.  Ireland traveled all over northern Virginia spreading the Baptist faith, but was most closely associated with the Smith Creek Baptist Church near New Market.
Page 276, Strickler - Page County.
Late 1760s Mennonites were being affected by Baptist revival in the Mill Creek community.  Martin Kauffman II, preacher for the Mennonites, and his friend were uniting with the Baptist church.  Kauffman was given status as a minister in the Baptist church.  The Martin Kauffman home ("the White House") which had been used for Mennonite meetings probably began to be used for Baptist meetings at this time or shortly after. 
Source: Page 18, Brunk.
1770
November
Visited his brother George in the area of Mill Creek and began preaching in that community.  He continued to live near Winchester for a few years, but visited Mill Creek and continued to preach there.  Koontz was bilingual, speaking German and English.  He probably ministered in both languages.
Source: Page 6, Koontz.
1772 By this time, John Koontz and Martin Kaufman II had organized a Baptist congregation in the Mill Creek area.  Martin Kaufman II was one of the first Mill Creek area converts under the ministry of John Koontz.
Source: Page 6, Koontz. Page 275, Strickler.
Between 1772-1775 John Koontz was ordained and gained the title of "Elder."  He probably officially became the pastor of the Mill Creek Church at this time.
Source: Page 6, Koontz.
1776
 
John Koontz bought land from David Kauffman and moved into the Mill Creek community.
Source: Page 19, Brunk.
1785
August 25
John Counts obtained certification to perform marriages from Shenandoah County, VA.  Thus, first time he was legally permitted to perform marriages.
Source: Page 7, Koontz.
1790 The Pleasant Run Baptist Church in Fairfield, OH "was constituted in Virginia in about 1790, and came out of what was called the White House Church in Shenandoah County, Virginia...on account of its anti-slavery principles."  Martin Kauffman led this split and the move to Ohio.  Several former Mill Creek Baptist members were part of his group.  The Koontz book says it happened in 1805, but that would have been too late.  That was the year Kauffman died.
Source: Pages 274-275, Strickler - Page County.

Pleasant Run Baptist Church was first constituted on April 19, 1806 as per the church's records and Martin Coffman was the first moderator.  Page 130 of A Complete History of Fairfield County, Ohio by Hervey Scott. 

1798
September 15
Earliest extant minutes of the Mill Creek Church are dated "September the 15 day of 1798."  The church was called "Church of Mill Creek" but the business meeting for this day was held at the Big Spring Meeting House, as were many of the other meetings of that general time.  Big Spring, VA was/is about seven miles northeast of Hamburg, VA, where the Mill Creek Meeting House was/is located.
Source: Page 274, Strickler - Page County and the original 1798-1824 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1800
or earlier
Mauck Meeting House constructed. There are various views regarding the date for the construction of the meeting house.  Strickler says between 1769 and 1800, maybe earlier. A footnote in Strickler says "Mann Almond writing in 1877 says it was built about the time of the Revolution."  A Primitive Baptist Library source says that "the Mauck Meeting House was built by Baptists, before the beginning of the Revolutionary War, rather than by Mennonites (as the Mennonites usually met in homes)."
Sources: Page 9, Brunk.  Page 273, Strickler.  Primitive Baptist Library of Carthage, IL website.
1800
February 15
The church agreed to receive "orderly members from Martin Coffman's church."  In the years following, several of those ex-members of Coffman's church were received into the fellowship of the Mill Creek Church.
Source: 1798-1824 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1802
October 16
"It is the unanimous opinion of the church that the female members ought to visit us sometimes in [business] church meeting."
Source: 1798-1824 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1805 Deed for the Mauck Meeting House was made.
Source: Page 9, Brunk.
1807 Deed for the Mauck Meeting House was recorded.
Source: Page 9, Brunk.
1807
July 7
"Black woman by the name of Letty received by experience, on Sunday19th. Baptized at a meeting held at Mill Creek Meeting House 17th August, 1807."  Apparently, it had been a regular practice for the church to baptize and receive African Americans as members of the church, because the minutes do not suggest that there was anything unusual about this occasion.  Other African Americans were received in the following years.
Source: 1798-1824 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1809
January 16
"By the request of the members living about Mill Creek Meeting House, we give them the full privilege to act in a church capacity as we have here at Big Spring."  Apparently, the congregation at Big Spring had been the central congregation for this multi-site church. 
Source: 1798-1824 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
explain - separate minute books, etc.
March 1809 - October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book
1809
March 11
Church meeting at the Mill Creek Meeting House.  Isaac Strickler was the clerk.  Elder John Koontz chosen as moderator. 
"And having obtained liberty from the Mill Creek Church to keep a book and do our own business - it is agreed that we shall be named a branch of Mill Creek Church."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1809
September 16
Two former members of Martin Kaufman's church, Abraham and Katharine Hershberger, were received into full fellowship in this church.  Reception of members from Martin Kaufman's church happened at other times too.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1810
March 17
"On a motion it was agreed that a subscription should be drawn and money collected for the support of the gospel at this place, and that we should hereafter discharge our duty here an not at the Big Spring."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1811
November
"A motion being made for the church to meet at Hawksbill meeting house every other month was resolved."  The following month (December 1811) this congregation did meet at the Hawksbill meeting house.  They followed this every-other-month practice until March 10, 1821 when it was decided by a majority of two votes that monthly meetings should be held at the Mill Creek meeting house.  But, a year later (March 9, 1822), the meetings at the Hawksbill meeting house were reinstituted.  On March 13, 1824 it was agreed by the church to only meet at the Mill Creek meeting house.
Source: March 1809--October 1847
Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1812
April 11
Four people shared their experiences and were received for baptism, which was scheduled to take place on the 2nd Lord's Day in May at Mundellsville.  The village of Mundellsville, which predated the establishment of Luray, VA, was located on the west branch of Hawksbill Creek.  The focal point of Mundellsville was the Willow Grove Mill.  Now, there is little evidence of this once thriving village.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  Also, Wikipedia - Mundellsville, VA.
1812
October 10
"On a motion being made concerning the constitution of the branch of said Mill Run church.  It is concluded as to meet at the chapel near Mundellsville on Wednesday after the fourth Lord's day in the present month at which time and place all the members of said Mull Run church are requested to meet."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1813
May 8
"Received Bro. Samuel Hershberger by letter from the new constituted church as an orderly member."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1813
August 7
David Musselman was received by letter from the Hawksbill church, so it appears they were separate churches, even though the Mill Creek church met "every other month" in the Hawksbill meeting house.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1813
September 11
Two deacons (Samuel Hershberger and Daniel Strickler) were appointed for "the upper part of Mill Creek Church."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1820
March 11
"Bro. Saml. Hershberger took the clerk's note for recording the deed for the meeting house lot for safe keeping."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1822
March 9
The new clerk, Bro. Ewel Jeffries, referred to the church as "the Baptist church of Christ, called the Mill Creek church."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1822
May 11
The clerk reports the church's decision "that this branch of the church shall report to that branch at Big Spring all important business on the church meeting preceding the association in each year."  So, apparently the Mill Creek and Big Spring congregations still saw them as connected "branches," even though they operated independently. 
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1822
December 7
A motion was made to issue a license to preach to Ewel Jeffries (the church's clerk).  In the next (January 10, 1823) meeting, that license was issued.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1824
March 13
"Elder John Koontz resigned the pastoral care of this church in consequence of age and infirmity."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1824
April 10
Elder Robert Garnett was chosen to be pastor.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1824
May 8
Bro. Christian Bomgarner was appointed to "procure the book and paper belonging to this church which are at the Big Spring and deliver them here at our next meeting." 
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1824
June 12
Elder John Koontz preached in the service.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1824
July 10
"Bro. Ivey (?) a colored man made application for liberty to exercise a gift in publick and the church granted him liberty to sing, pray, and exhort within the bounds of the church."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1824
November 13
"The church received a petition from a number of brethren and sisters in the vicinity of the Big Spring praying letters of dismission for the purpose of constituting a church at that place.  Whereupon the church resolved that the brethren and sisters convenient to the Big Spring who have a desire to constitute themselves into a church at that place have permission to do so; - and when they shall be constituted nto a church they are requested to give a list of their names to this church."  A list of 22 names was presented to the Mill Creek church on May 7, 1825.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.

Note: Regarding the Big Spring Church, in the latter part of the second decade of the 1800s, it appears that business meetings of the Big Springs Church were less frequent and nothing unique was happening in the meetings that were being held.  And 19 months are missing between January 20, 1821 and October 19, 1822.  The first book of minutes ends with February 7, 1824.
Source: 1798-1824 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1825
January 8
The church adopted a set of rules for governing the church.  It was ordered for the clerk to place the rules in the front of the minutes book.  A committee was appointed to have some work done on the church, including repair of the windows and seats and the "propriety of enclosing the Mill Creek meeting house."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1825
March 12
$579.50 was subscribed to purchase a place of residence for Elder Robert Garnett.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1825
December 10
The question of whether or not a "stated" meeting should be held at the Hawksbill meeting house came up.  It was decided that such a meeting should be held on the first Lord's day of each month and the pastor of the Mill Creek church was requested to attend it.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1826
March 11
A group of 29 members from the Mill Creek congregation constituted a church at the Hawksbill meeting house.  A petition to that effect had been entertained in the February 11th meeting.  It seems to have been done with the blessing of the Mill Creek church.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.   
1826
August 5
Apparently there was some issue between the Mill Creek church and the Mount Carmel church in Luray.  A meeting (Friday preceding the third Lord's day in September) was scheduled to address their differences.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.   
1826
September 30
Thornton Gap, mentioned as a sister church, reported a complaint against one of the Mill Creek members.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1826
November 4
In the previous meeting someone had suggested that the written rules of decorum for the church be annulled.  That case was taken up in this meeting and it was decided that they should "stand as the Rules of this Church hereafter."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.   
1827
February 3
"A motion was made and seconded respecting a school being taught in this meeting house.  The same was taken up and the church was of opinion that Brethren Danl. Stover, Jos. C. Koontz, and George Roategap should go and see the gentleman who teaches school here and bind him to certain restrictions, for the safety of the house, and report at next meeting."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1827
February 3
"Brethren Stover and Koontz reported from the teacher who keeps school in this meeting house and dispenced [sic] with it entirely."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1828
January 5
"From the advance age and debilities of Elder John Koontz there is probability of his never having another opportunity of visiting us in a church capacity again, this this church through her clerk send him by way of letter their warmest sentiments of gratitude in order that it may have through providence the desired effect of strengthening him in his declining age."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1830
September 11
The church requested 50 copies of the printed minutes from the Ebenezer Association meeting.  Does that mean there were approximately 50 families in the church at that time?
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1831
January 8
The Shiloh, Ketockton, and Ebenezer Baptist associations were all mentioned.  The minutes from the Ebenezer Association meeting were distributed.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1833
June 8
"On a motion resolved that this church do agree to erect a gallery in their meeting house for the colored people and repairs and make seats with backs to them on the lower floor."  Minutes of later meetings indicate that they appear to have had trouble coming up with the money to pay for this work.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1836
April 9
Reference to Smith's Creek church (in New Market) as a "sister church" to the Mill Creek church.  The next association meeting was to be held at Smith's Creek meeting house.  Resolved that a list of members of the Mill Creek church be created and kept in the drawer of a table in the Mill Creek meeting house.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1836
December 10
Elder Christopher Keyser, pastor of the Hawksbill Church, was present in the meeting and opened the meeting by praise and prayer. Elder Robert Carter was invited to be pastor of the Mill Creek church, in spite of a dissenting minority. 
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1837
January 7
Again, Elder Christopher Keyser led the praise and prayer, "the pastor of the church being absent."  Elder Keyser was chosen to be the moderator of the meeting.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1837
February 11
"Pastor of the church" was absent (again) and Elder Robert Carter led the meeting.  Not sure how this harmonizes with the action in the December 10, 1836 meeting.  Perhaps Elder Robert Carter was invited to be "a" pastor, but not the one-and-only pastor of the church at that time.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1837
June 10
"Resolved that this church do procure a Holy Bible and a standard Hymn Book (Watts and Ripeon) for the use of this church whereupon it was resolved, that the Sisters belonging to this church, upon their own free and volunteer act do get the said Books, for the use of the church."  In the following (August 12) meeting, Andrew Keyser was appointed Treasurer to receive and report the money that these Sisters may contribute for the purchase of these books.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1838
April 7
$2.16 had been contributed by the "females belonging to this church for a Bible and Hymn Book."  Apparently, that was enough to make those purchases.  Bro. A. Keyser was appointed to purchase the books.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1838
May 12
The Bible and Hymn Book were presented to the church and it was resolved that they should be kept in the drawer of the table and the key for the drawer be kept by Sister Corbins, who was the person paid to keep the house "in order."  She was paid $2.50 a year for her services of keeping the house in order.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1838
August 11
Elder Wm. C. Lauck preached and was moderator of the meeting.  His name appears often, in leadership, during this era.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1838
November 10
Elder James and McKay preached, but they were "present with the Pastor of the church."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1839
March 9
"Resolved that this church do agree to have meeting house yard enclosure repaired with good and convenient styles on each side of the yard."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1839
April 13
The bill for repairing the fence was $13.19.  $12.19 was raised in the May meeting, leaving $1.00 due Bro. Daniel Hite.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1839
November 9
"Charge was brought against brother Andrew Keyser for cedusing [sic] sister Elizabeth Corben and also a charge against Sister Elizabeth Corben for being delivered of a bastard child."  Andrew Keyser and Elizabeth Corben were cited to attend the next meeting "to answer the charge."  This was the A. Keyser who had been the church clerk, as late as July of the same year.  Daniel Stover was the pro tem (temporary) clerk who recorded the August minutes.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1839
December 7
Andrew Keyser and Elizabeth Corben did not appear at this meeting and the matter was postponed.  Also, the choosing of a clerk to replace him was postponed to the next meeting.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1840
February 8
There were just a few members in this meeting, probably due to weather.  Elder Garnett was still the pastor of the church.  It was requested that, in the next meeting, he publish the attendance of all the members of the church.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1840
March 7
"Brother Joseph Aleshire was duly elected as clerk of this church."  No mention is made of the Keyser and Corben situation.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1840
August 8
"A motion was made by Bro. Christian Bumgardner whether it is wright [sic] for professers to suffer insterments [sic] of music to be keep in there houses where upon it was referred till next meeting."  Brother Bumgardner withdrew his question in the October meeting.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1842
March 12
"A list of the names of members of Mill Creek handed was handed in by clerk and read to church."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1842
August 13
After several months of discussing and delaying a decision on the matter, it was resolved that members who leave "the bounds of this church without a letter of dismission" for more than 12 months "stand no longer in fellowship with us."
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1844
July 13
The Ebenezer Association meeting was going to be held at the Mill Creek meeting house on the Friday before the 4th Lord's day in August.  The male members who were in this July 13 meeting were listed: Joel Mauck, Abram Spitler, James Koontz, Daniel Koontz, Daniel Hite, John Bixler, John Koontz, and Marshel Yowel.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1846
April 11
In the previous few years, the pastor seems to have been absent for these business meetings more often than he was present, but no mention of why that was so.  In this meeting: "The refference [sic] as it respects coming some plan for a pastor was continued till meeting in course."  In the next (June) meeting the issue regarding choosing a pastor was continued to the next meeting.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1846
July11
Pastor Elder Garnett was in this meeting and he requested that a pastor be elected, "whereupon Bro. A.C. Booton was unanimously elected to be the pastor.  Bro. Abram Spitler nd Marshel Yowel were appointed to see if Elder A.C. Booton would accept the role as pastor of the Mill Creek church.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1846
August 8
Apparently, Elder A.C. Booton accepted the call to be pastor, as he was the moderator of this meeting.  The former pastor, Robert Garnett was one of the messengers chosen to represent the church in the next association meeting.  Apparently, he was still in good standing with the church.  Sister Mary Corben was charged with fornication.  She was excluded from the church in the October meeting, two months later.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1846
December 12
Former pastor Bro. Garnett was moderator of this meeting. "The church have agreed that Brother Garnett should visit this church when convenient." In some subsequent meetings, Bro. Garnett was still involved in some church business.
Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
December 1847 - February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book
1849
January 13
"Resolved that at our next stated meeting at this place, the male members do all meet for the purpose of taking into consideration the propriety of repairing or building a new meeting house and that our pastor to make this resolution publickly known."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1849
March 10
Resolution: "At a church meeting held by the Baptist church called Mill Creek on the 10th day of March 1849 she the said church came to the conclusion 100 dollars would repair the mill creek meeting house and if the people at large will subscribe one half of that amount and grant the said church the privilege of exclusively using and occupying said house the second Sunday and Saturday preceding in each and every month that the said Mill Creek church will subscribe and pay the other half of the afore said 100 dollars for that purpose."

Apparently, the building was being used by other groups of the community ("people at large") and the Mill Creek Baptist Church committed to paying for half of the needed repairs to the meeting house, in exchange for use of the building a couple of days per month.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1849
April 7
"The reference respecting the repair of Mill Creek Meeting House was called up and the People at Large presented their subscription the amount of that subscription was $75.75 and the church agreed to pay the same amount to be applied to repairing the Mill Creek Meeting house."  Bro. Abram Spitler was appointed to superintend the repair and collect the sums subscribed on the part of the church."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
  "It will be seen by the records of the minutes upon this book that when our beloved brother and clerk of Mill Creek Church, Joseph Aleshire, departed this life that he was a considerable time behind in entering the minutes on record in the church book, and consequently several of them are missing."  It appears that Isaac Rothgeb copied some of the minutes (that appear above, but had not gotten copied in earlier) into the book in 1850.
Source: Page 8 of December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1849
November 10
Brother Isaac Rothgeb was appointed to be the clerk, replacing the deceased Joseph Aleshire.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1851
February 8
Bro. Abram Spitler reported that they were lacking $9.13 for the payment of repairs to the meeting house and the yard.  By the time of the June meeting, $9.25 had been raised to make the final payment for this work.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1851
August 9
The issue of licensing or ordaining Bro. James Koontz for ministry had come up earlier and postponed.  In this meeting it was indefinitely postponed.  It appears that there was some reluctance to ordaining (or licensing) him.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1851
October 11
Sister Jane Koontz, through her husband James T. Koontz, requested a letter of dismission to join the church at Hawksbill.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1852
February 7
Bro. James T. Koontz was charged with saying that Bro. Booton had circulated falsehoods against him.  Five men were appointed to meet with the Hawksbill church to investigate the matter.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1852
March 13
The committee investigating the James T. Koontz charge reported that Bro. Koontz "acknowledge that he had erred and that he would come before this meeting and give satisfaction."  "Brother Booton then exhibited sundry complaints against Bro. Koontz highly prejudicial to his character after some considerable investigation brother Koontz failing to give satisfaction was excluded for refusing to meat the required acknowledgements."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1852
April 10
"Resolved at our next meeting we will proceed to appoint a pastor to serve us another year."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1852
June 12
"Mr. James T. Koontz then made an application to be restored to the fellowship of the church and after being heard the church refused to restore him to the fellowship of the church."  "The reference respecting the appointment of a pastor was attended to and we by a unanimous voice appoint Brother Booton for the present year."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1853
January 8
"The year of pastoral care of the church having expired on motion we proceed to take the voice of the church, in calling some person to serve us another year in the capacity of pastor, which resulted by unanimous vote in the appointment of brother A.C. Booton which approvement he humbly promises to fulfill to the best of his ability."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1853
June 11
Mention of the Dry Run church in Powel's fort, where the next association meeting would be held.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1854
January 7
Again, Elder Ambrose C. Booton was unanimously appointed to be pastor.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1854
April 8
"Mr. James T. Koontz came forward acknowledged that he had erred takes back all that he said of Brother Booton in the presence of the church."  His case was postponed to the next meeting because of the small group of members present.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1854
June 12
"The referance [sic] respecting Mr. James T. Koontz' application for restoration is withdrawn by Mr. Koontz, with the consent of the church his case is dispensed with for the present."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1854
October 7
"Elder Robert Garnett member and former pastor of this church departed this life, September 11th, 1854, aged 84 years 2 months and 27 days."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1855
January 14
Again, A.C. Booton was voted in as pastor for another 12 months.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1856
January 9
Again, A.C. Booton was voted in as pastor for another 12 months.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1856
July 12
Mr. George Aleshire, previously excluded from the church, made application for restoration and was restored to the church's fellowship.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1857
(no date)
Again, A.C. Booton was voted in as pastor for another 12 months.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1857
May 9
Instead of a sermon, Brother Booton read "written by Alexander Campbell in the year 1817 when identified with the regular old school Baptists."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1858
March 13
Again, A.C. Booton was voted in as pastor for another 12 months.  The church at Dry Run send a letter requesting the Mill Creek church help reconcile a difference between the Dry Run church and the Brocks Gap church.  A committee was appointed to help with this situation.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1859
January 8
Again, A.C. Booton was voted in as pastor for another 12 months.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1860
January 7
Again, A.C. Booton was voted in as pastor for another 12 months.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1861
January 12
Again, A.C. Booton was voted in as pastor for another 12 months.  "And he agrees to serve as formerly for one year; having decided preferance [sic] to take the oversight of one year only at a time."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1861
December 7
Again, A.C. Booton was voted in as pastor for another 12 months.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
From May until October 11 of 1862,
"we was deprived of meeting in a church capacity by the Yankees army being in possession of our county."
Source: October 11, 1862 minutes in the December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1862
October 11
Brother Isaac Rothgeb, church clerk, had departed this life on May 11, 1862. 
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1862
December 8
"The pastor being absent, he being unable to attend on the account of being crippled by accident."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1863
February 7
Again, A.C. Booton was voted in as pastor for another 12 months.  Reuben Dadisman was chosen to be the church clerk, filling the vacancy left by the death of Isaac Rothgeb's death.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1863
April 11
The church book was brought forth and the rules of the church were read to the church.  "Thereupon the church adopted the 16th section of the decorum for the government of the church which section had been stricken out some time since."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 

Here's the 16th section, which is clearly marked out in the March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book, although there is no indication of when, why, or by whom it was marked out:

16. It shall be the rule of the clerk at each meeting to report all male members who may have been absent for three successive preceding meetings, and the church shall appoint some members to cite them to the next meeting, and if such members cannot render some reasonable excuse for absence they shall receive a reproof from the church through her moderator.

1863
December 12
Again, A.C. Booton was voted in as pastor for another 12 months.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1864
January 9
"There was no meeting in consequence of the confederate soldiers being camped in and around the meeting house."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1864
February 1
"The church of Christ called Mill Creek convened at Lekesville (Leaksville) school house February 1st 1864 for the purposes of holding their monthly meeting in consequence of the meeting house being out of order by the soldiers camping therein."  "It was moved and seconded that we hold our next meeting at this place."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1864
March 12
"The church agreed to dispense with the 16th section of the rules heretofore adopted by her, until after the close of the present war, in consequence of difficulties arising from the present of the war."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1864
June 11
"There was a motion made and agreed upon by the church that we hold no church meeting at our July turn in consequence of harvest time and the scarcity of hands."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1864
November 12
"There was no meeting in October in consequence of the northern army being in the way."
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1865
January 7
Again, A.C. Booton was voted in as pastor for another 12 months.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1865
April 8
Pastor A.C. Boonton had died on March 29.  He was 75 years, 9 months, and 4 days old when he passed away and had been a minister of the gospel for nearly 57 years.  A very honoring tribute for him was included in the minutes.  He had been pastor of the Mill Creek church since August 5, 1846.  Brother McInturf was invited to preach in this meeting.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
1865
May 13
Brother Philip McInturf was unanimously chosen to be the pastor.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1865
September 9
Brother Lauck of the Hawksbill church arose and invited the Mill Creek church to attend a 3 days union meeting in the Hawksbill church, later that month.  The Mill Creek church resolved to hold a 2 days union meeting in the Mill Creek meeting house in October.  Apparently the windows of the Mill Creek meeting house were in need of repairs, due to soldiers that had used the building.  A couple of men were asked to report on the cost of those needed repairs.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  
1865
December 9
Brother P. McInturf was unanimously elected to be pastor for the upcoming year, by the 14 members who were present.
Source: December 1847--February 1879 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book. 
   
   
   
Year
Date

Source: March 1809--October 1847 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1809
August 19
"Ordered that Bro Marlow, a black man, to have a letter of dismission."  A letter of dismission indicated that the member was moving away and the letter would indicate, to the church he would join in another location, that he had been a member in good standing in the church that issued the letter of dismission.
Source: 1798-1824 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1811
February  16
"Motion made by Bro. Hershberger whether or not there would be any objection that Mr. Wm. Adams should teach school in this meeting house [meeting house at Big Spring] until the subscribers get another school house built, there appears to be no objections."
Source: 1798-1824 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1811
May 12
Reference to the Hawksbill Meeting House.  So, at this time we know of three meeting houses that were associated with this multi-site church: Big Spring, Mill Creek, and Hawksbill.
Source: 1798-1824 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1811
May 19
"After some time deliberating on the subject, it is the church's opinion that they think the polemic society [debate society] is not a proper thing for a Christian to be engaged in."
Source: 1798-1824 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1813
January 2
"Brother Abraham Spidler/Spitler" had earlier voiced a complaint against Elder John Koontz.  Elder Koontz, in this meeting, "acknowledged his error in facts," which had created problems in the Big Spring church.  The church concluded that the "expressions were the effects of infirmity and that we believe him to be an honest laborer in the gospel and a man of veracity and truth in his general character." 
Source: 1798-1824 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1813
January 15
Minutes say 1812, but probably 1813.  Several members petitioned for and were granted dismission for the purpose of being constituted into a new church of the same faith.
Source: 1798-1824 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1813
March 20
Motion made by Elder Coontz whether or not the church meetings may not continue at the Hawksbill and Mill Creek meeting houses, as there is a part of this church still remains in that quarter.  The church unanimous agrees, that the church meetings may continue at the above places, and to do business in a church capacity as part of this church."  Thus, it appears the Mill Creek and Hawksbill congregations were struggling at that time, but there were still enough congregants to justify them to continue meeting.  Also, it is clear that the three congregations were considered part of the same church, of which the Big Spring congregation appears to have been the stronger of the congregations.
Source: 1798-1824 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
1813
July 16
"Robert (or Tobert), a yellow man (Asian?), the property of a Wm. Stallard received by letter." In the August 13 meeting, some members expressed concern that this man had another man's wife, but apparently it was deemed to not be the case.
Source: 1798-1824 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.

For several years, it appears that business meetings were less frequent and nothing unique was happening in the meetings that were being held.  And 19 months are missing between January 20, 1821 and October 19, 1822.  The first book of minutes ends with February 7, 1824.
Source: 1798-1824 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.

1825
January 8
The Mill Creek Church adopted sixteen rules of decorum, on this date.  Those appear at the front of the 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.  Apparently, this was a change in policy in that "separate Baptists" previously had disavowed the use of rules of decorum. 
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book
1832
April 25
Death of Elder John Koontz.
Source: Page 5, Koontz.
1832
May 28
The will of Elder John Koontz was probated.
Source: Page 4, Koontz.
   
Mill Creek Church Minutes Book - 1879--1912
1879 A list of 58 male members of the Mill Creek Church appears near the front of the  1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book.
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1879
May 11
"Sister Lucy Keysen came forward with a letter from Big Spring Church."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book  
1879
November 9
"The articles of faith presented by Bro. G.C. Brubaker in the Messenger of Peace were read to the church and endorsed by the church and the clerk ordered to enter them upon our book adopted by this church."  These are probably the eight articles of faith that appear at the front of this book of minutes. 
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book
1880
November 13
"It was made known that Sister Bixler needed some money where upon the church made up some seven dollars and placed it in the hands of Elder Brubaker to take to her.  Bro. George Wilson was needing some clothing and money was also raised for him."  In the next meeting, sister Bettie Brubaker presented a receipt for the delivery of the money placed in her hands for sister Bixler. 
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book
1882
January 8
The 16th rule of decorum for the church stipulated that when a male church member missed three consecutive meetings they should be "cited" to explain their absences they should be sent a reproof from the church.  Apparently, that rule had been "dropped from the rules for some time."  A discussion was held in this meeting and it was concluded that the rule should be revised and in force again.  It was also proposed that another stove was needed in the church building.
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book
1882
February 12
"Bro. Philip Long furnished a stove for the use of the Old School Baptist Church but when it ceases to be used or that purpose will be his property."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book
1882
March 11
They began to follow through on the three-consecutive-absences rule again.  Three members had been absence for three successive meetings, but some apologies were made and accepted.
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1882
December 8
"Bro. G.C. Brubaker arose and stated that he communed with the Alma Church (a church which has been excluded from the association)."  Some discussion followed and it was decided to continue the discussion in the next meeting (which was delayed repeatedly).  Also - "The year having expired the church proceeded to pay our pastor for his services rendered the church."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1883
April 7
"Bro. & Sister Pulling got a letter of dismission for this church to join the Thornton's Gap Church."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1883
June 9
"Elder Yates and Lettitia J. his wife presented a letter from Thornton's Gap Church and was unanimously received."  Obviously, the Mill Creek and Thornton's Gap churches were in good standing with each other.  Bro. Price stated that he had communed with the Alma church our of order.  See the December 8, 1882 minutes regarding Bro. G.C. Brubaker.  The case was ordered to be continued in the next meeting.  In the November 10, 1883 meeting Bro. Price was excluded from the Mill Creek Church for communing with and joining the Alma church.
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1883
July 14
Noah Painter and A.J. Brubaker were appointed to see Bro. Price and report on the situation.  In the next meeting, the case was "ordered to be continued."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1884
January 12
"Our pastor P.W. Yates and many of the members being absent in consequence of the icy condition of the roads, the few present...did not propose to go into any church business."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1884
February 9
"In consequence of the rainy weather and high waters the pastor and a few brethren met and had prayer meeting."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1886
January 9
"There being but four male members present no church business transacted."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1886
February 13
"... but few members on account of inclement weather, no church business attended to."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book
1886
July 10
Some of the leaders of the church elected to meet with the Hawksbill church. The purpose of that meeting is not mentioned in the minutes.
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1886
September 12-15
Apparently some special meetings were held this week.  Sunday through Wednesday, a total of 13 people were received for baptism.
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1887
March 12
R.T. Strickler was ordained to the gospel ministry.
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1887
August 13
"A motion was made that R.T. take the care of the church during Bro. Yates' illness."  The church agreed not to meet "tomorrow" (Sunday) since the Christian Baptist Conference was in session at Leaksville (about 2 1/2 miles south of the Mill Creek Church).
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1887
November 12
"A motion was made, and a second, that the church have an election for pastor at our December meeting, the vote taken and almost unanimously voted down."  A committee was appointed to see if sister Barbara Fellel had joined the Dunkards.
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book
1887
December 10
A representative of the committee appointed in the previous meeting said that Sister Ferrel had joined the Dunkard denomination, but the report was not acted on because "few members present."  She was excluded from the Mill Creek Church in the following meeting.
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1888
January 7
"After considerable consultation about our house of worship and the title thereof, it was moved and carried that Bro. J.W. Strickler hunt up the old title to learn how and to whom it was deeded and also see if the Old School Baptist might not obtain an exclusive right to said property, and if so, what way to pursue to effect that right."  The original 1807 deed specified that "all orders of Christians and all worshipers of God preaching a moral doctrine and behaving decently should be allowed to preach" in the Mauck Meeting House. 
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1888
February 11
"A motion was made and sustained that Bro. John Wesley Strickler be retained as a committee of one to procure a transcript of title to Mill Run Church property, and to attend to other matters pertaining thereto in his charge and to report the same at next business meeting.  Motion made and carried that the following committee viz. brothers A.J. Brubaker, A.C. Huffman & M.V. Gander be appointed to select a church site, and to ascertain the best terms at which it can be had and report the same at our next meeting."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1888
March 10
P.W. Yates, "our pastor," was preaching again.  "J.Wes. Strickler called to report, he having procured a transcript of deed to church lot, read it, and made such other explanations as we necessary, $3.00 paid L.S. Walker, Woodstock, for copying deed.  Committee was discharged. The committee to select church site as discharged, reporting not found.  Bro. Martin V. Gander moved and seconded by the clerk, that there be five trustees appointed by this church for the care of the church property, viz. Elders P.W. Yates, J.H. Menefee, R.T. Strickler, Brother M.V. Gander & John Wesley Strickler, and ordered that same be confirmed by the Judge at next circuit court."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1888
May 12
"Bro. J.W. Strickler reported that the five trustees appointed by the church at the march meeting had been confirmed by the circuit court, discharged."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book
1888
July 7
A committee was chosen "to locate the ground for the association and to take charge of the same for to make the necessary arrangement for the meeting."  In the following meeting (August), Bro. Abe D. Brubaker reported that the location for the upcoming association meeting had been secured.  The association meeting would convene on Friday, October 11 of this year.
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1888
September 9
"Bro. Yates arose and offered his resignation as pastor of the church, was accepted by the church.  Bro. J.B. Ruffner moved and carried that at our next meeting we elect another pastor."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book  
1888
October 11
No mention of it was made in the minutes, but apparently a meeting of the association was hosted by the Mill Creek Church on Friday and probably Saturday, prior to this Sunday.
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book  
1888
October 13
"Reference to the election of pastor was taken up.  Bro. G.C. Brubaker moved and carried that the church vote by ballot, resulting in the unanimous election of Eld. T.W. Alderton for one year.  Bro. Clark was ordered to notify him of his call to the church. (He having previously consented if elected.)"  "The church being informed of the fact that Bro. James Brown had joined the New School Baptist, was excluded."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1888
November 10
"Bro. A.C. Huffman moved and was carried that the trustees of the church see J.H. Brubaker about a building lot for church and report at our next meeting."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book  
1888
December 8
"Bro. Alderton stated that he had accepted the call for one year only and at the end of that time they would be without a pastor."  "The committee to see about building lot, reported had not found one as yet.  The committee to be retained."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book  
1889
January 12
"The committee to select church site reported had as yet done nothing, were retained, and will report again at our next meeting."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1889
February 9
"The committee to select a church site reported and their report received and the committee discharged.  It was thence moved and carried that a building committee be appoint, Bro's A.D. Brubaker, M.V. Gander, Philip Long, Reuben Ruffner, A.J. Brubaker and J.T. Strickler and Moses J.W. Long and Daniel Hite out side of the church and it was further moved that this committee canvass the country for subscriptions and report the success at our march meeting."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1889
March 9
"The reference to building committee to see what amount they could get subscribed by this meeting was called on to report.  Their report was that with the encouragement they had met with, that the house would be built.  It was then moved and carried that the vote of the church be taken, to ascertain what kind of house - brick or wood - was preferred, and the vote was unanimous for a brick house, was further moved & carried that we secure a deed for the lot upon which we propose building, Bro. A.J. Brubaker was ordered to have the deed prepared by our next meeting, to be inspected by the committee and church, they having the right to reject or accept."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1889
April 13
"The reference to deed, was presented to the church for inspection, no serious objection, was accepted.  A motion was made and carried that there be trustees appointed for the new church, Bro's J.W. Ruffner, M.V. Gander, I.C. Bowers, A.D. Brubaker, J.W. Kauffman, W.E. Burner and J.B. Ruffner.  At our May meeting it is proposed that we have a three day meting commencing on Friday.  Bro. Potter from Ind. is expected to be with us."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1889
June 8
No meeting.
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1889
August & September
"No minutes of the Aug. & Sep. Meeting."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1889
October 12
"As the Lord who doeth all things according to his own will and purpose hath called away our brother and clerk T.J. Strickler.  On motion of the church J.B. Ruffner was elected clerk and Brother I.C. Bowers assistant, as our pastor's time was up we will hold an election at our next meeting."  What happened to Brother Strickler, the former clerk?  Similar language is used in subsequent records to describe the death of church members.  Whatever it was would probably explain why there were no minutes for the previous two months.
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1889
November
"No minutes of the Nov. meeting."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1889
December 7
"Brother T.W. Alderton was unanimous elected pastor for the ensuing year."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1890
February
"No meeting owing to bad weather."  "Old Brother Gideon C. Brubaker" had died at age 82.  he had served as a deacon for 40 years and "lived a faithful servant up to his death." 
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1890
April 12
"Brother Long made a motion that we elect two deacons instead of one and second by Brother Menifee.  Therefore Brother A.J. Brubaker & M.V, Gander were elected to be ordained at our next meeting."  Those ordinations did occur in May.
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1890
July 12
"The charges against Sister Nannie Keyser were as follows that whereas certain Baptist ministers formerly of our faith and order namely Elders E.H. Burnam, James Bradley, T. Pinse, and others have departed from our faith by trying to introduce such things as Sunday schools and theological schools and other institutions and inventions for the purpose as they say to build up the church of Christ and keep it alive all of which is contrary to our constitution and articles of faith and practice and said sister Nannie Keyser did write an article for the Regular Baptist magazine fully endorsing the course of said preachers in teaching those objectionable things and in said article encourage said preachers and invite them to continue to come among our churches for the purpose of continuing these church dividing course destroying work, and said Sister Nannie Keyser did attend these meeting and otherwise encourage them and neglected her own church meetings, and when her attention was called to it by our deacons under instructions of the church, she failed to give satisfaction."  Apparently, Sister Nannie Keyser did present her case - that she was not endorsing those Burnam and the R.B.M (Regular Baptist Magazine).  She asked the Mill Creek Church for a letter of dismission "saying she did not desire to remain among them."  When the discussion was continued in this July meeting, she was not present and the church refuse to give her a letter of dismission "as she had departed from the faith and fellowship of our church ... until such time as she may be led to see her wrongs repent or turn from them and ask for admittance again."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1890
September 13
"Brother Reuben Ruffner was appointed to buy stoves for the church."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1890
November 9
"A motion was made and second that the building committee be released, we will elect a pastor at our next meeting."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 
1890
December 13
"Brother T.N. Alderton was unanimously elected pastor of Mill Creek Church for the ensuing year."  "We accept the handsome Bible presented by our friend Mr. V.H. Ford."
Source: 1879-1912 Mill Creek Church Minutes Book 

Although nothing was mentioned, in the church minutes, of the building or completion of the new brick church building, it appears that the building was completed at this time.  In the January 10, 1891 meeting, a "handsome chandelier" was presented to the church by Peter Long. 

The brick building is located a few hundred yards west of, and across the road from, the Mauck Meeting House (log house) in the village of Hamburg, VA.  As of 2017, primitive Baptist church meetings are still being conducted in this brick building.


Resources for this Mill Creek Church Section

Other sources I have missed?

Brunk, Harry Anthony. History of Mennonites in Virginia. Staunton, VA: McClure Print, 1959.
Trimble, David B. Hiestand of Virginia.  Austin, TX: Self published, 2002.
Kauffman, Charles Fahs. A Genealogy and History of the Kauffman-Coffman Families, Part Two by Charles Fahs Kauffman. York, PA: Author, 1940.
Koontz, Lowell L. History of the Descendants of John Koontz.  Alexandria, VA: L.L. Koontz, 1979.
National Register of Historic Places.  Application for the Mauck's Meeting House, 1975.
Newcomer, Christian.  The life and journal of the Rev'd Christian Newcomer. Translated by John Hildt, printed by F. G. W. Kapp, 1834.
Primitive Baptist Library of Carthage, Illinois - website.
"Samuel Hiestand," Wikipedia.
Semple, Robert B. A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia. Richmond: Pitt & Dickinson, 1894.
Scott, Hervey. A Complete History of Fairfield County, Ohio.  Columbus, OH: Siebert & Lilley, 1877.
Strickler, Harry M. A Short History of Page County, Virginia. Richmond, VA: Dietz Press, 1952.
Strickler, Harry M. Massanutten Settled by the Pennsylvania Pilgrim, 1726. Strasburg, VA: Shenandoah Pub. House, 1924.
Taylor, James B. Virginia Baptist Ministers, Series I. Philadelphia: J.B. Lipping Ott & Company, 1859. 
Wayland, John Walter. A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia. Baltimore: Regional Pub., 1980.

 

Notes by Gary Bauserman - April 2017
Prepared for Wayne Haston

The early Baptists in this area were from two sources:

Anderson Moffett and James Ireland were part of a group that belonged to the Philadelphia Association.  They paid their minister a salary based on how often he preached and assessed the members according to their ability to pay.  They also had a creed or statement of church principles.

John Koontz and John Picket were separate or new lights.  They believed the Spirit of the Lord dwelt in the hearts and minds of his people and had separated themselves from existing churches in New England in about 1740.  They held meetings in store rooms or any available place, preached forcibly, and increased rapidly in numbers.  They used no written material in services, but the Bible only.  Anyone who came to a meeting that was baptized was considered a member of the congregation and the congregation was the final authority.  They used no musical instruments in the church, no icons, no crosses, and no candles.  Later, when built church buildings, there were two doors in front.  Women sat on the left and men on the right.  The support of the church was by free will offerings.  They had no creed or statement of principles.  After 1820, most of these churches had rules of decorum or creeds, kept a list of members of the church and had a treasurer or clerk to handle the business.  Most belonged to an association, although the association had little or no authority.

Many historians credit the "new light stir," as they called it, and their search for religious freedom (about 1740) as being the forerunner of the American Revolution and the search for political freedom.

Most of these churches in early times met only a few times a year or monthly and were served by a traveling minister.  Although the only records we have are of Saturday business meeting; we have no records for the Sunday or special meetings.

In 1828, a new association was formed of the church west of the Blue Ridge called the Ebenezer Association.  This was not then seen as a split on principles; they continued to correspond with Shiloh and Culpepper Associations.  In 1835, they sent a query to the Association - "Is it proper for us to correspond with associations that differ from us in faith and practice?"  Of course, the answer was, "No."  The Old School associations were Ebenezer and Keotocton.  The association meetings, at least in later times, were held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday--three day affairs.  They attracted thousands of people and were usually held in August or September outside in the woods.  They often said, "No liquor or vendors within one mile of the association."

--------------------------------

Some of the following section - I need help in unscrambling it:

Martin Coffman's group seem to have had several places of worship.  In the Stony Man area, Blosser, Musselman, Varner, Hershberger families met in Hershberger's house (a large central chimney) in the upper Hawksbill, a log meeting house across the road from the brick house of David Coffman, probably Groves, Linebergers, Coffmans, Riggenbachers, the church of preacher Jacob Strickler, who married Anna Rothgeb which became the Elkhorn church and in 1850 was constituted as a Dunkard Brethren Church.  Strickler's, Spitlers, Groves, Coffmans, and the Mount Salem church on the hill 1/2 mile west of the Whitehouse bridge - this was a 30' by 40' log building similar to the Mauk's Meeting House but of smaller logs and saddle notched.

Where does this go? This church pastored by Elder Samuel. Their preacher in early times was a Nathan Spitter moved about three miles.

Where does this go? Samuel Boehm, east on the Little Hawksbill and became Mount Zion Brethren Church in 1871.

Several transfers were made from this church to Mill Creek and Big Spring churches in the 1820s, which indicates it must have been one of Martin Coffman's churches.  The people in this area were Brubakers, Stricklers, Longs, and Coffmans.  This building seems to have also been used as a school house and about 1870 converted into a two story house.

The minutes of the Big Spring Church for July 25, 1851 say: "An invitation was extended for the reception of members whereupon William Darnell came forward and related what the Lord had done for him and was received for baptism and his wife, Sarah Darnell, presented a letter of dismission from Mount Salem Church and was received on profession of faith in the Lord."

--------------------------------

I always thought the story of Martin Coffman's church going to Ohio in a body because of slavery was largely a product of Brumbaugh's and others imagination.  The first people to come to Stover's 5000 (Massanutten Tract) acres seem to be his neighbors from Earl Township in Lancaster County, PA.  Other areas of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois had groups of people from Page and Shenandoah counties (VA) at least ten families from Page were in Cooper County, MO.  In the emigration from here, after the Civil War many of  these people settled areas where their relatives had gone in the early 1800s.  The question of slavery around here (Page County, VA) did not "heat up" until almost 1830.

To finance the Revolutionary War the state of Virginia issued certificates for western lands in Ohio.  These were traded and used for currency.  Because of the Indians, etc., it was a long time before these lands were surveyed and made available for purchase.  When these lands were finally available, it created a land rush.

--------------------------

In 1809, Mill Creek Meeting House (called a branch of Mill Creek Church) was made a separate church.  In 1812, a part of the Hawksbill congregation was constituted a separate church called Mount Carmel.  They built a frame church building in the newly established tow of Luray, VA.  In 1824, Big Spring was made a separate church.  They built, about this time - 1830, a new church building at the forks of the road south of the spring.  A school house was later built on the same lot.  This church suffered a split in 1880.  They built a new church building in 1903.  This congregation died out in the 1930s.  The building has been used by the Big Spring Mennonites since 1862.

In 1826, the Hawksbill Church was constituted from Mill Creek and for a while the meetings alternated between them.  The Hawksbill congregation built a new brick church building in 1879 and held services until 2014.  The building has recently been sold to another congregation.

The Mount Carmel Church in Luray built a brick church at the top of the hill facing Broad Street in 1849.  In the 1899 split, the larger part of the congregation left to form the Mount Carmel Regular Baptist Church on Cave Street.  In the 1970s they built a new church and school on Route 340 between Luray and Stanley.

The old school group built a new brick building farther south on Broad Street in 1910 and still holds regular meetings.

------------------------------------

The 1890 Split Between Regular and Old School Baptists

The idea that godliness could be given to carnal man though means such as teaching, instruction, learning, and reading had been debated in Baptist churches since the 1760s and had gained ground as education became more prominent.  These ideas were promoted by some of the early ministers here, such as Elder James Ireland, himself a school teacher, and to some extent by Elder John Leland, though he sometimes denied it.  They would both probably have stopped short of saying that carnal man could be brought into the Lord's kingdom solely by instruction, but they thought it helped.

The great push for Sunday schools began in New England principally in Methodist and Presbyterian churches.  The Mount Carmel Church in Luray began about 1867, a Wednesday night meeting which they called Bible Study.  Some were zealous supporters, some were against it. 

Elder Benjamin Lampton (born May 10, 1824 and died September 4, 1890) married his first wife, Elizabeth Bake in 1848 (five children by her) and later married to Emma Brumback on November 6, 1887.  Elder Lampton was born in Kentucky and came to Virginia in July 1886 to serve Hawksbill, Naked Creek, and Alma churches.  While here he baptized over 200 people.  B.F. Lampton preached in school houses and held tent meetings and established a church at Rileyville, VA.  But when the split came, most of his converts sided with the "means party."  The death of Elder Clark Philip McInturff of the old guard gave the means party more freedom.