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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Brick Chapel Abounds With History

Sunday, October 26, 2008

In 1822 a pioneer named George Howlett along with his wife Elizabeth arrived in Putnam County and settled on a farm about a half-mile north of Brick Chapel Road. Two years later in their log cabin the first Methodist Society began with five members.

For four years church services were held in their cabin. Eventually a schoolhouse was erected on property near the current church. The group held their services in that schoolhouse until a church was erected sometime around 1835. The schoolhouse was torn down 50 years later.

The church was originally called the Montgomery Chapel after James Montgomery who donated the land the church and cemetery. No one knows the cost of the original building.

A history of the church claims that one of the members burned and laid the bricks. He was George Jackson one of the original church members. Several other members made donations including Col. O'Hair who had no cash to give but donated a cow to the church.

The O'Hair family was a very prolific family who populated the Brick Chapel area. The family built at least three brick homes along U.S. 231. One is fairly famous locally as being the home of a civil war ghost and is still in use today.

The O'Hair family also donated a beautiful stained glass window in 1944 at a cost of $150. It is still today one of the highlights inside the church.

Another star in the church is the 1881 bible that was only recently retired by the church. It sits in specially made display box at the front of the chapel.

In 1872 the original building was torn down and the current building was erected at a cost of $2,000. And, in 1912 the building was renovated and remodeled for another $2,000.

The cemetery and the church first separated in 1936. The land it and the church are on changed hands back and forth between the church and the cemetery owners'. Because the original deed was apparently never filed with the county, the church has recently had a survey completed.

According to Carolyn Carson, whose family are long time members of Brick Chapel, the church and the cemetery owners are both filing quick claim deeds.

"During the survey it was discovered more than 30 graves are on church property and part of the church is on cemetery property," said Carson.

"After the cemetery was originally sold, the church bought it back and later resold it to the cemetery company. The old school house property was also part of the land around the church. Property borders became indistinct until recently when the survey was completed," she added.

Carson has a relatives buried in the cemetery from 1849.

The church, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, has a membership of about 100 people.

"Most of our membership is elderly now. Our Pastor, Paul Taylor, is 85 years young. We plan to do some recruiting of younger members soon," said Carson.

Taylor brings over 50 years of experience to his congregation.

In 2006 he received the Denman Evangelism Award from the Southern Conference of Indiana's United Methodist Church.

This prestigious award is given to people who are effective in helping people experience the love of Christ.

Sunday worship service begins at 11 a.m. with adult Sunday school at 10 a.m. Brick Chapel United Methodist Church is located at 3547 N. U.S. 231 just north of Greencastle.

They can be reached at 653-5532 or 653-2321.

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Brick Chapel is a special place to me because it holds so many fond memories. Grandparents, aunts and uncles are at rest at Brick Chapel and a minister who left such a bold impression on my life continues to lead individuals to a closer experience of Jesus Christ. I am grateful to those pioneers who were willing to commit themselves to descipling many generations today. May God continue to use this place to touch lives for generations to come. Your Quaker friend preaching the good news of Jesus Christ in Kokomo.

-- Posted by dandylyons on Sun, Oct 26, 2008, at 10:48 PM

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