55th Anniversary of Olive Branch Church for Sunday April 29, 1906 Clark County, Illinois. (The information presented below is from a booklet at the Robinson Public Library. Barbara Dix typed the information from the booklet so it could be presented here. Thanks a million to Barbara Dix and Sue Jones!)

Church Calendar:
Services First and Third Sundays of each month
Sabbath School every Sunday at 10:00
Pastor -- Elder T. J. Wheeler
Clerk -- Harry McDaniel
Deacons -- Silas Hollowell, W. E. Richardson, Charles Nave and William Bryant


9:30 Prayer and Praise Service. Led by Elder D. H. Clements
9:50 "The Anniversary and Why We Observe It" Elder, T.H. Wheeler, Pastor
10:00 "Memories of Earlier Days." Led by Deacon W.E. Richardson. Followed by others.
10:20 "Choice Recollections of Former Pastors."
10:40 Memorial Service. Conducted by Elder W. P. Chamness
11:00 Scripture Lesson - Elder John L. Cox. Prayer - Elder W. R. Strader
11:15 Anniversary Sermon. Elder S. K. Fuson, of Marshall Ind., a former pastor ....

Evening Services

7:30 Addresses on the following topic: "The Supreme Importance of Our Association and Conventions Being Soul Winners and the Reward of Soul Willing." Elders W. A. Fuson and D. H. Clements.

Regarding the Olive Branch Baptist Church

Compiled by Elder T. J. Wheeler:

The Olive Branch Church is among the oldest churches in the Palestine Baptist Association. It was organized May 24, 1851. The constituent members were Brothers John Swope, Nathaniel Nettleton, Enoch James, Sisters Catherine Swope, Malinda James and Rhoda Stuck.

The council was composed of the following persons:

The council organized by electing Elder Fuson moderator, and he preached a sermon suitable to the occasion. Elder Harbert was elected clerk.

Elder A.J. Fuson was the first pastor. He was a pioneer preacher of the Wabash Valley before the organization of the church, the early settlers coming from Baptist churches in Indiana and Ohio.

They desired preaching and Brother John Swope was sent to Darwin, Clark County, where a church was located to see if they could find a preacher. He reached the place at their Saturday business meeting and told them he was looking for a Baptist preacher. Elder Fuson asked him what kind of Baptists they were and he replied, "the same kind that built the Franklin College". Elder Fuson then said they were all right.

The church was organized at the home of brother John swope on the old Swope Farm, near the present church, being the same house where Elder W. P. Chamness now resides. The services for several years were held at the members' homes , and often times at the home of Charles Morris, southwest of Annapolis. Elder Daniel Harbert preached for the church for some two years in connection with Elder Fuson . The writer can learn but little of Elder Harbert and his work. He died near Martinsville, Illinois, in 1860, at the age of 49 years. Elder R. O. Hawkins was with him in his last hours, his dying words being, "Thank God I am blind and dying." Nathaniel Nettleton was the first clerk, serving in this capacity until 1857. Charles Morris and wife were the first additions to the church. They were received by letter. Harrison McDaniel and Sarah J. McDaniel were the first candidates for baptism. Received in 1852. the church united with the Palestine Association in 1851. Messengers, James Snap, Nathaniel Nettleton.

In October, 1851, the church appointed delegates to meet with the Lamotte church for the purpose of organizing a Home Mission Society.

June, 1852 Elder A. J. Fuson was called for half time and received fifty dollars per year for his services.

July, 1852, Wm, Beers and Nathaniel Nettleton were chosen deacons and ordained the following August. They were the first deacons.

October, 1852. Elder I. Fleming was employed to preach half time for three months. Nothing special is known of him.

April, 1853. The church agreed to observe the Lord's Supper once each quarter. Often the Saturday before would be spent in prayer and preparation for the service.

June, 1853. the building committee was ordered to finish the house of worship. The house was built where the cemetery now is and was a small frame building built largely by donation of work. It is is now used for a dwelling in which T. J. Layton lives. Many of the dead heroes of the faith now rest where the church stood.

June, 1856. Elder Eli Frey was called as pastor, and served until Sept., 1857, when he asked to be released and Elder A. J. Fuson was again called.

November, 1857. J. W. Cooper was chosen as clerk and served in this capacity for fifteen years.

May, 1858, There was a trouble in the church known as the " Frey trouble," at which time about thirty-five members withdrew, some of them being the leading members. They organized a church southwest of Annapolis, known as the Licking church. This church died out after some years and a number that withdrew returned to the old church in time.

February, 1859. the church in business session considered the propriety of organizing a Sabbath school. The school was organized two weeks later and as far as is known has been maintained ever since.

September, 1860. After the division in the church, the Palestine Association refused to recognize either side in its meeting and Olive Branch Church applied to the Curry's Prairie Association of Indiana for membership and was received.

November, 1861. Delegates were appointed to meet with the Home Mission society of Curry's Prairie Association. At this meeting Elder Calvin Riley was sent as a missionary to labor with Olive Branch church. He seems to have been acting pastor for about one year, but no record of his call is given. Elder Fuson enlisted in the war and perhaps Elder Riley acted as pastor during his absence.

June, 1864. John Riffe and Silas Hollowell were chosen deacons. The latter still serves the church in this office.

June, 1866. Stephen K. Fuson and wife united with the church and he was liberated to solemnize marriage.

August, 1866. George Fuson and wife united with the church and he was licensed to preach the following January. Both of these brethern began their work in the ministry at Olive Branch church.

September, 1867. The Curry's Prairie Association met with the Olive Branch church, and it is said that Elder A.J. Fuson's father preached at this meeting . His name was William, and he said to have organized a great many churches in Ohio and Southern Indiana.

October, 1867. the church voted to observe ordinance of foot washing. The same month Stephen Fuson was recommended to Shurtleff college.

October, 1868. Olive Branch and Hutsonville churches conferred as to calling Elder A. J. Fuson as pastor, to serve half time at each church.

April ,1869. The church answered an appeal from Germany, and took an offering to liquidate debts against the church property.

June, 1869. Stephen K. Fuson was ordained to the ministry. Elder S. M. Stimpson, moderator , and J.W. Cooper, clerk of the council.

December, 1869 . W. B. Walbridge elected as clerk, serving about two years.

November, 1871 . The church voted to send ordained help to assist in the ordination of J.L.Cox of the Hutsonville Church to the work of the ministy.

September, 1872. Elder A. J. Fuson closed his work as pastor, having served about twenty years and since the organization of the church, with the exception of two years. A part of this time he lived in the vicinity of Good Hope church, in Crawford County, coming on horse- back or sometimes on foot , a distance, of nearly forty miles. He was known by the old settlers far and near. He went to Missouri and spent the last years of his life, dying at the age of about 85.

October, 1872 . Elder S. K. Fuson was called as pastor, serving the church one year. There was a large number added to the church under his ministry . He now lives at Mardhall, Indiana, and is actively engaged in the ministry.

August, 1873. The church invited Elder Tunison of Indiana to visit them, provided he pay his way across the river. the church ocligated itself to pay his ferriage back to Indiana.

November, 1874. Elder W. T. Cupey of Indiana was called as pastor, serving one year. His work was mostly with the churches of Indiana. He died a few years ago.

June, 1875. W. E. Richardson was chosen as clerk, serving at diffent times until October, 1905, nearly twenty-three years in all.

May, 1876. Elder William Winans of Indiana, was called as pastor , serving with good success.

March, 1880. Elder John Bratton was called as pastor for half time.

August, 1880 the church decided to call for a letter from the Curry's Prairie Association, having been a member for twenty years.

July , 1881. W. E. Richardson was ordained as deacon and still serves the church in this capacity.

November, 1882. Elder D. H. Clements was called as pastor. With his labor began the work which resulted in the organization of the Mt. Olive church.

January , 1883. The church voted to extend an arm to Cumberland Presbyterian church near West York, known as the Bailiff church, authorizing Elder Clements to hold a meeting, which resulted in the organization of the Mr. Olive church, April 21, 1883 . About this time the church began to plan for the building of their present house of worship. It was built in 1886 and is located across the road from the cemetery and where the old house stood. It is a large brick building and well furnished. The first service was held September 8th of the same year and was dediciated April 21, 1889. The sermon was preached by Elder Clements, who served as pastor for over seven years.

February, 1889. J.E. McCabe was chosen as clerk, serving about one and one-half years.

May, 1889. Elder R. A. Fuson was called as pastor, but served only six months. He now lives in Indianapolis.

November , 1890. Elder John Bratton was again called as pastor, serving four years in all. He died a few years since at the age of seventy-five years.

September, 1890. Lida (McDaniel) Nave was chosen as clerk, serving four years.

March 1891. Elder W. P. Andis was called as pastor. He became dissatisfied wth his alien baptism and was baptized by Elder Clements. A council was called and he was ordained Oct. 12, 1892

March, 1893. W.P. Chamness was licensed to preach.

June, 1893. Elder J. L. Cox was called as pastor, but on account of poor health was not able to preach regularly. He served only about two years.

February, 1895. C. D. Swope was elected clerk, serving two years.

April, 1895. Charles Nave and William Bryant were ordained as deacons, and still serve in this capacity.

May, 1895. Elder W. R. Strader was called as pastor, serving over nine years and giving good satisfaction. There were many additions to the church during his pastorate.

May, 1897. W. P. Chamness was ordained to the full work of the ministry. He is engaged for full time in the work.

October, 1904. Elder T.J. Wheeler, the present pastor, was called. He began work Jan. 1, 1905, beginning with a revival, which lasted for about four weeks, in which God greatly blessed the church. There was quite a number of additions.

It is a pleasure to follow such men as have been pastors of this church. There have been eleven pastors, serving from two to twenty years. October, 1905. Harry McDaniel, the present clerk, was chose. During the history of the church there have been some 400 additions. They are scattered far and near. From 75 to 100 have passed from the church militant to the church triumphant. The present membership numbers 100. May this church in the next half century be a greater power than in the past, may her influence be extended and her light brighten the pathway of coming generations.

There is a picture of Elder T. J. Wheeler, Pastor and one that has Roland Fuson, George Fuson, Stephen Fuson, John Fuson, A. J. Fuson and Wife. William Fuson. The father and five sons were preachers.