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A. S. Hayden
Early History of the Disciples (1875)


C H A P T E R   X X I.

The Church in Royalton planted--William Moody and the Church
      in LaFayette--The Cause in Brunswick--J. W. Lanphear--
      The Gospel brought into Granger and Ghent.--M. L. Wilcox.

W HEREVER the gospel was proclaimed it found men tired of sects, and possessed of qualities of character which would stamp them as extraordinary men in any enterprise. Noted among such men, was John Baker Stewart, of Royalton. He was born in Bristol, Vermont, May 10, 1791. He emigrated to Cayuga County, New York, where he united with the Baptists. He returned to the place of his nativity, and in 1817, he started with an ox-team for the Connecticut Western Reserve. Forty-two days steady traveling brought him to Royalton. The primitive forest reigned undisturbed. Not a road was laid out in the township. He selected his land on which he has resided ever since. Of education and solid sense above mediocrity he has held a prominent position in the county.

      Henry Hudson, a Baptist preacher and a physician, established a church in Royalton. In 1828, through internal broils, it ceased to meet. Before they dissolved, Stewart, for himself and wife, obtained letters of honorable dismission. About this time Edward Scofield came in from Bazetta. He was abreast with the reformatory movement in Trumbull County, and though scarcely equal to Stewart in the stern qualities of leadership, he was a man of culture [424] and independence. From Connecticut, where he was born in 1779, he came to the territory of Ohio in 1797. He assisted in surveying the lot lines in many of the townships. He was the first settler in Bazetta, the nearest neighbor being five miles distant. He built the first mills in that region. Every body was hospitable then--Scofield notably so. In 1817 he was elected to the State Legislature, which position he filled with honor. He took membership with the Baptists in Warren, and soon rose to usefulness. He preached the gospel for many years, and was one of the "charter members" of the church of Bazetta.

      In 1822, Ezra Leonard came into Royalton. He and Stewart, and Almon Eastman, were accustomed to meet and compare the doctrines of their creed with the teaching of the Scriptures. Light began to shine. When the "Christian Baptist" started, David Hays, of Canfield, who was father-in-law to both Stewart and Leonard, became a subscriber. His daughter, Mrs. Ruth Leonard, a woman of very remarkable knowledge of the Scriptures, obtained that work, and put it into the hands of Stewart. The first piece he read in it was Mr. Campbell's essay on the call to the ministry. Taught from childhood in the belief that preachers are immediately and divinely called as Moses was, this sharp and sifting analysis of the subject, though entirely successful in correcting his early teaching in regard to it, was very distasteful, as it produced the humiliating conviction that he had imbibed pernicious error. After a few days, he said: "Well, 'honesty is the best policy.' I will be honest, and let the truth have [425] its full effect on my heart." This was his emancipation, and it opened to him a new era and a new career.

      So stood matters till late in the fall of 1829, at which time Leonard, being in Canfield, invited William Hayden to Royalton. What were fifty miles, or the sleety storms of coming winter, to him? "I'll go," and Leonard gave notice in Richfield, at Bangs' Corners, that a preacher from Trumbull County would come and preach the everlasting gospel. Hayden's limping, white-faced horse, sharing the high enthusiasm of his martial rider, brought the bearer of glad tidings in prompt time. Curiosity to hear the advocate of a new religion, as the everlasting gospel without shadings and trimmings was supposed to be, filled the school-house. The candles were without candlesticks. Setting them here and there into pools of melted tallow, the meeting was opened. The preaching created great excitement. The place was full of skeptics. One night, when the sermon was ended, a man cried out: "Mr. Hayden, how long do you think a man will have to stay in hell?" Answered as quick as asked "I do n't know; I do n't expect to go there to see!" For awhile the cause trembled in the balances. Sectarian prejudice joining with infidel opposition, the school-house was locked. Not knowing it, he and the audience convened, and finding the house closed, a gentleman offered the use of his new blacksmith shop. Preacher and people went to work, it was seated, and the crowd filling it, he struck his best key, and for two hours the dark and withering systems of infidelity passed under rigid review in [426] contrast with the true rights of man, the high civilization and exalted happiness which would follow the adoption of the Christian religion. From this, he turned toward the more willing inhabitants of Royalton. Supported by such men as Stewart, Scovill, and Leonard, the gospel was firmly planted, though fierce opposition attended every step of its progress. Dr. Hudson left no artifice unemployed. But the truth is mighty, and it won at every encounter. Converts came, and professors of various name saw the gospel ground of union and co-operation, that, in coming to Christ, they came to one another. Among others the manly Dougald McDougall and family, who had been with the "Bible Christians," the excellent and energetic Jewett N. Frost also, who, though they have gone to their "long sought rest," left witness behind them in their zealous labors for the gospel.

      Others came in to help on the good begun work. Bro. Green and Bro. Moody rendered efficient and timely aid. The church was constituted in the fall of 1829. The record contains the following names as the beginning of the church:

      Edward Scofield, Mary Scofield, Rufus Scofield, Roxana Scofield, John B. Stewart, Huldah Stewart, Jewett N. Frost, Dougald McDougall, Lucia McDougall, Adin Pike and wife, Wm. Hatch, Lydia Hatch, David Wallace, Adaline Wallace, Almon Eastman, Spencer W. Paine, Miranda Paine, White Paine and wife, Ebenezer Robinson, Oliver N. Paine, Renetta Paine, Henry L. Bangs, Almira Bangs, Elisha N. Bangs, Abigail Bangs, Chauncey A. Stewart, Jerry Meach, Lucinda Meach, Sylvia M. O'Brian, [427] Marcia Whitney, Samuel Verney, Damaris Verney, Hannah Verney, Catharine Fuller, Decius Barnes.

      Edward Scofield, J. B. Stewart, and J. N. Frost, were the bishops; Adin Pike and Dougald McDougall, deacons. Bro. Stewart, whose memory retains its wonderfully retentive power at eighty-three, writes:

      "From this time forward Bro. William Hayden looked after, and took very great interest in the welfare of the church. And when we take into account the small amount of compensation he received for his many trips, over bad roads and through storms, the church hold him in grateful remembrance to this day. Most of the preaching was done by him, by Bro. Scofield, Bro. Green, and Bro. Moody. All these brethren are held in high esteem by the older brethren.

      "In the year 1835, Bro. Scofield removed to Indiana. Falling sick, he was brought back all the way on a bed. He lived about two weeks after his return, when he went joyfully to meet his Lord."

      The subject of unconditional personal election, the staple of many sermons in those days, was always a hard doctrine, and difficult to the studious mind of Stewart. He was relieved in the following manner: Hayden, in one of his sermons, declared: "Put election on character, not on person, and the subject is clear. God has always respected character. He has always blessed those who obey him, and punished the disobedient; this is the true election. It rests on character, not on person." This threw a flood of light into his mind, and he walked out of the entanglements of a subject which has bewildered thousands.

      Conversing with a lady on the claims of the [428] gospel, she said with deep emotion, "Oh, I would give all the world if my heart were changed so I could believe on Jesus." "What would you give," said Hayden, "to believe on Mohammed?" "Oh, nothing at all," she said. "Why?" "Because I believe him to be an impostor." "But why do you wish to believe on Jesus?" "Because I believe him to be the Son of God." "Then you do believe on him, do you not?" "Oh, yes, with all my heart!" "Then," continued the preacher, "if your heart were changed, you would disbelieve him, and be an infidel." She saw her mistake: with a heart already penitent and in love with Christ, she was vainly waiting for some miraculous change. She arose, and was baptized, and went on her way rejoicing.

      That remarkable man waged a heroic battle for Jesus Christ. Stewart testifies, "A great war spirit was aroused by his preaching." He laid claim to the people as belonging to Jesus Christ, whom Satan has ruined in sin, stupefied in ignorance, and for whom the salves of sectarianism bring no healing. He "gave no quarter to sin, ignorance, nor the devil." In Richfield he preached in a ball-room. At one time he delivered a discourse sitting on horseback. A correspondent writes the first time she heard him was in a saw-mill. Like Paul, whom above all men he admired, and whom he somewhat resembled, he would go to the market, the theater, or the forum, if an audience could there be found to whom he might declare the great salvation.

      While the public mind, like the sea, was greatly agitated, a great impetus was imparted to the cause by the yearly meeting held near Bangs' Corners, [429] September, 1834. It was a large, orderly meeting, and made a favorable and enduring impression. It carried the force of a great public demonstration. In attendance were J. Hartzel, W. Hayden, E. B. Hubbard, A. Allerton, W. F. Pool, A. B. Green, Wm. Moody, and A. S. Hayden. Many converts crowned the meeting with success. Great harmony prevailed, and through acquaintance the hearts of the brotherhood were knit together. This is veritable Christian unity, which was uniting in the same kindred tie the brotherhood now Widening and extending in all directions.

      The church of Christ in Royalton still flourishes, and is fulfilling its mission. McDougall became an elder, and died in the faith, honored of all. After a little, Bro. Wm. Tousley came in, was chosen an overseer, and for many years was a pillar. The ministry, who, from time to time have labored among them, have been zealous and faithful. Besides those already named, they have had Scott, Campbell, Burnett, Shephard, Buckbee, Robison, Jones, Cooley, Moffett, Hinsdale, and others on incidental occasions. They now have Bro. H. N. Allen for their minister.

      WILLIAM MOODY, born in New Hampshire, August 29, 1810, was descended from English and Scotch ancestors. His twenty-third year found him in Ohio. After spending some time in Wadsworth, he settled in Chatham, Medina County.

      At the age of nineteen be became a Baptist, in Franklin County, New York. Persuaded that he had a "call" to the ministry, he began preaching. But his call, as he felt and related it, was, that he loved God and loved men, [430] and rejoicing in "the liberty wherewith Christ had made him free," he felt a strong impulse to speak of his saving goodness to others. After coming to Wadsworth, he heard Bro. Green on the subject of faith, in which the preacher asserted that "faith comes by hearing;" (Rom. x: 17) that it is the result of evidence intelligently apprehended by the mind. Moody determined to attack him and expose this false and pernicious position. It denied his notion of the infusion of faith, as a spiritual grace, by a direct act of the Holy Ghost. He thought to panoply himself for the onset by a fresh study and array of his proofs; but he found his strength was weakness. After that sermon his proof-texts did not read to him as before. He was disarmed. The encounter never took place.

      Having engaged in service with Bro. Newcomb, the youngest daughter of the venerable elder took up the argument two hours an evening for five nights, chiefly on the work of the Holy Spirit and the design of baptism. He contended earnestly for the tradition of the fathers; but the young and heroic daughter of the covenant was too shrewd for him, well taught as he confessedly was in the general language of Scripture. He fell in the debate, and yielding up the ghost of tradition, he found new life and new joy in the clearer and more scriptural knowledge of the gospel.

      From that hour his voice was raised more earnestly in the advocacy of the truth. Though working still as need required, he gave much time to the proclamation of the Word. In the fall of 1837, he stuck the pioneer stake in the town of LaFayette, Medina County. For two nights the people listened attentively, but would not sing. The third night, on approaching the meeting, his heart was gladdened by the sound of songs of praise. "Thank God," he exclaimed, "the waters are moving!" He continued three months, visiting, reading the Scriptures--privately and publicly--preaching the gospel, and exhorting the people. He brought into the covenant forty-nine [431] by baptism, recovered others, and founded a church of sixty persons. He instituted meetings, for the new converts, in one of which, forty at a single meeting took a part in prayer and exhortation. Discovering that much feeling pervaded the assembly, he offered an opportunity for confessing the Lord. Seven arose, one after another, confessed their sins, and declared their desire for obedience to the merciful Saviour. They were baptized the next morning. This church has stood firm ever since. Bro. Earl Moulton has long stood as a leader and support to them. Bro. Moody has preached a fourth of his time there for thirty-five years, while his labors in surrounding regions has contributed much to sustain the churches in Sullivan, Wadsworth, Brunswick, Weymouth, Granger, Royalton, Birmingham, and many other places.


      Early in the year 1835, five families came to Brunswick from Pompey, Onondaga County, New York. Settling together, their street was called "Pompey Street." They were, John Harris, Darius Wilson, Warren Wilson, ----- Chase, ----- Garrett, all, with their wives, members of the church in Pompey. Moss and Hayden soon found them. Great was the joy of these disciples to see again those zealous men who had imparted to them so much light in the east. These two brethren--Bro. Green also, and, after a little, Bro. Wilcox--built them up and increased their numbers. Dr. John Clarke, a gentleman of weight and respectability, a member of the Presbyterian church, and a practicing physician, gave a candid hearing, and obeyed the gospel.

      A reorganization of the congregation was made in December, 1839. Dr. John Clarke, Samuel Clarke, [432] and Darius Wilson were elected overseers, and Dan A. Moulton and Geo. W. Comstock, deacons.

      In this church a Barnabas arose, who in many an Antioch has taught many. This was


      He was born in the State of New York, in 1814. Coming to Medina County in 1834, he soon came in contact with the disciples. William Hayden's original manner and point in argument won the attention and enlightened the judgment of young Lanphear. He was, while in New York, converted among the Methodists, his father being of that order, and a preacher of considerable abilities. The Campbell and Owen Debate fell into his hands. He read it, absorbed it, "devoured it." By it he was thoroughly aroused. He next obtained and studied the new translation of the New Testament, then lately published by Mr. Campbell. The Christian religion became intelligible to him, and was invested in his mind with an indescribable interest. He grasped it, and it won every faculty of his soul. He embraced it, being baptized by William Hayden in the yearly meeting at "Bangs' Corners," in September, 1834.

      When the Pompey brethren came and established their meetings in Brunswick, Bro. Lanphear associated with them. He began to exhort; and being possessed of good natural endowments, ardent in his nature, and very studious, he was soon encouraged to assume the more responsible position of a teacher. About fifteen months after his conversion he started forth, with the sanction of the church, as a preacher of the gospel. He attended the first "school of the preachers," in New Lisbon, in December, 1835, and proceeded to Pennsylvania, where he spent the winter. He went into Maryland in the spring, where falling in with Bro. James Darsie, the young [433] preachers were a great help to each other. The church of Somerset, Pa., which contained many able and influential members, took him under her care and pupilage for a time, receiving blessings from his labors, and imparting of her benefits in return. He assiduously improved every opportunity to fit himself for his chosen calling. His acute penetration of mind, delicate fancy, well stored understanding and agreeableness of manners, won him a welcome every-where. His path to public favor and usefulness was now open, and the history of the cause of reformation in western Pennsylvania, and north-eastern Ohio, and in other States, has, for thirty-five years, been closely intertwined with that of this useful preacher of righteousness.

      The church in Brunswick passed through the variable vicissitudes which mark the history of most communities, till, by the removals and death of its members, it became nearly extinct. The cause has been revived, and a new church formed at Hamilton's Corners, in the south part of the township.


      In one of his excursions into Medina County, in the year 1830, Hayden delivered several discourses in Weymouth, where a hospitable family by the name of Stiles received him, and heard him gladly. Geo. W. Comstock, also a citizen of influence, became a convert. Harris Reed, from Granger, a candid and intelligent gentleman, was so delighted with these intelligible and consistent views of the gospel, he resolved his fellow-townsmen should have the opportunity of hearing. He was a Methodist, and had not a doubt the Methodist church would be freely [434] opened. The adventurous pioneer, never waiting for more than half an invitation, promptly consented to go.

      The Methodist church was refused, and Reed was sharply censured for bringing in a man to preach the doctrine of devils. Mr. Reed cowered not, nor sheltered himself from the gathering storm. He declared openly he had invited him, and that he would see him courteously treated. Prejudice sought to bar the school-house also, but the liberal minded ones prevailing, Hayden gave his first discourse in it amidst much excitement. He loved to walk on the edge of high waves. He saw in the keen attention of the people the augury of good, and announced another appointment. This was a signal for marshaling the troops for battle. He kept up his appointments, and the gospel won friends. The first of the conversions was Mrs. Ellery Lowe, who came forward, singing:

"This is the way I long have sought,
 And mourned because I found it not."

      Soon after, Mr. Reed declared for the ancient gospel, the original ground of union and salvation. He was followed by others, and in the spring of 1832, the church was constituted.

      It was composed of the following persons: Harris Reed and Sally Reed, Rebecca Lowe, George McCloud and wife, Samuel Crosby, Morris Miller and ----- Miller, Martin Miller and wife, and Conrad Turner and wife. Morris Miller was chosen elder, and Harris Reed and Samuel Crosby, deacons.

      This church was never very strong, and after a few years it became so weak that the members [435] ceased to hold meetings. About this time, Bro. Wilcox preached with great success in Ghent, a village only a few miles distant, and founded a church there, in which the remaining members in Granger united.


Was organized on the 10th of April, 1843, with sixty-two members. Morris Miller, Thomas Pierson, and Alexander Martin were chosen elders; and Thomas Carnaby, Seymour Ganyard, and E. W. Heaton, deacons. Bro. Philander Green writes, (April 3, 1875,) "Only five of the original members remain in the church now."

      This church has had the labors of Wilcox, who established it, Moss, Newcomb, Green, Cooley, John Encell, Southmayd, and Holland Brown; but longest and chiefly, of Bro. Philander Green. This brother began to preach there regularly in 1850, and for eighteen years he preached statedly at intervals of two or four weeks. In 1853 he moved his family there. Bro. F. M. Green, who has since become prominent in the work, especially in the cause of Sunday-schools, was then in his father's family.

      From the year 1853 to 1868, the period of Bro. Green's closest labors there, there were one hundred and seventy-five additions; at which time the church, after all the drains upon it, numbered one hundred and fifty-two souls. The last seven years Bro. Green has labored in the church in Lordstown, Trumbull County.

      MARSHALL LOUNDSBURY WILCOX was a man of high order and talent. Gifted with a happy combination of argument and eloquence, a style well suited to the forum, [436] united with a pleasing manner, he was one of the most attractive and efficient of the public advocates of Christianity. He was bold and positive, and loved to grapple with strong opposition, especially with the lurking and sinuous infidelity which, at the period of his ministry, had spread much over the Western Reserve. In contending for the faith he rendered excellent service. He was equally vigilant in maintaining the purity of the gospel, as was shown in several discussions, in which he successfully defended the apostles' doctrine against learned and shrewd opposition.

      He was a native of the State of New York. He was an exhorter among the Methodists when he first heard the Disciples, and with characteristic frankness he embraced it, and in the defense of it spent the best portion of his life. He preached extensively on the Western Reserve, and died in Centralia, Illinois.

      Early in his ministry he received a contusion in his head from the kick of a horse, from which he often suffered severely. It rendered him sometimes fitful and melancholy. He was therefore not always reliable in discourse. The tinge of sadness in his temperament won sympathy. Admired for his eloquence, and loved for his fidelity and friendship, he gained the esteem and confidence of the people wherever he went. [437]


[EHD 424-437]

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A. S. Hayden
Early History of the Disciples (1875)

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