Minnesota County Histories
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The First Christian Church
The History of Renville County, Volume 2
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge
Chapter XL
p. 1275

The First Christian Church of Renville county located at Vicksburg, has a most interesting history. It was organized May 6, 1871, the organizers being R. W. Davis, P. A. Lawson, C. R Eldridge, Harry Thompson, Christopher Burch, Pleasant Johnson, Mrs. Lydia Lawson, Mrs. Martha Thompson, Sarah J. Larson and Mrs. Mariah Burch. P. A. Lawson was the first chairman and permanent pastor, other preachers supplying the pulpit from time to time. R. W. Davis was the first secretary. The first trustees were Christopher Burch, C. R. Eldridge and Robert W. Dean. A prominent factor in the story of this church was Simeon Burch. He owned the farm at the top of the hill above Vicksburg. All clergymen who passed the neighborhood were welcomed at his home, and Methodist and Disciple services were often held there. After the church was erected he still continued to entertain the clergymen. The church was built on his land at the brow of the hill. This church, now a dwelling house, is still standing. The cemetery was laid out nearby, and is still in existence. The schoolhouse was also located a few rods away. The schoolhouse is now located elsewhere. Under the hill, just south of the Burch farm, was the little village of Vicksburg with its store, sawmill and blacksmith shop. The church at Olivia was in reality the result of the church at Vicksburg. Perry Burch and George Burch, both pioneers, who underwent all the privations of frontier life, were prime movers in the Olivia church, giving it the fullest measure of their devotion. Perry Burch was an especially active and devoted worker in the cause. Both men are now dead, Perry Burch dying in California and George Burch in Oregon. The church at Olivia is now discontinued, its members are dead or scattered, and the building is converted into a dwelling house.

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