The Oldest Episcopal Church in Illinois
Records from 1834 - 1879


(Notices relative to the organization of the Parish and concerning its history. The following is copied from a Record made by Rev. John Batchelder, August 1834).

The parish of Trinity Church, Jacksonville, Illinois, was organized by a few individuals attached to the doctrines and forms of the Prot. E. Church on the 11th of August, 1832.

This was the first parish belonging to the Prot. E. Church, that was organized within the limits of the State of Illinois. Previous to the organization of this parish, no Episcopal Clergyman had laboured within the limits of the state, and so far as can be ascertained, but few sermons from Episcopal Clergyman had ever been preached in the state.

The Parish of Trinity Church was destitute of a minister till the summer of the year 1833, when the Rev. John Batchelder, from Providence, Rhode island, took charge of it as its regular clergyman.

In the Autumn of this year (1833) the Wardens and Vestry of the parish determined to take immediate measures for the erection of a House for Public worship. Their means being too limited for the accomplishment of the object, by their request the Rev. Mr. Batchelder visited the Eastern Churches during the following winter for the purpose of soliciting pecuniary assistance. He was absent about five months, during which time they had no public worship.

In the following spring the erection of the church was commenced, Ebenezer T. Miller being the architect. On the 9th of June, the corner stone was laid with suitable religious exercides by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Smith of Kentucky, he then being on a visit to Illinois. In the corner stone was deposited a list of the names of the Bishops and clergy of the Prot. Epis. Church in the United States, together with a list of the organized parishes belonging to the same; a number of the "Episcopal Recorder," and a number of the "Illinois Patriot," together with the following bref record of the Church, and of the times.

"The corner stone of this Church by the name of Trinity Church, Jacksonville, Illinois, was laid with suitable religious services on Monday, the ninth of June, in the year of our Lord 1834, by the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Bosworth Smith, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Kentucky, officiating by the request of the Wardens and Vestry of said Trinity Church, assisted by the Rev. John Batchelder, Rector of this Church. At the time of laying the corner stone of this Church, Andrew Jackson was President of the United States and John Reynolds was Governor of the State of Illinois."

"The Diocese of Illinois was not yet organized, and there were but two organized parishes in the state belongint to the Prot. Epis. Church, viz: Trinity Church, John Batchelder, presbyter, Rector, and Christ church of rushville, not yet supplied with a Rector."

"Jeremiah Barker and Bazaleel Gillett, were wardens of Trinity Church, and Joseph Coddington, Ebenezer T. Miller, Samuel M. Prosser, Dennis Rockwell, Ignatius R. Simms, Richard W. Dummer, Aylett H. Buckner, and Austin Brockenbrough were the Vestry. The parish of Trinity Church, Jacksonville, was oragnized on the eleventh day of August in the year of our Lord 1832, and was then destitute of a minister. The present Rector took charge of it in June, 1883."


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