the house of Mr. Eli Bozarth, three miles south of Paris,
Missouri, brethren and sisters met and were organized into a
church May 7, 1831, by Elders Archibald Patterson and Edward
Turner. The constituent members were John Luney, Mary Luney,
Paul Herriford, Sarah Herriford, John H. Curry, Matilda Curry,
Benjamin Luney, Mary Luney, Isaac Coppage, Edward Turner,
Lucretia Turner, Nancy Donaldson, Mary Smith, C. C. Acuff, Peter
N. Mahan, John C. Mahan, John Hocker, Fanny Pool and a black
man, Peter. The name given to the church was Bethlehem. At the
June meeting Eld. Edward Turner was chosen to supply the pulpit;
John Luney and John Hocker were elected deacons, and John H.
Curry was elected clerk. At the meeting the following August the
church agreed to enter the Salt River Association and elected E.
Turner, J. Luney and J. Hocker messengers to that body, to
attend the approaching session of the Association, which met
with Siloam Church, Pike county, the first day of October, 1831.
The church was received into associational fellowship. At the
April meeting, 1832, the name of the church was changed to that
of Middle Fork. In 1833 William Armstrong succeeded J. H. Curry
in the clerkship of the church. “During this year a church
called Eanon was consolidated with this church. It was during
this that the old brick meeting house that by the bridge was
built. At the April meeting, 1833, Dr. Gustavus M. Bower was
licensed to preach. The church appears in Salt River Association
in 1834 with Paris as her name. The messengers this year are E.
Turner, A. Patterson, W. Arnold, W. Saling, who served in the
body when she met with the Salt River Church, Ralls county, on
the 22nd day of August, 1834. The churches in the
northern and western parts of the Association having come to an
understanding to form a new Association, the Paris messengers at
this session obtained a letter to into the new body. John Davis
was chosen to prepare a letter to the contemplated new
organization. E. Turner, A. Patterson, W. Arnold and William
Saling were chosen as messengers to help form the new body,
which met with Bethel Church, Marion county, the 3rd
Saturday in October, 1834. The organization was effected and
this younger sister was called Bethel; the first moderator was
Eld. Christy Gentry, the first clerk was Hon. William Carson.
The church at Paris
came into Salt River Association with twenty members. She went
out with seventy. Besides the place previously mentioned, her
messengers served in the body of Bear Creek Church, Marion
county, and at Mt. Pleasant, Pike county.