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Samuel Bryan Chapter digitizes church records

Samuel Bryan Chapter digitizes church records

The front of the church in 1897. (Photo courtesy of Molly Sanders)

Church records – The Samuel Bryan Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recently completed an archiving project of digitizing the church records belonging to One Christian Church, located on Banta Road, that was once named Southport Baptist Church. Fifty hours of scanning of over 700 pages of church minutes dating as far back as 1836, numerous photos through decades and many other printed materials. Patricia Moy, regent and Molly Sanders, vice-regent, spent 2020 scanning the early history of One Christian Church for the church and Pastor Jeff Stranton.

“The church’s name has changed several times. Beginning with Forks of the Little Buck Creek Church, shortened to Little Buck Creek Baptist Church, then Southport Baptist Church and now One Christian Church,” said Stranton.

Jeremiah Featherston founded the church in 1832 after separating from Lick Creek Baptist Church which began in 1826 in Beech Grove.

“Our patron patriot, Samuel Bryan, who fought in the American Revolution, and his family were charter members of both churches. When I was scanning one of the early entries, I discovered the mention of Samuel’s death,” said Moy.

Samuel Bryan, an American Revolution War soldier, died March 4, 1837, the Beech Grove chapter’s namesake and Patriot patron.

“We were stunned to learn that Samuel’s son Luke shared in the naming of the church,”said Moy.

Moy scanned most of the minute books and reviewed the manuscript beginning with church minutes dated from 1836. Each of the oldest books was placed individually in acid-free archive quality storage boxes in the project, and all photos were placed in a protective sleeve. Newspapers were unfolded and photographed, and the oldest was a 1907 issue of the Marion
County Mail.

Roy and Sanders spent hours organizing photos and church records. (Photo courtesy of Molly Sanders)

“When we first received the church records, they were disorganized. Some were wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Pictures were tossed haphazardly in different boxes,” said Sanders.

“I first had to organize all those pictures into categories and by year. Before placing each photo in a protected sleeve, each were wiped to remove dust and fingerprints.” We still have a lot to do with the images to prepare them for the DAR’s library in DC,” said Moy, referring to the Daughters of the American Revolution Library located in Washington DC, which holds genealogical records in their Genealogical Research System (GRC). “There isn’t specific genealogy noted in the church minutes, but it clearly indicates where and when certain families and individuals were at the time,” said Sanders, who is also the chapter’s Genealogical
Records chairperson.

Acid-free storage boxes, folders and tissue paper were used throughout the project, and archival quality protective sleeves were used to preserve the photos. One Christian Church financed the project by purchasing all needed supplies. The Samuel Bryan Chapter is reaching out to the older churches of Beech Grove and the surrounding communities that if their church has a history of being established in the 1800s, they would like to hear from your faith leaders to discuss a scanning and archiving project that could preserve your church’s history with the National Society Daughters of the American RevolutionLibrary.

To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit DAR.org or connect with DAR on social media at Daughters of the American
Revolution National Headquarters. For more information about becoming a member, please
contact the Samuel Bryan Chapter at samuelbryanchapterdar@gmail.com.

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