Saturday, September 26, 2009

Consolation Universalist Church, "Christian County" Kentucky

The Consolation Church was one of the first Universalist churches in the west of the pre-1830s. The church in the home by a traveling universalist minister - who was not ordained by the Universalists, but apparently by the frontier branch of what is now the Church of the Brethren. The church apparently officially affliated with the Universalists around 1835. (if we are to believe the 19th century registers)

In northwest Christian County, Kentucky - 8 miles from Hopkinsville, Ky - on the current Dawson Springs Road.
Consolation Church- 16 May 1819- circa 1940s or 1950s
house church 1819- 1840, first building 1840-1870, second building 1870-1917, third building 1917- torn down c1972

1885 had 175 members

historic marker placed as the first Universalist Church west of the Allegheny Mountains. N 37° 01.812 W 087° 34.896 16S E 448271 N 4098380

Consolation School c1912 - 1940s high school and grade school

church was founded by William Lowe, an Universal Redemption minister.
It originally met in the home of James E. Clark (1770-1841).
While the Clark family was from Virginia, James and his brother Jonathan lived in the
Pendleton district of South Carolina in the 1790s (apparently in Anderson County).
Rev. Joab Clark (1807-1882) was a native of Christian County, ordained in 1835, was the regular preacher at Consolation from 1833 to 1882, replacing William Lowe.

His son Hosea Ballou Clark (1834-1913) was a member of the Universalist Church, and
a Republican state Representative in 1885. His wife was a Methodist. Hosea was the President of the Kentucky Universalist Convention in 1893.
Joab "Joe" Clark Junior (1856-1946) son of Rev Joab, active in the Universalist Church.
Hosea's son, Claude R. Clark (1870-1943), was also an Universalist. His wife was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterians. Claude owned 6 grocery stores in the Hopkinsville area.

The church was still active in the mid1930s (leaders include Pool and McCord).
it was apparently gone by the time of the consolidation of Universalists and Unitarians.
At one time, there were apparently at least three Universalist Churches in Christian County.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Outlaw's Bridge - the Life Magazine Article

Outlaw's Bridge Universalist Church was featured in an 1944 issue of Life Magazine. That issue is now on Google Books.

(if the link stops working, then go to and search for "Outlaw's Bridge" )

it features the work of Rev Gustav Ulrich, who is said increased the membership of the church to 79 (in a "town" of 94 families). The Church building burned in
1950 - and it's worth reading the story on Outlaw's Bridge Universalist Church website - to see what dedication the members had to save what they could.

(disclaimer: this blogger is related to the founder Julia Kent Outlaw, via her husband, Bryan Outlaw - a very distant cousin)