Circa1789: Log House
A log meeting house on Ephraim January's farm was first used for services. (Shown here is a depiction of the log meeting house at Cane Ridge, Kentucky which was built at about the same time.)
The original Ebenezer Stone church was constructed in 1803. Adam Rankin served as the first minister for the fledgling frontier church.
The church continued to flourish with minister Robert Bishop, but went into a decline from about 1820 through 1941.
On March 22, 1821 Nicholasville's Reverend Isaac Reed, wrote "Preached at Ebenezer meeting-house, near Clear Creek. In this stone meeting-house there had not been a sermon preached, nor meeting held, since last October; the congregation, from division and removals, is almost annihilated; and their house of worship deserted. It is, ah me! the place of the roosting and the nesting of birds, rather than the songs of Zion."
When Reverend Neal Gordon arrived in 1841, he began the longest and most successful pastorship in the church's history. The church again began to decline when Gordon died in 1870.
This photo appeared in History of Jessamine County by Bennett H. Young which was published in 1898.
"In this old building are the straight benches and the white painted pulpit which were used for more than fifty years. Around its deserted walls rests the dust of its faithful supporters for one hundred years; in silence and solitude these graves still speak of the faithfulness and consecration of the people of this church." — Bennett H. Young
Church Members of the Ebenezer Church and the nearby Clear Creek Church congregations formed the Troy Presbyterian Church, which was built in 1875.
(Approximately 20 members continued to faithfully meet in the old Ebenezer Church for a number of years. Those members founded the New Ebenezer Church which was constructed in Woodford County in 1883. After 1909, the membership of the New Ebenezer Church began to decline. The New Ebenezer Church building was sold off and razed in 1951.)
The old Ebenezer Church building was abandoned by 1883. Due to neglect, the stone building collapsed sometime before 1922. In that year the Ebenezer Cemetery Association was formed. The association, formed by friends and descendants of the Ebenezer congregation, is dedicated to preserving and maintaining the church and grounds.
1929: Tobacco Patch
This newspaper photo, which shows the Ebenezer church grounds covered with a tobacco patch, was published on March 3, 1929.
On Sunday, September 13, 1953, thanks to the Ebenezer Cemetery Association, the restored church was officially reopened.
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