10 September 2011

Rev. James Johnson of Big Ridge Missionary Baptist Church

From The History Of Saline County by the Saline County [Illinois] Genealogical Society (Saline County Sesquicentennial 1847 - 1997):

Big Ridge Missionary Baptist Church and Cemetery

The church was organized in 1853.  The old church records were destroyed by a fire when a home burned..... .  Although early records are incomplete, the church was represented by John Baker and James Johnson in an organizational meeting of the Big Saline Association on the 4th Sunday of June 1854. 

One of the early ministers from this church was Rev. James Johnson, son of John and Polly Johnson.  He was born in Gallatin County, June 4, 1839.  The family moved to a farm in the Big Ridge community.  James was converted at the age of sixteen and united with the Big Ridge Baptist Church.  On December 24, 1858, he married Nancy Jane Graves.  Their six children were George W., James D., Logan, Jacob G., Elvira Elizabeth, and Josephine.  He was licensed to preach in August of 1866.  Rev. Johnson was later ordained on August 9, 1873, at the Big Ridge Church. 

James and Nancy (Graves) Johnson were my great-great grandparents.

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