History of Whetstone Church
Just let your minds wander with me back in the 1860’s and think there was no church building near this community. The people felt the great need of a place for worship so they met in the Langley school house then located about one-fourth mile east of the present Roosevelt building. They did not have a regular minister. They met to worship together and who ever wished to lead them did so. Later John Sims acted as their leader. He called on each one personally to testify and the spirit of the Lord surely was present for each one received much benefit and the attendance grew beyond capacity of the building.
On January 14, 1867, Miss Julia Whetstone, daughter of Jonas Whetstone died. At that time there were not many cemeteries near here. Peter Whetstone, Uncle of Miss Whetstone living on an 80-acre farm offered his brother Jonas a strip of ground for a burial place which was later named the Whetstone Cemetery.
When the worship group at the schoolhouse grew beyond capacity it was with the consent of Mr. whetstone to locate a new church building in the corner of the cemetery.
Charles Fits and Thomas Orr offered to build the church building. Each person interested furnished material from their own timber. Some furnished the hewed logs and others took logs to the sawmill and had them sawed and planed. Some of those who furnished materials were Peter Whetstone, Noah Shock, Mrs. Hanna McCarty, Jonas Whetstone, Eliah Poffenbarger and many others. After the building was completed each one interested brought that material they had and met at the church and made some crude benches. Later some benches were purchased from an abandoned church in North Anderson. This first building was dedicated on January 21, 1874.
The church was nondenominational. The doors were open to anyone who wished to attend or preach. The German Baptist and Brethern Congregations used it regularly.
On December 23, 1882, the members of the church met for a business meeting and they discussed reorganizing the body. The following four principles were read and approved.
1. The Holy Bible as our only rule of faith and practice.
2. The name Christian to exclude all other names.
3. Christian character as life of holiness our only test of Christian fellowship.
4. The right of private interpretation of scripture and liberty of conscience.
This body was known as the Whetstone Organization of Christian Faith. There was no regular minister hired until near 1885. Among the most faithful who preached was James Comer and Rev. Williams who came for a free-will offering.
In the early spring of 1915, the building needed many repairs and a committee was appointed to investigate the needs of the building. At a business meeting on May 31, 1915, it was voted to erect a new bungalow type building without a basement on the same site of the old building. The new church was dedicated December 19, 1915, by Rev. John McCorhill, pastor assisted by Rev. J. D. Foster. a full house enjoyed the day and money was raised in full to clear all indebtness. Later in 1920 by the co-operation of members a basement was made and a furnace installed. In 1922, electricity was extended down Brown Street Road and was put in the church by co-operation of the Ladies Aid Society which had been organized years before and had been a great asset to the church by their assistance in keeping the interior of the church attractive and helping in many other ways.
The young people of the church were very active in the promotion of the Kingdom so they organized their group which was called the Whetstone Christian Endeavor Society. They have been very beneficial to the church and have done splendid work. During the spring of 1932 the society decided to beautify the church surroundings. Shrubbery was planted around the church and memorial corner of evergreens was dedicated Sunday, October 9, 1932 by the respective families to the memory of Lee Keller, Sylvia Stewart, William Hull, Franklin Mikels, Clinton Langley, Sarah Whetstone and Ephram Gale.
Through the efforts of Walter Whetstone, Sunday School Superintendent, and Rev. J. Wesley Stewart, pastor, a Brotherhood/Sisterhood Organized December 16, 1925. this organization has grown beyond the capacity of the church building and has spread brotherly and sisterly love through the community which has benefited the church in many ways.
The Sunday School steadily grew and the church building was filled almost to capacity every Sunday so the need of a larger building was felt by the Sunday School and Brotherhood Organization. A committee from the church and brotherhood was appointed to meet with the church officials and investigate some plans for enlarging the church building or build a new one. There was some discussion about enlarging the present building but it was located so near the cemetery line and roads it was suggested to purchase a new site and build a new building.
Church Building Committee Brotherhood Building Committee
James Hoppes Roy Jones
Tom Johns Frank Denliner
Roy Stottlemyer Edward Smith
Albert Jordon Carey Sheets
Ora Wheeldon Earl Faulkenberry
Elmer Stinson Russell Snydman
On March 20, 1938 the committee presented that a new site be purchased and a new building be erected. On April 10 it was voted to purchase a three-acre tract of ground from Mrs. Hattie Harmeson which was located directly across the road to the North from the present site, at $500 per acre.
On July 24, 1938 a breaking of the ground service was held when Rev. G. R. Osborn, pastor, turned over the first spade of earth. Work was started on the basement the following week and the cement for the foundation was poured on Thursday, August 18. The laying of the cornerstone was held Sunday, October 9, 1938, when a large crowd enjoyed the day.
PASTORS OF WHETSTONE CHURCH
Rev. Bruce Mounsey 1918
Rev. John McCorkhill 1919
Bro. Bert Page 1921
Bro. Featherstone 1922
Rev. J. W. Stewart 1923
Rev. Delmar Harold 1930
Rev. Howard Warner 1932
Rev. J. W. Stewart 1933
Rev. G. R. Osborn 1934
Rev. Virgil Harris 1947
Rev. Noah Grile 1948
Rev. Alvin Thomas 1951
Rev. Albert Byrne 1952
Rev. Wm. B. Howenstine 1960
Rev. Verlin Smith 1967
Rev. Charles Burrey 1983
Rev. Stehphen P. Gettinger 1989