Old Sharon Church:
County of Church: White County.
Location of Church: County Rd. 240E, just off County Rd. 1650N, ½ mile east of US-45, about ½ way between Norris City & Enfield.
Illinois State Historical Society has a marker on US-45, a ½ mile west of here (Erected in 1963). Text of that marker:
THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN
CHURCH IN ILLINOIS
In 1816 the Reverend James McCready of Kentucky organized Sharon, the first Presbyterian Church in Illinois, with Peter Miller, James Mayes, and James Rutledege as ruling elders. Three miles Northeast of this site B. F. Spilman, active Presbyterian Church organizer, was ordained in 1824; ½ mile east is the present building and the 1817 cemetery.
A marker (see photo) erected by the Presbyterian Church is between the building and the cemetery. The text of that marker:
In the year 1813 a group of Presbyterians migrated from Kentucky to the Illinois Territory was Reverend James McCready their pastor, came to minister to them and in 1816 founded Sharon. It was the First Presbyterian Church in Illinois, although in 1810 an Associate Reformed Church named Kaskaskia had been formed. Ruling elders were Peter Miller, James Mayes, and James Rutledge, father of Ann Rutledge, whose name is immortal because of its Association with Abraham Lincoln. Three miles north of this site on land belonging to Thomas Rutledge in present Enfield Township, a hewed log meeting house was built. It was lighted by one, small four-paned window. A flat stone in the floor served as a hearth for burning charcoal in winter. Three log churches preceded the present church which was erected in the spring of 1864 on an old stage coach road. Land for church and burying ground was deeded to trustees of Sharon Church by John McClellan in 1865. The first grave...that of a son of John and Margaret (Storey) McClellan...dated back to 1817. Men of distinction have supplied the pulpit of Sharon...Among them Benjamin F. Spillman, founder of many churches, whose brother, Jonathan, composed the music to "Flow Gently, Sweet Afton"; John Silliman; and Benjamin C. Swan. After more than eighty years, Sharon's wide field of service who became so constricted by her daughter churches, Carmi and Enfield, that Presbytery dissolved the historic church in 1896. The old meeting house stood deserted for many years. At times interested members of the community have restored the building and beautified the grounds and again the walls of Sharon resound to the word of the Gospel and the singing of hymns.