Brush Run Church

This is from Christian Standard very likely ca. 1928.  The emergence of the congregation at Brush Run, Pennsylvania in 1811 marked a formative milestone in the nascent Restoration Movement.  Two hundred years later what happened here and why it matters are still topics of research and discussion.

Suggested online reading:

–Richardson’s Memoirs of Alexander Campbell

–Calvin Warpula’s article in Christian Standard

–Hal Doster’s website explores the significance of Brush Run.  (Perhaps I should mention I assisted Hal with some research on Brush Run in about 2008, and I assisted Peter Morgan with research in 2010…  Full disclosure and all).

–You can even like Brush Run on Facebook!

Though Brush Run meetinghouse was constructed of some of the material you see in this photo,  technically it is not a photo of the Brush Run church.  This is a reconstruction of it as it stood on the grounds of the Campbell Mansion at Bethany, WV in the early 20th century.  Hal’s PowerPoint presentation discusses this in detail…I wish there was an audio file to accompany his presentation.  You really need to hear Hal talk about it.

Shortly, I’ll blog about the stash of paper that yielded this clipping.  More to come!

One thought on “Brush Run Church

  1. This photograph accompanies H H Peters, “Landmarks of the Restoration: V. The Brush Run Church,” Christian Standard 65 no 29 (19 July 1930): 693.

    The same photograph of this “restored” structure, with a cutline more brief, accompanies George W Knepper, “Our Witness and Our Opportunity,” Christian Standard 67 no 28 (9 July 1932): 659.

    A different photograph of this structure “as rebuilt” is assembled with photographs of six other venerable church buildings located nearby to accompany an unsigned article, “Historic Meeting-Houses,” Christian Standard 63 no 44 (3 November 1928): 1121. The same photo montage illustrates a marvelous piece by Raymond Grove Hughes, “Hail, Pioneers,” Christian Standard 66 no 1 (3 January 1931): 1, 8. Hughes interviews Campbell Jobes, born in Claysville, Pennsylvania, in 1839, who knew Campbell, was employed by Bethany College, and preached in several congregations in the Bethany neigborhood from 1857 through 1918.

    C C Redgrave writes about the original Brush Run building in “First Meeting House of the Disciples in America,” The Christian-Evangelist 40 no 36 (3 September 1903): 296, 312, illustrating his article with a drawing of “Brush Run Church as it was” and a photograph of “Brush Run Church as it is today.” In 1903, according to Redgrave, the Brush Run building had been moved to West Middletown, Pennsylvania, for use as a barn and stable. In 1903, “A few of the larger timbers is all that remains of this historic building.” In the photo it appears to be a hovel.

    Another photograph of the original building, undated but obviously made much earlier, accompanies George Burley Evans, “The Alpha of Our Country Church,” The Christian-Evangelist 44 no 37 (12 September 1907): 1181.

    In 1966 i was privileged to walk the original site of the Brush Run meetinghouse with Leroy Garrett and an august assembly of scholars and leaders of the three streams that descend from the Brush Run meeting. We stood in a grassy field. In Bethany itself we saw no evidence of the “restored” or “rebuilt” Brush Run meetinghouse. We may suspect that the “restored” structure was something like our “New Testament church,” which always reminds me of the axe that Hoy Ledbetter’s family kept for 150 years: “It had had four heads and seven handles, but it was still the same axe.”

    God’s Peace to you.


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