Mt Tabor Church and Cemetery

The Mount Tabor Methodist Episcopal church was organized in 1858 by Rev. John Adams.

Operating as usual

Photos from Mt Tabor Church and Cemetery's post 11/23/2021

We are sad to report that sometime between Saturday evening and Sunday morning Mt Tabor church was vandalized.
Access to the church was obtained by knocking in the doors, causing damage to both doors. The old United States flag was taken (as shown in this picture). There was no other damage or known stolen items. A big thanks to Mark McGrath for quickly fixing the doors before more damage could occur. We are asking everyone to please keep an open eye out for suspicious activity at the church and cemetery. The incident has been reported to the Coles County Sheriffs department.

07/15/2021

Raise your hand and comment if you ever visited this building at Mt Tabor. Photos provided by Bob Listad-Larson.

Raise your hand and comment if you ever visited this building at Mt Tabor. Photos provided by Bob Listad-Larson.

04/20/2021

Mt. Tabor church and cemetery would like to express our appreciation to the Hayes family who have provided a generous donation to Mt. Tabor for some grounds improvement. Here is a picture of Ronald Hayes at the cemetery.

https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/jg-tc/name/ronald-hayes-obituary?pid=197183415

Mt. Tabor church and cemetery would like to express our appreciation to the Hayes family who have provided a generous donation to Mt. Tabor for some grounds improvement. Here is a picture of Ronald Hayes at the cemetery.

https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/jg-tc/name/ronald-hayes-obituary?pid=197183415

[07/18/20]   A little more history of the church--Trustees of the Church
The first trustees were John Morrison, Charles Armstrong, W.H. Smith, Mrs. Charles Olmstead, and Ken Edman. Another charter member was listed as Mrs. W. A. Hughes (Renia Smith). The board appoints new trustees when a member passes or resigns. Most trustees over the years are direct descendants of the original trustees.

08/07/2019

A huge shout to Mike Newart Owner at Midwest Softwash and Pressure. He donated his time and supplies and cleaned the front of Mt Tabor church! We appreciate you helping us keep the church building looking great!

08/05/2019

This was posted on another Facebook group. The Gee bridge on Lincoln Highway Road (first bridge going south out of Charleston) was named after this James Gee

[11/16/18]   The Mt. Tabor cemetery was originally known as the Shafer Graveyard, and this is the way it is listed on several death records in the courthouse. The oldest MARKED burial is Sept 28, 1847, that of James W. Johns, the 2 year old son of Joshua Johns, one of the original landowners. Almost all of the early interments were originally from Pendleton County (now Highland Co.) Virginia. The grounds were used for a cemetery for years before the church was built, probably by the Johns family. The first burial that is known that is unmarked, is Mary Ann Replogle on October 28, 1846.

[10/03/18]   Ministers who served the Mt. Tabor Church
The ministers of the church came mainly from the Methodist circuit ministers. The first minister is believed to be Rev. Thomas Tull. He was the minister of the Lerna circuit at the time and thought to have been the first minister in the new church and he dedicated the new church. Other ministers' names seen in notes were:
Rev. C.E. Bennett (1906)
Rev. Hobbs (1912-1915)
Rev. Hutchins (1915-1920)
Rev. Bracewell (during WW 1)
Rev. Higgins (1922-1925)
Rev. Roahrig (1925-1926)
Rev. G. Hendricks (1926-1927)
Rev. J.W. Walker (1927-1929)
Rev. Carl Hearn (1930-1932)
Rev. “B” (1932)
Rev. R. A. Evans (1934)
Rev. Murray (1936)
Rev. Gheris (1950)
Rev. Everett Leonard
Rev. Loren Grimes (1954- 1955)
Rev. Tommy Skinner (1956-1959) (a Baptist minister)

[03/03/18]   One of the most controversial graves at Mt. Tabor Cemetery is that of Ed Brown. He was a village blacksmith, and died in 1947. He lived (according to Carson, Misenheimer, and McCandlish, 1973) “on the edge of the northeast tip of the hill. He was the only African American living in the vicinity, and whose parents had been slaves. Through the years, tending his smithy he could look across the valley to Mt. Tabor. He became an expert in horse care and went away to work with racehorses. But when he passed away in 1947 they brought him back to Mt. Tabor for burial and the quiet restfulness of the Indian Creek area that surround him, as it does so many others there”. Many of the church members were very upset about this burial, but his final resting-place is at Mt. Tabor.

[05/27/17]   In honor of the veterans that are buried at Mt. Tabor-----
PLEASE COMMENT IF ONE OF THESE VETERANS ARE YOUR RELATION!

Burials of War Veterans
There are many volunteers from the wars buried at Mt. Tabor. Benjamin Parker, dead in 1866, and Isaiah Heddins, dead in 1866, was volunteers in the war of 1812. George Furry served in the Mexican War. An effort was made to place flags on all veterans’ graves until about 1972, when this practice was discontinued due to the death of the last volunteer, William Leitch. Most of the Civil war veterans fought for the Union, but there was at least one Confederate veteran, John Calhoun Redwine.

Information about the war veterans have been obtained from a hand written list of military graves, a list from Erik P. Conard, Ph.D., and a listing of Coles county war veterans.

BlackHawk War Mexican War
Benjamin Parker George Furry
Isaiah Heddins

Civil War (24) Joseph Armstrong
Matthias Replogle Gottlieb Friedrich Bidle
James Tucker Marion Carter
John Cain Cratius White Nichols
James K. Cassaday Henry Clay Kelly
Tom Cross Jackson (unmarked burials)
Albert Handwerk Jim Plew (unmarked burials)
Wade Newman David Paxton (unmarked burial)
Reed Bruner William T. Shaver

World War 1
Homer Popham James Williams
William Henry Leitch Glen Edman

World War 2
Joshua Horton Hayes John Mason Rueben Hussong John Calhoun Redwine
John Morrison Carlos Gwin
Robert Bruner Finis E. Williams Edgar Gwin

[05/11/17]   Continued history on Mt. Tabor--Number of Burials
There are approximately 600 known burials at Mt. Tabor, plus there are several unmarked graves, and, in one case, the person was not buried there but is listed on the tombstone. As of 2005, 596 names have been confirmed, but there could be another 100 unmarked graves. The cemetery was known as a “pauper’s boneyard” many years ago. There were a large number of folks who lamented not having the money to buy a vault with the casket when they buried their family at Mt. Tabor. Some families refused to bury their loved ones at Mt. Tabor due to the cemetery being thought of as a cheap place to bury. Others were upset because there were no fences and occasionally the neighbors’ livestock would get out and tromp the cemetery. A fence was later placed around the cemetery. Despite the fact that is was considered a cheap place to bury, it was also considered a desirable burial spot because it was on a high hill and overlooked the Indian Creek. A few graves were moved into Charleston cemeteries several years after their burial to be with their families.

Many funerals consisted of the body being placed on a burial board (or a “laying out board”) with a burial quilt and then placed in a wooden coffin for burial. Many could not afford stones, and there were many rusty tin markers for early burials or just “undertaker markers”. Many of these tin markers were not readable, and eventually tossed over the east holler. Therefore, many gravesites are not marked. Many families could afford a marker but simply would not purchase them.

jg-tc.com 04/27/2017

Rex Hayes

Http://jg-tc.com/lifestyles/announcements/obituaries/rex-hayes/article_0d970ada-e07f-58f7-9334-bb336a9565e6.html

jg-tc.com GREENUP -- Rex Allen Hayes, age 70, of Greenup, Illinois, passed away at 9:50 PM - Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at his home.

[04/18/17]   The Mt. Tabor board will meet for a spring meeting this Sunday at 4:30pm. If you know of anyone with an interest in Mt. Tabor church and cemetery that would like to be involved, please let us know.

www.wandtv.com 11/18/2016

Discovering Central Illinois Mt. Tabor Church in Lerna

Feature on Mt. Tabor,

www.wandtv.com It's hard to believe that any building could ever look the same as it did in the late 1800's, but one church in Lerna is defying all the odds. Off the road and nestled behind some trees, lies a ch...

[10/09/16]   The church and cemetery board will meet for their fall meeting on October 23rd at 4pm at the church.

October 2016 Cleaning of the Outside of the Church 10/02/2016

October 2016 Cleaning of the Outside of the Church

[09/08/16]   A little more history on Mt. Tabor---

Cemetery
The cemetery was originally known as the Shafer Graveyard, and this is the way it is listed on several death records in the courthouse. The oldest MARKED burial is Sept 28, 1847, that of James W. Johns, the 2 year old son of Joshua Johns, one of the original landowners. Almost all of the early interments were originally from Pendleton County (now Highland Co.) Virginia. The grounds were used for a cemetery for years before the church was built, probably by the Johns family. The first burial that is known that is unmarked, is Mary Ann Replogle on October 28, 1846.

[07/02/16]   Building of the Church
The original church was a log cabin. According to an account printed in the 1973 newspaper article, the church stood just to the east of the present building. According to the 1906 History of Coles County, services were held for 28 years in this “temple of logs”. When it became too run down to hold further services there (about 1866), the Methodists held their meetings for a time in the Leitch schoolhouse after it was built. The land was donated officially on March 16, 1891. It is believed that the church was built at that time. The carpenters for the church were Jefferson Taylor Edman and Joseph Armstrong. They were ably assisted by the interested men folk of the community. Jefferson Taylor Edman ironically was the first funeral service held in the new church. He died at the age of 43 on May 4, 1892. His father was Joseph Edman, a brother to Sally Shaver who donated the land.

The church was wired for electricity in 1951. The current stove was placed in the church in 1953. Bathrooms were never installed, and the outhouse still stands outside the church building. The piano that is currently there was purchased in 1922 from the Farmington Church. The walls are painted, although they appear to be wallpapered. The walls have been stenciled at the top of the high walls. There are hooks in the high ceiling that were used to hang the kerosene lamps before electricity. The floor is a beautiful wood floor and the pews are all wood.

[06/22/16]   Church denomination and name
Mt. Tabor church was organized in 1858 by Rev. John Adams, a Methodist minister and local landowner. He organized and served a circuit of churches in the surrounding counties. The Methodist Church was often called the Methodist Episcopal Church in its early days in this country. The Episcopal simply referred to the fact that bishops governed them. The Mt. Tabor church became part of the Lerna Methodist circuit, which provided the preachers for the church.

In 1959 the church members split over the issue of building a basement and building an additional room to the church. Some of the members went to the Farmington Church after the Methodist Conference stated that they would only approve the addition if a certain percentage of the cost of the building were raised prior to the ground breaking. Sunday school continued to be held at the church until 1967. The church remained under the conference until March 10, 1970 when the conference released the Board of Trustees from any further connections.

Mt. Tabor is a mountain range in Palestine and only used a couple of times in the Scripture. It is believed that the church is named from this Scripture.

[05/13/16]   Land Donation for Mt Tabor:
Sarah “Sallie” Shaver a widow, and her daughter Emma P. Morrison and John W. Morrison, her husband donated the land for the Mt. Tabor Church and cemetery. A warranty deed-statutory form 840 filed on March 16, 1891 in Coles County listed Sarah Shaver et al (Emma P and husband John W. Morrison) to Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church for $1 to John W. Morrison, William H. Smith, and Charles E. Armstrong and their successors in office as trustees of the M.E. Church, the described real estate “to be used as a cemetery and to erect a church building”, (Book 81, page 529 – Pt SE ¼ of SW ¼ of Section 4, Township11, Range 9).

The original land grant where Mt. Tabor sets today was issued to John Erwin on October 9, 1837. He was the son of Charles and Dorothy Irwin/Erwin. John, along with his mother, Dorothy, was listed as the founding members of the church. Joshua Johns purchased this lot sometime around 1842-43. One source states that the property was “sold out by the bank which bought the 7 acres”. John Shaver, the husband of Sarah Edmond/Edman Shaver, came from Virginia and purchased this piece of land from Joshua Johns. The Sam Sargent notes state that “Mr. Johns made $800 on this sale and that the first day Mr. Shaver was here he killed a deer on the property”. He died October 31, 1855 at the age of 44 and is buried at Mt. Tabor with his wife, Sarah “Sallie” Edmond/Edman Shaver.

Shaffer/Shaver Name
There has been confusion over the names SHAFFER and SHAVER and SHAFER. The name SHAVER appears on the warranty deed, but many times early burials were listed as occurring in the SHAFFER cemetery or even the Indian Creek Cemetery. The cemetery was most consistently called the SHAFFER GRAVEYARD in the early years. The death record of David Replogle who died on January 17, 1878 shows that he was buried in SHAFER Graveyard, Pleasant Grove Twp, Coles Co., IL. John SHAVER was born as John SHAFFER in 1811 in Virginia and was most likely the one who changed the family name to SHAVER. Later the cemetery was called Indian Creek Cemetery and then the Mt. Tabor Cemetery. Mt. Tabor Cemetery is located north and up the hill from Indian Creek, 4 miles south of Charleston and 5 miles east of Lerna.

Sarah “Sallie” Edmond/Edman Shaver lived until March 27, 1904 and is buried in Mt. Tabor Cemetery. Her siblings were Jacob Edman, Joseph Edman, Mary “Polly” Baker, Nancy Curry, and Thomas Jefferson Edman. All of the above are responsible for a large number of early burials in the cemetery.

04/11/2016

Unknown year--Mt Tabor cemetery spring clean up day. It was always an all day event and the food was always wonderful!

11/08/2015

On June 15, 2015 vows were renewed for Zella and Chuck Price in Mt. Tabor Church. This was on their 60th Wedding anniversary! Behind the pulpit is Brian Beasly, an ordained minister who conducted the renewal of vows. Zella is Anita Butler's older sister and they live in Sun City AZ.

10/25/2015

Autumn 2015

[09/26/15]   Meeting of Mt Tabor Board, 4pm Sunday Sept 27th.

[08/09/15]   A big thanks to the 2015 Illini Regional Bridge Tournament for a $75 donation to Mt. Tabor Church and Cemetery.

[05/30/15]   New burial at Mt. Tabor Cemetery:
Ellen Lafferty
CHARLESTON -- Ellen Imogene (Jean) Lafferty, 88, died May 8, 2015, at her residence in Carmel, IN.
Jean was born on July 30, 1926 in Charleston, IL and is preceded in death by her husband, Robert L. Lafferty; father, Joe F. Bennett; mother, Irene Burrus; and brother, Dale Bennett. Jean is survived by her brother, William Bennett of Charleston, IL; four children; Judy Miller, Mattoon, IL; Joe Thompson, Carmel, IN; Lesta Andersen, Anderson, IN; and Sue McDonald, Danville, CA; seven grandchildren; Rob Ward, Charleston, IL; Angie Stone, Charleston, IL; Jamie Wilson, Mattoon, IL; Heath Friar, Tampa, FL; Audra Sellers, Noblesville, IN; Ian McDonald, Chicago, IL, and Kara McDonald, Bloomington, IN; along with six great grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Monday, June 1, 2015 at 11:00 am at Mt. Tabor Cemetery, rural Charleston, IL.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to: Harness Horse Youth Foundation, 16575 Carey Road, Westfield, IN 46074

11/18/2014

Coles County Illinois Genealogical Society

Official page for the Coles County Illinois Genealogical Society

02/15/2014

Mt Tabor Church and Cemetery's cover photo

jg-tc.com 10/12/2013

Foundation working to restore church at Lincoln Cemetery

Glad to see another church in our area being restored!

jg-tc.com LERNA — Its stained glass windows show the last home and the names of Abraham Lincoln’s father and stepmother, both of whom are buried within easy sight of the historic

04/21/2013

A late April snow storm and Mt. Tabor Church.

Wedding at Mt Tabor Sept 8 2012 Lauren Spaniol Tim Morgan 04/09/2013

Wedding at Mt Tabor Sept 8 2012 Lauren Spaniol Tim Morgan

[03/29/13]   Mt Tabor church and cemetery board will have a meeting at 5pm on April 7th.

Siding of Mt Tabor Church Nov 2012 12/14/2012

Siding of Mt. Tabor November 2012

Siding of Mt. Tabor November 2012

[11/10/12]   The Save the Church project is in full progress. The vinyl siding is being placed on the church this week!

The board is very thankful for all of the GENEROUS donations to be able to keep the church standing.

We would like to especially thank the following:
The donations received in the memory of Margie J Walker--$1800!
Dean Bidle $1000
William Cox $1000
Chuck and Zella Price $250
Ken and Lucinda Leitch $250
Many other friend of Mt. Tabor Church and Cemetery--Thanks so much! We will now be able to save a piece of history for many years to come!

Location

Telephone

Address


South Lincoln Highway Road
Charleston, IL
61920
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