Mt. Carmel Church
In Washington Township, Clay County, Indiana, in 1852 a group met on the farm of Aaron L. Killion to discuss the need for a church building. They organized a United Brethren congregation under the name of Mt. Pleasant. Ezekiel Jenkins, Gabriel C. Killion, & Kenneth Snyder were elected trustees. On September 15, 1859, a tract of land was granted to the trustees by Aaron L. & Sarah Killion. Soon after the deeding, a log cabin church was constructed. This church became part of the Eel River Circuit.
The charter members of the church were: Adam and Irene Moon, David and Anna Killion, Leonard and Rebecca Killion, Benjamin and Sirintha Moon, George and Cassie Moon, Linder and Martha Killion, Elizabeth Zenor, Henry and Mary Zenor, Ezekiel Jenkins, Gabriel Killion, and Kenneth Snyder. The first preacher was Dr. Absalom Briley.
In 1862 Linder and Martha Killion deeded one acre of land for the Killion Cemetery, which was one-quarter mile north of the church.
After some years, the old log church was abandoned and the land reverted back to the Killions. Another piece of land close to the original land was donated by Louisa and David J. Killion, son of Aaron and Sarah. This land was between what is now Highway 46 and The Lower Bloomington Road on the east side of County Road 35 East. The trustees at this time were David J. Killion, Henry Zenor, and John McFadden. At the cost of $1,800 a white frame structure was built and dedicated on November 12, 1871. The name of this church was Mt. Carmel United Brethren Church.
Mt. Carmel entered the 1900s with the largest congregation of any church in the area. Unfortunately, by 1920 the church congregation dropped to eighty-five members. In 1904 the land around the church was cleared and thirty-eight trees were planted; each tree was planted in the name of a member of the congregation. They charted the plantings made with their names.
When the church was remodeled in 1952, the white frame structure saw the removal of the big stove, which had heated the building and blistered the paint on the straight-backed poplar seats. The church was lifted and moved back further onto the lot away from the road. A basement was added to house a coal furnace. Inside and outside entrances were added to the basement onto the south side of the belfry. For many years Kenneth Killion, great-grandson of the original land grantors, was Sunday School Superintendent.
New oak pews were added in 1964. When the EUB and ME churches merged, Mt. Carmel could no longer struggle on with declining attendance; the trustees and congregation voted to close. In 1968 church members took the new pews with them and moved their membership to Bowling Green United Methodist Church.
Mt. Carmel was involved in seven circuit charges: Eel River, Mt. Pleasant-Poland, Bowling Green (twice), Center Point (twice); four conference changes: Wabash, Lower Wabash, White River and Indiana Conference South, and a merger which changed the name to Evangelical United Brethren in 1946. The leadership was under sixty-six ministers over the years.
The land reverted back to the Killions after it closed, and the building was later torn down.
Submitted by Rhonda Tincher, Clay County Genealogy Society, Center Point, Indiana
Sources: Mt. Carmel Church by Carolyn Killion Thomas