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Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII





   Rev. H. E. Brill, who had been the Pastor just previous to this, wrote the History of Clay Chapel in 1899. It is a small book with hand set type. The original has about 155 pages. The copy I worked from has been rebound, but there are some pages missing in three places. Since no other copy can be found I proceeded with this copy hoping to add those pages sometime in the future.
   The only changes I made were to the page numbers in the index to match them to the pages of this copy. The original index is not a complete index , but does help to locate some of the people named in the history.
    At one time this charge had five churches on it. The last two active churches on the charge were Eureka and Ohio Chapel. They united as Christ United Methodist Church and in 1985 built a new church on State Route 7.
    The bell from Clay Chapel is mounted in the yard in front of this new church. There are descendants of the original nine members attending this church, giving it an even closer connection with the Original Clay Chapel Church.
   On the following page is a picture of the bell and one of the church. If you look to the left of the front doors you can see where the bell sits in the yard.  

Mary L. James

January 2001

Picture of bell and church

History of Clay Chapel

By Rev. H. E. Brill



   About eight miles below the city of Gallipolis, and about one- half mile from the river, on the Ohio side, stands a plain old-fashioned frame church building, known as Clay Chapel, so called because it is located in Clay township.
   For sixty-seven years a church organization has been in existence here, including throughout that period most of the people residing in the immediate vicinity, and in an earlier day many whose homes were somewhat distant.
    This place has been the headquarters for many years of one of the best country charges in the Ohio Conference, and the generosity and hospitality of its people are well known to many of our preachers who still speak feelingly of “the year when I was pastor at Clay Chapel.”
    First generation has all passed to the farther shore, a few only of the second still linger, while the bent form and the snow-crowned head warn the third that they will soon have to receive the mantles of the Elijahs who even now are near the crossing of the Jordan.
    The days of the past are full of good lessons for the fourth generation, and will prove of even greater value, as the years increase, to those who are yet unborn. But the history of those early days is now somewhat hidden by the mists of years, and unless what is still within reach is preserved, future church workers will be deprived of the inspiration which comes with a knowledge of the early struggles of those who so well began the work of the church in this portion of Gallia county.
    Having, in the good providence of God, had the privilege of serving this people for the period of three years, from Oct., 1895 to Oct., 1898, it seemed good to me near the close of my third year to glean from the poorly-kept church records, from old copies of conference minutes, and from memories of the aged members of the class and the old people of the neighborhood, such things as might prove of practical good to present and future generations, and thro the courtesy of Mr. A. R. Harding, editor proprietor of the GALLIA Times, to present them in printed form to all who may be interested in the things set forth.


No doubt many errors will occur, but they will be a result of failure of others to faithfully record events, and not of failure on the part of the writer to make careful search for the facts. Should any who note such errors be able to give me the correct information the proper corrections will be made in an appendix chapter.
    At this late date with the limited source of information at hand it is but reasonable to expect that our informants will differ at some points. It has been my aim to weave into the connected narrative such things as appeal to me to be most credible; leaving for the appendix such testimony as has been given by those who have differed from the written account. This I hope will be satisfactory to all who so kindly assisted me by furnishing data from which these chapters have been drawn.   
    It will not be out of place here to say that the following persons have been especially attentive and helpful in the preparation of what follows: Mr. And Mrs. Jacob Riggs, Mrs. Mary C. Pierce, Mrs. S.C. Cole, Mrs. Wallace Thornily, Mrs. Julia Plymale, Mr. J, B. Patterson, Mr. A. B. Davis, Mr. Q. A. Davis, and Mr. E. A. Riggs.

    For the excellent views of the church and parsonage, thanks are due to Mr. J. S. Clark.

    The history of Clay Chapel very naturally divides into four sections, as follows:

  1. The Beginning.
  2. Old Brick Church.
  3. Second Church Building.
  4. Present Church Building.

    To these will be added separate chapters on subjects, which can receive better treatment alone.

    These will consist of

  1. The Parsonage.
  2. Sunday School.
  3. Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society.
  4. The Epworth League.
  5. Pastors and Presiding Elders.
  6. Frank Grasson Davis, Clay Chapel’s Missionary Hero.
  7. Appendix.

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