Rushville Republican

Church

October 12, 2012

Big Flatrock Christian Church Celebrates 160 Years Sunday

RUSHVILLE — Every year on the second Sunday in October, members of the Big Flatrock Christian Church pays honor to one of their own: the Rev. Knowles Shaw (1834-1878) who grew up in their neighborhood, was one of their charter members (1852) and preached his first sermon there (1858).  

This year is no exception as the church celebrates not only the life of Rev. Shaw, but also the 160th anniversary of the church. While not too many churches can lay claim to the fact that their church is in the same location and the same building, Big Flatrock can.  Although the church building went through extensive remodeling in 1921, the sanctuary houses the original 1852 church building.

Dr. Robert J. Burgbacher, pastor of the church, will be speaking on the life of Rev. Shaw and introducing Shaw relatives who will be returning for the morning services. Special music will be provided by Eddie Thompson of Kokomo, a former member and elder of the church, as well as by Elder Linda Miller accompanied by Norene Miller.

Guest speaker will be Michael Whitacre, pastor in 1979 and 1980. Mike now resides in Crawfordsville and is pastor of Whitesville Christian Church. While he was at Big Flatrock, eighteen persons gave their lives to Christ.

Sunday School services begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by celebration services at 10:30 a.m. with a pitch-in dinner at noon in the Fellowship Hall. There will be no afternoon services. Memorabilia will be on display of the church’s history and that of Rev. Shaw. Friends and former members are invited to join in the celebration services. The church is handicap accessible.  

The following article was written by the Hickman Mills Church of Christ in Kansas City, Mo.:

Knowles Shaw, the singing evangelist

His life as an evangelist was relatively short, but in the nineteen years that he preached, Knowles Shaw was nationally known and one of the most popular preachers in his day.

Shaw was born in 1834 in Ohio. His family moved to Rush County. W. D. Frazee, another preacher from this time period, wrote the following about Shaw, “Raised in the dense forest of Rush County, Indiana, with a very limited education, noted only as a fiddler, he would go for miles to play for a dance. While playing one night for a party, he suddenly ceased playing .. he then said, ‘Boys, never ask me to play again; I intend to lead a different life.’ On the following Lord’s Day he went to the Flat Rock Church and at the close of a sermon by George Campbell, he made the good confession,” (Reminiscences – Sermons, pg. 80-81.)

Knowles Shaw was baptized in 1852. He preached his first sermon in 1858.

Shaw turned his musical abilities to hymn writing and singing. He wrote 114 gospel hymns, including, “We saw Thee not,” “I am the vine,” “Tarry with me O’my Savior” and “Bringing in the sheaves.” Shaw was a fine musician and sang melodiously according to Frazee. Shaw stood six feet three inches tall and had a flashing eye and an eloquent voice. Contemporaries claimed his eccentricities and magnetism made him one of the most popular preachers of the nineteenth century. He drew larger audiences than any other preacher. At one time he claimed to have received over 100 letters requesting him to hold meetings. G.I. Hoover said of Shaw, “In the decade from 1860 to 1870 he probably held more successful meetings than any man in the rant of the disciples.” (Christian Standard, Jan 13, 1940)

After the Civil War when many brethren began introducing instrumental music into worship, Knowles Shaw went along with them. He brought an organ and played it during a meeting at Dallas, Texas in 1875.

Shaw was a religious show man who knew how to win over an audience. In Eckstein’s History of Churches of Christ in Texas, Shaw is reported to have baptized 11,000 people. In the book Hoosier Disciples, Shaw is said to have baptized 20,000 people. During one meeting in Tipton, Indiana, Shaw baptized 132 people. The following year at Jonesville Church, he baptized 138.

C.M. Wilmeth wrote this impression of Shaw after hearing him preach, “He reasons like Paul, is as bold as Peter and as tender as John; he is natural like Shakespeare; witty like Swift; pathetic like Burns. He is as independent as Beecher; as idiosyncratic as Talmage; and as indefatigable as Moody … During his discourse, you may see him pacing the platform singing some thrilling song of Zion, or seated by the organ, playing some touching sentimental ballad. You may behold him on bent knee, before some cruel king, in tender tones imploring mercy; or perched upon the end of a bench, off in the amen corner, stiff as a poker and cold as a midnight spook … You may behold the audience baptized in tears … or you may see them convulsed with laughter.” (Eckstein, pg. 183-184)

From 1865-1867 Shaw edited a small Sunday school paper called “The Children’s Friend.” In 1878, having finished a gospel meeting in Dallas, Texas, Shaw headed to McKinney, Texas for another meeting. The train he was riding in derailed and Shaw was killed. His body was returned to Rushville for burial. The Rushville Republican reported that 2,000 citizens attended his memorial service.

 

1
Text Only
Church
  • Church Briefs First Baptist Church of Rushville“Children should be seen and not heard.” I’ve heard adults say that at times, especially in years gone by. I understand what they mean in some respects. “Children should not interrupt or be a distraction when importan

    July 18, 2014

  • Keeping the Faith: Hitting the Road Here we are, deep in the throes of the rituals of summer. School is out, vacation days are being cashed in, and picnic baskets are being packed. Barbecues are firing, pools are splashing, and ice cream trucks are rolling. Meanwhile, thousands, yea mi

    July 18, 2014

  • religion briefs Senate Democrats seek to reverse Hobby Lobby ruling WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate is preparing to vote on a Democratic-sponsored bill aimed at ensuring that women receive free contraception coverage even if they work for a company that has a religious

    July 18, 2014

  • Let It Go, Let Go, Let It Go This year I celebrate my 20th year as a practicing grandfather. I am not sure that after 20 years I know anything more about being a grandfather than I did before. I have not found any books written on how to be a grandfather, maybe I should write on

    July 18, 2014

  • chu-rv071814-church mouse logo Just checking in today - Angel the Church Mouse Hi, all you kind folks in Readership Land.Mercy! July is fleeing. Bible School has been about in city and country. What a joy hearing little voices singing hymns and reciting Bible verses. Now, soon school bells will be ringing! Didn’t they just stop

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Keeping the Faith Decades ago, while speaking of an upcoming championship bout, Muhammad Ali constructed a poetic couplet of epic proportions. With glitzy words corresponding to his style both in and out of the ring, “The Greatest” claimed he would “Float like a butte

    July 11, 2014

  • Have a blessed day; now fire me if you dare! I must confess to a severe case of poverty. I never took a vow of poverty; it just seems to have worked out that way for me. I am so poor the church mice have packed their bags and moved on. If I knew where they moved to, I might join them.Being poor

    July 11, 2014

  • Coats: religious freedom remains under attack despite Hobby Lobby decision WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling last week that the contraception coverage mandate imposed by the Affordable Care Act on family-owned companies like Hobby Lobby Stores an

    July 11, 2014

  • Church Brief Faith Baptist Church - MorristownDr. Wayne Scott, pastorWednesday, July 2 - Visitation teams will leave the church at 7 p.m.Sunday, July 6 - Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. with Guy Stricker teaching, worship service at 10:30 a.m. and quarterly business m

    July 3, 2014

  • In honor of the true Patriots Once again, we come to the time of year when we celebrate the Fourth of July in remembrance of all the wonderful things this country means to us. The celebration will include fireworks, parades and picnics when the hot dog will be king for a day. It

    July 3, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.