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Religion in Indiana – Free Books and Articles

Religion in Indiana - Free Books and Articles

Religion in Indiana in free online books and articles. Includes histories of many churches and denominations.

See the Menu at the top of every page for Directories of Free Online Fiction and NonFiction Books, Magazines, and more, on 400 pages like this at Century Past

Life of the Rev. F. Cointet, Priest and Missionary of the Congregation of Holy Cross

Cincinnati: Walsh: 1855

An admiring Church biography of a priest at the University of Notre Dame who also headed congregations in northern Indiana. Father Cointet was born in 1817 in France, ordained a priest in 1839, and arrived in the U.S. in 1843. He traveled to his first assignment at Notre Dame du Lac, which had just been established the year before. He was both a professor at the University and a priest in the local Mission until 1849. After a 2-year assignment to New Orleans he was then given responsibility for five congregations in northeast Indiana and southwest Michigan. He died there in 1854. Indiana history of religion.

History of the Catholic Church in Indiana vol 1

– Volume 2

Blanchard, Charles., ed., comp.
Logansport, IN: A. W. Bowen 1898

After a few chapters on the early history of Catholic missionaries and the church in Vincennes and other French villages, Volume 1 is largely devoted to brief histories of the development of every congregation up to the 1890s , including the names of the priests who served there. There is then a chapter on education, with histories of individual parochial schools and academies. The University of Notre Dame du Lac in South Bend has a chapter-long history, followed by a chapter on monasteries and convents. The volume contains many illustrations of church buildings. History of Indiana churches.

Volume 2 consists entirely of biographies, of clergy and prominent Catholics. It is heavily illustrated with portraits and views of churches.

See also:
– Lamott, John Henry, History of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 1821-1921 in Ohio Religious History
Garraghan, Gilbert Joseph, Catholic church in Chicago, 1673-1871 in Illinois Religious History;
Pare, George, The Catholic Church in Detroit, 1701-1888 in Michigan Religious History;
Heming, Harry Hooper, The Catholic Church in Wisconsin in Wisconsin Religious History

See our collected books on Ethics

“The Moravian Mission Settlement in Indiana”

Proceedings of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association Vol X, 1918-1921, 286-98

Brady, Arthur W.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Mississippi Valley Historical Association

The story of a short-lived mission to a village of Delaware Indians at the present site of Anderson, Indiana, from 1801 to 1806. Indiana history of religion.

“Some Religious Developments in Indiana”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 5, Issue 2, 1909, pp 57-71

Coleman, Christopher B.
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University

“The Harmonist Movement in Indiana”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 19, Issue 2, 1923, pp 188-200

Denehie, Elizabeth Smith
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University

Contributions to the Early History of the Presbyterian Church in Indiana: Together with Biographical Notices of the Pioneer Ministers

Edson, Hanford A.
Cincinnati: Winona 1898

Like many other church histories, this volume seems to be mostly made up of biographical sketches of ministers. However, these are enlivened by extended quotes from journals and letters, and by the author’s determination to describe the communities and frontier environment in which these ministers lived and worked. He wrote in the Preface about them that, “The study took me into an unknown land. I was surprised at every step. Courage, self-sacrifice, piety, were to be expected; but I found besides a beautiful social life, uncommon learning, undoubted genius for affairs, and gifts of utterance in every way memorable.” History of Indiana churches.

Chapter headings are:

– Beginnings and Spread of Presbyterianism in America – The Settlement of Indiana – The First Missionaries 1800- 1806 – Hindrances and Disorders Incident to War 1807- 1814 – The War Over and the Work Advanced 1815 – Aid from New England 1816, 1817 – A Notable Quartet 1818 – Better Ecclesiastical Supervision 1819- 1821 – Indianapolis 1821 – Extension toward the North 1822 – The Shadow of Slavery 1823 – The first Presbytery 1823, 1824 – Help from Princeton 1824 – Two Fellow- Travelers 1824 – A Period of Increased Missionary Zeal 1825 – Organization of the Synod of Indiana 1826 – Indiana Presbyterians and Education
– Appendix
— Missionary Agencies at Work in Indiana previous to 1826
— Ecclesiastical Relations of the Indiana Congregations previous to 1826
— Bibliography. Religious history of Indiana.

See our spiritual and religious books

Biographical Sketches of the Pioneer Preachers of Indiana

Evans, Madison
Philadelphia: J. Challen 1862

Biographies of 23 pioneer preachers, apparently of various protestant denominations. Many of these men were still alive at the time this book was written, and they themselves provided at least part of the details that were included. Chapters are:

-John Longley. -John Wright. -Absalom, and John T. Little. -Joseph Hostetler. -John B. New. -Beverly Vawter. -John P. Thompson. -Michael Combs. -Elijah Goodwin. -Joseph Wilson. -William Wilson. -Love H. Jameson. -James M. Mathes. -R. T. Brown. -George Campbell. -John O’Kane. -Thomas Lockhart. -Jacob Wright. -B. K. Smith. -Benjamin F. Reeve. -Joseph W. Wolfe. -Thomas J. Edmondson. -Sketch of Northwestern Christian university. Religion in Indiana history.

The Heroic Women of Early Indiana Methodism

an address delivered before the Indiana Methodist Historical Society at De Pauw University, June 16, 1889

Goodwin, Rev. T. A.
Indianapolis: 1889

Indiana Methodism: Being an Account of the Introduction, Progress, and Present Position of Methodism in the State …

and also a history of the literary institutions under the care of the church, with sketches of the principle Methodist educators in the state down to 1872

Holliday, Rev. F. C.
Cincinnati: Hitchcock and Walden 1873

Although the bulk of this volume is made up of biographical sketches and anecdotes from the lives of dozens of Methodist preachers, the author has aspired to more than that. He explores the evolution of Methodist practice through the 19th century, and describes the institutional growth of the church. He also employs extended quotes from letters and journals to portray life on the Indiana frontier. Religion in Indiana history.

For more works on Methodism in the region, see:
– Boase, Paul, “The Fortunes of a Circuit Rider” in Ohio Religious History

King, I. F., “Introduction of Methodism in Ohio” in Ohio Religious History
Cartwright, Peter, Autobiography of Peter Cartwright, the Backwoods Preacher in Illinois Religious History;
Leaton, James (Rev.), History of Methodism in Illinois from 1793 to 1832 in Illinois Religious History;
Bennett, P. S., History of Methodism in Wisconsin in Wisconsin Religious History;
Finley, James B., Sketches of Western Methodism: Biographical, Historical, and Miscellaneous, Illustrative of Pioneer Life in Great Lakes Region Religious History

Congregationalism in Indiana

Hyde, Nathaniel A.
Indianapolis: Carlon & Hollenbeck 1895

The author wrote at the beginning of this 70-page booklet that the Congregationalists were active and influential in Indiana since 1816, but for decades they did their work under another name; being in a sort of partnership with the Presbyterian Church. Writing a history of early Congregationalism was complicated by this fact, as much of that history was disguised. At the end of the volume are lists of all Congregational ministers in the state, and all congregations with founding dates. Religion in Indiana history.

Directory of Churches and Religious Organizations in Indiana vol 1

– Volume 2

– Volume 3 Part 1

– Volume 3 Part 2

Indiana Historical Records Survey, Work Projects Administration
Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Records Survey 1940-41

Vol 1 – Marion County (Indianapolis)
Vol 2 – Calumet Region (Lake, Porter and La Porte Counties)
Vol 3 part 1. Northern Indiana: Adventist Bodies – Mennonite Bodies)
Vol 3 part 2. Northern Indiana: Methodist Bodies – Young Women’s Christian Association)

The Protestant Experience in Gary, Indiana, 1906-1975: At Home in the City

Lewis, James W.
University of Tennessee 1992

“Tracing the histories of First Presbyterian and City Methodist churches in the steel city of Gary, Indiana, James Lewis finds that Gary’s Protestants were both proud of their new city and fully aware of its problems, including a flood of new immigrants, persistent political corruption, and racial animosity. Contrary to conventional wisdom, they did not immediately flee their urban environment . Instead they responded energetically to their new urban order, playing an important role in Gary’s religious, social, and political life. The churches’ determination to mold Gary’s emerging urban culture along Protestant lines reflected both evangelical and social gospel traditions within mainstream Protestantism.” -Publisher

The Catholic Church in Indiana, 1789-1834

McAvoy, Thomas Timothy
Columbia University 1940

A main theme of this academic study is the persistence of the French Catholic Church in the Old Northwest for decades after the Americans came to dominate the region. It also appears to be at least partly a history of the French villages and culture in Indiana during the early part of the 19th century.

Amazing Grace: A History of Indiana Methodism 1801-2001

McGriff, E. Carver
Providence House 2001

“The history of both United Methodist conferences in Indiana, Amazing Grace represents the rich heritage of thousands of Methodist churches, universities, hospitals, and camps, as well as the laypeople, pastors, and bishops who were and are a part of this great movement in Indiana called Methodism. In this comprehensive volume, pastor E. Carver McGriff illuminates the grand histories of Indiana Methodist institutions and people, intertwining the impacts of reformation, war, the Great Depression, civil rights, debates in theology, changes in values, homosexuality, women in ministry, and the Good News Movement. This chronological history begins with the teachings and a character sketch of John Wesley and ends with a vision of tomorrow. It brings a profound sense of identity to Methodism in Indiana and reveals two conferences of faith and integrity.” – Book cover

An Amish Patchwork: Indiana’s Old Orders in the Modern World

Meyers, Thomas J.
Bloomington: Indiana University 2005

“Indiana is home to the world’s third-largest Amish population. Indiana’s 19 Old Order Amish and two Old Order Mennonite communities show a surprising diversity despite all that unites them as a distinct culture. This contemporary portrait of Indiana’s Amish is the first book-length overview of Amish in the state. Thomas J. Meyers and Steven M. Nolt present an overview of the beliefs and values of the Amish, their migration history, and the differences between the state’s two major Amish ethnic groups (Pennsylvania Dutch and Swiss).” – Publisher

Methodism and the Frontier: Indiana Proving Ground

Nottingham, Elizabeth K.
NY: Columbia University 1941

A Rural Survey in Indiana

Presbyterian Church in the USA
NY: Redfield 1911?

This sociological study of 32 rural communities was done in 1911 in three Indiana counties: Marshall, Boone and Daviess. Part I is “The Condition of the Churches; Part II is a “Comparison of the Problems of the Church with Other Rural Problems. The purpose of the survey was to study the problems of rural communities, with special reference to the country church.

“Indiana Methodism 1816-1832”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 11, Issue 3, September 1915, pp 231-247

Price, Ruth
Bloomington: Indiana University

“Universalism in Indiana” Part 1

– Part 2

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 13, Issue 1, 1917, pp 1-19; Volume 13, Issue 2, 1917, pp 157-188

Robinson, Elmo Arnold
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University

The author attempts to trace the establishment of early Universalist churches in Indiana, also discussing early Universalist itinerant preachers in Ohio who influenced the slightly later spread of the doctrine in Indiana. There is a list of Universalist churches in Indiana and the date that each was founded. He describes the opposition, sometimes violent, of other Christian denominations, and also discusses a split of Indiana Universalism into two factions in the 1840s. Indiana history of religion.

A Circuit Rider in Early Indiana

Robinson, Reuben D.
Fort Wayne: Fort Wayne Library 1954

Reprint of newspaper article interview of 1880 with a former Methodist circuit rider.

Hoosier Zion: The Presbyterians in Early Indiana

Rudolph, L. C.
New Haven: Yale University 1963

Dr. Rudolph was a professor of church history at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. This is not only a history of early Presbyterianism in Indiana; it is also a history of the settlement of the frontier. The author also reveals the sectarian controversies and competition that arose as settlers from different states and different denominations converged on the same communities.

Indiana Methodism; a series of sketches and incidents, grave and humorous

Concerning preachers and people of the West, with an appendix containing personal recollections, public addresses and other miscellany

Smith, John L.
Valparaiso, IN: 1892

Although not a historian, Rev. John L. Smith was directed to “prepare a history of Indiana Methodism”. He did that largely through personal profiles and anecdotes, making a much more lively and interesting history than the more institutional histories often produced by churches.

Indiana Miscellany, Consisting of Sketches of Indian Life, the Early Settlement and Hardships of the People …

And the Introduction of the Gospel and of Schools, together with Biographical Notices of the Pioneer Methodist Preachers of the State

Smith, Rev. William C.
Cincinnati: Poe & Hitchcock 1867

The author wrote in the Preface that he has “not presumed to write a history, but simply sketches and incidents of the early settlement of Indiana, of some of the noble men and women who first emigrated to her territory. Much of what I have written has been from memory and personal knowledge.” He also said that he did not include any sketches of people yet living.

Indiana Baptist History, 1798-1908

Stott, William T.
Franklin, IN: 1908

Chapter headings are:

-General Conditions in that Part of Northwest Territory, Now called Indiana, at the Close of the 17th Century, and the beginning of the 18th Century.
-History of Two of the Early Churches
-A History of the Several Associations – and some Biographies in Each (this section is about 250 pages, and contains many chapters on District Associations, each of which cover several counties)
-Indiana Baptist Convention: The General Association
— Organization
— Missions
— Education
-Concluding Reflections

Circuit-rider Days in Indiana

Sweet, William Warren
Indianapolis: Stewart 1916

The first 80 pages of this volume contains of a history of early Methodism in Indiana until 1844. The remainder of the volume consists of the official journals for each annual session of the Indiana Conference from 1832 to 1843.

“Glory is a-comin’ soon”: A History of Mormonism in Indiana

Taysom, Martha Peterson
Kokomo, IN: Old Richardville 1998

This short (100 pages) history covers Mormonism’s history from its origins. The Mormons had a significant presence in Indiana until the 19th century exodus to the West. The author then devotes the middle of the book to Mormon stereotypes that were prevalent for decades, inhibiting Mormonism’s growth in Indiana. Finally she brings the story up through the WWII era to the 1980s, when Mormonism was enjoying a resurgence.

Cloister and Community: Life within a Carmelite Monastery

Weaver, Mary Jo
Bloomington: Indiana University 2002

“Cloister and Community is both a history of the Carmelite monastery of Indianapolis and an introduction to the Carmelites, a contemplative order of Roman Catholicism, founded in the 13th century and rededicated as a reform movement for religious women in the 16th century by Teresa of Avila. A key element of the order is that its nuns live an ascetic, cloistered life, but as Mary Jo Weaver demonstrates, the view that one must “leave the world” to find sacred space apart from it has evolved to embrace the notion that the world itself is sacred space.
Weaver focuses on a modern Indianapolis community and describes how the sisters incorporate Carmelite belief and practice into their daily lives. Cloister and Community is a beautifully written and handsomely produced book that offers readers a privileged view of the world of present-day contemplative spirituality. “

Journal of the Life, Travels, and Gospel Labours of William Williams, dec., a Minister of the Society of Friends, Late of White-Water, Indiana

Williams, William
Cincinnati: Lodge, L’Hommedieu and Hammond 1828

This journal of Quaker minister William Williams (1763-1824) was an early Cincinnati publication. Williams was born in North Carolina and settled in Tennessee about 1790. He went on a preaching tour in 1804 in George, South Carolina and North Carolina and settled in Blount County, Ohio in 1808. Finally he settled in White Water Valley, IN in 1814. This volume is valuable as an early record of his spiritual quest, and for its description of the American frontier at the beginning of the 19th century. Indiana history of religion.

For more works on Quakers in the region, see:
Burke, James L. and Bensch,Donald E., “Mount Pleasant and the Early Quakers of Ohio” in Ohio Religious History
Smith, H. E., “The Quakers, Their Migration to the Upper Ohio, Their Customs and Discipline” in Ohio Religious History

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