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Church of the Brethren, a/k/a Dunkard
Des Moines Township, SW¼ of Section 2

"Jefferson County Republican"
March 3, 1911
Page 8, Column 5

[Note: This is part of an article containing various news items about the township.]

Des Moines Twp.

... The Brethren church is going to have a new minister for the summer, commencing about the 10th of April. ...


"The Fairfield Ledger"
Monday, September 19, 1938
Page 2, Column 4

(A paragraph in the Society and Women's News columns) --

Brethren church near Libertyville, was well attended Thursday evening. The west half of the church was reserved for PEEBLERs by birth or by choice and was filled to capacity. Mike Garber of Des Moines led the singing and gave a very clever demonstration, illustrating the effects of sin or association with evil, and the effective cleansing power of Christian living. An interesting sermon by Rev. Wites followed.

(Note: The church remains active in 1971, L. G. STUFFLEBEAM, Pastor.)


"The Fairfield Daily Ledger"
Monday, October 2, 1939
Page Three, Columns 5-7

Early "Dunkard" group organized in Jefferson County in 1844.

One of the churches established during the early years of Jefferson County was the Libertyville Church of the Brethren, located in Section 2, Des Moines township. The original building was in the same location as the present church.

The original Church of the Brethren grew out of the Pietist movement following the reformation of Luther in the 16th century. A group of eight souls banded together and studied the New Testament scriptures. Finally, in the year 1708, they reached a decision and went to the Eder river near Schwarzenan, Germany. Their leader, Alexander Mack, was baptized by one of the number chosen by lot, whose name has never been revealed. Mack in turn baptized the other seven by Trine Immersion. They considered this the mode taught by Christ and practiced by the apostles and the early church.

A church was soon organized and followed by several others. On account of persecution the first immigration to America was in 1719, to Germantown, Pa. Finally nearly all the church came to America, and spread until members are found in nearly every state, their strength being concentrated in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Indiana.

In 1908 the name was changed from German Baptist Brethren to the Church of the Brethren at a decision made at the Annual Conference in Des Moines, Iowa.

The church today has about 100 missionaries in the work in China, India, and Africa, and also several churches in Sweden and Denmark.

The church was among the early ones of the United States in starting Sunday schools, as they had Sunday Schools before Robert Raiker of England, the reputed originator of Sunday Schools, had one started. They were actively engaged in the work of printing Bibles and religious magazines at an early date.

Only two families of members lived within the county in 1838. They were David PEEBLER and John GARBER. They, with at least two other families, located near Libertyville before 1844. Considering their church relations and growth of prime importance, these pioneers met in 1844 and organized the first Church of the Brethren in Iowa, and the second such church west of the Mississippi River. There were eight members in the original organization.

The church was organized by Eld. George WOLF, of Illinois, and consisted of the following members: Michael PEEBLER, Jr., and wife, Fanny; David PEEBLER and wife; Michael PEEBLER, Sr., and wife Esther; and John GARBER and wife Sarah. Bro. GARBER being a minister, he was placed in charge of the work, and was soon afterwards ordained to the eldership, being the first elder ordained in Iowa. He had charge of the church until his death in 1853.

Among the early settlers who soon joined the organization were Daniel RODABAUGH, Sr., and wife, Michael GLOFELTY, Jesse WEST, and other families of PEEBLERs, RODABAUGHs and ALBAUGHs.

Meetings were held in private houses, schoolhouses or barns, until finally, in 1858, the membership felt numerically and financially strong enough to build a house of worship.

Following the death of Bro. GARBER, the church was led by Bro. Peter LUTZ, and he in turn was followed by Joseph HOLSINGER, D. H. GARBER, Enoch PRATHER, A. B. WALLICK, M. GLOTFELTY, Jackson HARMON, J. H. ESHELMAN, J. H. FILMORE, Benjamin BYERLY, Daniel HOLDER and James GLOTFELTY.

During the year of 1876 the old church house was rebuilt in more substantial form. Since that time the church has been under the care of Daniel ZOOK, Abram WOLF, Joseph GILCHRIST, W. N. GLOTFELTY, Willis RODABAUGH, C. M. BROWER, Harry COLLYER, J. G. PARICK, John PRICE. The latter, with W. N. GLOTFELTY, constitute the active ministerial force of the church, with a number of deacons and two aged ministers. The church has enjoyed a favorable increase in membership over the past few years.

It is thought that a Sunday school was conducted in this neighborhood as early as 1859, and interest fluctuated in this project until 1890 since which time it has steadily increased. It is so strong that only recently the church was again remodelled for Sunday school purposes.

This church has had a successful Sisters' Aid Society for several years, and is making progress in carrying on a prosperous Christian Workers' meeting.

The church in Jefferson County today is presided over by Glenn CARR of Batavia, with services every Sunday. The church is three miles northwest of Libertyville and 4 miles southeast of Batavia.


"The Fairfield Ledger"
Thursday, October 28, 1976
Page 2, Columns 1 and 2

100 Years For Church

Over 100 persons attended the homecoming and centennial celebration of the Libertyville Church of the Brethren on Sunday, Oct. 17.

The church was founded in 1844 and was the second Church of the Brethren organized in Iowa, west of the Mississippi.

The first house of worship was not built until 1854, when the members felt strong enough numerically and financially to construct a satisfactory structure. This structure was to rival the new one at Dry Creek in Linn County for the second Brethren house of worship in Iowa.

The present building was erected in 1876 and then remodeled in 1917 by the addition of a basement under the entire church and a more convenient entryway and cloakroom on the east were added. The pulpit was improved with a small storage area. An entry door to the basement was added at the north end of the church.

Persons attended from Libertyville, Fairfield, Batavia, Ottumwa, Des Moines, Richland, Prairie City, Brighton, Stanwood, Chariton, Grimes, Birmingham, Agency, Selma, and Washington as well as Peru, Ind.

The regular Sunday school hour was followed by a worship service led by the Rev. Larry LITTLE. The Glotfelty Sisters sang at services in the morning and afternoon. They are Mrs. Ralph Carter, Mrs. Clark Yeager and Mrs. Dale Proctor.

A cooperative dinner was served at noon. The afternoon program consisted of numbers by the Fairfield Salvation Singers, Cy and Shirley Winters, Vickie Sue Williams, Darrilyn J. Lisk, Kenneth Kuschel and Laurie Hipp. Laurie is also the pianist.

Letters were read from former pastors, Leland GROVE of Keswick, Wayne and Jane CARR of Silver Lake, Ind., Ed and Agnes DUNCAN of Grand Junction, Colo., Rosella and Charles LUNKLEY of Huntington, Ind., and Charles ALBIN of Holmesville, Neb.

After the church history was read, awards were presented as follows: Benjamin Buckingham, 88, of Prairie City, for being the oldest in attendance; Iris and Ellis Angle of Peru, Ind., for coming the farthest; and Paul Dale Oliver, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Oliver of Fairfield, was the youngest in attendance.

Two bulletin boards displayed pictures of many of the congregation and also former members.

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