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Honey Creek New Providence Friends Church: A Brief History

Honey Creek-New Providence Friends Meeting traces its origin back to 1852 when a small group of Quakers gathered in the Dobbins home to worship together in the first meeting for worship in Hardin County.  The first families came from Yadkin Co. North Carolina.  Among those brave people were William Hobson, a minister, Levi Reece and wife, Joseph Dillon and family, Samuel Dillon and wife.  William Reece and Family, William Dobbins Sr. and wife, Williams Dobbins Jr. and family, James Tulburt and family and James Rawnsley and Family.

After a period of rest with friends in southeast Iowa, the men left their wives and children to forge onward to the Honey Creek area where they hastily erected lean-to shelters for themselves and their horses against coming winter winds.

They cut trees and dragged logs to each cabin site and proceeded to raise small log homes.  By spring of 1852 they were ready to bring their families to their new homes and begin to break the prairies for crops.  A log meeting house and school was constructed in 1854.  In October, 1856, Honey Creek was set off as an independent meeting.

After the two-roomed log building burned in 1859, a frame building was constructed and later enlarged and remodeled until 1916 when the present Honey Creek Meeting house was built.  In 1856 an Indulged Meeting was holding regular services in the home of Dr. Eli Jessup in New Providence.  The year of 1857 saw a Preparative Meeting set up under Honey Creek Monthly Meeting.  In 1858, a frame meeting house was built as a cost of $350.00.  The building was damaged in the 1860 tornado, but was repaired and used until 1869.  From 1869 to 1899 services were held in the brick Academy building. New Providence was set off as a separate meeting in January, 1893, under the pastorate of L. Maria Dean.

In 1899 a meeting house with furnace and gas lights was  built.  It was destroyed by fire December 6, 1906.  Within a week plans were made to rebuild.  Dedication was held October 6, 1907.  Improvements were made in 1922 and 1947.  In 1957 an addition to be used for Sunday School rooms was dedicated at the time of the centennial.

Beginning September 1, 1963, Marvin Hoeksema served as pastor for the two meetings.  In 1967 a proposal was made and approved for a trial merger for three years.  At the end of the period the vote was favorable for a permanent merger.  The search began for a location for a new building.  Several were offered and considered. Ground was broken April 16, 1972 on land offered by Miriam Rash.  The first service in the new building was held June 24, 1973 and the dedication was July 1, 1973.  On October 13, 1974, a special mortgage burning ceremony during the morning service was held.

The Honey Creek Friends Meeting House (the hosting site of local Quaker history and artifacts of early Quaker life and the New Providence area) is maintained by the Honey Creek Church Preservation Group since 1979 for many activities as is now in the National Register of Historic Places (1980).  "Homecoming (2nd Sunday in October)," Thanksgiving Day services and Birthday Party for Baby Jesus (December) are traditional events held at Honey Creek.  The (former) Friendship Apartments are located on the site of the New Providence Meeting House.  

After a study was made by Lloyd McDonald, who had been the pastor since 1972, and the Christian Education Committee, it was decided that due to increased membership and attendance there was a need for more class rooms.  Ground was broken July 29, 1979 for the addition which was dedicated June 1, 1980.  The new wing includes a nursery, a fireside room and six class rooms.   

The Christian Education wing was dedicated June 1, 1980.  The wing includes a nursery, a fireside room and six classrooms.  The wing was used by the Friendship Corner Pre-School until spring 1988.

Honey Creek-New Providence Friends operated under the leadership of a team ministry headed by David Castle for two years.  Gordon and Colleen St. George assumed the pastoral duties of the meeting from 1984 to 1987.

Gene and Lori Maynard served from 1987 until 1991.

C.G. and Gay White moved into the parsonage in 1992, serving until 1998, when Pastor Arlen and Jean Daleske took the challenge of spiritual leadership, with the assistance of Lloyd McDonald as Visitation Pastor.

On August 1, 2010, Pastor Justin and Krista Weber joined the meeting and have taken over the spiritual leadership of Honey Creek New Providence Friends Church.

Honey Creek-New Providence Friends Meeting.  
History of Hardin Co.
Hardin County Historical Society 1982 pg 74.


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