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from History of Lake County, 1912

History of Millburn Church
(Editor's Note: We have changed the spelling of "Milburn" to "Millburn" in this presentation)

In September, 1841, a Congregational Church was organized in the log school house at Millburn, by the Rev. Flavel Bascom, one of the notable pioneers of the day. The original members of this church were William and Eliza F. B. Abbott, Mark and Harriet Pitman, Robert and Elizabeth Pollock, George and Jane Trotter, Merrill and Lydia Pearson, Samuel M. Dowst, Alexander Kennedy, Mary Thayer, and Abigail Berry. The Rev. Elbridge G. Howe was the first pastor, continuing for two years with interruptions. Rev. Lucius Parker followed him for a year, and then, in July, 1844, the Rev. William B. Dodge, so well known and so influential in the county as "Father Dodge," took charge. After a year of service he was asked to become the permanent pastor. A condition of his acceptance was that a house of worship should be built, and this was at once undertaken. June 1, 1847, the house was dedicated and Mr. Dodge was installed as pastor. He preached to this congregation for eighteen years, commanding them not so much by his pulpit gifts, which were moderate, as by his character and wisdom. "It is said that Father Dodge planted his stake, and from that out in every direction his parish extended. Millburn owes more to him than to any other man. Many years of faithful service in the formative period left an impress which nothing can efface. He was sixty-one years of age when he began this crowning work of his active and useful life. He entered heartily into all reforms as they claimed his attention and support. In his hospitable home many temperance advocates and anti-slavery agents found a welcome. From here started many an oppressed slave on the underground railway for the land of freedom. It is not surprising to find the church under his leadership giving no uncertain sound against slavery, and pledging to abstain from intoxicating liquors, and for many years standing opposed to secret societies. While it is distinctly as a leader in building up the religious sentiment of the community he is remembered, he also used his influence and his sanctified common sense where questions arose, as they necessarily must in a new settlement, demanding wise and judicious handling. Many cases of dispute were brought before him, and settled without recourse to law."

Father Dodge resigned in December, 1862. In the following January the Rev. Calvin Selden came for a pastorate which continued to May, 1864. In September the Rev. Harman Bross succeeded him, and in 1866 the congregation built the present church, which has since been remodeled in 1887 and in 1905. In September, 1867, the Rev. Thomas Lightbody took the pastorate in which he continued three years. He it was who brought about the Lake County Conference of Congregational Churches, which still continues. In June, in rotation, the churches of Ivanhoe, Millburn, Waukegan, Rockefeller and Gray's Lake entertain, one the others, thereby promoting a community of social and religious interest.

On Mr. Lightbody's departure in 1870 followed a period of "supply" for four years. Mr. M. L. Noyes came that summer. Mr. E. B. Payne, son of the pioneer preacher, Rev. Joseph H. Payne. came for another six months, and the Rev. J. H. Parker supplied from 1872 to 1873 and the Rev. W. B. Millard followed for another year. The Rev. Charles M. Bingham became the pastor in 1874, and in a six years' ministry did good work for the church. He was followed by the Rev. James M. Campbell in 1881, the Rev. Victor F. Clark in 1883, the Rev. W. A. Millard in 1887, the Rev. S. G. Arnett in 1891, the Rev. S. A. Harris in 1893, the Rev. George A. Mitchell in 1901, the Rev. F. T. Lee in 1903. To the last succeeded in March, 1905, the present pastor, the Rev. Andrew W. Safford.