Religious life grows
As the villages of Broad Ripple and Wellington grew, so did the religious life.
The first ministers in the area were comparable to circuit judges, traveling from settlement to settlement.
Often these ministers had to be handy with their fists as well as with their Bibles.
For example, in 1836, Reverend James Havens' camp meeting was attended by some of John Burke's canal workmen with the intention of breaking up the organized efforts against sin.
When Reverend Havens objected to their plans, he was challenged to a fight.
However, he administered such a sound thrashing to the ringleader, Mr. Burke, that the workmen retreated with new respect for the preacher and religion.
One of the first churches in the area was Union Church, built in Wellington in 1851 by popular subscription.
Wilson Whitesell and Richard Miller built the frame structure on land donated by Jacob C. Coil, the son of Broad Ripple's founder, Jacob Coil.
Besides the regular congregational meetings, club meetings and socials were also held at the church.
Many of the members of the Union Church were Methodists; however, the first minister, Henry Coe, was a Presbyterian.
Jacob C. Coil and John Burke served as the church's first trustees.
The first Methodist Church building was constructed in 1884, at 6195 Guilford, where the present Methodist church now stands.
The trustees were J. S. Mustard, 0. B. Bateman, William M. Dawson, Dennis Garriety, and J. W. Gates.
In the 1890's, two other churches were added: the Pentecost Church, built in 1898, and the Christian Church, dedicated on April 27, 1899.