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200 years and counting at historic Dunn's Chapel

Lead Summary
The Highland County Press-
Anchor Baptist Church at Dunn’s Chapel will be recognizing two special anniversaries this month: the bicentennial of the church property acquisition and the 160th anniversary of the church building. It is also the three-year anniversary for the Anchor Baptist congregation.
    Special services will be held Nov. 12-13 at the church, located at 5381 Anderson Road (just off state Route 124) west of Hillsboro.
    Pastor Robert D. Hottle invites everyone to attend the two-day celebration, which will include a special service by Pastor Steve Bankhead of the Winchester Baptist Church. There also will be an evening supper following the services.
    Pastor Hottle provided a history of Dunn’s Chapel, through Elsie Johnson Ayres’ 1971 publication entitled “Hills of Highland.”
    “In the early fall of 1805, John Richardson, Nathaniel Walker, Amos Ratcliff, Thomas Cashatt, John Hammer, Robert McDaniel and George Rains emigrated to the area near Dunn’s Chapel from North Carolina. Evan Chaney came from Pennsylvania and James Marsh from Kentucky about the same time. In 1809, James Marsh donated an acre of land where the present Dunn’s Chapel Church stands.”
    Originally to be used as a Baptist Church, they erected a log meeting house on the ground and, as it was the only church, it became the center of religious interest.
    Dunn’s Chapel continued as a Baptist congregation until 1848, and Methodists continued until 2004. Its current history as an independent Baptist congregation began Aug. 6, 2006 under the preaching of Pastor Hottle. This year marks the 200th year as a location for a church; the 160th anniversary of the building in use; and the third year as Anchor Baptist.
    According to “Hills of Highland,” Dunn’s Chapel has been the scene of many great revivals. In 1884, the Rev. Elijah Knox and Silas Hart held what turned out to be the most successful of them all. It lasted six weeks, day and night, except for Monday, which was set aside “to wash.”
    The Zink schoolhouse, located near the church, was used for the overflow crowd, who came for miles to attend the services. “Knox was a tall, robust man, with enormous hands, who insisted on silence in the church,” Ayres wrote. “When the crowd became too noisy, he took a walk down the aisle and warned the hecklers. If they continued to be troublesome, he literally threw them out.
    “He established a home in the village of Highland and to keep his family in food and clothing, operated a blacksmith shop. Born in 1842, he survived until 1929, when he was 87.
“Helena B. Knox, his wife, born in 1848, died in 1931. They were buried in the cemetery at Highland.”
    According to Ayres, Dunn’s Chapel Cemetery has been the burial ground for nearly 500 people. The earliest legible stone found was that of Tabitha Russell, who died Sept. 28, 1839.
    Veterans of the Civil War buried at Dunn’s Chapel include George C. Boatright, 1838-1911; John A. Fenner, Co. A., 2nd Reg., O.N.G.; Jacob Fenner, 1843-Nov. 4, 1864, of Co. H, 1st Reg., O.V.I.; John Stewart, Co. G, 11th Reg., O.V.C. (who served under Casper Collins); David T. Stratton, 1845-1902, of Co. C. of the 11th Reg., O.V.C.; and N. Woolas, 1832, 1895, of Co. B. 149th Reg., O.V.I.
    During the years before the outbreak of the Civil War, the Zinks, Ayreses, Newells, Herrons, and many more families helped the slaves who were escaping to freedom in Canada. The truly glorious history of Dunn’s Chapel is a great influence even today and reaches far and wide throughout all of Ohio.
    The great spirit and cooperation shown by the pioneer members of the churches on the location of Dunn’s Chapel is still evident today.
    Rural electrification made it possible for the chapel to be lighted by electricity in 1938.
    The Dunn’s Chapel area has had a fascinating history.
    By 2005, Pastor Travis Burke of the Cozaddale Baptist congregation near Goshen arranged with R.D. Hottle to begin praying about an independent Baptist congregation near Hillsboro.
    “Local minister Leo Kuhn mentioned that the Dunn’s Chapel was no longer being used as a church,” Hottle said. “David Stratton, chairman of the Dunn’s Chapel Cemetery Association, encouraged the continued use of the buildings as a church, and so with much prayer and elbow grease, the first services of Anchor Baptist Church at Dunn’s Chapel were held Sunday, Aug. 6, 2006 at 10 a.m.”
    The title of the message was “Anchors Aweigh,” using Acts Chapter 27. Hottle preached, and the church was a mission of the Cozaddale Baptist Temple until Jan. 20, 2008, when Hottle was ordained and the church was made an independent congregation.
    Charter members are: R.D. Hottle and family; Scott Laudermilk and family; Larry Parker and family; and Forrest Olaker and family.
    The church meets at 10 a.m. for Sunday school; 11 a.m. for Sunday worship; 5:30 p.m. Sunday evenings; and 7 p.m. Wednesday prayer.
    Special services will be held Thursday and Friday, Nov. 12 and 13.[[In-content Ad]]

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