Latest News from Blue River Friends Church

11th Annual Cross Across the County

April 2022

Blue River Friends Aaron Fordyce and Chris Lindley participated in the 11th annual "Cross Across the County" on Good Friday, April 15, as the cross was carried from First Baptist Church of Salem to Mount Tabor Christian Church. During the 12.1 mile journey, the cross carriers paused at New Hope United Methodist Church and Westview Christian Church along the way for refreshments and restrooms and enjoyed the beautiful spring day, great conversation, and good fellowship. A community Good Friday service was hosted by Mount Tabor at noon. Aaron and Chris admitted they had some aches, but they also were humbled and blessed to participate in this witnessing opportunity to the people of Washington County as well as those who were driving along Highway 60 that day.  

New Pastor at Blue River Friends

March 2022

Blue River Friends Church would like to announce the arrival of their new pastor Chris Lindley and his wife Michelle. He is a graduate of Indiana University and has taught U.S. History and U.S. Government at Paoli Community Schools from 1992 to the present. In 2020 he was selected as the Indiana DAR State American History Teacher of the Year.

Lindley has served as pastor of Newberry Friends Church in Paoli since 1991 and was recorded as a minister of the gospel among Friends in 1999 by Western Yearly Meeting. He has made three foreign mission trips, two to East Africa for the African Friends Pastors Conference and one to Cuba as part of Friends United Meeting’s Living Letters program. In addition to being pastor at Blue River Friends Church, Lindley also is a talented pianist and serves as song leader. 

When asked about his desire to serve as pastor, Lindley said, “Since I first visited Blue River Friends in the late 1980s, I have always had a deep concern for their well-being. Having frequently attended Homecomings and preaching at a few, I always felt welcomed and that the church was like a second home for me.  Michelle and I have spent our ministry caring for rural congregations, and the opportunity to serve and grow with the Quakers at Blue River connects with who we are. Our desire is to build enthusiasm for spiritual growth and outreach among the members and to continue the witness of those dedicated Friends from the past who helped build God’s kingdom. We are overjoyed to be a part of the church and proclaim the love and truth of Jesus in this community.”

Blue River Friends Church invites the community to join them in welcoming Chris and Michelle as he continues the long tradition of leading the Quaker church established in Washington County in 1815. Sunday services begin at 11:00 a.m. with the ringing of the old church bell.  Blue River Friends Church is located at 1931 North Quaker Road east of Salem, Indiana. 

Chris Lindley
812-865-6468
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Blue River Settlement Historic District

February 2022

Thanks for your interest in the Blue River Quaker Church and Community

I would like to pass along to those interested that a small group of residents of the Blue River Settlement Area, Jeremy Elliot from the local John Hay Center along with the Indiana Landmarks-Southern District are working together to establish a Blue River Settlement Historic District.

We had a meeting last summer with representatives of Indiana Landmarks and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and toured several historic homes and sites within the settlement.  

I researched and submitted some initial land use/mapping documents to the representative of the Historic Preservation division of Indiana Dept. Natural Resources and the process is moving forward.

We look forward to continuing to help move the project forward as a tribute to the significant cultural heritage of the early Quaker families that made Blue River their home.

If you would like more information or would like to contribute to the project feel free to contact me. 

Dan Neel
1508 Quaker Road Salem, IN
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Hicksite Meetinghouse Receives National Register Approval

December 2020

The historic Hicksite Meetinghouse recently received approval from the Department of the Interior as being included in the National Register of Historic Places.

John Hinds researched and prepared the application and recently received notification that the Meeting House had meet the criteria.

The official date of acceptance was November 30th, 2020.

An official ceremony is expected during the 2021 Indiana State Fair to receive the State and National Certificates.

Hicksite Fundraising Continues

October 2020

Renovation of the historic Hicksite Meetinghouse, Est. 1815, was the main topic of discussion at the 205th annual memorial meeting held at the church on October 4. After nearly two years of planning and at the recommendation of the Indiana Landmark Association, the original siding was replaced to help preserve the centuries-old building.

The renovation project for the Hicksite Meetinghouse, also known as Old Blue River Friends Church, included replacing the siding and restoring the original windows. New storm windows and doors will also be installed thanks to the generosity of an anonymous  donor.

John Hughes, guest speaker at the annual meeting , commended those who worked to preserve the 200 year-old church for the community.  In his presentation of the history of the Quaker church, he noted that Indiana became the center for Quakers in the U.S. in the 1800s. Their beliefs included the desire for peace, to love your neighbors and to put the needs of others first. 

John Hinds, a birthright  Quaker,  undertook the nomination of the Hicksite Meetinghouse to the National Register of Historic Places in 2018. He reported at this year’s meeting that it has passed the first stage, and final approval of the nomination is expected by the end of the year.  Hinds commented on the importance of the building being added to the list of structures in Washington County that are on the National Register.

Fundraising for the restoration of the Old Blue River Friends Church began at the Hicksite annual meeting in 2019, and efforts continue in raising money to cover the costs. Souvenir boards made from the original siding are available for a $25 donation to the Blue River Friends Church/ Hicksite Restoration Fund.  Contact Myra Wells, Jeff Wells, or Jane Clark. Other donations can be mailed to Todd Ewen, 2660 E. Quaker Rd., Salem, In. 47167.

Purchase a souvenir board from the original siding of the Hicksite meetinghouse.

10th Annual Cross Across the County - Canceled Due to Public Health Crisis

April 2020

The 10th annual Cross Across the County walk will begin at Blue River Friends Church at 6:00 a.m. on Good Friday, April 10, 2020, and make several stops along the approximately 17 mile route. It will end with a Good Friday service hosted by First Baptist Church in Salem, Indiana.

For additional information about the walk contact Steve Gorman at 812-844-1471.

 

9th Annual Cross Across the County

April 2019

Blue River Friends Church hosted the 9th annual Cross Across the County walk that began at 6 a.m. on Good Friday, April 19, 2019. Participants carried a wooden cross along local highways making several stops along the way and ending at Blue River Friends Church with a Good Friday service.