The church has an early pioneer-like history. It was in the fall of 1896 that a young man named Ed Bailey trudged down County Line Road looking for work and distributing literature from the Gospel Trumpet Company of Anderson, Indiana. The company’s message was a passionate one of calling people out of their denominations and divisions to holiness and unity in the Body of Christ. Ed met two farmers in the woods along the road, brothers David and Eli Gerig, who hired him to help cut wood and do chores.
Ed spoke passionately about the need to genuinely follow God. He soon sent for an evangelist and arranged a revival meeting in the Brush College School on the Garman Road. Evangelist C. E. Orr from Federalsburg, Maryland preached in the schoolhouse a few nights and there were several conversions. Meetings continued for two more weeks before the trustee of the school closed the door to any further preaching. Services were then moved to the Amstutz Schoolhouse two miles east, where Charles Orr continued his powerful message.
In the summer of 1897, the meetings were moved to a wooded grove just east of Brush College School, which belonged to one of the new converts, Alex Warner. This was a brush arbor meeting where branches were laid across erected poles to provide a roof. People sat on boards laid across logs. John Freehafer, a man described as “full of the joy of the Lord and wisdom of God,” traveled by buggy from his home in Huntington to teach and instruct new converts. Soon Eli Gerig, who lived just west of the present church buildings, opened his home for services conducted by Brother Freehafer. The group held Sunday services and midweek prayer meetings in the large parlor of the Gerig home. At the time, the community often referred to the congregation as the “Saints’ Church.” In 1903, a meeting house was built on the current site with lumber cut from the property.
Today, County Line Church continues the vision of Ed Bailey and the Gerig family back in 1897. One has to wonder if they ever dreamed County Line would be a church of over 2,000 people, witnessing hundreds of salvations and baptisms each year. Could they have imagined how County Line is being used by God to impact our surrounding communities, help people in need, restore marriages, equip families, and support God’s work in other parts of the world?
Ephesians 3:20-21 says,
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than
all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work
within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ
Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Undoubtedly, what is happening at County Line, over 100 years later, is beyond what Ed Bailey and the Gerig’s could have asked or imagined. God is so good!
From the example of a modest farmhand named Ed Bailey, to whom God gave a vision to reach people for Christ, County Line Church remains committed to the vision of a humble body of believers earnestly committed to
County Line Church of God is a nondenominational group of Christian believers located on the Allen-DeKalb County Line Road at the intersection of County Road 29. The church is an independent body, but is voluntarily associated with the Church of God Reformation Movement with headquarters in Anderson, IN. Throughout its history, the church has emphasized open fellowship to all who are followers of Christ and has practiced no formal procedures for membership.