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Photo of Prairie Grove Cemetery
The church was built in 1851. It is probably the second oldest building in Fort Wayne. The oldest is the home of Miami Indian chief Jean-Baptiste de Richardville, which was built in the 1820s and is located a couple blocks away.

The little Prairie Grove Cemetery in the Waynedale area of Fort Wayne, Indiana is home to one of the most beautiful old churches in the city. Unlike the old richly decorated brick Catholic and Lutheran churches downtown, this 19th century building is simple in the extreme. The church has been unused and empty since the early 1990′s, when it was last used by a small non-denominational congregation.

PRAIRIE GROVE CEMETERY ASSOCIATION
6312 OLD TRAIL RD
FORT WAYNE, IN 46809-2338
(260) 747-4070

Built in the 1850s on ground that was for many years part of Miami Indian Chief Richardville's estate granted to him by way of the 1818 Treaty at St. Mary's, the land eventually came into the hands of landowner Richard Beck. The church was one of several in Allen County of similar construction, built by the United Brethren in Christ denomination, who, in 1855, purchased this particular one-acre parcel of land from Beck for $1. In keeping with the United Brethren mandate that the construction be simple and the seats free of charge, this one-room structure was home to countless services, where the rafters rang with lively praise and circuit-riding preachers proclaimed the undiluted gospel of God's redemptive love for His creation.

Eventually, in 1913, the Cemetery Association bought the church and land from the United Brethren for $100. And through the years, the Prairie Grove Chapel was the birthplace of several church groups, including Avalon Missionary Church. Many people have fondly commented on their "precious memories" of this beloved edifice.


Added by: SixDogTeam
6/18/2008

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