The Old Clifty Church is one of the earliest
places of worship in Greene County. It is approximately 130 years old.
The church is located twelve miles southeast of Bloomfield, on County Road
225 South just off State Road 45 about two and one-half miles south of
The origin of
the Old Clifty Church began when Daniel Dobson deeded one acre of land to be
used for a church in 1858. The church was built using yellow poplar
logs, which were cut from the surrounding hillsides. The logs were
then dragged to the church where they were erected on the site.
Building began before the Civil War but the church was not completed until
1867 after the men had returned from the war. The trustees then
started a Protestant Methodist Church.
In 1897 a basket
dinner was held. Those that attended the event then voted to have an
annual basket dinner on the second Sunday of August. Church services
were held once a month.
In 1909, the
trustees called another meeting to organize the repair of the church.
They presented the contract to Squire Holman. He then installed a new
galvanized roof, replaced the floor with new lumber, and hand-built the oak
seats, which are still in use today.
repairs to the church were completed, interest and attendance increased.
When night services were held, women and children would carry their hymnals
and lanterns from their homes to the church.
In 1915, the
United Brethren Church held services in the building. Many diverse
groups have used the church in the past. No denomination has ever been
denied the right to worship in it.
In 1942, some
zealots moved in and wanted to sell the church to an eastern promoter who
hoped to ship it to his New York amusement park. A newly-formed Clifty
Church Memorial Association quickly stepped in and purchased the Wesleyan
Methodist Church for $125. More repairs were then made to the
building. New windows, doors, foundation, roof, gables, and chimney
were installed. Chinking were also replaced.
In 1964, the
Clifty School ground was purchased by the Memorial Association and made into
a parking lot. A well was drilled and a new red iron hand pump was
installed in 1965. Through the years many changes and additions have
been made to the Clifty Church. People have donated time and money to
make beautiful and useful the one acre of land given by Daniel Dobson.
From the Bedford stone quarries, men have brought stones to create and
amphitheater of seats. Because of the huge gatherings at the annual
homecoming dinners, the men created a table of slab and block stone
one-and-one-half times as long as the church itself.