One of the earliest religious organizations in Holt County, was effected in Nodaway Township, in 1840. This was a Missionary Baptist Church, of which the Rev. Ebo Tucker was first pastor. This church, at the period of its original organization, had thirteen male members, beside their families. Among these were John Norvel, who still resides in the township, Willis Brockman, Shelton Arterbury and Thomas Wickham, also Levi Rhule, John Robinson, Lewis Jones, John McFadden and Preston Ham.
The records of this primitive church are lost, and it is impossible to obtain much more extended information of the original membership. The first meetings of this church were in groves in the summer season, and, as the country advanced, in school houses, which the intelligent pioneers lost but little time in erecting, after their arrival in the country.
In 1860, they built a brick church, on land then owned by Francis Nickols, and donated by him for that purpose. This building stands near the south boundary of the southeast quarter of section 8, township 60, range 37, west, on an eighty acre tract, now (1882) owned by Gotleib Meyer. It was originally styled Nickols' Grove Church. At the breaking out of the civil war, the church was not entirely completed. It was, however, occupied and used for religious purposes by the one hundred and fifty-two members, who composed the organization. These members were nearly, if not all, southern sympathizers or rebels, and, as a natural consequence, the church, by the fortune of war, went down.
After the rebellion, a number of emigrants, chiefly Germans from the State of Ohio, settled in the neighborhood, as the original settlers and members of the pioneer church moved away, or had failed to return after the proclamation of peace. The building stands unoccupied and verging upon dilapidation, a monument of the religious enterprise of the past. The congregation, now (1882) reduced to a membership of fifty-seven, meet in a school house in the hamlet of Richville, a mile and a half east and two miles and a half south of the site of the old church. John Norvel is deacon of this organization, which at present is without a regular pastor.
Source: "History of Holt and Atchison County, 1882" transcribed by Karyn Techau, 2016.