History of Churches of Recovery and Gibson Townships, Ohio
From: History of Mercer County, Ohio
and Representative Citizens
Edited & Compiled by: Hon. S. S. Scranton
Published by: Biographical Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois 1907


CHURCHES OF RECOVERY AND GIBSON TOWNSHIPS

With the exception of St. Joseph's Catholic Church at St. Joseph in Recovery township, St. Peter's Catholic Church at St. Peter in Recovery township, St. Paul's Catholic Church at Sharpsburg and Bethel Church of the Evangelical Church in the western part of Gibson township, all the churches in the two townships are located at Fort Recovery.

Pisgah Congregational Church at Fort Recovery was organized as a Presbyterian Church in 1851 by I. N. Taylor (founder of Liber College), and his father, Judge Taylor, of Fort Wayne, Indiana. It was reorganized in 1854 as Pisgah Congregational Church, which name it has since retained. The original society consisted of eight members, viz.: David Hays, Catherine Hays, Nancy Collins, Wateman Hastings, Eleanor Hastings, Samuel Briner, Elizabeth Grissom and Betsey Guy. The church has a present membership of 118 and an average Sunday school attendance of 60. The church building was erected in 1883 at a cost of $4,000. The following pastors have served since the reorganization of the church in 1854: Rev. John Brice, from 1854 to 1856; Rev. M. W. Diggs, from 1857 to 1892; Rev. E. L. Brooks, from 1892 to 1899; Rev. John Howell, from 1899 to 1901; Rev. Charles A. Mohr, from 1901 to 1903; Rev. S. E. Snepp, from 1903 to 1905; and Rev, Vernon Emery, the present pastor, who has served since 1905.

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Congregation at Fort Recovery was organized August 8, 1869, by 14 voting members, only one of whom, Philip Augenstein, of Fort Recovery, is still among the living. The first church structure, 30 by 40 feet in dimensions, erected in 1870, finally becoming too small for the growing congregation, the present brick church was erected in 1903 at a cost of $12,000. The parsonage, also a brick building, cost $4,000. Up to about 1895 the services were conducted exclusively in German but now English is used every other Sunday. The congregation at the present time has 68 voting members, 1870 communicants and about 275 souls. The Sunday school, which is conducted in English, has 12o scholars. The following pastors have served Trinity congregation: Revs. H. Kreuter, 1869-71; Carl Benzin, 1871-78; F. W. Franke, 1878-81; A. J. Feeger, 1881-86; George Wolf, 1887-90; A. A. Dapper, 1890-1900; W. F. Benzin, 1900-04; and William Emch, who has served since 1904.

The Fort Recovery Methodist Episcopal Church was established many years ago. The present church building, located on the north side of East Broadway, on a lot that was presented to the trustees of the church by Thomas Roop, was commenced in 1874 and finished in 1875. The church is a brick structure, 36 by 54 feet in dimensions. The building committee was composed of D. J. Roop, Eli Winter, Abraham Rantz, George 'R. McDaniel, J. H. Johnson, D. H. Richardson and J. S. Hoyt. The Methodist Episcopal Church at Erastus and Washington Chapel, both in Washington township, are served by the same pastor as the Fort Recovery church. The following are the names of the pastors from 1879 to the present time: Revs. W. S. Philpot, 1879; D. Carter, 1880; W. A. Robinson, 1881; L. H. Linsey, 1882; J. W. H. Morrison, 1883; Orlando Murlin, 1884; Lemuel Herbert, 1885-86; G. M. Hemphill, 1887-88; E. T. Dailey, 1889-90; Edwin D. Cook, 1891; R. B. Olive, 1892; B. W. Day, 1893-94; J. S. Snodgrass, 1895-96; J. A. Spyker, 1897-98; H. J. Jewett, 1899-1901; M. C. Wisely, 1902-03; J. V. Robinson, 1904; J. H. Smith, 1905; and J. H. Butler, the present pastor, who was appointed in 1906. The present membership of the three churches as reported is 194. The estimated value of the church property at the three places is $4,500, while the parsonage at Fort Recovery is valued at $1,000. There are Sunday schools connected with each church, in which schools there are 35 officers and teachers and 245 scholars of all grades; with an average attendance of 137.

For the past five or six years there have been at Fort Recovery two societies of the Church of Christ, commonly called the Disciples' Church. A division in church matters in the original society resulted in the formation of a second society and at the present time there are two church buildings used by members of this denomination. The church building of the original society was erected and dedicated in 1889. It is a frame structure, 40 by 60 feet in dimensions, and cost $2,800. The first members of the church were: Washington Snyder, Lucretia Snyder, Sanford Warnock, John Eckenrode, Emma Eckenrode, J. C. F. McDaniel, Fannie McDaniel, Elizabeth Hedrick, Ida M. Hedrick, Sarah Hedrick, John Bennett, Martha Bennett, Wila Clark, Emma Clark, Elizabeth Cummins, Manda Hoke, Hattie Abraham and Mr. and Mrs. John Thompson. The church has 43 members at the present time. The Sunday school has an attendance averaging from 40 to 75. The present pastor is Rev. J. A. Persinger. He was preceded by Rev. I. N. Sutton and he by Rev. A. J. Beard. Among the other pastors of this church have been the following: Revs. Joseph Harter, Samuel Armstrong, H. E. Hill, W. W. Harsass, D. W. Campbell, J. M. Smith, J. A. Randall and D. C. Call,

Bethel Church of the Evangelical Association is located in the western part of Gibson township. This class was organized in 1858, when it was known as the Stuber class, the members at that time being the following: George Stuher and family, Leonard Holstein and wife, John Orth and family, Philip Shaffer and family, Jacob Shaffer and family, Christian May and wife, Ludwig Reis and wife and William Christopher and wife. For many years these Christians held their religious services at private homes and later on in the schoolhouse. The present church edifice, which was also the first one, is a frame structure, erected in the year 1872 at a cost of about $1,200, including the ground. At this time the church was given the name of Bethel Church. Frederick Heirs is the only member of the class now living that was a member when the church was built. The preaching at the present time is wholly in English and has been for a great. many years. When the class was first organized, the services were all in German. The church has a present membership of 65 and an average Sunday school attendance of 40. Delphos Mott is superintendent of the Sunday school. The first minister of the church was Rev. George Glouse, who remained two years. His successors and the period of their services were as follows: Revs. Philip Swartz, two years; Edward Evans, two years; C. Uphouse, two years; Charles Shuh, two years; Enos Troyer, two years; Carl Schamo, one year; John Schomber, under whose supervision the church was built, two years; Charles Heim, two years; Frank Dill, one year; L. S. Fisher, three years; Henry Meyers, one year; Samuel Hoffenhert, two years; Elias Hostetter, two years; C. Rainy, two years; S. Rihneol, three years; J. M. Smith, two years; F. L. Snyder, three years; Charles Spangler, one year; P. L. Browns, two years; and John Rees, who is the present pastor.

The Catholic churches of the two townships; whose history will be given in another chapter, are as follows; Church of Mary, Help of Christians, at Fort Recovery; St. Joseph's Church, at St, Joseph, Recovery township; St. Peter's Church, at St. Peter, Recovery township; and St. Paul's Church, at Sharpsburg, Gibson township.

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