THE LOG CHURCH

Among the early settlers in Knox Township were Jacob Monk, Samuel Hoffman and David Ramsayer.  They came from Pennsylvania in the 1820’s.  They were joined in the 1830’s by Jacob Zurbrugg, John Yaggi and others.  Religious services were held in different homes until the late 1830’s when thought was given to building a log church.  Jacob Cronig and Jacob Miller donated land in 1838 for a cemetery and a church.  This land was on what is now Hartley Road.  This land is now owned by Kenneth & Ruth Brunner and Alfred & Pearl Steiger.  Burials were made in the cemetery, but the church site across the road was not used.  Instead a half acre site for a church and cemetery was bought on Buck Road.  This is the site of the present Bethel Church building.  It is not known for sure why the church was built here.  Some suggest “it was more centrally located”.  Others say, “So as to be closer to North Georgetown and less distance for the preacher to travel”.  Whatever the reason, the first log church was built in 1840 on the site of the present church.

Jacob Zurbrugg & Giligian Zurbrugg each sold a fourth acre of land on either side of the quarter section line of section fifteen.  This formed a half acre square 151 x 151.5’.  $8.00 was paid for this site.  The deed for the land was signed Dec.4, 1838 and recorded Mar.2, 1839 (Vol 27, p. 469).  The west half of this plot was used as the site of the log church, the east half as the cemetery.

The size of the log church is unknown.  The entrance door was to the north and a high “wineglass” pulpit was to the south.  There was a “gallery” across the north end with steps going up the west side.  Rev. Peter Herbruck helped design the log church and the same general plan was used for the brick church built twenty years later.

Many settlers from Switzerland moved to Knox Township until it became the “Switzerland of America.” Jacob Zurbrugg brought with him a copper kettle for making Swiss cheese.  By 1844 he had a herd of 20 milk cows and began making a wheel of Swiss cheese a day from May 1st to Dec. 31st.  After the cheese had aged for six months Jacob Zurbrugg took it by the wagon to Pittsburg where he sold it.  He is believed to be the first person in America to make Swiss cheese and at one time there were twenty-one cheese factories in Knox Township.

Families who worshipped in the log church included: Bandys, Barcheys, Zimmermans, Smiths, Clements, Stockers, Kurches, Biers, Limes, Millers, Bierys, and Garmans.  Many walked as much as six miles to church.  Calob Bartchey and his sisters walked from Chambersburg to Bethel Church.

The pastor who served Bethel Church the longest was Rev. Gottlieb Ziegler.  He was a prosperous farmer who lived near Paris, Ohio and was also a Reformed clergyman.  He began as pastor of Bethel Church and the North Georgetown Lutheran Church in 1847 and served Bethel for 22 years.  He might have served longer but “unproven charges were brought against him” and he was suspended by the Reformed Classis. Rev. Ziegler continued as pastor of the Lutheran Church in North Georgetown until his death in 1880.  Bethel was left without a pastor for three years and some of the Reformed people went over to the Lutheran Church.  Rev. Ziegler’s pastorate covered the period from the log church to the first brick church, 1847-1869.

 

THE FIRST BRICK CHURCH

 

The Bethel congregation worshipped in the log building until the late 1850’s, when it was decided to build a new 30’ x 50’ brick church.  The log church was sold to Samuel Biery, who moved it across fields south to his farm.  He wanted it for a building, but, just before he got it where he wanted it, a rope broke and it went over a hill and fell apart.

There was a killing frost in June 1859 and the size of the church was changed to 30’ x 40’.  A common saying was, “the frost froze ten feet off the church”.  This brick church was finished in 1860.  Services were held in the barn then owned by Jacob Zurbrugg and now owned by his great grandson and his wife, Kenneth and Wilhelmina Zeller.  The day the cornerstone was laid, they started the service in Zurbrugg’s barn, stopped the service and went over to lay the cornerstone and then returned to the barn to finish the service.

Leadership in building the brick church was Bradford Miller assisted by William Stroup, John Hoffman, David Ramsayer, Jacob Yaggi, and others.

In 1860 a triangular plot of land to the east was added to the cemetery.  This plot had a north line of 12’, a south line of 88.5’, where it joined the cemetery on the west 151.5’ and the diagonal line of 165’ on the east side.  Jacob and Catherine Zurbrugg sold the addition to the cemetery for $2.00.  The deed for this land was signed Apr. 16. 1860 and recorded June 4,1860. (Vol. 62, p. 84)

When General Morgan raided Columbiana County, July 26, 1863, the morning service was interrupted by a man riding horseback who announced that Morgan was coming.  Most of the members belonged to the home guard and left to protect their property from the raiders.  Only Rev. Ziegler and John Hoffman and his wife remained to finish the service.

The church remained as built until 1888 during the pastorate of Rev. J. B. Zumpe.  That year a new roof was put on the church, and it was painted and a new fence on the south and east sides of the church.  The committee in charge was Lewis Bandy.  Christian Yaggi and T.E. Zurbrugg.  They set the day and a large number from the congregation and some outsiders came and worked.  All the work was done gratis.  Two ministers, Rev. JIBS. Zumpe and Rev. H.P. Borton helped with the work.  Charles Rishaberger put the roof on the tall steeple.  Rev. Borton made the remark that he would never put another roof on this church and he didn’t, Peter Wanderly painted the church.

A new cemetery across the road from the church was bought in 1899.  This one acre plot was bought from T.E. Zurbrugg for $400.  The cemetery committee was Lewis Bandy and J.S. Yaggi.  A congregational meeting in March 1900 elected as Cemetery trustees:  president, Fred Zurbrugg; secretary, George Ramsayer; and, treasurer, Emanuel Yaggi.  The new cemetery was fenced with donated material and labor.  The first person buried in the cemetery was Samuel Waffler Jr.. T.E. Zurbrugg, with the trustees, decided to put the money from the sale of lots on interest and to use this interest to keep the cemetery mowed.

It is not known when the change was made from German to English language for the worship services.  Here is a news item from the Alliance Review dated April 30, 1901 that gives a sample of the German-English then in use.

◊“I thinks dot vox de vourst storm vot vos had mit dis blace fer some dime.  It vox  nearly freese der feeets off mit der peoples.  I hope it will not come some more."
◊"Der Billy Brait of dis blace vox der funniest feller vot ever lived, he goes mit der bare feets in der snow."
◊“Der Zack Keller vox said he would not root mit der ground up til July if it vox not dry off mit der ground purty soon."
◊“I thinks dot feller mit dor Fairmont creamery hadht besser get a hustle mit himself on in der morning."
◊“Dot feller vot carries der mail vox hadht a very bad trip mit der snow on Saturday.”

The next change in the church building was in 1903 when Rev. C. Foster was pastor.  An excavation was made under the building and a furnace installed.  All the labor for this improvement was donated.  A slate roof was put on in 1909 and the church painted.  John Bergman died leaving the church $250, provided $150 was spent on the church and the remaining $100 was used to purchase a bell which was to have his name on it.  The congregation accepted the $150 which was used for the slate roof, but the $100 for the bell was returned to the family “Because the old bell was good enough.” (That bell which was brought by horse and wagon from Pennsylvania survived the fire and is in the belfry of the present church building.)

Some of those now living remember the first brick church.  It was 30’ x 40’ in size with a tall steeple and belfry in the north end.  The congregation faced the pulpit which was to the south.  A balcony was over the entrance door to the north.  There were short pews on both sides of the pulpit.  A reed organ was on the west side.  The primary class met in the balcony, the youth on the east side of the pulpit and the women’s society in the front pews on the west side.

 

THE STUCCOED CHURCH

 

During the pastorate of Rev. J.S. Keppel the church was so crowded that an addition to the church was planned.  In the fall of 1921 subscriptions were taken for a new Sunday School room.  Work began in the spring of 1922 and it was completed and dedicated Dec. 17, 1922.  Bethel then had 175 members.

The 20’ x 30’ addition was built on the west side of the church and a 10’ x 10’ tower vestibule added to the north-west.  The tall steeple and belfry was removed.  The pulpit was changed from the south to the east.  Memorial windows were installed, the basement enlarged and cemented.  The entire building was stuccoed because the bricks from the old and new parts did not match.  Soon a piano replaced the reed organ.

During the pastorate of Rev. James O. Gilbert 1930-35, 132 persons became members of Bethel Church.  The 1931 catechism class numbered 33.  While at Bethel, Rev. Gilbert had 138 baptisms, 94 of which were infants.  On Palm Sunday April 14, 1935, 214 persons took communion.

Back in 1927 while Rev. J.S. Kepple was pastor the Bethel Church was linked in a charge with Zion Church, Maximo.  Most of the pastors then lived in Alliance.  This two church charge was together for 25 years until the pastorate of Rev. James V. Ingram.  Since 1952 Bethel Church has been on its own.

Electric lights were installed in the church in 1929 and a new furnace was installed in 1944.  On Christmas night 1945 the entire building and its contents were destroyed by fire.  The communion service was not lost because it was kept in the home of a member.  Only the bell was salvaged from the ruins.

The pastor, Rev Stanley Hartman, came to Bethel Oct. 28, 1945 and the church burned to the ground only eight weeks after he arrived.

 

UP FROM THE ASHES

 

Immediately after the Bethel Church burned on Dec. 25, 1945, Westville and Reading churches offered the Bethel congregation the use of their buildings. However, it was decided to rent the Mile Branch Grange Hall as it was available on Sunday mornings. Services were held in the Grange Hall for over two years.

Sunday afternoon, Jan. 6, 1946, a congregational meeting was held. Twenty- four persons were nominated and twelve elected to the Planning Committee. Jan 10, 1946, six members of the Planning Committee attended a meeting on church architecture in Cleveland. They met Mr. H. Walter Damon, an architect from Youngstown. A short time later Bethel’s needs and resources were discussed with him. He then prepared and presented to the congregation plans for a new church. These plans were approved and the planning Committee became the Building Committee, Anderson Brothers of Alliance did the masonry work and Lawrence Clark was charged with the work of getting the roof on.

In 1946 over $16,000.00 was raised for the building fund. A farm sale of donated machinery and live stock brought in $3,400.00. Donations from members averaged $250.00 each.

May 18, 1947 the cornerstone was laid. Rev. J. Kenneth Kohler, a former pastor gave the address.

With the Construction of the new church, the need for more parking became apparent. For a consideration of $1.00 Kenneth and Wilhelmina Zeller gave .208 acres west of the church. This 60’ x 151.5’ plot was deeded to the church Apr. 15, 1946 and recorded Jun 4, 1946 (vol. 693, P. 347)

On Aug 7, 1946 the congregation borrowed $20,000.00 from the Alliance First National Bank. Construction continued until the basement was ready to use. The first service in the new building was held in the basement on Feb. 15, 1948. For a time all adult classes were held in the fellowship hall and the Junior Sunday School in the kitchen and the room adjacent to it. The Sunday school conducted a number of money raising projects to pay for finishing the classrooms. During the summer of 1948 the Junior Sunday School rooms were used without plaster or partitions. The classrooms and sanctuary were plastered in December 1948.

About $4,000 was paid on the $20,000.00 debt and a number of members loaned a total of $8,000.00 interest free, to be paid to the bank. Thus, the amount of interest required annually was reduced.

On Nov. 26, 1949 the congregation authorized the Building Committee to finish the church. The Building Committee set Easter, Apr. 9, 1950 as dedication day.

Rev. Hartman was named chairman of the Dedication Committee and other members of the committee were selected by the Sunday school classes.

Members of the Dedication Committee were: Rev. Stanley Hartman, chairman; Lorin Smith, men’s class; Mrs. Lorin Smith, I.F.W. class; Robert Barnett, Progressive class; Richard Denny, Progressive class; Mrs. Franklin Fryfogle, Bethel Builders.

The dedication of Bethel’s new church lasted six days. On Easter, Apr. 9, 1950 the old bell rang out again. Dr. F. W. Schroeder, the President of Eden Seminary preached on “Dedication of Ourselves” at the 10:30 service. At 2:30 Rev. Otto Gerber, President of Southeast Synod preached and dedicated memorials and special gifts of Dr. F. W. Schroeder.

From Monday through Friday pastors of area churches conducted services at 8:15 each evening to complete the dedication. On Monday it was Rev. Thomas Holms, pastor of Homeworth Presbyterian Church. Tuesday it was Rev. Rue Burnell form the Westville Congregational Christian Church. Wednesday it was Rev. Robert Diller form Immanuel Evangelical and Reformed Church in Alliance. Thursday Rev. H. G. Schairbaum pastor of the First Evangelical and Reformed Church in Alliance. Friday at the last of the dedications services Rev. Robert Beck, pastor of the Lakewood Evangelical and Reformed Church, Lakewood, Ohio preached the sermon.

Due to constantly rising costs the original figure of $35,000.00 to $40,000.00 increased to nearly $65,000.00. At the time of the Dedication there was $11,000.00 owed to Alliance First National Bank; $5,000.00 to members and, unpaid bills for labor and material of about $3,350.00.

Rev. Stanley Hartman was chairman of the Building Committee 1946-1949. Mrs. Lorin Smith was chairman Feb. 1949-1950. Robert Barnett was secretary and John Yaggi Jr. the treasurer. Others on the Building Committee were: John Barnett, Fred Schoeni, Lawrence Clark, Ernest Wuthrick Sr., Lester R. Ramsayer, Edward Braid, Frank Stanley, Mrs. Kenneth Hahlen, Mrs. Lorin Smith and Frank Harlan.

 The last notes were paid in 1953. John S. Yaggi, treasurer reported $74,000.00 had been spent on the building and its furnishings.

 

THE NEW PARSONAGE
 

 

During the pastorate of Rev. George C. Wayman a house at 926 S Haines Ave., Alliance was bought for the parsonage of the Bethel-Maximo charge. A new alignment of churches became possible in 1952 and Rev. James V. Ingram became full time pastor of the Bethel Church.

For Bethel to have parsonage in Alliance did not make sense. All telephone calls between the church people and the parsonage were toll calls. The debt on the church building was paid, so the Consistory began thinking about a parsonage near the church.

Kenneth and Wilhelmina Zellers, for a consideration of $1.00 gave the church land west of the parking lot. The 180’ x 151.5’ plot was .626 of an acre. The deed for this land is dated Nov. 16, 1957, recorded Nov. 21, 1957. (Vol.1000, p. 345)

A brick ranch style parsonage was built on this plot. The parsonage has a study, 3 bedrooms, a bath, a living-dining room, a kitchen, a utility room with a half bath, and a double car garage all under one roof.

The cost of the parsonage was $27,000.00 plus many hours of donated labor. On Mar. 17 1958, $18,000.00 was borrowed form First National bank to finance the construction.

The Haines Ave. property was sold May 29, 1958 to Leo & Betty J Grove for $9,500.00. When costs were deducted, the Consistory received $8,816.06 which was used to help pay for the new parsonage.

Rev. Richard Borngen was pastor when the parsonage was finished. He and his family moved into the beautiful new parsonage the spring of 1958.

 

THE SUNDAY SCHOOL ADDITION
 

While Rev. Calvin Klumb was pastor the crowded condition of Sunday School pointed to the need for more Sunday School rooms. The building committee with Wayne Harlan as chairman recommended an addition designed by Kelron Inc. be built on the south side of the church.

Fluharty Lumber Inc. was the general contractor to construct the addition which consisted of four Sunday School rooms and women’s restroom on the main floor and a basement to be finished as extra space was needed. On Jun.21, 1968 Kelron Inc. estimated the cost of finishing the first floor and the basement unfinished at $9.88 per square foot, or $44,000.00 for the project.

On Jan. 28, 1970, $22,50000 was borrowed from the Alliance Federal Savings & Loan Association. This addition was finished while Rev. George R. Corbit was pastor. At the dedication of the Sunday school addition on Mar. 1, 1970 the cost was found to be $49,913.00, which is $4,000.00 less, then the first estimate.

 

ADDITIONAL IMPROVEMENTS

 

On Sep. 21, 1974 a contract was signed to trade the No. 5 Baldwin organ for a new C 630 Baldwin Organ, bench and chimes. The cost of this improvement was $4,425.00

Stained glass window and a faceted glass worship center were dedicated Feb. 13, 1977 by Rev. Rolland C. Smith, a retired pastor who is a member of Bethel congregation.

In 1977, in preparation for the coming of Rev. Roy Howell as pastor, new carpeting was laid in the parsonage living-dining room and bedrooms. During that summer new hymnals were purchased.

In 1978 pew cushions were purchased as well as alter paraments and alter book of worship with its stand. A new roof was put on the church in 1978.

In 1979 an all new foundation planting was set to the front of the church. Extra parking space was obtained by adding parking space to the front of the church and to the west of the cemetery on land owned by Kenneth Zeller. Dale Schoeni donated 100 tons of crushed limestone for this project.

In 1980, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the church, Bethel congregation will spend between $12,000.00 and $15,000.00 on improvements. This will include: replacing the wood and glass panel on the west side of the church with a stone panel and lighted aluminum cross, (This is a memorial to Reuben and Bessie Kocher); All windows will be fitted with aluminum storm windows and all exposed wood will be covered with aluminum siding; all new entrance will duplicate the present entrance; and, new concrete sidewalks will replace those damaged by frost.

The history of Bethel United Church of Christ is not set alone in the past 150 years. Bethel’s history is being written now, and will continue to be written when today’s grandparents are gone and today’s grandchildren are grandparents and holding office in the Bethel Church of the twenty-first century.

 

A FINE COUNTRY CHURCH
 

Reprint from The Christian World, January 13, 1923

 

The Bethel (also known as the East Beech) reformed Church is five or six miles from Alliance, Ohio and with the Reformed Church at Maximo forms a Charge.

It is served by Rev. J.S. Keppel, who has had a useful and happy pastorate here for nine years.  While he resides in Tiffin, the Charge has not received “absent treatment” at his hands.  Most of his pastoral work is done on Saturday and Sunday, as he spends the weekend at one or the other church – always ready to respond to other calls for pastoral help.

This is one of the “paid up on apportionment”  Charges of which East Ohio Classical Treasurer Martin Coy makes his modest boast.  It was fitting that he should be present at Bethel dedication to tell the people to their faces what he brags about behind their backs.  Many of the Maximo congregation were present at the dedication so that Mr. Coy could “point with pride” at the entire Charge.

We are presenting our readers with two pictures (see history for pictures) which show Bethel “before” and “after”.  In the edifice pictured below, the dedication took place Sunday morning, December 17, 1922.

At the Sunday School service a former Bethel girl,  Miss Frances Everhart, now Primary Supervisor of the Alliance, Ohio public schools, expressed her appreciation of what this Sunday School and church had meant to her, and then told the story of “When the Chimes Rang.” Alliance Superintendent of Schools, Mr. B.F. Stanton, followed her in an address, paying his tribute to the service rendered by smaller Sunday Schools to the nation.  He is one of the many school men who believe that the work of the day schools must receive a moral supplementing and undergirding from the church schools.

At the time of the church service, following Mr. Coy’s address, The Christian World editor (Rev. J.H. Geckler) preached the dedicatory sermon.  Preceding these two addresses, Pastor Keppel conducted the formal dedication service.  In connection with it, Mr. J.S. Yaggi, the Sunday School Superintendent and chairman of the building committee, made his report and turned the building over to the congregation, Rev. J. A. Seitz, a former pastor, was prevented by physical indisposition from being present.

Before the first of these two buildings was erected the pioneer congregation was housed in a log church.  The congregation is now a Reformed Church, it was organized as a  union church, Reformed and Lutheran, both however, in a single organization.

Even while it was a union church it always had Reformed pastors.  This is one of the large circiut of churches that Rev. Peter Herbruck served or founded.

The main part of the present building was planned in the winter of 1858, during the pastorate of Rev. Gottlieb Zigler.  It was resolved to build a church 30’ x 50’.  But a killing frost the next June compelled a revision of that plan.  “Ten feet were frozen off the church”, is a saying that comes down from that incident.  The church was completed in the fall of 1860.  In a vault, up in the front gable end of the church were placed papers—including poems by Bradford Miller, Jacob Yaggi, Pauline Clement Borton and others.  This vault will likely be opened this coming summer, its precious contents examined and the story of the present building placed in it for safekeeping.

The church was remodeled and re roofed in the pastorate of Rev Jacob Zumpe in 1888.  In the pastorate of Rev. G.E. Metger, 1900.  Then in 1904, during Rev. Calvin Foster’s pastorate improvements were made, including the installation of a furnace.  In the second year of Rev. J.S. Keppel’s pastorate, the building was again renovated.

The addition made in the present building is a wing 20’ x 30’ and tower containing a spacious vestibule 10’ x 10’. A basement is under the building 50’ x 30’, suitable for social gatherings.  The walls of the present edifice were made uniform in external appearance by the use of stucco.  The entire cost, $4,500, payment does not , however, include the excavation, hauling and framing timber, all of which was donated, besides a little other labor.

We saw enough of Superintendent Yaggi’s school, 226 enrollment, which he has superintended for a quarter of a century, to know that a Sunday School out in the open country may be doing first-class work.,  “All the church in the school and all the school in the church” – That’s the kind this superintendent and pastor Keppel can congratulate themselves on.  On alternate Sundays, when the pastor cannot conduct worship service, the work of the school goes on.

 

HISTORY IN A BOX

 

After the fire destroyed the Bethel church building on Christmas day in 1945, it was decided to open the cornerstone box to see what the church members in 1860 had placed there. When the box was opened it contained only a mass of rotted papers with none of them identifiable. What a disappointment!

But, as the brick walls were taken down a tin box was found in the gable. This box contained papers of historical significance. These papers were yellowed but clearly legible. There was a calendar-almanac in German, a printed contest circular, some old coins and a political handbill. Enclosed also were some " handsomely written” notes on the history of the building construction in 1860.

These notes were written by the workmen who completed the building just before the Civil War as told by the reader “The mason work of the church was performed by Abraham Scott of Lexington, Stark Co., Ohio and Jacob Hilton of Washington, Stark Co., Ohio. The mason work was done for $170 and the carpenter work was done by John C. Wabracht age 31 years. Material was furnished by the carpenters and the work done for $750. Mason and carpenters wages were form $1.25 to $1.50. (per day)

These workmen had a sense of history for they wrote, “Believing as we do that some political intelligence of the present will be of interest to those who in after years may be engaged in destroying this structure which is now being built we herewith deposit newspapers which will be of particular interest to all American people. We sign our names, hoping the “All-Wise” may so direct the people that what is done may be done to the glory of the American nation.”

Contained in that tin box were: Newspapers with headlines “Lincoln for President”. The New York Weekly Tribune, Saturday, Oct. 14, 1857; the Cleveland Weekly Leader, Wednesday, May 28, 1860; the New York Weekly News, Saturday, Jun. 3, 1860; a paper printed in German; and, the Pittsburg Friend of Freedom, Friday, Dec. 10, 1859.

Most of the newspapers were distinctly “anti-slavery’ in sentiment but one Democratic in policy, carried a sarcastic editorial on Abraham Lincoln, questioning his lineage. The Cleveland Weekly Leader carried the entire report of the Republican Convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln for president.

Payne had a run for governor of Ohio and Stark Co. voted strongly for him, but he had been defeated by Chase. A recent tornado had done much damage, and farmers were “making rapid strides after an extremely rainy season.” Indians were attacking wagon trains in the west, and being promised retaliation by the newspapers. In all papers, articles on Negros were given prominent space.

Coins found in the box were: a Canadian half-penny dated 1844; a United States silver one cent piece dated 1858;an 1857 half dime; and an 1846 large penny that was in use in the United States at that time.

A song, entitled “Fremont and Victory” was printed on the contest circular. It had been written by Charles Weyman of New York, winner of the event which was sponsored by the New York Evening Post in 1856.

History in the cornerstone of the present Bethel church building includes most of the newspapers from the old tin box; all coins from the box; the key to the door of the first Bethel church presented by Jacob Christen; a letter from each member of the building committee of the new church; a letter from the architect; a program of the cornerstone service autographed by the participants; a copy of the plans for the new church; and, some current United States Coins.

The cornerstone of the new church is the cornerstone of the old church. There is great symbolism in tying the new building to the heritage and history of Bethel church in previous 177 years. The old stone was cut to size, cleaned and polished and dated 1947 by Graham and Wagner of Alliance as their contribution to the new church.

The cornerstone service of the present Bethel church was laid, May 18, 1947. Those taking part in that service were Rev. J. Kenneth Kohler and Rev. George Wayman, former pastors; Rev. Stanley Hartman, pastor of Bethel; and, Rev. Robert Diller pastor of Immanuel Evangelical & Reformed Church, Alliance, Ohio.

 

A MESSAGE FROM THE PASTOR
 

As written by Rev. Roy B. Howell, Pastor  in 1980

Beloved of Bethel,

As we share in this 150 Anniversary of the forming of this congregation of Christ's Holy Church each of us brings differing thoughts and feelings and differing personal values with us. Yet we, each of us, come with a common heritage; that of being, through Baptism and the presence of the Holy Spirit, those who have one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all. With this common heritage guiding us in expressing a common faith in this place we stand at a unique and special crossroads in the history of Bethel.

It is not enough to glorify the past nor is it enough to “hang one” in the present. We have the opportunity to take all that has been given us from the past and all that is ours in the present to open the tomorrows of life at Bethel. As we reflect on what we inherited might we also consider how we might contribute, in our day, to that inheritance so that Bethel might continue to be a beacon in the darkness to a world needing the message of life, hope, and salvation that it has been empowered to carry.

We have been given much, let us use it well, and give to those who follow all we have been given and all we have added. If we can do that we shall have fulfilled our calling and our ministry in this place and will have been those who are truly part of Christ’s Holy Church.

Be filled, on this special anniversary year, with His grace and blessing, and in the filling, be enriched for ministry and service in the name of our Lord.

  Faithfully,

Pastor Howell

 

   Pastoral Terms         1840's - Present

 

 

REV. PETER HERBRUCK

(He helped to organize and build the log church)

 

 

 

REV. PETER HARRINGTON

 

REV. SAMUEL SEACHRIST

 In the 1840’s

REV. GOTTLIEB ZIEGLER    

1847-1869

No Minister

1869-1872

REV. KNADER

1872-1873

REV. HELBISH

1873-1874

REV. WITENWEALER 

1874-1876

REV. JOHN C. KLAR 

1876-1878

REV. FRANK C. WYTHOFF

1878-1879

Supplied 

1879-1882

REV. CARL SCHMIDT

1882-1886

REV. GEORGE HENNING

1886-1888

REV. J. B. ZUMPE

1899-1890

Supplied by REV. WILLIAM ALBERT GONSER

1890-1892

Supplied by a committee of Classis

1892-1893

REV. GEORGE W. HENNING

1893-1894

Supplied by REV. JOHN J. GRUBER

1894-1895

Supplied by CHARLES M. ROHRBAUGH

1895-1896

REV. G. E. METGAR

1896-1900

REV. AMOS CASSELMAN

1900-1903

REV. CALVIN FORSTER

1903-1904

REV. A. ZIMMERMAN

1905-1906

REV. GEORGE CHENOT

1906-1907

REV JOHN A. SEITZ

1908-1912

Supplied 

1912-1913

REV. J. S. KEPPEL

1913-1930

REV. JAMES O. GILBERT

1930-1935

REV. J. KENNETH KOHLER

1935-1940

REV. GEORGE C. WAYMAN

1940-1945

REV. STANLEY R. HARTMAN

1945-1951

REV. JAMES V. INGRAM

1951-1956

REV. RICHARD E. BORNGEN

1957-1965

REV. CALVIN W. KLUMB

1966-1969

REV. GEORGE R. CORBITT

1969-1975

Supplied by REV. KARL KOEPKE

1975-1976

REV. ROY HOWELL

1977-1982

REV. JEFF SIEMS

1982-1989

Interim REV. DICK WIERWILLE

1990-1991

REV. DAN THIMELL

1991-1993

Interim REV. DAN HARRY

1993-1994

REV SHANE ESTES

1994-2002

REV. DARRELL FILLER (Interim)

2002-2003

REV. JEFF DAVIS

2003-2009

REV. ALECIA SCHROEDEL (Interim)

2009-2012

REV Haan Phelps

2012 -Present

25701 Buck Road, Beloit, OH 44609

E-mail: bethelchurchbeloit@gmail.com

Tel: (330) 525-7330

Copyright © by Bethel United Church of Christ, 2020. All Rights Reserved