Ross County, Ohio Church Histories updated 25 Dec 2012
Alma Methodist Church

Alma UMC interior left side

Alma Methodist Celebrates 125 Years

Reverend Walter Dawson Pastor

The Alma United Methodist Church celebrate its 125th Anniversary on Sunday October 15, 2000.

Friends and loved ones filled the sanctuary for a gospel sing featuring the Praise Group and the Bland Sisters. There were testimonies by former pastors and their wives as well as former Sunday School students. Following the afternoon service, a wonderful, light serving was given along with a special anniversary cake by the ladies of the church. Also, many items were on display. This little white church by the side of the road has been a chapel dedicated to the ministry of Christ in this community for over 125 years. It was first known as the Cove Society of the Protestant Methodist.

Then in 1954, the new high way came through Alma. The building was moved across the highway, U.S. 23, to where it stands today. It was placed on a lot purchased from Leroy and Beatrice Oyer. Mother Oyer is this last of the living charter members and is still the faithful pianist of the church. The building had a full basement, rear annex, front vestibule, and a new ceiling added when it moved to its present location.

The little white chapel has been dedicated these 125 years to the ministry of Christ in this small community. Many have moved away and have come back to renew their Christian heritage that they received from this small Methodist church. Therefore, this sanctuary has become a spiritual landmark, even to all those that pass through Pike county, which to some is almost like heaven.


According to Linda Adams, a descendent of Rev. Bland, the church was started by Rev. Josiah Bland in 1875 and was originally called Bland Chapel

Alma Church right side interior

Current pastor is Keith Richardson

Goshen Run Church Of God

In the year of 1900, a man by the name of Charles Gilkey learned of a preacher named Mahalin Huber who believed in the truth of the Bible, and he sent for her.
Sister Huber held a six week revival in the Schooley Chapel. Afterwards the church began to hold meetings from house to house. Prior to the erection of the first building, the church met in another building about mile from the present site. This building was owned by another church and when the truth began being preached in its fullness, the Church God people were no longer allowed to the use the building. Mrs. Jerry (Annabelle) White opened her home to the church and thus began holding services in her home. Several revivals were held in her home and many were won to the Lord.
The land on which the present church stands was donated by George Speirs in 1914 with the stipulation that it belong to the church so long as the church continued to hold regular services. If no services were held for a period of a year, the land automatically went back to its former owner, namely George Speirs and his heirs. No deed or legal agreement was written to this effect.
In 1915 a one room frame building was erected by men of the community. Jerry White, Riley Moats, Barney Gatten, Boyd White and Braekey Speirs being the main workers. Other workers also helped including Lewis Stevens. This building was used until approximately 1936.
In 1936 a second building was erected and it continued to serve the congregation as the main sanctuary until approximately 1996 when the third building was erected. The second building was then converted to the fellowship hall.
A precise list of names and dates of Pastors is unknown; however the following are known to have pastored the sheep throughout the years: Goldie (Mammy) White , Herman Hollis , Virginia Matney , Darrell Hatfield , Woodrow Wilson , Jay Watts , Brad Lambert , Mark Reese, Jeremy Hatfield .

Goshen Run Church in the 1920's

Goshen Run Church in the 1920's



Richmond Dale United Methodist Church History
Richmon Dale Methodist 1933 Richmon Dale Methodist 1933

1938 Richmondale UMC

1938 picture of Richmond Dale Methodist Church

from Charlie Cottrill collection

Richmondale UMC in July 2010

Richmond Dale United Methodist Church July 2010

photo by Tyrone Hemry

Richmond Dale church inside

Richmond Dale United Methodist Church July 2011

photo by Tyrone Hemry

Richmond Dale UMC inside # 2

Richmond Dale United Methodist Church July 2011

Current pastor is Joe Barker

photo by Tyrone Hemry

History of the Richmon Dale UMC Church Parsonage

On the 4th of September 1812, a parcel of land was recorded as being divided into 49 lots, allowing for a main street 72 feet wide, other streets 66 feet (4 poles) wide, and alleys 16 1/2 feet (1 pole) wide. This parcel of land was to be called the Town of Richmond.

On December 30, 1814, three proprietors of Richmond, (John, Joshua, and Jeremiah Moffett) recorded a new plot map showing 65 lots. Most lots were 82 feet wide and 165 feet long. Plot No. 45 was set aside as required by law, for the public use by a school or church. This would have been located on Jackson Street at the alley connecting Jackson and Main Streets.

On April 9, 1852, John H. Davis sold to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church a parcel of land described as lot no. 1, in the town of Richmond for the sum of $300.00. This lot located at the corner of Main and Water street was recorded in Volume 52, page 423 as being for the purpose of furnishing a residence for the preacher or preachers that might be appointed to the Richmond Circuit of the Methodist Episcopal Church from year to year and during all the time to come. On June 19, 1874 this lot was sold to James H. Heath for the sum of $300.00.

On March 12, 1887 the trustees of the church petitioned the court of common pleas of Ross County for permission to exchange a parcel of property being the parsonage property located at in-lots 58, 59, & 60 (starting at the corner of Market and Jackson and going south), and $100.00, for another parcel of land situated in Richmond Dale. The petition was granted and the transaction was recorded Dec. 14, 1874.

There was an 8-room house located on Main Street that served as the parsonage for many years. In 1962, the quarterly conference authorized the purchase or construction of a new parsonage on the condition the existing parsonage could be sold for at least $6000.00. The best offer received for the house was $5000.00. The parsonage was sold and a new parsonage was purchased located at 88 Lincoln Road in Londonderry. This parsonage was purchased to serve the needs of the Charge, which included Londonderry, Richmond Dale, Mt. Carmel, and Concord Churches. In 1984, the Richmond Dale and Londonderry Churches purchased the interest in the parsonage of Mt. Carmel and Concord as they formed their own Charge.

In 2001, as Londonderry withdrew from the two point Charge, the parsonage was placed on the market to sale with the proceeds split equally between the two churches. During this time, Norma Brohard donated a parcel of ground to the Church for the purpose of providing a parsonage. It is located as part of lot 57, at the corner of Market and Jackson Streets. The parsonage was sold in October with each church receiving $40,108.75. In November, the pastor and his wife were relocated to a temporary parsonage located at 145 Whaley Place, Chillicothe, Ohio. With the new deed being recorded and construction plans and financing pending, a formal groundbreaking ceremony is to be held at the new parsonage site on December 16, 2001.

history provided by Charlie Cottrill


Wilson Run Church of Christ in Christian Union

Soon after Mary Snyder, who lived in a little log house across the road from Clements Lane, between Wilson Run Road and the creek, deeded the property, part of her homestead, to the Churches of Christ in Christian Union September 28, 1907, construction of the first church, a log church, began. Church was hells for two to three years when a fire destroyed all of the church except two outside walls (which remain in the present church). For the next several years, the little church that still sits by the wayside had been quiet and vacant. No organ peals, nor beautiful hymns were hear ringing out thru the valleys of Wilson Run. No happy faces of both young and old were seen entering the little forsaken church by the way and no prayers for the burdened and wondering ere hears breaking into the Heavens.
The second church which remains today was built out of a redwood lumber connected onto the two existing log walls and painted white. Thus, the nickname "The White Church" began.
In December of 1921, it dawned upon anxious minds to reorganize the little church and begin the services that had been silenced. A little group was gathered and with just a few members the church was reorganized.
The story that was written and read at the 1933 Labor Day service by Violet Snyder Christy: The first night's service was announced, but from that little group of members, only three entered the little church that night. These three were brothers, Vause, Lee, and Herald Snyder (Sons of August Snyder-Brother of Mary Snyder). They patiently, anxiously listened for the sound of footsteps of someone finding their way to the little church, but no one came. The church hour rolled around and the service began with only these three brothers. One led the song service, one read the scripture lesson and as the invitation was given, the third brother, who at the time was unsaved, knelt at the alter, In sweet communion the brothers lifted their voices in prayer for a lost community. Thus, with this little humble prayer service the foundation was laid for the little church which remains today. The little church has sent out missionaries, ministers, teachers, and singers into the world to rescue a dying world from sin.
One of the original brothers. D. Harold Snyder became First Elder of the little church and dedicated his life to it. His love, dedication, faithfulness, and determination to keep the little church open was obvious to everyone whom he met, Harold remained First Elder until he left this would to be with his Heavenly Father. Harold's son, Gerald, accepted the mantle of leadership and possesses the same love, faithfulness, and determination to see the church prosper. Gerald faithfully serves the little church as the First Elder at present time (2006)
In the late 50's - early 60's the need to enlarge the church became obvious. Local carpenters, Chester Osborn and Orlando Hatfield built the north side addition that remains today.
The present day shelter was built in the early 50's. Previously , everyone had sat on boards nailed across logs. Post for the shelter were cut from nearby forest and pulled by horses to the present location. The beams and main structure were take from an old railroad bridge, People today all ask the same question, "Why was the shelter house built around a large tree?" No One remembers.
The church's present Sunday School was organized in April of 1922 by the American Sunday School Union with an enrollment of 48 members. The Good Cheer Class in Chillicothe promised their ongoing support to the Sunday School, and to show appreciation of this kindness, the Sunday School was named "Good Cheer" Union Sunday School which remains today.
In 1999, the church realized the need for additional classrooms, a fellowship area, and for the first time it have inside restrooms, Amamas Construction was contacted to build the addition. On September 15, 2002 the church hall the dedication service for the new completed addition. Dr. Dan Tipton. General Superintendent for the Churches of Christ in Christian Union, brought the dedication message, and Rev. Don Spurgeon, South Central Superintended, conducted the act of dedication and led in pastoral prayer during the worship service.
In January of 2005, the members of the little church had a vision to remodel the church sanctuary. The Lord's blessing was certainly upon the project. The Ross Correctional Institution's Community Inmate Work Program (a works program where a drew of inmates do volunteer work in the local community for non-profit organization teaching the inmates a vocation and giving back to the community) was contacted and they were available to do the labor. February of 2005 the project started. A local cabinet maker, William "Bill" Farley was contacted to rebuild the alter and do the finishing jobs.
Today as you enter that same little church, that was started in 1907, sitting beside the road, you will see a lot of changes that have been made over the years, but the vision remains. To spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, the only remedy to rescue a dying world from sin.


Antonias Christian Church started 1911
located on Wilson Run, Ross Co., Ohio

Does any one have any church history on this church that they would like to add?


Zion Baptist Church Chillicothe


"We Have Come This Far By Faith"

God has blessed our congregation for 97 years. When a vision was given in 1912 to Rev. Henry Estis to organize a church in the west end of Chillicothe. No doubt there were those who doubted and may have said why do we need another church. Nevertheless, Rev Estis pressed on and found some people who were vision followers and believed that faith was the evidence of things not seen. By that faith God provided an empty building owned by Mrs. Emaline Johnson on the corner of Mill and Locust Streets.

Folks in the neighborhood could feel that something great was about to happen, so they began to lend their support and did so in tangible ways. Child, they got that building ready and were ready to give up some praise! The Spirit was so high after that first service they then went into a revival. Rev. Estis then consulted with Rev. C. A. Jones, Pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church at Anderson Station Road as to the proper procedures in the establishment of a Baptist Church. Following the advice of Rev. Jones the candidates were baptized through Ebenezer Baptist Church. In June 1912, the newly baptized congregation called a council together and organized the Zion Baptist Church. The Rev Henry Estis was the Pastor. One year later, after a year of progress the old devil reared his ugly head. (anytime God's doing something the devil works hard to stop it) Some disagreement occurred and Rev Estis resigned his pastorate. A year later Zion called as their Pastor the Rev. C. A. Jones. He began his pastorate in 1913. Under Rev. Jones' leadership, the small building at Mill and Locust was remodeled in 1915 and again in 1920. A recreation hall was built, the Loyal Club, Esther Missionary Society and the Senior Choir was organized. Rev. Jones preached the Word of God Sunday after Sunday. Rev. Jones took a church from a beginning with not many people but those who were willing to commit themselves to the task of saving souls for the Kingdom of God. There were many ups and downs but he pressed on toward the mark of the prize of the calling in Christ. Rev. Jones served God and Zion until his death, July 30, 1948.

In October 1948, Rev. Harold M Wingo, son-in-law of the late Rev. Jones, accepted the call of the congregation. Rev. Wingo immediately set up a building fund because there was a need for a new church building. In 1952, the old building at Mill and Locust was torn down to make room for a new edifice. The congregation met for 10 months at 224 Locust Street while the new church was under construction. What great faith of the members to follow the vision of the Pastor, to worship in a garage, to have the faith to start with a $1.00 bill and know the Lord will make a way some how. In 1953 after the basement was completed, the congregation began holding worship services there. Finally, the sanctuary was completed and dedicated June 14, 1953. Under the inspired leadership of Pastor Wingo, many changes and improvements were accomplished. The number of choirs increased and real estate was bought. A parsonage was purchased. Pastor Wingo knew that without a vision the people would perish. Never did Pastor Wingo get satisfied and complacent. He knew that there was a work that needed to be done. He knew he might not be the one to get us to the new vision, but he and the membership of Zion laid the foundation through trusting and believing God is everything you need. Pastor Wingo was a true prophet from God. He walked what he talked and served faithful until God called him home and said, "Come on up a littler higher." In spite of all Pastor Wingo went through, especially health issues in his later years, he always gave the Word of God and would not allow anything to stop him from doing the Will of God. Pastor Wingo actually preached his eulogy the Sunday before he passed. Rev. Wingo went on to be with the Lord the following Saturday, March 1992.

The Rev J Troy Gray became the fourth pastor of Zion Baptist on May 1, 1992. A meeting was called by the church and a unanimous vote was given to elect him as our new shepherd. Under his leadership, the church as prospered spiritually, financially, and educationally. Under his capable leadership a Van Ministry has been instituted, monthly men's and women's fellowship meetings, an usher board, a soup kitchen and clothing bank , a food pantry, and a tape ministry for those unable to attend church. The church facility is also handicap accessible. In 1993, a partnership with the Chillicothe City Schools was formed. The goal of the partnership is to help students become more successful through tutoring. The Hattie Jackson Guild has been re-organized, and the youth program strengthened. In 1995, three young teens were ordained as junior Deacons. The Sunday School and the Vacation Bible School both continue to grow. Plans call for the establishment of an evening Sunday School to better meet the needs of the growing youth membership.

A Pastor's Service Ministry assists the Pastor in attending to the sick, the bereaved and in many other ways. The attendance at mid-week prayer service and Bible Study has increased. A class for new members has been instituted. The church membership is approximately 350, however, the outpouring of the Spirit has pricked men's souls, such that the membership roll grows weekly. Thirty three souls came forward from January 1 to June 16, 1996.

The realization of a dream was celebrated on March 24, 1996 when the Greater Zion Baptist Church was dedicated. The dedication sermon and service was brought by the Rev. F. Todd Gray and the Fifth Street Baptist Church of Richmond, VA. Prior to the Sunday celebration, a three-day Unity Retreat helped to restore and strengthen the current Zion family. The expansion of the old facility totaled 12,000 square feet. The seating capacity of the sanctuary doubled to that of 400. Five new classrooms were added, as well as a pastor's study and conference room. The classroom in the annex (1979 addition) were converted to a mini chapel. The lower level of the addition houses a second kitchen and a fellowship hall that seats 250 people. The total dollar cost of this project was a half-a-million dollars.

God always has a way to bring about what He has ordained. Pastor Gray led the way by sacrificing his salary for the duration of the construction of the new structure. John Hortel, who felt the leading of the Holy Spirit, donated all the plans and architectural drawings. Others and the Church Family, obeying the Spirit, followed suit, and donated the accessories that were needed to furnish the new structure. Some of the accessories included: new lighting fixtures throughout the sanctuary, pews, carpeting, a baby grand piano and a new sound system. Other blessings and manifestations of progress are; the institution of a nine member Deaconess Board that serves during communion and other duties, the establishment of a church newsletter, and the purchase of the property at 262 Locust Street.

A few years ago at about this same time, God gave our Pastor a Vision. We purchased 23 acres of land on Clinton Road. Through these past few years we have been through some tough times, but nevertheless, through God's grace ,we moved into our new sanctuary on June 27, 2004.

Over the past three years, we have had much growth, physically and spiritually. He who is faithful over a few things, God will make ruler over many. We thank God for allowing us to be a part of His plan. Today Zion celebrates 96 years of service to God and to think it all started with a $1.00 bill and a whole lot of faith. We bow this day and give reverence to God and to all that laid the foundation for us to be here today. Indeed, we can say, "We've Come This Far By Faith"


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