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History

In 1853, the trustees of Old Town Episcopal Methodist church purchased land from Abner Reed (owner of the flax mill) for $75.00 for the purpose of constructing a church building. Bricks for the structure were made on site and the building was completed in 1855 when the Old Town had its beginning.

The church records for the first years are practically non-existent. The earliest mention of Old Town church in Ohio conference books was in 1861, where members numbered 131. Membership in 1871 numbered 188.

Major repair and remodeling was done in 1914 and 1924. The original double entrances were replaced by a single large entrance as it is today. A new platform and altar rail were installed.

A basement was dug in 1950 which caused many anxious moments because of the gravel and limestone under the top soil which insisted on caving in. Finally, the building was shored up and all the dirt removed from the basement and cement walls constructed. Restrooms, a kitchen, and a furnace were added.

1958 saw a parsonage bought and was paid for by 1966.

In 1962, the congregation voted to buy the Swadener home next door to use for an Education Building.

In 1969, the parsonage badly needed improvements so the present one was built after tearing down an old garage.

In 2000, a steeple was erected and dedicated to Herman Swadener, a life-long member.

In 2017, the congregation voted to tear down the old Swadener home next door with the intention of eventually building a fellowship hall/community center.

Over many years Oldtown church has offered and shared the gospel of Christ through good times and bad – wars, disasters, change, prosperity, and joy. We have always resisted the notion that bigger is better. We are of the opinion that serving our Lord in a small rural church is His will for us.

We welcome all visitors and new members. Old Town is a friendly church where everyone knows your name and cares about you. As Christians, whatever comes, we gather together to worship God. May it ever be so.

 

Old Town UMC in 1908

 

1965 Church Group at Ohio Caverns