In History of the Fire Lands by W. W. Williams 1879, p.293, Richmond twp.,
is a brief description of this church,
"The Church of God was organized by the Rev. William Shafer in about 1835.
Constituent members: Abram Pollinger and wife,
James Shinaberger and wife, Leonard Allaman and wife,
Christian Fetterhoof and wife, Sarah Pollinger and Mrs. Elizabeth Brandt.
Meetings were held in the school house in district number five
until the erection of the "Bethel" in 1860.
This building is located on lot number eighteen in the third section.
It was built by subscription and is open to all religious denominations.
The membership of the church is thirty.
Officers: Abram Pollinger, elder: Joseph Wolf and Lewis Rapp, deacons.
The ministers who have presided over that church are
R.H Bolton, John Senseneg, John L. Jenner, Martin Mowen, D.S. Werner,
Jacob Ankerman, J.S. McKee, George Wilson, W.H. Oliver, and William Burchard."
In the 1873 Atlas for Richmond twp., Huron Co., Ohio, Section 3, Lot 18,
is property owned by M. Beamer.
"Cem" is marked in the northeast corner of this property.
"Church" is marked next to "Cem" in the SW corner of Section 3, Lot 22
which abuts Section 3, Lot 18 to the north.
Section 3, Lot 22 is shown as property owned by J.R. Fink.
The Bethel Church was located on the Tiffin-New Haven road outside Willard, Ohio
(also known as Chicago Junction or Chicago, OH prior to 1937).
Willard, Ohio lies in the NW corner of New Haven twp.,
which is bounded by Richmond twp. to the west.
In the Huron County, Ohio Cemetery Inscriptions book,
there is a map of cemetery locations for Richmond twp., on page 726.
The cemetery, called Richmond twp., or Bethel Cemetery (Section 3)
is shown located just to the west of Willard,
near the intersection of Willoughby Rd. and U.S. Route 224.
The last paragraph of the introduction to this cemetery reads:
The church across the road, known as Bethel,
was built about 1875 and was active for a number of years.
Many people assume the cemetery to be associated with the church,
but it is actually the Richmond twp., cemetery,
the cemetery being considerably older than the church."
(information provided by Ken Shute)
The Union Bethel Church of God is mentioned in the book
"A History of the Ohio Conference of the Churches of God"
(Evangel Press, 1986), p.269 by Dr. G. Richard Kern.
The top photo is from this book.
NOTE: I have been told that The "Union Bethel church of God"
was closed in 1972 and burned down about 1990?
The last pastor before the church was sold was Harold Ferguson.
Is there additional information in newspaper articles
or postcards concerning this church?
Was the church mentioned in any area newspapers when it burned down about 1990?
Are there any existing records for the church at the
Church of God District headquarters in Findlay, Ohio?
If you have any pictures or know anything about this church
or its members, please Email me and I will post it.
Additional Members List
(If any of your ancestors attended this church, please email me!)
Joseph Finley HILLIS & Catharine Josephine(Shrenk) HILLIS
who joined after their marriage in 1861 and their children:
John Ellsworth (El) HILLIS
Martin Andrew (Mart) HILLIS buried in Bethel Church of God Cemetery.
William Delbert (Bert) buried in the Bethel Church of God Cemetery.
Emma Elizabeth HILLIS
Harry Benson HILLIS buried in the Bethel Church of God Cemetery.
Catharine Blanche HILLIS (BEEBE)
Blanche was an organist in the church.