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Harrison  Township, Pickaway County, OH

Church History & Records


The first church in Harrison township was organized in 1814 by Rev. William Jones, a Presbyterian minister, who conducted the first services about 1812. Mr. Jones left a few years later and the organization dwindled and finally died out.

South Bloomfield M. E. Church.--Soon after 1833 Methodist meetings were. held at the house of Daniel Millar at South Bloomfield by traveling preachers. At the time of the organization of the church, about 1835, there were some to members living here. The first circuit preachers were Revs. Hamilton and Poe, who were followed by Revs. White and Stephenson. The circuit, which was known as the Pickaway Circuit, was later styled as the Franklinton Circuit. The church is now in the South Bloomfield Circuit. The first church edifice, one of brick, was built in 1837, at a cost of $1,500, on lots given for the purpose by William Renick. As this structure finally proved too small and inconvenient, it was replaced with a brick building, erected in 1877, the funds for which were raised by subscription. This building is valued at $2,500. A parsonage was built in 1905 at a cost of $1,500. The present membership of the church is about l00. Rev. W. A. Whitman is pastor. Mrs. C. M. Gusman is superintendent of the Sunday-school, which has a membership of about t00.

Asbury Chapel, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was organized in a log schoolhouse, located about a mile north of the present location of the chapel, in the eastern part of Harrison township. about 1835. Class meetings prior to this date had been held at private houses. Stephen Simmons, who was the first class leader, was mainly instrumental in the organization of the society. Revs. Jacob Young and John Lewis were the first preachers. Meetings were held in the schoolhouse until 1851, when a frame structure was erected, which was dedicated to Asbury Chapel in 1852. The land was given by Enos Cutler. A commodious and neat brick church was built on the same lot in the south part of section 25, in 1875, at a cost of about $3,000, and was dedicated in the spring of 1876. When built, the church was under the ministration of Rev. H. B. Westervelt. Asbury Chapel is in the South Bloomfield Circuit; the present pastor is Rev. W. A. Whitman, of South Bloomfield. The membership is about 50. The Sunday-school, of which Timothy Pierce is superintendent, also has a membership of about 50.

The Ashville M. E. Church was organized some 15 or 20 years ago. The present frame church structure was erected in 1890 at a cost of about $4,000. The parsonage, a two-story frame structure, is valued at $2,500. The church has a membership of about 200. The first pastor was Rev. A. F. Hixson, who was followed by Revs. L. H. Binkley, Frank Gillilan, B. F. Jackson, C. M. Prior, F. M. Evans, F. R. Crooks, and C. E. Hill, the present incumbent, who succeeded Mr. Crooks in September, 1906. The Sunday-school, of which Prof. Stanley Lawrence is superintendent, has a membership of about too. The Ashville Circuit, of which the Ashville church is an appointment, has two other appointments, both in Walnut township, namely : Hedges Chapel and East Union M. E. Church.

Ashville U. B. Church.--A church of the United Brethren in Christ was organized in the eastern part of Harrison township about 1840. Meetings were at first held in a school-house until a church edifice was erected on section 6, soon after 1850. One of the first preachers was Rev. William Davis, as was Bishop Edwards also. Upon its organization, the church was named Rehoboth U. B. Church, which name it bore until the church was re-moved to Ashville soon after the formation of the town, when the name was changed to Ashville U. B. Church. The church edifice of the society now standing in Ashville was originally built on the old site in section 6; upon being removed to its present site, it was rebuilt. It cost about $2,000. A neat parsonage adjoins the church. The pastors since 1875 have been the following: Revs. Joseph Hoffhines, William Fisher, Daniel Bonebrake, Joseph W. Davis (during whose pastorate the change in the location of the church was made), A. L. Moore, F. Reibel, William Brown, Emanuel Hoffman, Perry L. Hinton, Andrew J. Wagner, Kurtz, Davis, R. A. Hitt, Juspan and W. E. Rowe, the present incumbent. The Ashville Circuit includes, in addition to the Ashville church, two other classes--Scioto Chapel; in Scioto township, and Mount Hermon U. B. Church in Walnut township. The Ashville church has a present membership of 125. The Sunday-school, which is under the superintendence of W. W. Kraft, has an average attendance of about 90.

The Ashville Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized by Rev. D. E. Snapp in 1887, in which year the church edifice on Long street was erected at a cost of $2,500. Besides theaudience room, there is a lecture room on the south and a pastor's study in the rear, added about 1895. For a year or two before the church was built, the Lutherans of Ashville and vicinity had held meetings in a hall, which resulted in the formation of the church society. The pastors of the church since Rev. D. E. Snapp have been : Revs. Kuhns, McCreery and J. J. S. Rumbarger. Since the last named, who is now located near Zanesville, completed his pastorate, the church has been without a settled pastor. Rev. J. M. Wenrich, of Stoutsville, has supplied the pulpit for the past three years; A. J. Holl, a student in the seminary at Chicago, filled the pulpit in the summer of 1906. The church has 65 confirmed members. The Sunday-school, of which G. A. Hook is superintendent, has an enrollment of 90 and an average attendance of 45. The parsonage property is worth about $1,800. The church belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran District Synod of Ohio.