The Church on the Square, Medina United Church of Christ,Congregational

The Church on the Square, as the Medina UCC has come to be known, is rooted in the history of our nation. Its heritage reflects the Puritan work ethic that established religious freedom in North America and continues to value the Christian service that makes Medina comparable to the city upon a hill from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.

In the early 1800s, the founding members of this church led their families westward from Connecticut and other Eastern lands to fulfill a calling from God and Country. Settling the Northwest Territory was no small task and the Seven Souls who established The Medina United Church of Christ understood the need for a strong religious tradition for success.

The growing population of Medina County concurred and responded to the need for churches to bring a moral fiber to the territory. Along with Episcopalians, Methodists and Baptists, Medina County prospered during the Second Great Awakening. Farmers and merchants established a culture rooted in religious tolerance, democratic values, the rule of law and a basic respect for fellow man.

Each of these values can still be witnessed within the walls of the United Church of Christ. Through worship, mission work, community action and faith, the congregation continues to be a place the city of Medina can turn to for Christian fellowship.

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Why Worship at Allz

Why Worship at Allz

The Medina United Church of Christ is an "every-place", meaning that it houses many different ideas. The church is on the square, an easy place to see and to get to, because the founders lived close to each other and needed a more centralized place to worship. It remains on the square because it is still used by many citizens of Medina City proper and the surrounding county. Image courtesy of Sacred Landmarks, Text by Ali R. View File Details Page

Stained Glass

Stained Glass

This beautiful type of art used in church windows most always catches the eye of any church-goer walking in. The use of bright elaborate colors, and amazing workmanship is definitely reminds churchgoers of the light promised in following the 5 calls of the church. The Five Calls of Congregationalists explain that Jesus is a personal leader because of his character and his teachings. He is not this church's Christ alone he is the world's Christ. Christians should show their loyalty and devotion to the church and grow stronger in faith through fellowship. And lastly, the church should be a positive factor in higher patriotism everywhere asserting itself in our national life. It is the task of the modern church to bring that influence up to date. In conclusion, these five calls challenge the church and its followers to be better and always improve the church and how it's looked upon. It is a type of guideline to abide by to improve the church. Text courtesy of Aaron Liezert Image courtesy of Medina UCC View File Details Page

The Seven Souls

The Seven Souls

On February 18, 1819 seven souls from Litchfield, Connecticut met to form The United Church of Christ. The names were as follows: Joseph Northrop and Charity his wife, Isaac and Martha Barnes, Nira B Northrop, Giles Barnes, and John R Barnes. They all presented letters of recommendation from their previous churches. They were satisfied with each other and ended in prayer. We could tell how important religion was in the lives of these seven souls, they took on the role to start a church.They said they would all meet again the next day of Sabbath. Then the First Congregational Church of Medina was created. Without these seven souls, there probably never would have been a United Church of Christ. They showed the true leadership of what it takes to start a whole congregation in the small village of Medina. This church would help Medina grow socially and also economically. Image courtesy of Medina County Historical Society and Gloria Brown, text courtesy of Hailey DeFraine View File Details Page

The log cabin

The log cabin

April 10th,1817 was a very unusual day as the pioneers of Medina were busy at work. The Episcopalians and Congregationalists came together for the sake of building the first place of worship in Medina, a log cabin, in just a single day. While other early settlers were preparing the ground, readying the roof, and constructing benches, along with many other tasks, Reverend Roger Searl prepared for his the first service. Services would then take place on every Sabbath day, in the mornings the Episcopalians worshiped, and in the evenings the Congregationalists. The two denominations in this show of religious diversity would share this space for years to come. Image courtesy of The First One Hundred and Fifty Years of St Paul's Episcopal Church and Gloria Brown, text courtesy of Clayton Stumpf View File Details Page

Church Foundations and Oberlin

Church Foundations and Oberlin

From a political aspect, members of the church made a set of rules, later revised in 1881, which discussed requirements such as how prayers should be conducted. Once these foundations were organized, Reverand John Shiperd provided the church with a Christian education. Rev. Shipherd wanted to leave the church to create Oberlin college, for which he would have needed to be released out of service as a pastor. One of the original seven souls, Mr.Northrop, helped vote out Shipherd giving the church access to Oberlin college which turned out to be a great economic decision for the church. Oberlin still has a lasting influence today and continues to provide education for Christians. Since the Oberlin seminary provides pastors, the education has never stopped for those of the church. Text courtesy of Brendon McLellan Image courtesy of Medina UCC View File Details Page

Meeting at the Courthouse

Meeting at the Courthouse

The United Church of Christ became a parish long before it became a church. The parish community had nowhere to meet, so on mornings of the Sabbath, they would take turns meeting at the various parishioner's homes. After Mr. Barnes became the first regular pastor of the Congregational Church in 1827, the group of parishioners began meeting consistently at the Courthouse on the Medina Square, which is modern-day Whitey's Army-Navy Store. Because it was a public place, the congregation did not have the privacy that a church would normally provide. Outsiders would freely come in and interrupt their services. One man, who was a regular at barging into their prayer meetings, would come in and openly advocate infidelity. Another regular would take notes on the sermon, then interrupt to ask for the chapter and verse to prove the statement. Parishioners should always be grateful for the beautiful churches that their predecessors worked so hard to provide for them. Image courtesy of Gloria and David Brown Text courtesy of Erin Winchester View File Details Page

Worship in the Blake Building

Worship in the Blake Building

As interruptions at the court house worship worsened, the need for private space for worship grew. Prominent member of the Church, HG Blake offered the second floor space of his building on the Medina Square as a place of worship. The women of the church, soon began dressing floor with rugs to provide a warm appeal to the then large and cold space. Image courtesy of Medina UCC View File Details Page

Building the Church

Building the Church

In 1827, Mr. Champion, from Rochester, New York owned all of the land in Montville Township, and six acres on the Medina village square. At the same time Rev. Barnes, pastor of the church witnessed an increase in church membership. At the time the services were being held at the court house, the school house and what is now the Phoenix Building where space was limited. These public buildings were only available on the week days, and the non-religious public could also interfere with the services, building a free standing church was a necessity. In 1832, the successful business men and farmers were in agreement. In February of 1833, they took action and at a meeting Mr. Champion offered a plot of land located on East Washington Street. They then began to build a permanent structure for generations to come. Image courtesy of the Medina Historical Society Text courtesy of Anthony Zivcsak View File Details Page

The Ladies' Benevolent Society

The Ladies' Benevolent Society

The first record of The Ladies' Benevolent Society was in 1848, but it is known that the group was started and actively working years before.The women of this group rose above expectations as they worked hard to improve the church and the community. The Ladies' Benevolent Society is maintained by a constitution and a list of laws to outline their actions and behaviors. Amendments have been made to these laws, keeping the needs of the church in mind, but the good deeds of the group did not hold back. These women dedicate their time to charity work for the community, as well as helping maintain and improve the church. In the 1800s, women didn't have large roles in society, but his group paved the way of women as leaders within a community. Image Courtesy of Medina UCC, Text by Casey Ridings View File Details Page

Sabbath School Serves Children and Community

Sabbath School Serves Children and Community

The necessity for education has always been of great importance in the United States, especially in the growing town Medina during the 1800s. The Sabbath School did a lot of good for the town by providing books for people, doing Christian deeds, teaching children about the Scripture, and providing an education for both males and females. The Medina Congregational Church used the school to tie in the community through promoting the school through church services and requiring community members to be involved as teachers or holding other various roles. In the early days of the school, prominent society members, such as Northrop, used their influence over the community to convert the school from small and poor to quickly growing and increasingly wealthy. Even though there had not been a great abundance of money in the town, by using political and social leverage, especially in church, the school steadily raised the necessary funds for improvement. Those improvements helped shape not only the Sabbath School and church, but also brought the community of Medina together. Image courtesy of Medina County Historical Society. Text courtesy of Sarah Waite. View File Details Page

The Young People Society  Of Christian Endeavor

The Young People Society Of Christian Endeavor

The Young People Society was first organized under Reverend Pond. The children played many roles in helping the Church. They met on Sundays to run the evening sermon and they also had meetings to help make the sermons better. The Society also helped raise money and improved their church through various methods like buying a new piano, running socials to raise money, building tables out of crates and old carriages, and also supplying most of the first books ever to be in Medina.The Gowe house, originally located on the Square was Medina's first library that was one of the many contributions made by the Young People's society. Image courtesy of Medina Historical Society and Gloria Brown Text courtesy of Dylan Anderholm View File Details Page

Mission work in Africa 1830 - present day

Mission work in Africa 1830 - present day

During the 1800's in Medina's history the missionary work of the church brought the community together. Women controlled much of the church's missionary work. These ladies met the needs of community members and also people around the world. They raised money over $4000 at one point through contributions by the congregation to send to other parts of the United States such as Georgia and also foreign missions such as Africa by donating money and supplies to areas in need. Founding families in Medina were great contributors to the church. Through these examples of the missionary work in Medina, it is clear to see how beneficial and effective the church is to the community and world. This work continues today through church sponsorship of Innocent, an African boy whose education is paid for by the UCC Sunday School. Image courtesey of Medina UCC Text by Kaden Nieves View File Details Page

The Ladies Benevolent Society and Quilting

The Ladies Benevolent Society and Quilting

The Ladies' Benevolent Society worked tirelessly to give the poor what they needed. The ladies had always sent barrels of warm clothing to the Bethel in Cleveland or to some charity bureau in New York City keeping in mind their own Medina Congregational Church's needs. It was important to them because they knew they were helping out the community while giving the church a good reputation. One perfect example of this is when the ladies sent out two quilts in 1848 and a cradle quilt to a needy family in town whose home had been destroyed in a fire. This was the first of many deeds of charity along the same line.The Ladies' Benevolent Society's warm and giving spirits made the church feel like a warm welcoming place. Since the beloved Rev. and Mrs.Brown left the town in 1854, the Ladies' Society stitched together a quilt for Rev. and Mrs. Brown. It was sent to them in remembrance of their work here at the church. This "album quilt" contained scripture versus and warm wishes worked in with all of their names. Mr. Brown sent a kind letter back to the ladies thanking them for his new quilt. Today, the letter had been kept in the Old Secretary's Book. It is the only piece of composition that the Medina Congregational Church has of this much loved Pastor. Image courtesy of Medina UCC Text courtesy of Lia French View File Details Page

Bell towers and hammers.

Bell towers and hammers.

The ringing of the bell was what brought together the community, it was a Church community after all.The ringing bell would tell everyone to get to the church right away. It taught them to come together and be a community, and when the clapper was removed in 1840, they tried to ring it with a hammer and cracked it. The fact that they were desperate enough to use a hammer is proof that they needed the church. Image courtesy of Medina UCC Text by Wesley Makse View File Details Page

Issues of Slavery Split the Church

Issues of Slavery Split the Church

By the 1840's, the new church being built later became known as the "Brick Church." Among people in the church, H.G. Blake attended and served the community as US House of Representative. As sectionalist feelings grew between the North and South over slavery and different economic systems, the church also experienced a division. There was a difference of opinion on questions of public policy but these smaller controversies were later overshadowed by anti-slavery agitation. In 1851, about 1/3 of the church membership withdrew from the congregation and formed the "Free Church of Medina." After the outbreak of the Civil war, the "Free Church" closed and nearly all members reunited with the Congregationalists in the Brick Church. Image courtesy of Library of Congress Text courtesy of Austin Schweppe View File Details Page

The Time Capsule Found in Cornerstone

The Time Capsule Found in Cornerstone

What would it be like to travel back in time, to a time where Church was essentialz Back to when eggs were only 20 cents a dozenz That is exactly what the people of the Medina United Church of Christ, Congregational experienced when they uncovered a time capsule from 1903. Close by to the Meridian Stone, Reverend J. W. Baker discovered a time capsule revealing early 20th century newspapers, scrolls, hymnals, and many other belongings of the church. Reading all of the contents of the box truly unveiled the lifestyle of people in the early 1900s. In 1973, the 1903 cornerstone replaced and Mr. Baker placed a time capsule from 1973 in the opposite corner. This spurred many more renovations to the church, and this began a more modern setting. The church has withstood many years of existence because of the great remodeling. Opening the time capsule, revealed much more about the church and how it affected the people of the early 1900s. Image courtesy of Medina UCC Text courtesy of Payton Lower View File Details Page

The Parsonage

The Parsonage

The pastor inside and outside of the church is the most important and influential person for the congregation. This is why the church often had a home for the pastor in close proximity to the church. The pastor needed to live so close to the house so that if anything ever happened within the community or the church itself, he could be right there with easy access to the church and everything within. Chosen by the congregation, the pastor represents the republican vision of the Congregationalists. This head of the church provides necessary insight into scripture, vision for the future and support for the congregationalists in good time and in bad. With the help of the pastor, members of the church can grow closer to God. The pastor of the church has always been cared for lovingly for this and many more reasons. Image courtesy of Medina UCC, Text courtesy Tanner Winters View File Details Page

Rev. Chauncey Pond

Rev. Chauncey Pond

After the Civil War, townspeople witnessed a new dawn, a new era, a new way to live their lives. This was due to the spiritual growth and prosperity. When Rev. C. N. Pond looked out through his glasses, ideas were inspired. Rev. C. N. Pond was adaptable and aggressive, and soon had the people interested in renovating and updating the the building. Rev. C. N. Pond directed the Trustees of Medina to spend six hundred dollars in repairs, but prominent men of the community commissioned three thousand dollars for updates. The pulpit was moved to the north end of the sanctuary and the seats turned to face it and the choir balcony was built over the south hall doors. These changes to the Church of Medina were very necessary. Rev. C. N. Pond was able to make the people of Medina feel more comfortable and welcoming. These were very important priorities in the period after Civil War. Rev. C. N. Pond was able to get more and more people to go to church with such little words as mentioning to townspeople, "It would do you good to come". Image courtesy of Medina UCC Text courtesy of Nicholas Steiner/Anthony LoPresti View File Details Page

Music to the Medina UCC

Music to the Medina UCC

Music in many churches is the second most important figure in the building. The only figure that is more prominent would be the pastor. When you hear the word church you either imagine an elderly man preaching or the choir singing their hearts out with an organ playing in the background. Church music helps people understand the religion. Even with the cost, an organ can bring much more to worship than any singer can. During the settling of Medina, the fate of music was uncertain and the congregation invested in one of the most beautiful organs in the region. Without music Medina's church would be a pale figure of what it could be, filled with long sermons and boring lectures to some and much more lifeless to all. Image courtesy of Medina UCC Text by Michael Pescatrice View File Details Page

The Church Organ

The Church Organ

By the turn of the century, the organ in the Medina Congregational Church was a very unsatisfactory instrument due to its wheeziness and squeakiness.Miss Amelia Damon was the organist, and she managed to produce wonderful music with the organ with her knowledge of which keys were good and those which were not. People began noticing that there was a need for a replacement for the organ, and they began holding socials to raise money to purchase a new one.The church sponsored box socials, egg socials, mush and mum socials and Valentine parties to raise money for the organ renovation. At the turn of the century, music becomes a symbol of culture. The organ was vital, because it brought the church people together in one big effort to raise money for a worthy cause. One social gathering of importance was the Ice Cream Social, and Harry Bostwick and another young man had the responsibility of gathering eggs, milk, and cream for this particular social. A woman of the church, known to reluctantly contribute money to the church, said that she was so sorry that all she had to offer were chickens. Just as the two young men thought that she had nothing of their interest, a well-kept hen appeared around the corner. They quickly gave chase and rounded up the hen and sold it at the market. They used the money to pay for the sugar for the ice cream. This particular lot of ice cream was complimented by many guests, and a few of them even asked how to make it. Image courtesy of Medina UCC Text Courtesy of Lee G. View File Details Page

Temperance

Temperance

During the mid-1800's in Medina, the subject of temperance became a leading concern with the Medina Congregational Church and it's flock. One of the members of the congregation, Mrs. Hamilton, at Hamilton's Corners, refused to have any alcohol of any kind at the raising of their new house. Some of the few pro-temperance men of Medina rallied to support her and her decision, and enough of them rallied that the house went up without any alcohol served to the builders. Mr. A.I. Root himself led and funded the church temperance movement himself, and worked to make Medina an alcohol free society. Image courtesy of Medina County Historical Society and Gloria Brown Text by: Tyler Huffman View File Details Page

Christian Education

Christian Education

In 1837 the "Old Brick Church" was finally completed. However it was not till 1957 when the Christian Education Building was constructed. At this time, Reverend Truman D. Whitaker was called by Congregation to be the pastor. Within his first year the basement underwent a complete remolding. A chapel was created in the Southeast corner of the basement, and the remainder of the basement was converted into additional classrooms for the Sunday School. It is important for this Sunday School to be present for kids because it draws in adults to bring their children to church every Sunday. Many parents want their child to have an education and background on God and this gives adults a reason to go to church as well. The Sunday School is still present to this day, and many children attend class every Sunday. Image courtesy of Medina UCC Text Courtesy of Lindsay Smith View File Details Page

Rebuild, Restore, Reaffirm.

Rebuild, Restore, Reaffirm.

The Medina United Congregational Church has been at the corner of the square since 1837 and stands more like a monument to Medina's History. In 1973, because the building was deteriorating from age, the church had to choose between staying and finding a new location. Having been there for well over a hundred years, the Congregation felt it necessary to keep the building in it's current location. They began to rebuild the building so the church could remain. Thanks to their decision, we can still see the church of the old Medina that still remains. Image courtesy of Medina UCC. Text courtesy of Andrew Laub. View File Details Page

Restored.

Restored.

With the United Congregational Church deteriorating the members came together and came up with an idea to save it. They would meet in the Junior High School auditorium and plan the restoration. With plans of construction on the way more and more people attended the meetings so they could help rebuild the church. As the church staff labored through remaking the church, they restored many features that were there before the plans and labored through the vineyards, and plaster dust while doing so. Now more people have started going than they have ever seen before, all because people came together and grew a connection to the church years ago. Image courtesy of Medina UCC. Text courtesy of Andrew Laub. View File Details Page

The Organ Project

The Organ Project

Betty Lynham, Elaine Brent, Schantz and Carl Emerson are all apart of The Organ Project. When Betty noticed something wrong with the organ, she and Elaine organized the organ committee. Schantz is the man who evaluated and rebuilt the organ. He owns the organ company in Orrville. There was a leaky roof that caused deterioration of the organs pipes. They installed steel pans when the roof was repaired, to catch any water that would come in. It would be $200-250,000 to repair the organ but Schantz said he would rebuild an exact replica for the same price but they did not have him build the new organ. Instead they had Carl Emerson build the organ because it was less expensive. Many volunteers helped with removing the old organ, and it took months to build the new one that still stands today. Image courtesy of Medina UCC Text by: Marissa Loveday View File Details Page

Another Historic House Razed

Another Historic House Razed

A parsonage house is a house next to the church where the pastor lives. It is just almost as important as the church itself. The United Church of Christ, one of Medina's first churches, actually had a parsonage house right next to the church. The 93 year old parsonage house was originally built as a parish, making the century old home a religious icon, as well as a historical icon in Medina. Therefore, it's not surprising that the city turned down the plans for demolition. However, all other options to save the home were too expensive and the owner was forced to tear the house down, even though many of Medina's citizens wanted to save this piece of Medina's great history. All in all, the 93 year old parsonage house became another victim to change and growth to modern day Medina. The loss of the parsonage house was not only a huge loss to Medina's community, it was also a great loss the United Church of Christ, and all of its members. Image courtesy of Medina UCC, Text Austin Peak and Eric Rapenchuk View File Details Page

170th Anniversary of United Church of Christ

170th Anniversary of United Church of Christ

September 12th marked the 170th anniversary of the United Church of Christ, it was celebrated with their annual church picnic held at Camp Paradise. The outdoor service is followed by a buffet, this picnic gives the church a good time to find out what has been going on over the summer and it's a time to plan for the fall. The picnic is organized by Reverend Don Nichols and Reverend William Schorman. There was approximately 150 people that attended the outdoor service. The Church and its members have continued to be active in the daily life of the community. Text courtesy of Austin Renaud Image courtesy of Usher Photography View File Details Page

Audio

Rev. Pond remember Grandma Hopkins Jingle about the Church

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Reverend Nichols 90th Anniversary Excercises

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Cite this Page:

Medina High School Local and American History Students 2012-2013, “The Church on the Square, Medina United Church of Christ,Congregational,” Discover Medina, accessed April 29, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/80.
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