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Sylvania First United Methodist Church (Sylvania, Ohio) - MS 1137 mf
The records from Sylvania First United Methodist Church, Sylvania, Ohio were transferred to the Center for Archival Collections for microfilming in January 2010 with the cooperation of Tedd Long, Church Historian.
The first officially recorded business meeting of what is now the First United Methodist Church of Sylvania occurred on November 18, 1836. However, legend has it that Reverend Elnathan Carrington Gavitt, a well-known circuit rider, preached the first Methodist sermon here in a sawmill owned by General David White, prior to the first officially recorded church meeting in 1836.
The first Methodist meeting house was built in Sylvania in about 1842 on Summit Street, somewhere south of Erie Street. In April of 1842, at the quarterly conference, a committee was appointed to buy a parsonage. On February 17, 1844, a house and lot were bought for $150.
On January 9, 1859, three men were chosen to explore the possibility of building a new meeting house in Sylvania to replace the small building the congregation had used since 1842. On December 20, 1862, the trustees were authorized to sell the church property for $100 and in 1863, a new church was built on Main Street on the site now occupied by the Reeb Funeral Home. The main part of the old building was saved and became the upright portion of the house that currently sits at 5759 Summit Street. The new church cost about $2,000 to build and was dedicated on march 11, 1864. By 1888, it was reported free of debt.
Our church continued to grow as Sylvania achieved village status in 1867 and became a city in 1961. On November 11, 1962, we celebrated 100 years in our beloved church on Main Street. Our present 7.2 acre church site on Erie Street was purchased for $57,000 in 1962. On Palm Sunday 1964, a pilgrimage went from our old church on Main Street to plant a cross and dedicate the site where our current church now stands. Ground was broken on March 1, 1968.
Final worship service in the Main Street church was held on September 21, 1969 and on September 28, 1969, we consecrated Phase I of our current church. Phase I housed our fellowship hall, classrooms, chapel, lounge, kitchen, library and offices. On September 25, 1977, we consecrated our beautiful sanctuary and dedicated our Schantz Pipe Organ on October 2, 1977. The mortgage of $277,000 for Phase I was burned in a special Sunday morning celebration service held on February 22, 1987 with Reverend Vance Summers, Jr. Superintendent of District presiding. On May 21, 1989, we dedicated our sanctuary and celebrated that our lovely stone church was debt free.
In the fall of 2001, we undertook a significant remodeling and renovation program we called "Master Plan." The administrative office area, sanctuary, and entrance hall were remodeled and a choir room addition was completed in the spring of 2002.
Throughout our more than 170-year history, our church has always been a steadfast resource for our community. We have always been open--sharing our space and opening our doors for all to enter and have the opportunity to be part of our church community.
--Sylvania United Methodist Church History
- Minute Book 1836-1872
- Minute Book 1872-1915
- Church Record Book 1913-1926
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