Pittsfield Community 
                Church

History

The Pittsfield Methodist Church had its beginning in 1824 when the First Methodist Class was organized under the direction of the Rev. Nathan Smith, who had migrated from New York. The meetings were held regularly and interest became so increased that in a short period of time, two services a month were held by a circuit preacher.     

It was not until 1845 that a Church was built. The first building was a small frame structure complete with one room and no basement. The grounds occupied by the Church were purchased in three parcels, the first of Richard and Harriet Mills, and John and Eunice Staples; the second of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver West; and the third parcel of Mr. and Mrs. James Preston.

Until 1917 the Church was a member of a circuit. At first the Amherst -- Pittsfield Circuit, then the Northeast Camden – Pittsfield Circuit, later known as the Kipton – Pittsfield Circuit. In 1917 it became a station.

A total of 43 ministers served the Church during its existence. The last of these ministers was Rev. Norman Everard, who was serving at the time of the Palm Sunday Tornado which destroyed the Church.

The Pittsfield Congregational Church was originally organized as the Evangelical Union Church of Christ in the year of 1836. The first meeting of the congregation was held on April 17, 1836. Present were the Rev. John Shippard, Rev. Parson Ingersoll and the Rev. Joel Talcott, with their delegates: David Webster and Peter Pease.

On April 29, they met again, this time for the purpose of organizing the Church. Present were Rev. Ingersoll and his delegate, Mr. James. Also present were William Lucas, Daniel Wilder, William W. Lucas, Joel Wilder, Sally Wilder, Sarah Lucas, Mary Matcham, Ann Lucas and Mary Welch.

On March 11, 1845, at a congregation meeting, a committee was appointed to draft plans for a new meeting house, 32 x 44 ft. and estimate the probable expense of the building. Also, at this meeting, they voted to pay Mr. Artemus Wilder $50.00 for the Center lot for the site of the meeting house.

On April 4, 1845, Peter McRoberts, John C. Rogers and Washington West were appointed a committee to contract for the building of a meeting house to be built and finished after the plan of the Wellington Meeting House. The cost of the building was not to exceed $1,850.00. The contract was let to H. J. and S. C. Brooks.

On January 15, 1846, the new Meeting House was dedicated. Professor Charles G. Finney preached the dedicatory sermon.

In 1900 the Church was thoroughly renovated and repaired. A kitchen was added and the old windows were replaced by stained glass.
 
In 1922 the Church was again repaired and improved.

The Church’s last pastor was Elmer C. Novak, who was serving the Church at the time of its destruction by the Palm Sunday Tornado of 1965.

 On April 11, 1965, at approximately 11:08 P.M. a tornado swept through Pittsfield, Ohio destroying both the Congregational and Methodist Churches. In taking a good look at the future and discussing the possibilities of uniting, it was at a joint meeting of the Congregations on June 2, 1965, that we voted to unite into one United Church of Christ. It was also at this same meeting that we voted to start planning for our new Church building. A committee was designated to investigate possible structural design, site possibilities, etc.

On September 29, 1965, at a meeting of the congregation, it was voted to accept the proposed building as presented by the building committee and let the contract to the Hossler Construction Company of Tiffin, Ohio for approximately $110,000.00.

The site approved for construction was a parcel of land containing approximately 3 acres, situated on the southwest corner of State Routes 303 and 58. This piece of property consisted of four smaller parcels. The first parcel of property was obtained through negotiations with Mrs. Louis Klier. The second parcel was the site of the former Methodist Church and was absorbed by merger of the two Churches. The remaining two parcels consisted of property owned by the Waite family and was donated to the Church.

A Groundbreaking Ceremony took place on October 31, 1965 signifying the beginning of construction. Construction progressed rapidly through the winter and on June 12, 1966, the first services were held in the new Church. Pastor, Elmer C. Novak, preached the first sermon. On June 19, 1966 a Cornerstone laying ceremony was performed.
 
The Congregation extended a call to Rev. Ron Fruth on May 29, 1966, which he accepted and became our first full-time minister on August 15, 1966. It is with great pride in our hearts that we eagerly look forward to the challenges of the Christian Movement in our truly united Christian community.

In 1997, Pittsfield became an independent community church. Family values and love of God with a strong belief in scripture sustained this change. We do not accept what is given by society, only that given by God.

Pittsfield Community Church
Changing our name… Not our beliefs.

In 2004 the Pittsfield Community Church began to pursue an affiliation with the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference. After a vote from the congregation and fulfilling all requirements of the CCCC the church requested to join the conference. At the National Meeting in July 2005 Pittsfield Community Church was officially received by the CCCC.

Today we continue our affiliation with the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference. Additional information may be obtained at www.ccccusa.com and www.ccccohio.org

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