Streetsboro United Methodist Church celebrated bicentennial at historic church

As part of Streetsboro’s Bicentennial Celebration, the Streetsboro United Methodist Church held its Aug. 28 service at the original Methodist church building now located at Hale Farm and Village in Bath.

Ushers, musicians and the Rev. Josh Elliott dressed in period attire. In honor of John Wesley, founder of Methodism, Elliott used excerpts from Wesley’s sermon “The Scripture Way of Salvation” as his sermon. Hymns for the service were the traditional “I Surrender All” (1869), “Amazing Grace” (1900), and “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me” (1830).

After the service, attendees gathered in front of the church for a group picture reminiscent of a picture taken in 1922 as part of Streetsboro’s Centennial Celebration.

The historic church, then located on the town square, was built in 1851 by local Baptists. In the late 1990s, the Baptists disbanded. For the sum of $1, they sold the building to Methodists, who rededicated the church on Sept. 10, 1899. The Methodist and Presbyterian congregations shared the building for services until the congregations officially united on Easter Sunday 1920.

The most distinctive feature of the colonial Western Reserve style church was its beautiful steeple. The steeple was destroyed by a tornado on May 12, 1956, and was not restored until the building was relocated to Hale Farm.

In 1964, the United Methodists broke ground for a new church building at 8940 State Route 43, a quarter mile south of the square. The congregation consecrated the new building in 1965. In 1969, the Western Reserve Heritage Society purchased the original church and moved it, in two sections, to Hale Farm in 1973.

The present United Methodist congregation continues to worship at the state Route 43 church, with services both in-person and via Zoom at 11 a.m. each Sunday.

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