History of Zion Church

As written for the June 12, 1960 Centennial Service

 

 

          Rev. J. R. Brown who came to this county as a missionary in 1844, organized a class soon after his arrival, at the home of William Enyert, on the Old Fort Wayne Road on what is now known as the William Weber farm. In the fall of 1858 Rev. John Thomas was appointed to the Roanoke circuit and during the subsequent winter, held a successful revival at the Purviance School House. This resulted in the erection of a house of worship on ground donated by John Flack and was designated at the Zion U.B. Church. The first build was a frame structure and was commenced in 1859. In the fall of that year Rev. J B. Bash was appointed pastor and in the spring of 1860 the church was completed. Bishop Lewis Davis officiated at the dedication held in the month of June, 1860. The building was used for 33 years. The present brick structure was begun in the spring of 1892, during the pastorate of Rev. J. A. Eby and dedicated February 5, 1893 by Rev. I. L. Kephart, editor of the Religious Telescope. Rev J.w. Delong was pastor at the time of the dedication. During the pastorate of Rev. J.A. White in 1918, a basement was constructed and an electric lighting system installed. In 1949 while Rev. Bevis A. Hill was pastor, an extensive program of improvements and repair work was completed.

            At the St. Joseph Annual Conference which was held at South Whitley from September 14 to 18, 1898, the Roanoke Church which with the Zion Church had constituted the Roanoke charge, was made a station. The Zion Church was detached and with the Pleasant Chapel and Forest Church of the Goblesville Charge helped form the Pleasant Charge. The Pleasant Chapel and Zion Churches constitute the Pleasant Chapel-Zion Charge. The Forrest Church was attached to the Washington Center charge later and is now inactive. After many years of planning in 1946 the merger of the United Brethren Church and the Evangelical Church was completed and the church is now known as the Zion Evangelical United Brethren Church and is a member of the Indiana Conference North.

            There are now several families of the fourth and fifth generation and one of the sixth generation affiliated with the church. During the last century fifty-one different ministers has served Zion Church, the last being Rev. L.K. McKinley. This organization has maintained its place through all  the years of its history as a progressive rual church,at least four of her converts have render service as ministers of the GospelóRev. H. C.  Klingle, Rev. C.C. Purviance, Rev. C. A. Thorn, Rev. Wilmer Gray. The influence of the Zion Church in the community and elsewhere will live forever.

 

Zionís Centennial service, June 12,1960

 

Mrs. Eugene (Cecil) Thorne, presiding at the worship service

Junior Rice was Sunday School Superintendent

Dr. Marshall Chambers gave the Message

Message in music was shared by Minnie Wohlford and John Schoeff

Eugene Thorne presided at the Sunday afternoon special service.

Committee members were: Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Thorn. Mr. & Mrs. John Schoeff,

Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Stetzel, Mr. & Mrs. Roy Layman, and Mrs. Isabelle Schoeff.