St. Paul's United Methodist Church
Friday, October 20, 2017
Bringing the Power of Christ to the World

1824 - 1873

First Frame Building in Tiffin Used For Early Meetings of the Methodist Church.
 
Area historians agree that Methodists in Tiffin held services as early as 1823 in the Hedges building on what is now Court Street. James Montgomery, a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church led these early services. The Hedges building served several purposes. The basement was a jail, the first floor was a store, and the second floor was used as a court room during the week and for church services on Sunday. Elijah Fields was the first regular preacher, organizing a class in 1824. This date is considered the founding date for St. Paul’s congregation.
 
First Methodist Church Building on East Market Street, Original was Brick
 
The first building erected especially as a Methodist church was a small brick structure, early English in style. It stood on the south side of Market Street, halfway between the Market Street covered bridge and Monroe Street. This building was dedicated in 1828. The church had two entrance doors, the men entering one and the women the other; they were seated in that same manner inside. The illumination inside the church was provided by dipped tallow candles. There were two on each side, one on each side of the two center posts, and two on the pulpit.
 
The congregation was growing and soon outgrew the first building. Land was purchased for a new structure in 1841. In August 1848 the congregation was admitted to the North Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. On July 29, 1849, the second building was dedicated. It was located on the corner of Market and Monroe Streets (where Croghan Colonial Bank is now). It was said to be an impressive two-story brick structure, with the auditorium for worship services on the second floor and the Sunday School room and three lecture rooms below. At the north end was a choir loft, where in later years the first big pipe organ in Tiffin was installed. At the rear of the building was a one-story, one room brick building used as a pastor’s study and for trustees’ meetings. Several feet further south stood the parsonage, also a two-story brick structure. In the winter of 1850 great revival services, continuing over seven weeks, added about 100 new converts to the church membership.
 
Once again the congregation was on the move and property was purchased on Madison Street in April 1871. Groundbreaking for the third, and current building, occurred in June 1873.