History of the Creston Church of God
In 1890 (Brother) Ezra Smith severed his connections with the United Brethren faith and established within his home a place of worship. which drew people from far and near.
In the year 1892 Brother D. S. Warner came to the home of Frank Smith, son of Ezra Smith, who lived on the adjoining farm, and held meetings in their living room. He made his home with them while he traveled to the surrounding neighborhood preaching and teaching the gospel. After Brother Warner left, prayer meetings were resumed in a little building on the Ezra Smith's farm, as well as cottage prayer meetings in the various homes. Revivals were held with such ministers as Brother Kilpatrick, Brother William B. Miller, brother Daugherty and others. Many new people found the Lord and rejoiced in this glorious truth.
In 1905 a building was purchased which was known as the Tank Church due to its location. Brother I. S. McCoy held the first revival in this building. Brother D. T. Koch from Akron, Ohio and Brother and Sister J.W. Henryfrom Toledo, Ohio came on the week-ends to look after the little group. Finally Sister Henry assisted by Brother HenryHenry]], became the pastor a year or two.
In 1916 a house was purchased in Creston, Ohio, which was about 4 1/2 miles from the Tank Church, to be used as a parsonage, but was rented for two years. It was not until the Spring of 1918 that it was utilized for the purpose for which it was originally intended. It was in this year, 1918, that Brother George Lorton St. of Springfield, Ohio became the first pastor to live in the parsonage, who was later succeeded by his son, John Lorton.
In march 1927, Brother and Sister W. I. Plough came to Creston, and pastored two churches, the one at Tanktown and the other near Rittman, Ohio, known as the Knupps Church of God. For several years they worked under adverse and trying circumstances. It was then decided to abandon the church at Tanktown and Rittman and take all the work to Creston, which was centrally located.
Meetings were first held in a hall next to the Legion Hall. The burning of this building forced them to look elsewhere for quarters in which to worship. Through the kindness of J.C. Murray, the local funeral director, several were conducted in the funeral parlor. As soon as the weather permitted, a tent was pitched on the present site which was later purchased.
Services continued in the tent until November 1930 when the basement of the present structure was dedicated and services were conducted there.
The Plough's carried heavy responsibilities at this time. he taught in the public schools during the winter months and attended summer school to further his education. Besides preaching three times on Sunday, he taught a Sunday school class and led the mid-week prayer services. Sister Plough also taught a class on Sunday, had charge of the music, played Piano, was the Young People's leader as well as the sowing circle leader.
In 1940 the outside walls of the sanctuary was constructed, but services continued in the basement. In 1944 after seventeen years of hard work, the Loughs left for Vandergrift, Pennsylvania. Not only did the church feel their loss, but the entire community, for Brother Plough was a man of vision and he made his vision a reality. When Brother Plough left Creston, he left with the satisfaction and pleasure of having supervised the erection of the new church building which stands as a monument of a work well done.
Reverend Kenneth Jones followed Brother Plough in 1944 and 1945 as pastor. Brother Jones attended school at Oberlin during the week and preached on Sundays. Although the congregation had increased in number they carried a heavy share of the work.
In 1946, Reverend Joseph Fair on States adjacent to Ohio came as pastor. In 1947 the church undertook a building expansion program. Work was begun on the interior of the main sanctuary. Also the parsonage was remolded with a new kitchen, bathroom back porch, and etc.
The sanctuary was completed with everyone working and sacrificing their time and money. Brother Campbell, the late husband of Sister Ruth Campbell, while in failing health, not even able to work steady, wired the building for electricity free gratis. The lights were given as a memorial to Eileen Smith, the daughter of Charles and Gladys Smith, who died in 1947.
The sanctuary was completed and dedicated on May 2, 1948, and worship began there.
After give years of laboring with the church, and seeing many improvements, Brother Fair exchanged pastorates with Reverend Vance Shreckengast in 1951.
Soon the parsonage was inadequate and was sold in order to purchase the present parsonage, next door to the old. Reverend Helen Wright, then of Akron, Ohio, was assistant pastor and song director in 1953 and 1954. Rest rooms and new walks were added to the church property. In 1957 the complete debt of the building program was lifted and the church was at last free from this debt.
The church now stands as a monument to the faithful workers, now present and past, who so ablely helped to make this moment possible.