Wooster United Methodist Church

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Wooster United Methodist Church
Wooster United Methodist Church. formerly Wooster Methodist Episcopal Church, 1830-, formerly Wooster Methodist Society, Started The Church of the Tabernacle, 1819-1829
Location Presently: N. Market and Larwill Sts., Formerly: 1819-1839, North and Grant Sts., Wooster, Ohio
Country United States
Denomination United Methodist Church
Founded 1816 (1816)

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  • Wooster United Methodist Church
Other Services
  • Churches
  • Date unknown
Key Persons
    • 243 N. Market St., Wooster, 44691, Ohio, United States

  • History of the Wooster Methodist Episcopal Church

The first record of Methodist preaching in Wooster dates it about 1816. The first sermon was delivered in one of the homes of the community by one of the wandering preachers of that day. Then a preacher was appointed to a territory. He would ride through the country until he could find a home that would welcome him, some one was sent around the neighborhood telling there would be preaching that night, the house would be filled, people would be converted, a class would be formed, a leader appointed, and this itinerant circuit rider would add this place to his many other charges of his circuit which was soon so large that it might take ten weeks for him to visit all the places even though he preached once or more every day and three times on Sunday. It was one of these circuit riders who organized the Wooster class about 1816. In 1820 Wooster was made the head of the circuit. It was in the Lancaster District of the Ohio Conference. In 1843 all the other points were taken off and Wooster became a station.

There have been in Wooster four Methodists churches. Soon after the organization of the class in 1816 a log building was erected. This lasted until 1840 when a new frame building was erected, which burned in 1886, just as people were gathering for Sunday School.

In 1872 by persons withdrawing from the parent church there was organized the Trinity Church. The old church was on the north-east corner of Grant and North Streets. The Trinity church people built a neat brick church on the corner of Market and Larwill, where the present church stands. When the old church burned, the two united and found the present site the best for the combined church building. In 1887, during the pastorate of Dr. R. T. Stevenson, Bishop Fowler dedicated the present church building, the same having been built then for less than $40,000. At that time it was considered the best Methodist Church building in the North Ohio Conference. For forty years it served well, being large enough for the needs of the congregation for more than thirty of these. The Fathers surely builded well.

During these years Wooster Methodism gave some valuable men to the work of building the Kingdom. In 1830 in the Wooster Church Edward Thompson was converted. He was the first president of Ohio Wesleyan University and one of the Bishops of the Methodist Church. In 1838, W. L. Harris came to Wooster as a young preacher. He had been converted and licensed to preach at Dalton. He became one of Methodism's outstanding Bishops. Bishop McConnell was a member of this church and attended the Wooster schools while his father was pastor here. No one can number those who have gone from here to do as lay workers valiant work for the Kingdom of God in all the world.

With daring faith the Wooster church has now taken a new advance. Recognizing the great value of Religious training in the midst of attractive surroundings and a seven day week church, there has been built one of the best Educational and Recreational buildings to be found anywhere outside of the largest cities, It has attractive quarters for all from the little ones who are venturing out of the home for the first time to the oldest one. It has provision for development of body, mind and heart so that it may aid in bringing life to its best. The Fathers at great sacrifice built very wisely forty years ago. The generations since have had great reason to rise up and call them blessed. The prayer for all lovers of the Kingdom of God is that Wooster Methodism of today shall so meet her present opportunities that it may be worthy of her excellent past.

  • 12 May 1907 - "A History of the Wooster Methodist Episcopal Church: an address given by the Rev. Charles H. Johnson. [booklet]
  • 1 Sep 1946 - One Hundred Thirtieth Anniversary Year Book, 1816-1946.
  • 1954 - Year Book of The Methodist Church
  • Aug 1984 - Highlights of History of the United Methodist Church of Wooster, Ohio, 1816-1984 - a Bicentennial project / W. E. Krauss


  • 1866 - Rev. J. Matlock
  • 1868 - Rev. George Mather
  • 1870 - Rev. George W. Pepper
  • 1872 - Rev. Alexander Nelson
  • 1874 - Rev. Orlando [Badgley (surname)|Badgley]]
  • 1876 - Rev. G. A. Hughes
  • 1879 - Rev. L. H. McConnell
  • 1881 - Rev. N. S. Albright
  • 1884 - Rev. George Mather
  • 1886 - Rev. R. T. Stevenson
  • 1890 - Rev. D. C. Dawson
  • 1895 - Rev. J. Frank Smith
  • 1900 - Rev. J. H. Deeds
  • 1904 - Rev. E. V. DuBois
  • 1906 - Rev. C, F, Johnson
  • 1909 - Rev. J. W. Dowds
  • 1912 - Rev. G. W. Orcutt
  • 1916 - Rev. O. J. Moore
  • 1919 - Rev. V. W. Wagar
  • 1924 - Rev. H. K. Hillberry
  • 1925 - Rev. S. L. Stewart

Books and other documents

  • "19th Century Methodism in Wooster" / Jim Eaton, MA and Ph.D., 22 pg.
  • "The Old Tuscarawas Circuit and Introduction of Methodism Into Wayne County. Ohio: Data gathered by Rev. John Lutz, who was raised in Smithville, Ohio, and was later a member of the Minnesota Conference, 24 pg.

Quick Facts


  • 1980, 1991

Church Letterheads

Church Photos

Newspaper articles

  1. Wayne County Democrat 11 May 1887