Reverends Berry and Barlow organized the United Brethern Church in Shelby in 1861. The Downey Brothers, who were strong evangelistic preachers in that early day, were instrumental in bringing about this organization. Prior to this, services had been held in the old Universalist Church, which was located just west of the Big Four Railroad on West Main Street. Rev. Gideon Hoover was appointed in 1857 to serve what was then known as the Salem Circuit, which included Planktown, Ganges, Shiloh, and some eight or ten other churches and preaching places in the territory.

A partial list of the charter members include the names of
Augustus Longly (
probably Augustus Longe ) and wife, Charles Longly (probably Charles A. Longe) , Samuel Light, George Longacre, Amos Crall, David Crall and wife, Isaac Urich and wife, Elizabeth Snyder, Frank Rice and Mrs. Martha Rice. Records show that Rev. C. L. Barlow was appointed pastor of this church in 1861, and that Rev. Alexander Biddle preached the dedicatory sermon.

The Shelby church entered the new century with a membership of about 250, with over half of these members received during the pastorate of Rev.
Counseller. It was also during his pastorate that the new church was built and then dedicated by Bishop J. W. Hott, D.D. on Feb. 25, 1900. This building still stands on Washington Street.
United Brethern Church Building on Washington St. c. 1910

It seems this all started over the need for a new galvanized roof, which was estimated at $145. The trustees, realizing that we had a growing congregation and Sunday school, suggested the building of a new church, not to exceed $4500. A building committee was appointed, consisting of
J. W. Butdorf, W. Kirkpatrick, and J. B. Shatzer. A. Anderson was to be an advisory member. The date of their appointment was April 17, 1899. The final bids, which were accepted, are as follows: stone work $1300, carpenter work $2219, plastering $375, painting $175, brickwork $1175, totaling $5244. Parts of the original wood framing were used in the construction of the new church. The need for a gallery must have been decided upon later, as some extra amounts were listed, including $575 for a gallery, $250 for glass, and $250 for frescoing.

Services were held in the Town Hall while the church was being rebuilt. The cornerstone was laid on Sunday, Sept. 24, 1899, and presided over by Rev.
W. O. Freiese. The cornerstone contained a small Bible, a Discipline, coins from 1 cent to $1.00, a circular, a pastor’s photo, names of contributors, and names of contractors. On Sept. 25, 1899, it was decided to heat the church by hot air, and in 1904, gas was piped in for lighting, as the Board felt that the lighting provided by electricity was too dim and too expensive. On February 25, 1900, the new church was dedicated by Bishop J. W. Hutt, D.D.
By April 3, 1910, the basement also had been put in fine shape, and the mortgages and notes burned. This was accomplished under the pastorate of Rev. A. E. Davis.

The next major change in the church was made in 1936, under the pastorate of Rev.
John Searle, when the annex Sunday school unit was erected on the north side of the building. This unit was dedicated on Oct. 25, 1937, and was built and furnished at a total cost of $14,300. In April 1943, the last of the debt on this unit was paid. This gave us much needed space for classes that had been meeting in the sanctuary and in the kitchen.

In 1864, when Mr.
Swartz was elected Sunday School Superintendent, there were six teachers, thirty-three scholars present, and the total offering amounted to twenty-two cents. In 1892, M. B. Monn, then a young man of twenty years, was elected Superintendent. With the exception of one year, during which Mr. William Setterfield served as Superintendent, Mr. Monn served continuously for fifty-one years.

In 1938, a new electric organ was purchased and installed at a cost of $1700. Conference Superintendent Rev.
V. H. Allman presided at the dedication service.
On Nov. 16, 1946, the church of the United Brethren in Christ and the Evangelical Church united as denominations, changing the name to the Evangelical United Brethren Church.

The Church celebrated its centennial in 1961, when Rev.
Victor Roebuck was pastor. As of June 1961, the church membership had grown to 525. In the spring of 1960, a building committee was formed under the leadership of Ross McKinney. Its objective was to explore the needs of our growing church and Sunday school membership and to make recommendation for expanding our facilities to meet these needs. Members of the building committee were: Mr. Ross McKinney, Chm., Mrs. Pauline Aument, Sec’y; Mr. Paul Walton, Mr. Delphos Reynolds, Mr. Charles McKellogg, Mr. Carl Fry, Mr. Jack Stickney, Mr. Noel Smith, Mrs. Lois Stine, Mr. J. J. Scott, Mr. Ned Payne, Mr. Warren Pry, Mr. Marion Frank, Mr. Don Monn, Mr. Wallace Hardie, Mr. Richard Foltz.

A five acre tract of land was purchased just east of the city in a growing community. Nearly seventy years had passed since the congregation had built a new building. Long hours were spent in making preparations and in drawing up plans.
The general contractor was Friebel and Hartman, plumbing and heating contractor was Charles Hoffman Company of Mansfield, and the electrical contractor was Swedes Electric Service of Mansfield. Sauder Manufacturing of Archibald installed the furnishings. The carpeting was laid by Ray Whisler. Mr. J. J. Scott did the grading. Buehrer and Stough of Toledo were the architects. Hiser Studio designed the windows in the sanctuary and chapel. Ground was broken during the summer of 1967, and the cornerstone was laid Sept. 1967. Included in the cornerstone box were a 1963 Discipline, a Bible, a hymnal, a list of church members, names of the members of the building committee, a list of local conference members, the names of church school children, and church school literature. Rev. Bevan Kimmel, church pastor, conducted the cornerstone service. Guest speaker was Rev. Joseph Graham, Superintendent of the Ohio Sandusky Conference, who explored the subject of “Building the Body of Christ”.

In 1968, a second denominational merger took place. The first merger (in 1946)
was with the Evangelical Church; this second was with the Methodist Church, thus changing the name to the United Methodist Church, but not the character of the church. Because of the merger, we had to choose a name, since we would not be uniting with the First Methodist Church of Shelby. Members submitted names, voted and Trinity was chosen. It was the name submitted by Aaron Solinger. Consecration services for the $425,000 Trinity United Methodist were held Sept. 22 1968. Pastor Bevan Kimmel and Bishop Francis Kearns of the East Ohio Conference led the service.

The parsonage at 132 East Main Street was sold in Sept. 1984, for $35,000. A new parsonage adjacent to the church was purchased for $85,000. The
Garners moved to the new location in Oct. 1984. On Sunday, March 13, 1988, the congregation celebrated the burning of the parsonage mortgage that was “paid in full” in Feb. 1988. The parsonage was dedicated during a special service conducted by Rev. Malcolm Brook. 1990 – We have a membership of 440. Average Worship attendance is 182, while the church school averages 130.

We are grateful for our rich heritage. Hundreds of dedicated people have had a vital part in the history of our church.
The records of the Sandusky Annual Conference of the United Brethren in Christ show that at the conference of 1861, Rev. C. L. Barlow was appointed pastor of the Shelby church and in 1862, Rev. Gideon Hoover was appointed. Rev. M. Mathers served as pastor in 1863 and 1864. Rev. E. M. Bell was appointed in 1865, but Thomas Downey and Alexander Biddle each served part of the year.

The following pastors have served the church in the order named:
1866 – Rev. D. W. Downey
1867 – Rev. George Bender
1868 – Rev. Gideon Hoover
1869 – Rev. D.W. Downey
1871 – Rev. A. H. Leonard
1872 – Rev. W. A. Keesy
1873 – Rev. A. H. Leonard
1874 – Rev. J. Boner
1875 – Rev. O. H. Ramsey
1876 – Rev. N. S. Long
1877 – Rev. F. Clymer
1878 – Rev. S. H. Brake
1880 – Rev. C. L. Bevington
1881 – Rev. J. Kirk
1883 – Rev. W. P. Bender
1884 – Rev. J. W. Eastman
1885 – Rev. W. J. Easterbrook
1886 – Rev. C. F. Hill
1889 – Rev. I. E. Ingle
1890 – Rev. Isaac Crouse
1892 – Rev. H. G. Sedinger
1895 – Rev. E. M. Counsellor
1901 – Rev. E. M. Eberly
1905 – Rev. P. O. Rhodes
1909 – Rev. A. F. Davis
1913 – Rev. A. Snyder
1917 – Rev. J. H. Arnold
1922 – Rev. R. C. Crosby
1926 – Rev. J. O. Rhodes
1932 – Rev. J. C. Searles
1944 – Rev. D. F. Emrick
1946 – Rev. V. I. Sullivan
1952 – Rev. W. C. Adams
1959 – Rev. V. C. Roebuck
1965 – Rev. Bevan Kimmel
1971 – Rev. James Magaw
1979 – Rev. Eugene L. Priest
1983 – Rev. James Garder
1986 – Rev. J. Malcolm Brook

The above article was originally written by Lois Stine, Church Historian – July 1990 – Reprinted from Shelby Spirits Volume 5 – Page 17
and submitted by Ruby Bonecutter.

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