Clock Tower

Out of the Clock Tower



Hello and welcome to the Greene County Archives' blog, "Out of the Clock Tower".  Please join us as we share information on archival issues, news, special events, and highlights from our collection.

Before the archives program began in Greene County in 1996, permanent records were stored in every conceivable space, in basements, garages, and closets. Usually they were in boxes of various shapes and sizes, although seldom adequately labeled, but occasionally they were just in loose piles of books and papers. Most notable were the old records stuffed into the clock tower of the County Courthouse, where they shared their home with pigeon droppings.

Now, there is a clean, environmentally controlled, well appointed location for the county archives, where our historical records are housed in standard sized boxes on steel shelves. We have taken note of their journey in the name for our blog.

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Jan 11

Trinity United Methodist Church

Posted on January 11, 2019 at 10:48 AM by Melissa Dalton

This week, we begin our series on the history of buildings and structures of Greene County, featured in the August 21, 1974 article of the Xenia Daily Gazette. The first building to be discussed is the Trinity United Methodist Church (Fig 1).

Fig 1. Trinity United Methodist Church (JPG)
Fig 1. Trinity United Methodist Church (Xenia Daily Gazette)

The Trinity United Methodist Church was an outgrowth of the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Xenia, Ohio. First Methodist was founded in 1808 by Frederick Bonner, a prominent Methodist from Virginia. The church grew over the years, and in 1836, it gained its first full-time pastor (no longer a travelling or circuit pastor), Rev. Azra Brown. This event allowed the church to grow even more, and in 1864, the congregation had outgrown its church. It was decided that another church should be erected in Xenia, and a location was chosen at the corner of Main and Monroe streets. The cornerstone was laid in the new Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church on May 14, 1864, with a dedication taking place on October 1, 1865.

The two churches, First Methodist and Trinity, continued their partnership over the years, and would join for special events and services, including their Love Feast (Fig 2). However, in 1968 during the General Conference in Dallas, Texas, the Methodist Church and Evangelical United Brethren Church merged to form the United Methodist Church. Subsequently, the two Methodist churches in Xenia, First Methodist and Trinity, both became United Methodist churches. The next year, the two congregations opened talks of a merger. In 1970, they voted to merge the two churches, and named the new congregation Faith Community United Methodist.

Fig 2. Article from Xenia Daily Gazette, dated September 7, 1889 (JPG)
Fig 2. Article from Xenia Daily Gazette, dated September 7, 1889, regarding Methodist Church Conference (NewspaperARCHIVE.com)

The next two years marked a period of great change for the local Methodist community. With the merger, the new congregation needed a building large enough for its members. It was decided by the trustees to build a new church, but they had to decide what to do with the current structures. In the end, it was decided that Trinity United Methodist Church would be razed (Fig 3). A previous windstorm had severely damaged the steeple of the church, and the trustees felt the church would see even more problems in the future, making demolition the reasonable decision (Fig 4).

Fig 3. Article from Xenia Daily Gazette, dated May 19, 1972 (JPG)
Fig 3. Article from Xenia Daily Gazette, dated May 19, 1972, regarding Trinity Church demolition (NewspaperARCHIVE.com)

Fig 4. Article from Xenia Daily Gazette, dated August 14, 1972 (JPG)
Fig 4. Article from Xenia Daily Gazette, dated August 14, 1972, regarding new church (NewspaperARCHIVE.com)

Although Trinity is gone, its stained glass windows can be seen in Faith Community United Methodist Church today. The trustees saved not only the stained glass from Trinity, but also the pipe organ from First Church, allowing them to have pieces of their past forever enshrined in their church.

UNTIL NEXT TIME...

Sources:
Broadstone, Michael A. (1918). History of Greene County Ohio: Its people, industries and institutions. Indianapolis, IN: B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Greene County Archives
NewspaperARCHIVE.com

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