Perry Township

Carroll County Historical Society

Churches

Perry Township was well represented by churches. The Baptists had a place of worship on the farm of Martin Wortman. The Protestants, or “New-side” Methodists built a church in Palermo. There were Methodist Episcopals at Mt. Tabor and Perrysville dedicated by Bishop Simpson.  The Lutherans had a church in the northeastern part of the township which was established by Preacher Rothacker called St. John Lutheran, and the only Methodist Church South (a pro-slavery church) in the entire county was in the southern part of this township, at a place called the “Confederate Cross Roads”. It was dedicated by a notorious rebel, Edson B. Olds who addressed a Vallandingham meeting in the grove north of Carrollton in 1863. A Christian Union Denomination was established near Mt. Olive and a Christian Union Church was erected on Joseph Allen’s farm which was at the Dining Fork of the Conotton by Rev. Alexander Campbell. It was dedicated as a Disciple ‘meeting house’. Folks who attended this church called it Allen Church. 

The M. E. Church closed and combined with the United Brethren to become the United Methodist Church. This church is still attended as Perrysville United Methodist Church. It’s sister church, Palermo United Methodist closed  June 5, 1988 due to poor attendance.

The only other meeting house to speak of in the township is the Chapel at Vo-Ash Lake.     

 

St. John’s Lutheran church was in the Arabia School district and organized in 1833 when the county was formed. The land for this church was deeded for $5.00 from Frederick and Rebecca Slates, July 30, 1841. In May 1896 it was added to the Carrollton charge and closed either in 1933 or 34. Early records are available at the Carroll County Genealogy Society Library.

Mt. Tabor Methodist Episcopal was in the Navengal School District. The deed for the land on which a log church was erected was recorded October 27, 1837. Philip and Ruth Cahill sold the land to the directors of the Methodist Episcopal Church “for a meeting house and a public yard for entering the dead lying in the northeast corner of the southwest quarter of Section 13 in Township 14, Range 6.” The Leesburg Circuit records show a church was built on the land in 1846. The next deed entry was August 6, 1847 when George & Lydia Warner sold the church more land.  Later a frame church was built and the logs from the first were sold to the Palermo group for their first church building. When Mt. Tabor was no longer used for worship, the ground became the property of the Methodist Episcopal Conference. The cemetery ground was separate.

Christian Union Church of Mt. Olivet was in the Butterfield School District. The earliest reports say the church was the result of a split from the New Hagerstown

Presbyterian Church, over the slavery issue before the Civil War. John Huffman bore the expense of erecting the building, except for $50 which was given by another man. The deed shows that the land was sold by Nathan and Ruth E. Able to the trustees of the Christian Union Church of Perry Township on August 11, 1871. An article in the Carroll Chronicle states that the Christian Church on Butterfield Ridge would be dedicated the last Sunday of April, 1872 and it would be called Mt. Olivet.

 

Apparently the name was later changed to Mt. Olive in deference to Mt. Olivet Church in Washington Township.

Christian Union Church was organized by Alexender Campbell in 1834. He was the first minister and the ground was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Allen. There was ground for a church and a cemetery. The first building was log which burned down and was replaced by a frame structure. The frame structure was dedicated in 1881 and was named Pleasant Hill Church. The next pastor was Rev. Shane. He was with the congregation for several years and yet, no membership records were kept. It is known that the Cogan, Woods and Amos families did attend here. The Thompson Genealogy by Thomas W. Thompson states that Zachariah Thompson was converted, baptized and joined this church in 1828. The deed says the Allen’s gave the land January 15, 1845 and Zachariah Thompson was ordained as its minister of the gospel in 1842. While the dates cause some discrepancies, we do know there was a church in the area and its cemetery remains to mark the location.

When Rev. Shane left, students from Scio College came and did their practice preaching. In 1905, a student from Oberlin College came. He offered to preach and repair the church if the members would pay his railroad fare, so they did. He plastered the building and with the help of Robert Kirby, papered it and had it ready for dedication in six weeks. He was the last minister of this little church. He left after two years. The building then sat empty and on February 15, 1932 it blew down.

The first burial in its cemetery was an Indian girl in the early 1800s. The earliest marked grave was 1817, Mr. McLaughlin. There were no indications as to who he was, where he came from or if he was just passing threw and buried there. A Mr. Manchester is also buried there and he was a Revolutionary War soldier.

Perrysville Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1833 as part of the Leesburg charge in the Steubenville District of Pittsburgh Conference. The records of the Leesville Circuit (originally Leesburg) were destroyed when the parsonage burned. So no history of the early church is available from the conference historians. The courthouse records show that a deed was recorded August 17, 1835, Mahlon and Elizabeth Stewart deeded Lot 40 and “a certain peace (sic) of ground lying on the southwest quarter of Section 36 in Township 12, Range 5" for the sum of $5 to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

In 1939, the Methodist Episcopal denomination and the Methodist Protestant denomination united to form the Methodist Church. This name would remain until 1968 when the Methodists formed a union with the Evangelical United Brethren denomination and the name became United Methodist. On December 8, 1968, the two congregations in Perrysville united, leaving the former Methodist church building vacant. When the Scio Methodist Church burned March 8, 1970, furnishings of the Perrysville Church were loaned to them until they could become re-established.

Early in 1971, through the devoted interest of those remaining members of the Methodist Church, the Carroll County Historical Society was offered the church to be maintained as one of the historical sites of the county. After a year’s deliberation, a satisfactory agreement between the Society and the Steubenville District of the Methodist Church was arranged and was accepted. On January 19, 1972, the Methodist Church became the property of the Historical Society and was dedicated with a special program on June 30, 1974.

The United Brethren Church was organized in 1848. It’s not certain, but believed that it was under the direction of Bishop Newcomer who was well associated with Otterbein College and the United Brethren Church.

 The Conference records of 1849 show that Rev. Jonathan Weaver was assigned to the New Rumley station, supervised the erection of the building in 1849 and remained until 1852.The parsonage for the Station at that time was in Perrysville. The house still stands at 117 Amsterdam Road SE.

The United Brethren and Evangelical denominations united November 16, 1946, in Johnstown, PA. to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church. In 1968, the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren denominations united in Houston, TX. Perrysville had a congregation of each persuasion.

The union of these two congregations was discussed for several months and ground work laid for a merger. On Sunday December 8, 1968 the Rev. John L Williams, representing Bishop Kearns, conducted the last acts of ratification and declared the two congregations merged into one. The former EUB Church would be the new home of the Perrysville United Methodist Church.

Palermo Methodist Protestant Church was organized in 1856 with William Baldwin as its first pastor. George K. McCaskey purchased the logs from the Old Mt. Tabor Church and built the first building. In 1862 the log church was torn down andreplaced by a frame building which served until 1906. At that time, a much larger building was needed for Palermo was one of the largest rural congregations in this area.

 

The church trustees bought land from Sarah E. McCaskey anderected the present building. The first circuit, composed of Sherrodsville and Palermo was known as the Palermo Circuit. Around 1926, Dellroy and Mt. Pleasant were added and the name changed to the Sherrodsville Circuit. In 1939, the Methodist Protestant and Methodist Episcopal denominations merged and became the Methodist Church. In 1959, Dr. Robinson, then district superintendent, formed the Perrysville Charge which included Pleasant Hill and Mt. Pleasant (Union Township), Perrysville and Palermo.  Rev. Artmayer of Mt. Union College was appointed to supervise the “Group Ministry Project” from Mt. Union College. Four students were assigned to fill the pulpit in these four churches each Sunday. In 1952, full time ministers were again assigned to the charge. In 1975, Palermo left the Perrysville Charge and became part of the Baxter’s Ridge or Union Valley Charge. The church closed its doors forever in 1991.