Union Township

Carroll County Historical Society

Churches

The early settlers often gathered in their homes for worship until the gatherings became too large. Then log buildings were constructed as use as a place of worship. The earliest known in Union Township was the Morrison Meeting House. On January 30, 1835 a christian fellowship meeting was held and it was decided to establish a church following the Methodist Class guidelines.  John and Mary Morrison and James and Ann McCourt deeded a parcel of land to the trustees of the Morrison Meeting House on September 25, 1838. The trustees paid one dollar and the trustees named in the deed were: Zeba Norris, Henry Brooks, John Riley, Charles Fawcett and John Price.

Union Township Circuit Riding Preachers would come to preach and typically on a week day. They were paid $80 a year and a horse was provided by the circuit. Lodging and meals were supplied by parishioners who could afford guests. The Morrison Meeting House not only served as a church but also a community hall. It sat on “Irish Ridge” which is now Canyon Road. It served the community well until sometime before 1854. It was around this time a few members began wearing the butternut emblem which symbolized their sympathy for the south. A quarrel developed and for a time the Meeting House was closed.
Pleasant Hill
United Methodist Church
 

In 1841 a small part of the congregation began meeting in the home of John Buchanan. In 1854 they decided to build a new church under the leadership of Rev. D. P. Mitchell. They built a church on Long’s Ridge,  It is located at the intersection of Empire and Scio Roads. The deed for the land was dated 1854 and was between Henry and Dorinda Brooks and the Trustees of the Pleasant Hill Methodist Episcopal Church. Those trustees being, Henry Brooks, John Buchanan, Richard Brackin, Charles Fawcett, John Fawcett, James McCort, Robert Rutledge and Alexander Long.

The following is from a news article printed in the Carroll Chronicle, July 27, 1906: “The Pleasant Hill Christian Union Church will be dedicated August 5th. The church building was erected in 1884, but was never formally dedicated. It has now been repainted and repaired and is ready for dedication. Rev. I. B. Dillin of Coshocton will preach the sermon of dedication.”

 The group that remained at the Morrison Meeting House site formed a Methodist Protestant congregation in 1856 under the direction of Rev. John Hazlett. It became Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church.  

In 1871 a revival was held that resulted in a subscription being taken to build a new church. The new building had a 36 by 48 foot sanctuary and cost $3051.75. It opened for its  first service on December 9, 1872 with a membership of 99. It was heated by two coal stoves and was lit by carbide lights which  hung from the ceiling. In 1953 a basement was added and in 1966 additional sanctuary  space and classrooms.  In 1978 a 20’ x 42’ addition was added. Then neighboring land was purchased in 1988. The house on the property was sold and the garage converted to an all purpose building, youth center and later a church office until a new sanctuary, classrooms and offices were added in 2009.

Mt Pleasant Church--Circa 1900  
1978 Front Addition 2009 Sanctuary Addition

For a time, Pleasant Hill and Mt. Pleasant were on the same circuit with Palermo and Perrysville UM churches and were all served by the same pastor. Palermo Church was closed and in 2000, Mt. Pleasant became a single point charge with its own pastor. Perrysville and Pleasant Hill are still under the Perrysville Charge and share a pastor.

The only other known church to have existed in Union Township was the North Union Church which was also known as Seceders Church or Cross Roads Church. On December 21, 1838, the North Union Congregation of the adherents of the Seceder & Associate Reformed faith bought two acres of land. This purchase is recorded in a deed at the Recorder’s office Volume 5, page 592 and it alludes to the fact that the above mentioned acreage already contained a structure known as the “North Union Meeting House”.  The land was purchased from Robert and Rachel Wilson with a payment of one dollar. The trustees of the church who made the purchase were James Kelly, James Weaver and James Gallaher. It was located at the intersection of Antigua and Canyon Roads, which is probably how it became known as the Cross Roads Church.

When the Associate Reformed Church and the Associated Presbyterian Church merged in 1858 and became the United Presbyterian Church in North America the North Union Church became a United Presbyterian Church.

For many years the Carrollton Associated Reformed Church and North Union shared the same minister. In 1862, during the pastorate of Rev. James Martin it was decided that the North Union Church close and unite with the Carrollton Church. This merger was official on May 10, 1863. At that time the ruling elder of the North Union Church was Alex Simpson. Mr. Simpson was made ruling elder of the Carrollton Church when the churches merged.