Pictured is the Ohio City Community Church of God. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
Pictured is the Ohio City Community Church of God. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)

OHIO CITY – Those approaching the grain mill in downtown Ohio City from the west soon take note of a historic church that has been standing in place for over 135 years, since 1883. Church records indicate that the church was actually organized by Elder R.H. Bolton in February of 1861.

A record published by church leaders over the past several years notes that those early years were spent worshipping in private homes, school buildings and the summer months were spent outside.

The church building, what was called “Bethel,” was built in 1883 in the village of Enterprise in Van Wert County. Enterprise later became known as “Ohio City.” An early mission statement taken from a historical record book reads, “May we always endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace and to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.”

The early growth of Ohio City demanded a remodeling project that took place in 1909.

“Additions were built on the east and south sides of the church and a basement was added, increasing space of the original building over 100 percent,” stated the church history record. “A brand new bell was placed in the belfry to call the town to worship. The church building today appears similar in structure as it did following the remodeling.

“Throughout the history of the church, many ministries have been undertaken by the congregation and continue to evolve as the needs of the community changed. One ministry that continues to serve the children and families of our community is Vacation Bible School,” states the church history. "In the summer of 1939, the very first VBS in this area was hosted by the Ohio City Church of God. The Women’s Christian Service Council was organized in January of 1957 and today still meets the needs of local families as well as supports the work of foreign missions around the world.”

Members of the church are known for reaching out to the community to assist with community events. The latest was this past Saturday when church members served lunch at the Community Center for the annual community Christmas Bazaar. Members served both breakfast and lunch menus.

The Church is currently served by Pastor Randy Bevington and Judy.

“Community Church is an inviting and friendly place where you will find people committed to meeting the needs of their neighbors, those next door and around the world,” said Bevington. “Discover God’s power, God’s people and God’s plan for your life.”