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Churches in Hicksville

Whatever your preference, there’s a spiritual home for you in Hicksville and people who will welcome you with open arms. You need never feel like a stranger where ever you choose to worship. You are always welcome.

Hicksville Mennonite Church - West Arthur Street began in 1961 when a small congregation purchased the former Bretheran Church. Since then, with the added congregation, their beautiful new church is next door to the church they used to begin worship in Hicksville.

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St. Michael’s Catholic Church - Corner of High Street and Antwerp Drive. The history of St. Michael’s Parish dates back to 1846 when a priest came from Toledo twice a year to hold services. Records of St. Michael’s Church go back to 1878 when a priest from Defiance and then from Antwerp ministered to the people of Hicksville. St. Michael’s first church, constructed in 1880, was a small frame building on Edgerton Street. That building has since been razed.

As St. Michael’s congregation grew, the original facilities became inadequate. In 1919 under the ministry of Rev. O.C.Kappus, plans were made for a new place of worship. On May 9, 1920, Bishop Schrembs of Toledo laid the corner of the new church. The W.L. Johnson Construction Company was engaged to erect the church and most of the work was done by men from Hicksville.

The Church itself is built according to the Lombard-Romanesque style of architecture. All the inside work, furniture, altars, windows, etc., were specially made to harmonize with the rest of the building. The furniture, of white oak, was made by the Tiffin Manufacturing company. The three altars contain original paintings from the hand of Robert Vittur of Lima. The stained glass windows were made by the Emil Frei Art Glass Company of St. Louis, MO.

Several changes were made in 1966. A new gymnasium, kitchen and educational rooms were added. In addition to athletic programs, the gymnasium offers the facilities to the bloodmobile. The parish fall festival and other social events of the community are held in the gymnasium.

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Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church was built by Hon. A.P. Edgerton in 1875 across from his home (on West High St.) where once his apple orchard grew. The first service of the Protestant Episcopal Church was held in Hicksville on November 9, 1873. The Rt. Reverand Joseph C. Talbot, Bishop of the Diocese of Indiana, who was visiting his friend, Mr. A.P. Edgerton, preached after Morning Prayer to a large congregation in the Presbyterian House of Worship. After the service, the Bishop suggested to Mr. Edgerton the erection of a church for the benefit of his family, friends, and people of the village. Mr. Edgerton promptly accepted the suggestion and erected a church in the orchard across from his home. He conveyed it in trust to the Diocese of Ohio, as a free gift, to be held forever as a free church.

On Sunday, October 17, 1875, the church was consecrated by Bishop Talbot and the Rev. C.C. Tate of Fort Wayne, IN. In the afternoon the church was again opened for prayer and the administration of Holy Baptism. The Bishop received as a first member of the church, the infant Robert Swartwout, a grandson of Mr. Edgerton.

Names of the families appearing in the early records include: Edgerton, Gorrell, Brooks, Babbitt, Cory, Latty, Bracy, Bungan, O’Neal, Ainsworth, Arrowsmith, Cooley, Post and Tannehill. These early families have contributed much toward the development of our community.

The Hon. A.P. Edgerton, an Episcopalian, in addition to assuming the entire cost for building St. Paul’s Church donated the land and made a generous contribution toward the construction cost of the earliest churches in the village. This church has since been declared an historic building. See the story on another page.

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First Presbyterian Church -In 1837, Alfred P. Edgerton, the father of our village, arrived fron New York as General Agent for the Hicks and American Land Companies. The same year witnessed the separation of the Presbyterian Church into the Old School and the New School divisions. In the 1840′s, the Rev. J.M. Crabb, a Kentuckian of great evangical zeal and a missionary for the Old School Presbytery of Maumee, ministered to the needs of the people of this area. In 1848, he organized the Union Church, near Farmer, OH, which was better known as the Lost Creek Presbyterian Church. A number of Hicksville residents were members of the Union Church congregation. On March 1855, they petitioned the the Presbytery and a Church was organized in Hicksville.

The Presbyterians erected their first church building on the northeast corner of Bryan and High Streets on four lots – which along with the $500 toward construction expenses, was given by the Hon. A.P. Edgerton. It was constructed of locally milled lumber and locally fired brick. Construction commenced on February 15, 1858, and the building was completed October 23, 1858, at a cost of $1,818. The builders were John Adams Jr. and Alexander Smith.

Alfred P. Edgerton, an Episcopalian, served as the first church treasurer and as a Trustee. From about 1858-1876, before their first house of worship was built, the Methodists used the facilities on alternate Sundays. The Lutheran Congregation was organized and held services in the church in 1877. The Rt. Rev Joseph C. Talbot, Bishop of the Diocese of Indiana, held the first service of the Episcopal Church in Hicksville at the Presbyterian Church November 9, 1873.

The Congregation at intervals throughout the years, improved their worship facilities. It’s members excavated a basement, refurbished the sanctuary, installed a pipe organ, and installed stained glass windows. However, the Church, a classic example of early church architecture and a landmark of the village’s earlier days, was totally destroyed by fire on December 10, 1961. While the ruins were still smouldering, the Methodist Church Fellowship offered their facilities for use as needed – which was graciously accepted and their facilities were used until January 1962. In April 1962, the Congregation voted to rebuild and on December 13, 1964, the new Presbyterian Church on West Arthur Street was dedicated.

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First Church of Christ - 118 N. Main Street. Their first house of worship was built in 1877. The present building was dedicated in 1896. The Ladies Aid began in 1888. In 1884, the church bell was purchased at a cost of $225. Sister Farmer donated a valuable and suitably located parsonage to the church. The organ was purchased by 20 local men, 5 of which were not members of the congregation. Coal to heat the building in 1910 cost $3.40 per ton.

There was a fire in the parsonage in 1958. The structure was razed in 1959 and in 1960, a house across the street was purchased. The church observed its 85th anniversary in 1960, when Charles Russell was the minister. Other speakers of the day were William Lower, A. Timothy, Herbert Johnson of Bryan, John Paul Hill of Coburn Corners and Lee Moore of Defiance.

In 1967, a new bapistry was installed and the parsonage was sold. The Dr. Hitt property, beside the church, was purchased. The 100th anniversary was observed on Rally Day in 1975.

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Grace United Methodist Church - organized July 1, 1840. Every two weeks Rev. J.D. MArtin would come and preach. In the first 12-15 years the membership was quite small consisting of mostly women. These early meetings were held in the schoolhouse by firelight.

The church began to grow both numerically and financially and in 1875, Hon. AP Edgerton donated a piece of land large enough to build a church and parsonage on the corner of Main and Edgerton Streets. The parsonage was build for $1,000 and a year later a church was built at a cost of $5,000. At this time the membership consisted of 300 men and women.

In 1899, a huge dark red brick Grace United Methodist Church was built on High Street across from where the Johnson Memorial Library now stands. On sunday morning January 28, 1940, a fire started in the furnace which destroyed the entire building. By Easter Sunday, cash and pledges amounting to $14,821.00 were laid upon an open Bible during the morning worship service. This and the money received from insurance helped build the beautiful structure which is standing today.

The grace United Methodist Church stands across for the Johnson Memorial Library and next door to the historical Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church on High Street. It is built of native Bloomville stone in terra-cotta shades. A bell and large gold cross top the structure.

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Trinity United Methodist Church - Around 1833 David Landis moved into this territory and settled on the Maumee River. He requested the Miami Conference to send a minister into this region and in 1841 Bishop Henry Kumler, Jr. opened a mission in Defiance. Sometime that year he organized a United Bretheren Church in Hicksville, Ohio.

Services were held in the school house until 1853 when a white frame church building was erected in the middle of town. During the next 40 years, the church served the community well. In 1863, it was the center of recruiting activities for the Army in the Civil War. The question of a musical instrument for the church was finally settled in 1880 and during 1881 the bell in the tower was tolled to tell people another person had died in the typhoid epidemic. The amount of the strokes told the age of the last deceased person.

In 1891, the congregation elected to build a new church. It was completed in 1892 on High Street, at the cost of approximately $10,000 and was dedicated by Bishop Jonathon Weaver. During the ensuing years 1920-22, other additions included a basement, additional classrooms and a parsonage at the cost of nearly $20,000.

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St. John’s Lutheran Church was organized in 1849. In 1851, Walnut Ridge Lutheran Church near Georgetown, IN, was founded and from 1859 to 1877, the ministers from there held services in Hicksville in various buildings of the town until 1871 when the Presbyterian Church offered the use of their facility.

On February 7, 1884, the corner lot of North Maple and East Smith Streets was donated by AP Edgerton for the purpose of erecting a new church. Rev. J. Wesner laid the cornerstone in 1884. In it was placed a copy of “The News”, the local newspaper, one Bible with the inscription of the donor – B.S. Pettit, one copy of the Lutheran small catechism, one five-cent coin bearing the date 1884, a list of names of the builders , the building committee and the trustees of the church and one copy of the Christian Advocate.

In 1885, the dedication services were held with Rev. Harkey of Toledo preaching the dedication sermon. Since then many pastors have served the church. In 1934 at the 50th year anniversary celebration, twelve of the original members were present. Soon after the 102nd anniversary of Lutheranism in Hicksville, plans were made and soon a new church was built on 4 lots at East High Street.

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Hicksvile Gospel Tabernacle building was erected by the men of the church in 1935 from timber found in their own woods. Rev. Clifford Hollifield was in charge of the dedication ceremonies and the first Sunday School Superintendent on record was Ray Cottrell. The by-laws of the Tabernacle were written in the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Piper in 1939. 1943 found the congregation voting to support the OMS missionary Society. The society is now called the Oriental Missionary International, Inc.

In 1943, some additional by-laws were added including that no one who uses tobacco or takes part in sinful or ungodly pursuits can hold a church office. mThe parsonage was acquired in 1943 when Mrs. NA Regall, Mr. & Mrs. guy Boylan and Mr. & Mrs. Royal Timbrook were board members.

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Seventh Day Adventist was officially organized June 2, 1894. Prior to this time, a faithful group of Sabbath keepers had been meeting in various homes and halls to fellowship with like-believers. As was the custom in those days, the services were all day sessions since travel was by horse and buggy and some came from a distance of from 15 to 20 miles.

The current building was originally a church building located at Coburn Corners in Indiana, which was completely dismantled and rebuilt at corner of Fountain Street and Dixon Avenue in 1929. Various remodeling programs have taken place from time to time to meet specific needs.

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Hicksville Missionary Church was started in the home of Wm. Riper in November of 1953 in the form of prayer groups. In September 1954, a groundbreaking for the new church on West High Street was held and the people came “to church” in their work clothes. After having a prayer meeting, they poured the basement floors and worked on the church all night. The ladies of the church furnished food during the night. The walls were then built and soon a “basement church” existed. The first service was held on February 5, 1955. In September 1957, the main auditorium of the church was dedicated. It was constructed in entirety with volunteer labor except for laying part of the blocks and brick veneer.

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Church of the Nazarene had its beginnings in the hearts of a few people who started having prayer meetings in their homes and in November 1962, they had their first Sunday School and Preaching service in the Hicksville building and Loan building. In December they moved into the Grange Hall, formerly the Lutheran Church. In 1965 they started building their house of worship in its present location on Antwerp Drive and the official Dedication Service was held September 11, 1966.

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Old Order “Amish” Mennonite Church of Hicksville was started in April of 1914 by a small group which settled near Mark Center, Ohio, and later, as the congregation grew, around Sherwood, Ohio. The descenants of this group are now a part of the Hicksville community.

The first settlers, comprised of 8 or 9 families, came from Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, and Holmes County, Ohio. The Old Order Amish are a sect of Mennonites which was founded by Jacob Amman in the 17th century. The Amish believe in simple living, doing without most of the modern conveniences of present day life. Farm life is very much encouraged among the Amish, although there are many that also work as carpenters and in factories.

Church and Sunday School services are held in the homes of the members as are funerals and weddings. Correct discipline and rectitude are considered more important elements in Christian life than learning and doctrinal points. The bearing of arms and taking of oaths are regarded as wrong and the holding of public office is not encouraged. Divorce is condemned wxcept on the grounds of adultery.

The plain garb or style of clothing has been handed down from generation to generation. The women and girls always wear head covering or prayer cap and an Amish man wears a beard. In most farming settlements, farming is still done with horses, however in some localities, such as Hicksville, the tractors is used. Amish do not own or drive cars, but drive to church meetings and other short distances with horse and buggy.

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The Hicksville Assembly of God Congregation meets weekly in a modern building at the corners of Fountain Street and Dixon avenue.

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