A Brief History of First Congregational Church of Lodi, Ohio

Lodi was originally founded in 1811 as Harrisville and was the first permanent settlement in Medina County. The first log cabin in Harrisville was built by Joseph Harris. Joseph Burr and Russell Burr came afterwards from their home in Connecticut. Other settlers soon followed into this territory of forest, bear, panthers, and deer and a few Wyandott Indians. The pioneers that came brought their axes, plows, and seed – and generally being of Puritan faith, they brought their Bibles. In the Spring of 1817, a small log schoolhouse was erected on the farm of Timothy Burr. At that time there were 27 families living in Harrisville Township.

Something about the beginnings of First Congregational Church is stated in a handwritten record by Nathan Hall, the first clerk as well as the first deacon of the church. The following was taken from Nathan Hall’s record.

"Ohio State, Medina Cty., Harrisville Township"

A number of persons in this township, having a desire to form themselves into a church, met for the purpose October 3rd, 1817, at the schoolhouse in said township. Revd.. Messrs. Luther Humphrey and Amasa Loomis, a missionary from the Missionary Society of Connecticut, being present – proceeded to examine them respecting the reason of their hope and their views in uniting together as a church. The examination not being finished on the 3rd, they met again on the 4th day of October, and after a full examination a charitable hope was entertained of them. The following persons were considered suitable to be constituted a church: Isaac Catlin and Eunice, his wife; Louami Holcomb and Hannah, his wife; Nathan Hall and Pame1ia, his wife; George Burr and Mehitabel, his wife; Russell Burr and Elizabeth, his wife; Caro1us Tuttle and Cyrus Curtis. In the afternoon of the same day, Rev. Luther Humphrey preached a preparatory lecture from Romans 12:1.

On October 5th in the morning, a Sacramental sermon was preached by Rev. Humphrey, after which the above-named persons came forward and publicly professed their faith in Christ, and solemnly covenanted with God and with one another to constitute the church. The Lord's Supper was then administered by Rev. Humphrey.

On October 6th, officers were chosen. Nathan Hall was made deacon and clerk. Isaac Catlin, Louami Holcomb and Deacon Hall, were chosen as the first Church Committee. At this meeting it was voted to make application to the Grand River Presbytery to become a member of that body.

Thus, was brought into life First Congregational Church, the first church in Harrisville Township. That little yellow book of the account of that first service of the church adds, "The whole scene was peculiarly solemn." A similar statement is made of several other church meetings.

A note on our church organ. The pipe organ was purchased around 1919 from the Schantz Organ Company in Orville, OH. In 1943, the organ was rebuilt and cleaned by The Schantz Co. and in 1962, the organ was completely rebuilt by the Schantz Co. and new stops added to bring it up to specifications. Additional repair and cleaning was done in 2004.

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