LEWISBURG — Churches were not only religious centers of the community, but were also chief social centers for young and old from 1817 until the arrival of the “automobile”. In 1817, the Union Church was erected and probably the largest “log rolling” in our area.
A small cemetery on one and a quarter acres had been started at the S. W. corner of Frederick Black’s farm and trustees purchased this al0ong with an adjoining acre from Adam Brown. Black’s farm was the N. W. quarter of Section 27 and Brown’s was the N. E. quarter of Section 28. The Lexington-Greenville Rd. angled N.W. and S.E. across the corner of Black’s farm just east of the proposed church site.
Our present day Front Street is the south line of the former Black farm. It was originally called Frederick Meetinghouse, Black’s Church and Schwartzen, according to the personal preference of each member.
Only a few foundation stones remain today of eight churches that were built. A Methodist Church was erected on land sold to trustees on Dec. 4, 1824. The church lot of one acre was the N.E. corner of the N.W. quarter of Section 15 in Harrison Township. A non-denominational log church once stood in the Tilman-Loy-Hunt Cemetery in the center of Section 3. Kelly’s Chapel, a Methodist Church, was a log church built on Brennersville-Pyrmont Rd. It was built in 1835. Brown’s Methodist Church was formed in 1835 and met at the home of William Brown in Section 7 of Harrison Township. Services were held in member’s homes for 25 years after which they moved into a frame church on the south edge of West Sonora.
In 1839, a church group was formed south of Verona that was United Brethren in name but really non-denominational in character. St John’s Lutheran Church was built in 1848 on the county line in the N.E. quarter of Section One in Twin Township. Walker’s United Brethren Chapel was another church on the fringe of our area. This frame building was built in 1835 on land donated by Vincent Homan and the location was in the fork of the Western and Yohe roads three miles west of Lewisburg. A log church building in Montgomery County was built on the Robert Swisher farm in the N. E. corner of the Preble-Montgomery County Line Road and Sonora Road intersection and held regular services there until interest died out, around 1850 and members transferred to the United Brethren Church that was being organized in Verona.
Currently, we have the Lewisburg Area Council of Churches which is composed of Seven churches that arrange for various community services including Vacation Bible School, with all member churches participating. The member churches consist of: The First United Church of Christ, Trinity Lutheran, Memorial United Methodist, Calvary United Methodist, First Missionary Baptist, Verona United Methodist and Lewisburg Christian Center. Other local churches include Faith Baptist, Lewisburg First Missionary Baptist, Lewisburg Church of God and Lewisburg Christian Center.
Please join us on Tuesday, May 1 for the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus, which will be at the Lewisburg Community Park on Knapke Lane. First show is at 5 p.m. and the second show is at 7 p.m. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at the Bicentennial Store. For more information regarding our Bicentennial activities; you can visit our website at www.lewisburg.net, click on the Bicentennial tab and then the Bicentennial-Timeline.