Local History Collections

Collection ID: LH-59, LH-239, LH-347
Location: LH-59, LH-239, LH-347

(Description ID: 594567)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

First United Church of Christ

LH-159, LH-239, LH-347

Agency History
Scope and Content

The records of the Fremont, Ohio, First United Church of Christ were donated by the church in 1963, 1965, 1988, and in 2008.

Agency History
The First United Church of Christ originated in Sandusky County, Ohio, through settlers of the Reformed faith.  In 1842, the Reformed Church and St. John’s Lutheran Church of Fremont, Ohio, joined together to form the Evangelical Lutheran and German Reformed St. John’s Congregation.  Early church ministers performed services on an intermittent basis, until a Lutheran minister arrived in Fremont and augmented the Lutheran body of the church.  As the Reformed constituency had no formal pastor, it was not particularly active in the church at this time.  As a result, in 1853 the church became known as the Evangelical Lutheran St. John’s Congregation.  In 1857, however, German Reformed minister Jeremiah Heller came to the church and arranged the Reformed members into a defined congregation.  At this time, they began preparations for the construction of their own permanent place of worship; in 1858, a church was erected on South Front Street, Fremont, Ohio.

In 1869, as the result of a decision by the General Synod meeting of the German Reform Church in the United States, the Fremont congregation officially changed its name to the First Reformed Church of Fremont.  Throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century into the early twentieth, the church building on Front Street underwent various improvements.  Unfortunately, floods in both 1883 and 1904 would mar much of the work that had been done to the church and parsonage.  In 1906, motivated to relocate from fears of future water damage, the congregation decided to purchase the Buckland homestead on the corner of Park and Birchard Avenues, Fremont, Ohio.  Here the church remained for a considerable period, with extensive enhancements to the building and grounds during the pastorates of Lewis L. Fritz (1928 to 1944) and George Wayman (1945-1956).  It was also during the tenure of Rev. Fritz, in 1934, that the church became known as the First Evangelical and Reformed Church.  In 1957, it united with the Congregational Christian Churches and was once more renamed—this time to the current appellation of the First United Church of Christ, Fremont, Ohio.  In 1957 as well, the church celebrated 100 years of existence, and the following year would purchase land in Ballville Township, Sandusky County, Ohio, for the erection of a new church building.  It would not be until over fifteen years later, however, that the new structure was finally constructed.

In 1971, a New Church Building Project commenced as the congregation prepared for the move to its Ballville Township property.  Groundbreaking for the new church was in April of 1974, with the official dedication and relocation occurring at the close of that year.  A parsonage, furthermore, would be constructed in 1975.  In the years following the move, the First United Church of Christ has continued to flourish.  Its focus on youth programs and commitment to Habitat for Humanity serve as important examples of the church’s activities, and highlight its dedication to community service and the propagation of the faith.

Scope and Content
These records, spanning from 1886 to 1974, contain annual reports, yearbooks, directories, and almanacs of the church, as well as several scenes from the church history play.  Also included are a number of newspaper clippings relating to the church.

The records contained here date from 1894 to 1983.  They consist of various church societies’ meeting minutes and membership lists, including those of the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, the Sisterhood Class, the Ever Ready Class, the Board of Christian Education, and the Women’s Guild, among others.  It also contains treasurer’s records for the church, weekly collection accounts, and financial receipts and reports—such as the Benevolent Fund, Birthday, and Building accounts.

These records, spanning from 1906 to 2001, include financial secretary’s reports, treasurer’s reports, consistory agenda and meeting minutes, financial records and receipts (such as budget materials and employee earnings), church leaflets and pamphlets, materials regarding the 100th anniversary celebration in 1957, and newspaper clippings concerning the church and its members.  The records also contain various photographs relating to the church building, activities, clergy, and congregation.

Ac. 1501, 1684
1 linear ft.


1.  Annual report, 1959-1960
2.  Annual report, 1961
3.  Annual report, 1962
4.  Scenes from church history play
5.  Yearbooks, almanacs
6.  Booklets, directories, newspaper clippings

Ac. 5060
6 linear ft.


1.  Christian Endeavor Society Minutes, 1911-1913
2.  Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, 1906-1908
3.  Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, 1916-1925
4.  Intermediate Christian Endeavor Society Minutes, 1921-1924
5.  Christian Endeavor Financial Records, 1926-1930
6.  Everyman’s Class Minutes, 1913-1917
7.  Sisterhood Class Minutes, 1941-1949
8.  Sisterhood Class Minutes, 1950-1952
9.  Ever Ready Class Treasurer’s Record, 1940-1948
10.  Ever Ready Class Minutes and Membership, 1933-1936
11.  Ever Ready Class Minutes and Membership, 1937-1941
12.  Ever Ready Class Minutes and Membership, 1943-1945
13.  Ever Ready Class Minutes and Membership, 1951-1958
14.  Ever Ready Class Minutes and Membership, 1959-1970
15.  Willing Workers Minutes and Membership, 1922-1928
16.  Friendship Class Minutes and Membership, 1919-1935
17.  Trial-Jr. Committee Attendance Record, 1921-1923
18.  Christian Education Board Minutes, 1941-1948
19.  Christian Education Board Minutes, 1949-1958
20.  Christian Education Board Minutes, 1958-1963
21.  Missionary Society Minutes and Membership, 1926-1934
22.  Missionary Committee Minutes, 1899-1901
23.  U-2 Class Minutes, 1937-1942
24.  You Too Class, 1943-1949, and Brotherhood, 1952-1962
25.  Mission Band Minutes and Membership, 1934-1935
26.  Bible Class Minutes, 1944


1.  Women’s Guild Minutes, 1942-1946
2.  Women’s Guild Minutes, 1946-1951
3.  Senior Youth Guild Account Books, 1942-1944
4.  Girl’s Missionary Guild Minutes and Membership, 1933-1936
     Senior Missionary Guild Minutes and Membership, 1937-1939
5.  Church Library Record, 1905-1909
6.  Junior Youth Fellowship Minutes and Membership, 1957-1959
7.  Church parsonage fund account, 1927-1937
8.  Birthday fund account, 1905-1936
9.  Church record and consistory meetings, 1894-1898
10.  Council Minutes, 1900-1901
11.  Council Minutes, 1902-1904
12.  Council Minutes, 1905-1914
13.  Benevolent Fund account, 1904-1911
14.  Benevolent Fund account, 1910-1915
15.  Building fund account, 1946-1964
16.  Building fund account, 1974-1975
17.  Sunday School secretary’s report, 1915
18.  Check stubs, 1968-1970


1.  Treasurer’s account, 1905-1908
2.  Treasurer’s account, 1905-1909
3.  Weekly Collection account, 1906-1907
4.  Weekly Collection account, 1907-1909
5.  Weekly Collection account, 1909-1911
6.  Weekly Collection account, 1913-1915
7.  Weekly Collection account, 1915-1916
8.  Treasurer’s account, 1944-1949
9.  Treasurer’s account, 1957-1962
10.  Treasurer’s account, 1963-1967
11.  Treasurer’s account, 1973-1974
12.  Treasurer’s account, 1975-1976
13.  Treasurer’s account, 1976


1.  Treasurer’s account, 1977
2.  Treasurer’s account, 1979
3.  Treasurer’s account, 1980
4.  Treasurer’s account, 1981
5.  Treasurer’s account, 1982
6.  Treasurer’s account, 1983
7.  Treasurer’s account, 1983
8.  Receipts, 1959
     Croghan Colonial Payment Book, 1982
     Emergency Account Savings Book
     Minutes of Fourth Biennial Synodical Meeting, 1948
     Miscellaneous Correspondence of Building Committee, 1973

Ac. 5691
6 linear ft.


1.  Treasurer’s reports and church affairs, 1957-1960
2.  Insurance, 1954, 1957, 1959, 1961
3.  Balance sheets, 1962
4.  Bank deposit slips, 1962
5.  Bank deposit slips, 1963
6.  Budget materials, 1953-1964
7.  Employee earnings, 1964-1965
8.  Treasurer’s reports, 1960-1965
9.  Treasurer’s reports, 1957-1966
10.  Board of Christian Education/Sunday School—treasurer’s reports, minutes, miscellaneous, 1980-1981
11.  Consistory booklet, 1954
12.  Reference directory, 1934-1935
13.  Church directory, 1963
14.  Miscellaneous newspaper clippings, papers, pamphlets, booklets
15.  Council of Religious Education papers
16.  Music and Worship Committee papers
17.  Church history, self-study
18.  Church-related homes and colleges
19.  Miyagi Gakuin girls’ school, Japan
20.  Essays on the teaching ministry
21.  100th Anniversary skit
22.  Yearbooks, 1930, 1937-1938
23.  Printed Christian Art
24.  Photographs—building construction, etc.
25.  Photographs—church interior and exterior
26.  Photographs—confirmation classes
27.  Photographs—clergy
28.  Photographs—church activities and events
29.  Photographs—church activities and events
30.  Photographs—congregation
31.  Photographs—congregation
32.  Photographs—congregation
33.  Miscellaneous church photographs, negatives


1.  Financial secretary’s reports, 1956-1960
2.  Check stubs, 1965-1966
3.  Consistory meeting minutes, treasurer’s reports, 1968-1969
4.  Consistory meeting minutes, treasurer’s reports, 1970-1971
5.  Consistory meeting minutes, treasurer’s reports, 1972-1973
6.  Consistory meeting minutes, treasurer’s reports, 1974
7.  Consistory agenda, meeting minutes, 1979-1981
8.  Consistory agenda, meeting minutes, 1982
9.  Consistory agenda, meeting minutes, 1983
10.  Christian Board of Education minutes, agenda, misc., 1982-1986
11.  Christian Board of Education minutes, treasurer’s reports, Sunday School documents, 1985-1987
12.  Sunday School record, 1971-1972
13.  100th Anniversary program
14.  Donation plaque, 1947


1.  Financial secretary’s reports, 1906-1909
2.  Treasurer’s reports, 1906-1923
3.  Treasurer’s reports, 1923-1934
4.  Treasurer’s reports, 1935-1956
5.  Membership lists, meeting minutes, 1928-1947


1.  Newspaper clippings, photographs, leaflets, 1945-2001


1.  Newspaper clippings, photographs, leaflets, 1945-2001


1.  Financial secretary’s report, n.d.
2.  Financial secretary’s report, n.d.
3.  Financial secretary’s report, 1926-1930
4.  Financial secretary’s report, 1927-1929
5.  Financial secretary’s report, 1929-1930
6.  Financial secretary’s report, 1931-1939
7.  Financial secretary’s report, 1950
8.  Financial secretary’s report, 1960-1961
9.  Financial secretary’s report, 1962
10.  Financial secretary’s report, 1963
11.  Consistory reports, treasurer’s reports, meeting minutes, 1948-1958
12.  Consistory reports, treasurer’s reports, meeting minutes, 1959-1968