Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Our History

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A Brief Church History of
London Methodist Episcopal Church

The town of London was laid out (by Patrick McClene) in 1811. Two years later in 1813, the first church to be built in the town was established as the Methodist Church. Up to that point, worship was held in private homes. The church was erected on the southwest corner lot of East Fifth & North Walnut. Worship was held at this location from 1818 to 1840.

The second location was a framed building located on the southwest corner of Second St. and South West Oak St. Worship was held at that location from 1840 to 1860. The next building was a brick building erected on the same lot. The cost was $7,500. During the years 1862 to 1863, a new brick parsonage was built south of the church. In 1866 Mrs. Elizabeth Chrisman gave $7000 for a chapel addition to the rear of the church. This chapel still stands on West Second St.

In 1893 the congregation voted on the construction of our present building located on North Main Street and East Fourth Street. The decision to build passed by just one vote. The church was erected in 1893-1894 at a cost of $45,000.00. This figure includes all interior and exteerior furnishings. One of the houses was moved off the lot to Elm Street for the parsonage. The present parsonage was built in 1915. First Church was designed by Charles Crapsey of Cincinnati, Ohio in the High Victorian Gothic style of architecture and constructed in the Akron Plan which originated in Akron, Ohio in 1870. Mr. Crapsey also designed Methodist churches in Cincinnati, Columbus, Xenia, Hamilton, Franklin, Washington Court House, Kenton, Mechanicsburg, Waynesville, and Fostoria.

The building was enlarged in 1962 with a three story, nine room educational wing addition to the north side of the existing building. An elevator was installed in 1992 to make the building handicapped accessible to all three floors. In 1996 a major renovation and restoration project was completed that resulted in restoring the Sanctuary to it's original 1894 design and the installation of central air conditioning.

The Sanctuary, together with the Chapel can easily accommodate 500 persons. Of note, the Sanctuary has always been equipped with theatre style seats. The current seats replaced the original style in 1958. At the heart of the Sanctuary is the famed Johnson & Son Pipe Organ, which consists of 23 ranks of pipes (17 original to 1894) and a drawknob style console. The Sanctuary also features three beautiful stained glass windows that date back to the original 1893 construction of the church. The church also has a fellowship hall located in the basement that can accomidate 400 persons for dinners and is equipped with a full commercial kitchen.