Final 3 Friends Churches of Van Wert Quarterly Meeting

The past couple weeks I have written about Friends Churches in Mercer and Van Wert Counties that were established under the Van Wert Quarterly Meeting of Friends (Quakers), as described in Gregory P. Hinshaw’s brief history of the churches.

Hinshaw’s history tells that there were 3 additional Friends churches in the Van Wert Quarterly Meeting, two of them in other counties and the third in another state.

Spencerville Friends Church, Spencerville, Ohio. (2014)

Spencerville Friends Church was formed from a non-Friends group in the area shortly after 1900. They built a meetinghouse on Mulberry Street in Spencerville (Spencer Township, Allen County, Ohio) in 1904. The Apostolic Holiness Union was organized in 1905 and was later known as the Spencerville Holiness Mission. The congregation joined the Indiana Yearly Meeting of Friends in 1915, under the Rockford Monthly Meeting, and Spencerville Monthly Meeting was established in 1919. The meetinghouse was remodeled in 1934, 1942, 1958, and 1975-83. A parsonage was built north of the church in 1966-68. The Friends Fellowship Hall was erected south of the meetinghouse in 1958-59.

St. Marys First Friends Church, St. Marys, Ohio. (2021 photo by Karen)

St. Marys First Friends Church was organized in 1908 by Albert J. Furstenberger, organized as a Friends Mission. A meeting for worship and preparative meeting was set up under Friends Chapel Monthly Meeting in 1909. The cornerstone of the meetinghouse, located at the corner of High and Pine Streets in St. Marys (Auglaize County), was laid on 2 October 1910 and the building was dedicated by Thomas C. Brown on 10 December 1911. St. Marys Monthly Meeting was established in 1913. Their pastor tried to withdraw from the Indiana Yearly Meeting in 1950 but was stopped by John Compton, the Superintendent of Indiana Yearly Meeting. The congregation officially renamed itself First Friends Church in 1950.

Monmouth Friends Church was established under the Van Wert Monthly Meeting in 1881 and the church was located in Monmouth (Adams County, Indiana). The congregation was laid down in 1886.

For those of you who have Quaker ancestry, the Quakers kept very good records in their Monthly Meeting Records. They recorded vital events (births, marriages, deaths) as well as memberships and disownments. Some of their records have been published and some are on microfilm. Some may be found on-line.

Main source of information: “A Brief History of the Churches of Van Wert Quarterly Meeting of Friends (Quakers)” by Gregory P. Hinshaw, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005.

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