HISTORY OF LOGANSVILLE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
Logansville is a small village located in west central Ohio near Bellefontaine, Ohio's highest point. Logan County has a long history, dating back to the mid 1700’s, when explorers like Daniel Boone, Simon Kenton, and Benjamin Logan came to the area from Kentucky. Logan County was a locality represented to be "a land of milk and honey."
Early in the month of March, 1809, James Moore and Robert Dickson began, from the interior of the state of Kentucky, a long and tedious journey to Logan County, Ohio. Each man came with two yoke of oxen attached to heavy covered wagons in which were their families and a few necessary articles of household goods.
After varied mishaps they arrived in Urbana. For the most part their route was a blazed trail. From Urbana to where Logansville now stands (on the east bank of the Great Miami River) was almost a wilderness. The land previously purchased consisted of a fraction of a section embracing some 300 acres, including and extending along the river. Two years passed by and still these two families were the sole white occupants of the territory embraced within the limits of what is now Pleasant Township. During the fall of l8ll, Alfred Mathews and John Means, each with a large family, arrived in the township. Soon other families arrived.
The history of the church dates from a period near the close of the War of 1812. Early in the summer of the year of 1815, a circuit riding preacher of the New Light or Christian Faith from Cane Ridge, Kentucky, came into the settlement and announced a meeting at a farm house. At the appointed time the entire settlement turned out and so much interest was manifested that another meeting was announced. This was followed at intervals of a few weeks duration by others preaching until 1824. The families of the original settlers, Robert Dickson, Alfred Matthews, John Means, James Moore united in the formation of the first religious society in Pleasant Township. Not long afterwards a log meeting house was built in Logansville.
A few years later, a society of Presbyterians was formed in the area. The Presbyterians and the believers at Logansville united in the erection of a comfortable frame church. The next record was of 1866, when more names were added to the church membership. In 1867 a revival meeting was held and even more names were added.
The church building was first built and dedicated in 1876. The logs for the frame were donated by Martin L. Rohrer. It was built by William Naugle and his son, G.C. Naugle. The structure was then plastered by Hugh Barr, and papered by Blanche Chamberlin and Mr. Tinman. A local blacksmith fabricated the hook and hangers for the church bell which was dedicated and rung on October 16, 1876. Thomas Heston was the first pastor of the new church.
In 1898, this church was remodeled. The front vestibule and back alcove were added. In 1921 the church was remodeled again and rededicated.
The first organ was bought in 1886 and Miss Minta Long was the first organist with William Naugle as chorister. The salary of the first pastor was $150 a year and the salary of the first sexton was $14 a year. The Bible stand was made by Adam Krouse. The Rev. J. Yantis was known to receive the most members into the church during one pastorate-131 new members in his four years as the minister.
In the years 1921-1922 the church dining room and kitchen were finished and the rooms added on either side of the vestibule. A few years later more improvements were made, such as: storm windows, window shades, hardwood floors, oil furnace and entrance steps.
By 1949, the church was ready for the 125th anniversary. The 125th Anniversary was held November, 1949, with a full day of entertainment, gospel singing, and a carry-in dinner.
A few of the former pastors to that time were: Rev. Rimer, Rev. Yantis, Rev. Thompson, Rev. Winegardner, Rev. Wigfield, Rev. Denlinger, Rev. Robert Turner, Rev. Buckley.
In 1963, a house across the road from the church was purchased for a parsonage. In 1964 stain glass windows were installed and a new cement floor was poured in the basement. On Nov. 1, 1964, a dedication and anniversary service was held. The parsonage was paid off in 1968.
In 1973, Rev. Ronald Ringwald, 35, pastor of the Logansville Congregational Christian church was killed in Honobia, Okla., when a small, single-engine private plane crashed while taking off from a religious mountain retreat in southeast Oklahoma. The young minister had filled the Logansville pastorate since sometime the previous September (1972).
By 1973 the belfry was deteriorating. There was much danger for the people on the highway and also the congregation.
The steeple was dismantled and a new belfry was put up in 1974. Also, the outside of church and basement was painted, new basement light fixtures put in, and the vestibule refinished. This was completed in time for the 150th anniversary in 1974.
Some of the former pastors up to this date as follows: Rev. Jones, Rev. Stephenson, Rev. Pierpont, Rev. Daniels, Rev. Shady, Rev. Ringwald (who was killed in a plane crash while pastoring here) and Jack Heath.
In 1982 restrooms were installed and 3 years later a nursery was provided. The Leo knight home was purchased and also 3 acres of farm ground joining the church property.
By the fall of 1984, the membership of Logansville Church consisted of less than 20 people. The faithful few faced the reality of not being able to pay a pastor's salary and living expenses, and the possibility of closing the church doors. Then Anita Rohrer and Luella Baughman, while attending the local Christian Women's Club, heard about Village Missions. They mentioned the possibility of inquiring about leadership to the church. By January 4, 1985 the parsonage had a new face and Larry, Kathy, and Kelli Shetenhelm, Village Missionaries, were the new occupants. "We didn't know what our new pastor would be like," commented Anita, "but the Lord answered our prayers. Pastor Larry speaks to us directly from God's Word and one of his outreach ministries of the church has been the summer Vacation Bible School.”
In 1986 the Logansville Christian Church members voted to change the name of the church to Logansville Community Church.
By 1989 the old church was too small as the congregation was increasing. Plans were made in January 1990 to construct a larger church. This church was completed and dedicated January 21,1991. The parsonage across the road was sold and a new parsonage was built on Co. Rd. 24 in 1992.
The ministry of Logansville Community Church has been family oriented, with programs and activities for all ages. This included not only the church services, but also the dinners, Bible studies, choir, Old Fashioned Logansville Day (complete with hog roast), and a whole new way to celebrate New Year's Eve.
Another outreach has been the monthly men's breakfast. The men of the church prepare the food—for the most part. Usually 10-12 men come together for a time of fellowship, devotions, and prayer. Some of the younger fathers also bring their sons. God is faithful in building strong relationships between fathers and sons.
Every Sunday morning, the Sunday School superintendent makes sure the church bell is rung. The clear, fresh sound of the bell is a reminder of God's faithfulness in West Central Ohio.
During the spring and summer of 1999 members of the church had been busy painting the old church, replacing the front doors with a single door, washing the stained glass windows, inside and out, painting the weather vane on top of the church, and many other tasks.
Did the members have time for worship? They surely did! Regular services were being held, including Sunday School and Worship Service on Sunday mornings. Also, during the school months, "Awana" and "Word of Life" programs are provided for the children and teenagers. Awana had an average of 100 to 105 children and an average of 20 helpers. The children come on Wednesday evenings to learn more of the bible. In the fall of 1999, Awana will soon be starting for the 11th year.
On August 8, 1999, members, friends, and neighbors were together to celebrate the 175th anniversary. As was stated in the newspaper by Gerald Baker, "The Lord has faithfully blessed us with a rich historical past and now he is preparing us for the future."
The church again dwindled in size in 2000, but was stable in its worship services and outreach ministries. This was followed by ten years of little growth and several pastors.
In January, 2012, Dana Kidder came from New Hampshire to fill the pulpit. Once again, Logansville has a minister who is enthusiastic about the Lord and the members of the congregation. Attendance is slowly building and there is new spiritual growth.
We are looking forward to the future once again.
Updated July, 2012 from the 1974 and 1999 versions.