Church History

church rectory old.jpg

Amid the lovely plateau and the upland fields of Churchtown the gleaming cross of St. John's bell, 150 ft. high, may be seen for many miles.  The Church is set like a jewel in a sea of farms and has stood there for over 100 years.  The Church itself came from that very earth not more than a half mile from where she now stands.  It was 1865, that George Schilling gave the clay from which James Farrel molded the bricks which compose her.

 

Before 1851, Mass was offered in the homes of Daniel Quinn, Thomas McGalrry, and Mary McAfee, but in that year, Fr. Peter Perry, Pastor at Marietta, blessed a roomy frame structure, built on land donated by Michael McDermott as the first St. John the Baptist Church.  For the next fourteen years the Pastors of St. Mary's in Marietta came once a month for services. In1865 the Parish of St. John the Baptist was constituted and on October 22, Father Magnus Eppink was appointed its first Pastor.

 

In 1866 the present building, except for the bell tower and vestibule, was  started on land donated by Mr. Jurden.  In July of that year, Bishop Sylvester H. Rosecrans, Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop John Baptist Burcell of Cincinnati, came to Churchtown to lay the cornerstone.  Fifteen months later, Bishop Rosecrans, acting in an official capacity, dedicated the Church of St. John the Baptist.

 

Time has passed but she has not changed substantially.  In 1875 a wooden floor replaced the original concrete one.  During the following years various improvements have been made.  

 

Fr. Charles F. Highland became Pastor of St. John the Baptist in 1956.  In 1958 the entire interior was redecorated, rewired, relighted, repainted, and otherwise beautified, all the work was done by the skilled workers among the congregation...a tradition which has continued  and one which makes their Church peculiarly their own.