FROM 1855 to 1955

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    As the population increased in the community there was need of a Church. In the beginning Joseph Blazer organized a Sunday School.
    The Sunday School was held in a log school house located on a hill between Route 7 and the Mutton Hollow Road. Later a circuit rider held monthly services there.
    Farmers furnished the timber from their farms. The logs were hauled to a sawmill on the river- front. This mill’s name was Clipper Mills.
    The Church pattern was sawed here, others gave money, and many gave free labor. James Hamilton and Alexander Willey were the contractors.
    When it was dedicated, it was named Ohio Chapel. Some of the early members of Ohio Chapel were families of the following: Joseph Balzer, Mr. Lesley James Hamilton, John Chevealier, John Nesbitt, Monroe Cauffman, The Willey’s. George Poole.
    Then there was the Plymales, The Brown’s and Bruckers, The Kinders, McConnell’s Dickey’s, Iron’s, Cottrells, Brothers, Robert’s and many others.
    This Church had two entrances, one for the men and the other for the women. On entering, one would see the high back seats painted red. In the aisle were small chandeliers holding oil burning lamps, two other lamps were on each side of the pulpit in brackets. Next were two large coal stoves. The pulpit was a low platform, on it a table which held the Bible.
    In front of it was a long bench known as the mourner’s bench. In the corner near the, elderly women usually sat, and on the opposite side, elderly men usually sat. This was called the Amen corner.
    Later an organ was purchased. Frank Nesbitt was the first organist and continued to be for many years, since that time many changes have taken place.
    Many members remember the wrought iron fence, the trees and the large Church yard.
    Recently a fuel oil furnace has been added or installed and three Sunday school rooms added.
    The front doors were given in the memory of: Mr. and Mrs. William Harrington, by their daughter Arista Boggs.
    The bell, which was a part of Raccoon Island Community since 1896, now hangs in its new tower here at Ohio Chapel. For a number of years this was on the River.
    Jacob Riggs, father of Earnest Riggs, purchased it from the White Collar Line, and it now hangs in the tower at Ohio Chapel , and it was rung for the first time at Clay Chapel Church in 1896, but now send forth its messages from Ohio Chapel Church, Come to Worship, We see this grand old Church for the past century it has served generations of the past as a house of Worship, and still continues the present generation for the same purpose in which it was founded.
    Our grateful thanks to Parney Willey. For giving to us this history as she remembered it as told to her by her mother.

“This is my Fathers house
     And this His will for me
He left a shinning legacy
     His Church, where I may come
And find His presence here.
     Where I may find Him speaking
Softly clear
     Bidding me feel at home
Bidding me rest and length
     Till we shall freely gather new life
New Strength
     For the full days ahead
Thus listening to the Lord.
     Help me to use aright thy gift Dear Lord.”

August 26, 1955
Recorded by Nellie Stover
Church Record Official
Transcribed by Marian Schoonover

                                                  APRIL 1, 1962

     On November 1, 1961 Ohio Chapel purchased a new organ from Summer’s and Son’s Music Store at Jackson, Ohio.
     On February 1, 1962 the organ was paid off in full, just ninety days after the purchase for the sum of $1,333.16.
     On April 1, the organ was dedicated under the direction of our pastor Rev. Wendell G. Stuttler, speaker for the dedication was the District Superintendent Dr. Stanley  H. McGillaird.
     Mary Margaret Willis was the organist for the worship service and Mildred Evans for Sunday School and the Assistant.
     For over one hundred years people of that community and elsewhere have been worshiping at the little Church that stands beside of the road.
     But we have come a long ways since then the population has grown so much until three Sunday School rooms had to be added and still the church keeps growing.
     The people of Ohio Chapel are very proud of the enrollment and the prosperous growth of the little church by the side of the road and the Ohio River.
     We treasure many memories there, of the past, some are happy ones, other sad ones, but all in all it stands out as a great monument to the past present, and future of the community and the little berg of Clipper Mills.
     The Bell that hangs high in its tower rings out over the land, to and fro, with its rich melody, tones each Sunday morning calling the people far and wide to come to church and worship God.
     And the organ playing the old sweet songs our Mothers and Fathers used to sing brings back many happy thoughts.
     The children with their faces shinning like the ray of sun, full of glee, merry and laughter without a worry or a care, not knowing what the future holds in store for them, singing praises to God, sending up their testimonies in songs some day filling our places as we have our fore Fathers and Mothers.
     With the church growing, and the Christians all working together in unity God has to be working through and among the people.
     God has said, for where two or three people are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matt. 18-20

Nellie Stover
Church record Official

Transcribed by Marian Schoonover


     CLIPPER MILLS – Groundbreaking ceremonies were held last Sunday for the new building that will house Christ United Methodist church.
The new structure will be an “L” shaped one-story brick building located approximately seven miles south of Gallipolis. Estimated cost of the building is $165,000. volunteer skilled laborers from the United Methodist will be participating in the construction of the new church.
     The sanctuary will seat 180 people and will be a multipurpose room with mobile pews and sliding doors that will convert the sanctuary into classrooms or a fellowship room for church and community needs.
Church offices, classrooms, restrooms, nursery, and sound room will fill out the rest of the building.
     During the groundbreaking ceremony, two check totaling $25,000 were presented to the church by Rev. Ben Edwards, Athens District Superintendent of the United Methodist Church. The checks were presented to Richard Baker, building committee chairman, and James Craft, chairman of church trustees. The checks were given to the finance committee to be deposited into the building fund.
     Also on hand to represent the District were David Harris, Assistant Superintendent, and Bob Davis Program Coordinator for Jackson Area Ministries.
At present, $53,000 has been pledged to the project by the congregation, and the building fund has topped $45,000.
     Christ United Methodist Church has been assembling over 130 years in the while frame building at Clipper Mills, which was formerly know as Ohio Chapel Church. Time has taken its toll on the elder structure. The sanctuary and classroom floors have fallen, causing the entire building to lean. Parking space is limited, room for expansion is nonexistent, and renovation would be unfeasible.

The Sunday Times Sentinel
17 March 1985
Transcribed by Marian Schoonover

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