OUR HISTORY

 

The Congregations of St. Peter's United Protestant Evangelical Church (1832) and St. Paul's Evangelical Protestant Church (1845) merged in 1948. Both had and still have a strong German influence on their tradition.
 
Ground was purchased in 1949 and ground was broken for building in October 1949. Building began in November 1950 and the current building was dedicated. They became a "uniting" congregation 7 years before the merge by taking the name of St. Peter & St. Paul United Church. In 1957, they added the United Church of Christ to their name. In 1952, the parsonage was built.
 
In the year 2000 we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of religious presence on the Westwood site (which is the area of town in which we are located). We have re-enacted the Cornerstone laying, had a picnic on Pentecost with a Confirmation Reunion, a Re-dedication Ceremony in November with Ralph Quelhorst, U.C.C. Ohio Conference Minister present; and a Dinner/Dance in December.
 
In the 1970's, the huge stain glass window behind the altar was donated in memory of the Goering's parents. (It depicts Peter and Paul on either side of Jesus, with images representing their ministry). It replaced the large velvet curtain and wooden cross. In the 1980's, some renovation and an organ rebuild was done. The church now has a colonial look to it. A big change from the blond look of the original woodwork. Room allocation and a handicapped entrance was put in. In the 1990's, five more smaller round stain glass windows were commissioned from the same artist as the front window.
 
All pastorates at this congregation have been long by today's standards. The typical minimum stay is 10 years.
Rev. J. Peter Wagner was the first Pastor of the merged congregation (1948-1966).
Rev. J. Donald Barthelmeh (1966-1982)
Rev. Bill Bonham (1983-1993)
Rev. J. Martin Westermeyer (1995-2015)
Rev. Paul M. Burden (2017-Present)- is only the fifth installed Pastor since the merger.
 
The United Church of Christ is a fellowship of many Christians under Christ, the sole head of the church. The United Church of Christ was once four church bodies, not joined together.
 
In 1934, the German Reformed Church of the United States and the Evangelical Synod in North America united to form the Evangelical and Reformed Church. They stressed the liberty of conscience and authority of the Scriptures and their common liberal German Protestant heritage.
 
In 1931, the Congregational Churches and the Christian Church united to form the Congregational Christian Churches. They stressed congregational freedom and a continuing reformation.
 
In 1957, the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches united to form the United Church of Christ.

© 2018 by St. Peter and St. Paul United Church of Christ.

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