History of St Paul's UCC
St. Paul’s can truly claim to be a UNITED Church of Christ congregation. In 1973, The First Congregational UCC and St. Paul’s UCC (E&R) united as one. Each brought a rich heritage to the merger.
First Congregational Church
On September 20 1836, ten settlers of the Fireland area of the Connecticut Western Reserve organized a church in Bellevue (then known as Amsden Corners) under the Presbyterian form of church government. In March 1846, the name of the church was officially changed from Presbyterian to Congregational and named First Congregational Church. At the time of its semi-centennial celebration, a member of the congregation, Mr. Daniel M. Harkness, desired to erect a memorial to the memory of his beloved wife, Isabelle Harkness, a former faithful member of the church. The building of the Harkness Memorial Church on Southwest Street and its dedication were outstanding events in the community. This building is still standing in Bellevue.
St. Paul’s United Church of Christ (formerly Evangelical and Reformed)
St. Paul’s German Reformed Congregation was incorporated on September 19, 1863. In 1869, the General Synod dropped “German.” The name “United Church of Christ” became official with the adoption of the national UCC constitution on July 4, 1961. Through the efforts of the Rev. Eli Keller, Pastor of Zion’s Church in Thompson Township (Fireside), St. Paul’s was started. A number of Bellevue folk rode horseback, walked, or went in wagons to Zion’s Church, located about five miles south of town. After a church was started in town many transferred or became members of the new congregation. Beginning services were held in the Bellevue High School. In the spring of 1864 ground was broken and the cornerstone lay on the Kilbourne Road site (present site of St. Paul’s). The congregation was organized the fall of 1865.
Ground was broken April 23 1961, for a much-needed Educational and Fellowship Hall addition. It was dedicated Mach 4, 1962.
Following years of exploration, First Congregational and St. Paul’s merged in 1973. The first service of the united congregation was held on February 17, 1974. Worship service opened in the First Congregational Church and closed in St. Paul’s Church. Lighted candles on the altar were carried from the First Congregational Church to St. Paul’s.
One of the first actions of the new congregation was the decision to build a new sanctuary. On October 3, 1976, the last service was held in the old sanctuary, which was torn down in November. On November 28, 196, ground was broken for the new sanctuary and the cornerstone laying service was June 5, 1977. The first service in the new (present) sanctuary was on Pentecost Sunday – May 14, 1978.
|Sunday School (Sep - May) Check Calendar for dates.||9:00 AM|
|Fellowship Time||9:45 AM|
|Worship Service||10:15 AM|