Our History

Experience our journey of faith for nearly 200 years

Mount Union Methodist Church

The Mount Union Methodist Church was first built in 1846 on a plot of land on the southwest corner of College Street and Union Avenue, donated in 1841 by Job and Maria Johnson. Prior to that time, services were held in the woods during the summer and in a schoolhouse located one and one-half miles east of Mount Union. The congregation held services in this original structure until it was sold to William A. Nixon in 1857 for $250 and it became a private dwelling. In 1858, the house was moved east on College Street and remained there until it was demolished to make room for medical facilities in the late 1990s.

Second Church Building

As the congregation increased, the need for a larger building became more apparent. The second church building was built in 1857 on the corner of Hartshorn Street and Union Avenue at a cost of $1,900. Thomas A. Nixon donated the bell. Mount Union College held its first commencement in it in 1858. By the 1880s the building no longer met the needs of the congregation and was replaced in 1893 by the current brick structure. In the early 1890s, the second church was dismantled and became part of the Stroup Lumber Company.

Union Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church

The current church was designed by Sidney R. Badgely, a prominent architect from Cleveland and constructed in 1893. President William McKinley, then governor of Ohio, assisted at the cornerstone-laying ceremony.

The cost of construction was $27,372.54 and the stained glass windows, designed by Flanagan and Biedenweg of Chicago, cost $993.02. The architectural style is Modernized Romanesque and the interior is of the Akron Plan as designed by Lewis Miller.

Several major and minor renovation and building projects have taken place in the last 100 years. A major addition to the church was the current educational building and Fellowship Hall along Hartshorn Street, which was built in the late 1950s and dedicated on May 1, 1960.

To increase building accessibility, a new covered entrance was added to the north side of the church in 2014. The project also included improved accessibility in the sanctuary and infrastructure repairs and improvements. The church’s first organ, a gift from Andrew Carnegie, was built and installed by Hillgreen-Lane Co. and was dedicated on April 10, 1902. The church’s second Hillgreen-Lane organ was dedicated Oct. 3, 1948, and at that time the sanctuary was renovated. Our current organ, built by Schantz Organ Co., of Orrville, Ohio, was dedicated on May 3, 1998. The three-manual, 40-rank organ has 2,304 pipes.