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Friday, May 5, 2017

The Presbyterian Church, Defiance, Ohio

From the Defiance Democrat, July 26, 1894...an article describing the beautiful churches and cemeteries of Defiance, Ohio


 "The first movement towards organizing a Presbyterian church at Defiance was on the 10th of August, 1837, when an Eclesiastical society was formed.  The society appointed a committee to confer with Rev. W. B. Stowe and ascertain on what conditions he would become pastor of the society when the meeting adjourned to meet August 19, at 3 o'clock p.m.  

On the ninth of November, Rev. Stowe held a meeting and obtained the names of a number of people who were willing to become members of a Presbyterian church.  The church was formally organized on the 11th day of December, 1837, when the Presbyterian form of government was adopted and the elders elected.  

Religious services were first held in the old court house, which is still standing and is now occupied by Henry Hardy as a residence.  Rev. W. B. Stowe was pastor of the church until the 31st of March, 1839, when, on account of failing health, he resigned.

Rev. E. R. Tucker succeeded Mr. Stowe, and was installed as pastor on the 9th day of August, 1841.  Mr. Tucker worked hard and faithfully for the church and deserves much praise for his labors.  The nearest Presbyterian church was many miles distant and he had to travel over rough and often muddy roads to perform the duties of his office and he received but $60 or $70 a year for his labors.  It was through his exertions that the present church was built.  At that time, it was a tremendous undertaking, but though it took years of patient endeavor and hard labor, it was at last accomplished.  

For the success fo the undertaking, all honor is due Mr. Tucker.  It was through his efforts alone that the great enterprise was successful.  In 1860, he resigned his pastorate and soon afterward died in Newburyport, Mass.  After the death of Mr. Tucker, Rev. J. R. Stockton had charge of the church for one year.

The present pastor, Rev. B. W. Slagle, succeeded Mr. Stockton in August, 1862.  He served as stated supply until July 11th, 1870.  On September 11th, 1870, he was installed pastor of the Presbyterian church of Defiance.
A new church was built in the early 1900's
 The church has undergone many improvements since its first erection among which are the building of the pleasant study, the recess for the fine pipe organ possessed by the church, and remodeling of the audience room and the introduction of new seats, carpets and heating apparatus, and the papering of the walls and ceiling.

Rev. Slagle has been pastor of the church for many years and has won the respect and sincere love of his people and all who are thrown into contact with him.  The members of the church are now contemplating the building of a new and handsome church.  I should think they could scarcely bear to give up the old church.  For long years, Rev. Tucker and the few faithful members worked with hard, preservering faithfulness to complete it, and it seems to me, that this would make the old church dearer and more precious to them than the most magnificent edifice that could be erected."

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