|Lewis Chapel Methodist Church
Lewis Chapel Methodist Church was organized at Chuckery, Ohio circa
1858 by Rev. F. F. Lewis who was then a pastor of the Milford Center
Circuit. (Beers, Union County History, p. 237) The earliest members
being Elihu Bigelow and wife Miriam, Mrs. Hiram Kent, James McCloud,
and Joel Fairbanks.
This small white framed church faced east to Route 38 very near the
intersection of Route 161. Until maybe the 1970’s, the concrete slab and
steps to the church were still in the field. (As I grew up, those steps
looked strange until I found out that they were the entrance to the old
Lewis Chapel Methodist church.) After the church was dissolved, the
building was sold and moved about a mile south. This frame church
building became incorporated into a dairy barn on Gearhart Rausch’s
farm (present day farmed by Carlton Rausch). That land where the
church stood was returned to farmland.
In 1900 the Milford Center Circuit included Unionville Center, Lewis
Chapel, Rosedale, and Irvin’s Station. In 1883, the pastor was Rev. C. A.
Naylor; that had a membership of about 50 people in 1883. For a few
years beginning in 1912 Plumwood was added to that circuit.
Circa 1923 Lewis Chapel Methodist Church was dissolved because of
low membership and probably maintenance issues. My father
remembers when the ceiling fell down on top of all the pews. As a very
young child he remembered crawling in and out of the pews and having a
great time with his other little friends. My dad would have been 4,he had
a sister who was 2, and a brother who was 8 plus whatever other children
might have been there. Soon, thereafter, the church was closed.
Mabel Berne Geyer and George Nelson Morse were married on March
28, 1904 at the parsonage of the pastor of Lewis Chapel Methodist
Church. The pastor was Rev. Jas. F. Steele. (My aunt Mary thought the
parsonage at that time was in Milford Center.)
In 1904, the Lewis Chapel church was in the London District of Methodist
Episcopal Church (Ohio Conference).
Mabel Geyer and her three oldest children were members of that
church—Kermit Morse, Mary Morse, and Dorothy Morse when it was
closed. They then transferred to the Unionville Center Methodist Church.
Rev. Jas. F. Steele served as the pastor of this circuit from 1902 - 1904.
- Lois Morse Barr
*Note: In the 1883 History of Union County by Beers, it is stated that the Unionville
Center Methodist Church probably began in a home in the southern part of the
township as early as maybe 1820—home of Charles McCloud. James McCloud
was listed as an early member of Lewis Chapel. Charles and James were probably
related and lived very close to each other. Chuckery is only several miles from
Unionville and is at the very southern tip of the township. So, there may be some
early connections and division with this early worshipping community. Ohio
Wesleyan University (archives holder for the Methodist Church in central Ohio) tells
me that they have no records about Lewis Chapel. All of the above information has
been gleaned from the 1883 Beers History Book and comments passed down by
ancestors to their descendants. Information for Unionville Center Methodist church
can be found at Beers’ Union County History, p. 234
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