In 1892 many local families had a long way to travel to worship at the surrounding Lutheran churches. Many traveled on
foot, buggy, or wagon to other churches.
Several families met to discuss having worship services in their own community. After contacting Rev. J.H. Rexrode, who
was serving area churches, he agreed to serve if a suitable meeting place could be found.
The old Charity School house, which was located in the northwest corner of the current Ned Sipe property, was secured
and Rev. Rexrode held services there for interested families. Some say they were held once a month and some were
held outdoors under the trees when weather permitted.
Soon a building committee was elected, consisting of William Dellinger, Freeman Huffman, William (Billy) Killian, and Titus
Sipe, with Titus Sipe serving as the chairman. Plans were submitted and accepted. Pastor Rexrode officiated at the
cornerstone laying. It was a 30 x 50 frame structure. Members cut logs and hauled them to the sawmill. After ten
months of toil, they had a place of worship, constructed chiefly with their own hands. It had a good location (where the
bus garage is now) and a very churchly appearance.
The church was dedicated on June 3, 1894 by Rev. Rexrode, assisted by Rev. C.D. Beach and Rev. W.E. Tressel of
Hickory Seminary. The following thirteen families made up the charter membership:
William Dellinger, Lee Hefner, William E. (Billy) Kilian, Jerome Simmons, Jacob Sipe, John Sipe, Will Sipe, George Hefner,
Freeman Huffman, Emmanuel Shook, Elkanah Sipe, Eli Kaylor, and Titus Sipe.
Undoubtedly there were others, including women and children, but in the year 1893 women's suffrage in the church was
unheard of and only the husband signed the constitution for himself and his spouse.
The group chose the name Mt. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and sought synodical membership in the old joint
Synod of Ohio and Tennessee. Some members of the first confirmation class were Cordie and Alice Dellinger, Ida Killian,
Vance Sipe, Tom Sipe, and Hattie Shook. Communion was received by the common cup. Men sat on one side, while
women and children sat on the other. No organ or piano was available and hymns were started by Eli Kaylor with a pitch
Rev. Rexrode was pastor from 1892 until 1895, when he had to relinquish his leadership at Mt. Zion because of his other
duties. Rev. Lawrence Propst was called and served until 1911. In 1929 a new brick church was built with much of the
construction done by members. A two story educational building was begun in 1941 and a parish hall in 1948. After it
was finished, services were held there while the brick church was renovated with a balcony being added. In 1956
another Sunday School unit was added. The renovated sanctuary was crowded and plans were made to build a larger
one. The present house of worship was dedicated in 1963.
In 1911 a parsonage was built on land purchased from William E. Killian and owned by Mt. Zion, St. John's, and Old St.
Paul's. It was sold to W.E. Killian in 1911 and in 1924 a parsonage was bought in Conover from J.A. Rice and deeded to
Mt. Zion and Old St. Paul's. It was sold at public auction in 1937.
A new brick parsonage was built on church property about 1939 after Rev. L.C. Pretty was called. This building was later
sold and moved to Sipe's Orchard Home. Some pastors received a housing allowance and lived other places, while
supply pastors lived at other churches.
|The Centennial Times was a
newsletter written during our
Centennial Celebration from
1993-1994. Some of the
newsletters are below in PDF
Issue #1, Page 1
Issue #1, Page 2
Issue #1, Page 3
Issue #1, Page 4
Issue #4, Page 1
Issue #4, Page 2
Issue #4, Page 3
Issue #4, Page 4
Issue #6, Page 1
Issue #6, Page 2
Issue #6, Page 3
Issue #6, Page 4
Issue #7, Page 1
Issue #7, Page 2
Issue #7, Page 3
Issue #7, Page 4
Pastor Issue, Page 1
Pastor Issue, Page 2
Pastor Issue, Page 3
Pastor Issue, Page 4
Pastor Issue, Page 5
Pastor Issue, Page 6
Pastor Issue, Page 7
Pastor Issue, Page 8
Pastor Issue, Page 9
Pastor Issue, Page 10
Pastor issue, Page 11
Pastor Issue, Page 12
Pastor Issue, Page 13
Pastor Issue, Page 14
Unknown, Page 1
Unknown, Page 2
Unknown, Page 3
Unknown, Page 4