Huntsville Presbyterian Church celebrated 185 years on September 24, 2009. It is one of the oldest churches in Logan County, dating back to the time of circuit riders who covered the area from 1821 to 1825. In 1824, Rev. James Robinson and Rev. Robert Dobbins organized eighteen Presbyterians into the congregation then known as Cherokee Run. Over the next century, the new church grew in size, moved to a new location, changed its name, saw its building destroyed by fire, and built a new structure at its present location in 1929.
During the 1940’s, a movement to unite the United Presbyterian and Presbyterian churches grew. The young adults of the Presbyterian Church attended Sunday School at the United Presbyterian church, and then returned to the Presbyterian Church for worship. In September of 1945, both Ohio Northwestern United Presbyterian and Marion Presbyteries approved a federation which lasted until 1958, when the national merger made the union complete. The church has been known as Huntsville Presbyterian since then. Additions were made to the 1929 building in 1959 and in 1995.
There are many inspiring and humorous stories told and retold about the history of this church. Most can be researched in old records dating to the 1800’s, which are stored at the church. Today’s congregation is proud of its rich heritage and abiding faith, and looks forward to an equally blessed future.
Our current active membership numbers 124, with an average of 80 attending weekly worship. We offer Sunday School classes for diverse ages and average 30 in attendance. We conduct confirmation and new member classes as needed. Many from our congregation are life-long members and some families are represented by two, three, or even four generations. Some members live within the village of Huntsville, but most are from the surrounding area, up to several miles away.
Our members are well-educated and most fall into the 45-74 age group, with the next largest being the 35-44 age group. We represent many occupations and have a variety of family structures, but have little ethnic diversity.
Our worship services are mostly traditional with some contemporary elements included from time to time. We seek to honor and praise God through prayer, scripture, preaching, and music.
·Huntsville Presbyterian enjoys participating in Our Daily Bread, a local ministry that provides meals twice weekly to those in need. We work with another church preparing and serving one meal every other month. Once each month we serve a meal prepared by others.
·Vacation Bible School is another of our favorite outreach programs. Our whole congregation gets involved in planning a fun, inspiring week for all the community children.
·Weekday Religious Education is a unique program offering weekly Bible teaching to elementary students in all of Logan County. Our congregation supports this ministry with financial gifts and classroom supplies.
·Community Easter Egg Hunt
·We help support United Christian Services Food Pantry with food donations and volunteers.
·Angel Fund, an extra offering taken during Sunday School once each month, is used to help families having financial difficulties
·Deacon’s Mission Fund is a budgeted amount distributed at the Deacons’ discretion.
Within the Congregation:
Huntsville Presbyterian sees the importance of fellowship, caring and discipleship among its members and offers many opportunities for interaction and growth.
·Sunday School classes
·Interest-free college loans
Music is a vital part of the life of our church. We are blessed with an all volunteer program that involves many dedicated men and women of all ages.
·Children’s Programs (Easter, Christmas, VBS)
·Special Summer Music (individuals and groups)
·Volunteer pianists, organists, choir director
We utilize several methods of communicating church activities, opportunities, joys and concerns among church members, visitors, families and friends.
Who Is Our Neighbor?
Huntsville Presbyterian Church is located in Huntsville, Ohio, in the West central portion of the state. Huntsville is a village of approximately 450 residents situated in a rural area. Logan County’s population is approximately 47,000 and includes several villages and one larger town of around 13,000. In addition to farming, the community is supported by light industry, retail business, Honda of America Manufacturing and other enterprises. Huntsville is part of highly rated Indian Lake Local Schools. The village is within an hour’s drive of both Dayton and Columbus and is in close proximity to many colleges and universities. Logan County offers several recreational opportunities and is rich in history.
Through research, including Percept data from a ten mile radius and the US Census Bureau, we learned that our immediate neighbors are very similar to us in education, occupations, family structure and ethnic background. Some surrounding areas are more economically challenged and have a greater number of single parent and lower income families. The economic downturn has affected our community, though not as drastically as other parts of the state and country. According to school statistics, we have more transient residents than in the past, but the overall population remains stable. We recognize that the merging of Huntsville and Lakeview Elementary schools may provide stronger links to other families in the surrounding area. We minister to our nearby neighbors through various ministries including:
·Nurturing those in need by serving meals, donating food and clothing, assisting with emergency payment of utilities or rent;
·Inviting community children to Vacation Bible School;
·Advertising our worship services in local newspapers;
·Welcoming visitors to our church.
National and World Communities
Recognizing that neighbors include all people, we seek to reach out to the greater world by
·setting aside a portion of our budget for Presbyterian sponsored missions;
·participating in Thank Offering, Christmas Joy Offering, and One Great Hour of Sharing;
·donating funds to Habitat for Humanity
·preparing shoebox gifts for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Kid-to-Kid
·sending gifts to Operation Kid-to-Kid through Vacation Bible School
What Is Our Calling?
Huntsville Presbyterian Church is called to grow in relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and, through that close relationship, to grow in wisdom, faith, and devotion. We are further led to share our maturing wisdom, faith and devotion with our families, our neighbors and our world as we encourage others to explore their own relationships with God.
We envision Huntsville Presbyterian Church as a powerful, spiritual influence in our community, honoring Christ through worship, service, and fellowship. We carry the church into our neighborhood as we strive to serve as positive role models and open our hands and hearts to people in need. We value being an intergenerational congregation, and seek opportunities for all to grow in faith and discipleship.
To bring this vision about, we commit to:
·Continuing to care for the needs of our neighbors;
·Expanding our education offerings
·Incorporating more styles of music in worship to reach all ages, while remaining focused on God;
·Implementing new methods of communication to involve our congregation and community;
·Strengthening relationships among current members and with newcomers; and
·Building on our willingness to work together and appreciate one another.