Grace United Methodist Church, Bicentenial Timeline, 1817-2017

200 Years of history of Grace United Methodist Church, Washington Court House, Ohio

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1784
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Methodist Episcopal Church formed in the United States

Methodist Episcopal Church in U.S. is started in Baltimore, MD

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1788
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U.S. Constitution Adopted
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Charles Wesley, dies London, England

Charles Wesley, instrumental in the founding of Methodism, dies at age 80. While a leader of the Methodist movement in England he remained a life long member of the Anglican Church.

Charles Wesley was a prolific hymn writer, know to have written over 6,000 hymns. Wesley wrote the widely recognized, "Christ the Lord is Risen Today", "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and the famous hymn about his personal conversion, "O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing."

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1789
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George Washington Inaugurated as 1st President of the United States.
1791
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John Wesley Dies in London, England

John Wesley, Anglican cleric and theologian, who with his brother Charles Wesley and fellow cleric George Whitefield, founded the Methodist Church in England, dies at 87 years old.

John Wesley's last letter was written to anti-slavery crusader William Wilberforce urging him to "Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his high might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it."

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1794
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African Methodist Episcopal Church Formed

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Racial discrimination within Methodism cases Richard Allen to form the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Philadelphia.

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1797
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African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church Formed

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Faced with bigotry, blacks leave the historic John Street Church in New York City to form Zion Chapel. Over time the church expands throughout the country.

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1801
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Thomas Jefferson Inagurated 3rd President of the U.S.
1810
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Washington Court House Formed

Town of Washington is laid out. Town is named after 1st President and Commanding General of the U.S. Continential Forces, George Washington. Town becomes county seat of newly formed Fayette County, named after Washington's French military Attache, the Marquis De Lafayette.

1811
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First known Methodists in Fayette County area

First Methodist quarterly meeting is held in the home of Joel Woods, 12 miles North of Washington Court House. Solomon Landon is the presiding Elder, Ralph Lotspeich is the pastor-in-charge & Joseph Hains is the junior preacher.

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1812
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War of 1812 Begins
1813
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First Methodist Society in Fayette County

First Methodist Society is organized in Fayette County, meetings held at the Cherry Hill Meeting House, about a mile South of Yatesville.

That same year, Jesse Rowe, migrates from Virginia, and holds a series of meeting South of Washington, near where the Sugar Grove Methodist Church now stands.

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War of 1812 Continues

Oliver Hazard Perry defeats the British Lake Erie Fleet at the Battle of Put-in-Bay, 10 September 1813.

Shawnee Indian Chief Tecumseh (born just North of Xenia near Oldtown and spent much of his early life in Southwestern Ohio) is killed, fighting for the British at the battle of Thames in Canada, 5 October 1813.


1814
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First Methodist Class formed in Washington C. H.

Reverend Robert W. Finley Preaches at the invitation of Judge J. B. Webster in meetings in the home of William Miller at the West end of Market Street.

Daniel Hollis is a class leader and holds classes in his home. Members are: Phoebe Johnson, Mother Hankins, Tamar Scott, Mary Hopkins, Mary Popejoy, Mary McDonald, Susan Flesher, Samuel & Mary Loofborrow, Rhoda Neely and Barbara Hubbard. Records show Barbara Hubbard was African-American.

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Washington D.C. burned by British Army

President Monroe abandons White House as British occupy and burn capital. War of 1812 Ends later in the year with signing of the Treaty of Ghent.

1817
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James Monroe's 2nd Inauguration as President of the U.S.
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Methodist Church organized in Washington Court House

Organization of the first Methodist Episcopal Society within Washington C.H. by John Solomon and Thomas Carr occurs at the residence of Thomas Wilson.

1819
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Misssionary to the Wyandot Indians

John Stewart, a black man converted to Christianity in 1814, who obtained a license to preach in 1819, is named as the first missionary to the Wyandot Indians.

1826
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Early History

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For the first 9 years, church services are held either in the Courthouse (shown above), homes, or in a brick school house on Market Street.

1829
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Andrew Jackson Inaugurated President of the U.S.
1833
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Oberlin College Opens in Ohio

Oberlin College admits African-Americans and women from its inception.

1834
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First Church Building

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A brick church is built on the NW corner of Market and Main Streets - It is considered structurely unsafe, never finished inside, and will be abandoned 3 years later.

1838
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Forced Indian Relocation "Trail of Tears" Concludes

Cherokee, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminole Native-Americans are forcibly removed from their homeland in the Southeast and Appalachian Mountains.

By 1837, 46,000 Indians from the southeastern states are removed from their homelands, thereby opening 25 million acres (100,000 km2) for predominantly white settlement.

1844
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Georgia Bishop advised to free Slaves

At General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Bishop James O. Andrew of Georgia is told to free slaves passed down from his wife's estate.

1845
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Irish Potatoe Famine "The Hunger" Begins

Potato famine in Ireland begins which results in thousands of Irish immigrants coming to the United States.

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Second Church Building

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A small frame church is built on Market Street between Fayette and North Streets.

Note that consistent with worship practices of the time, the church has two doors, one for women and one for men. The sexes are segregated inside also.

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Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Formed

Southern Delegates to the General Conference dispute the Church's authority to discipline bishops. The ongoing cultural differences exacerbated by the slavery question, results in the formation of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in Louisville, KY in May 1845. For the next 94 years, the two strands of the Methodist Episcopal church operate separately.

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1848
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Mexican American War Ends

President James K. Polk allows Texas to be annexed to the U.S. By annexing one-time Mexican territory, Texas, into the U.S., border disputes between the new Texas state and Mexico escalate into warfare.

The U.S. invades and defeats Mexico. The result of the war is the U.S. is ceded the land that will comprise California, Utah and Nevada as well as parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming and Colorado. Mexico relinquishes all rights to Texas.

1,773 Americans are killed, 4,152 are wounded. Mexican casualties are estimated around 25,000.

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1855
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Pre-Civil War Slavery Issues, Women's Education in Iowa

Abolitionists in New England and other parts of the North form the Emigrant Aid Societies to send anti-slavery activists into Kansas, where they can vote to keep Kansas free. In Georgia and Alabama similar societies send in settlers to Kansas who will vote in defense of slavery.

University of Iowa becomes the first state university to admit women.

1860
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Purchase of Current Church Site Property

The Society votes to purchase a lot on the SE corner of Market and North Streets (Crone family property) which will become the permanent home of Grace Church.

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Abraham Lincoln Elected President of the U.S.

Abraham Lincoln is Elected President of the U.S. South Carolina secedes from Union, soon to be followed by other Southern States.

1865
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American Civil War fought, 1861 - 1865

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War starts in April 1861 with shelling of Fort Sumter by Confederate Forces. The war effectively ends with  with Lee's surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia to Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia on 9 April 1865. 

1 January 1863, Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect. This executive order issued by President Lincoln states, "...all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free..."

Abraham Lincoln is shot at Ford's Theater, 14 April 1865. He dies the next morning.

6 December 1865, 13th Amendment is enacted to abolish slavery throughout the U.S. and territories.

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1867
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First Church at Present Site

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First church built on site - brick construction with tall spire. Church membership stands at 200.

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African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church formed in WCH

The African Methodist Episcopal Church is organized in the home of Dennis Brown by Rev. Arnett of Circleville in July, 1867. The Rev. W. H. Toney appointed first pastor in October. Services are held in various homes and in the old Methodist Episcopal church building.

1869
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Railroads, Woman Sufferage, Immigration

Trans-Continental Railroad Completed

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton found the National Woman Sufferage Association.

First Japanese immigrants arrive in the United States (California).

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First Parsonage Built

First Parsonage is built adjacent to Church to the East on Market Street. The first minister to occupy it is Reverand I. F. King.

1870
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Colored Methodist Episcopal Church Forms from the Methodist Episcopal Church, South

Colored Methodist Episcopal Church is formed from the Methodist Episcopal Church, South to "...promote the religious interests of colored people." At this point, there are 3 Methodist organizations serving the black community. African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and now the newly formed Colored Methodist Episcopal Church.

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1873
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Rodgers AME Church is Dedicated

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African Methodist Episcopal Church purchases 1857 Catholic Church on Main Street. Church is named for David Rogers who provides a gift and loan to cover the $2,000 purchase. Mills Gardner serves a a Trustee. 

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1874
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Women's Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.)

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Women of Grace Church join with WCTU movement (started in Hillsboro, OH, 23 December 1873). By March 1874, all non-prescription sales of liquor are banned in City of Washington.

According to Frank M. Allen's 1914 "History of Fayette County Ohio", "By 1880 Washington C.H. had more saloons than ever before, but the seed had been sowed and was bound, like Truth crushed to earth, to rise again."

1876
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United States Centennial

United States is 100 years old.

Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone.

Baseball's National League formed.

Custer dies at Little Big Horn.

1890
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Church Membership

Church Membership has grown to over 500 people.

1894
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Washington Court House "Riot"

Arrest of an African-American man accused of molesting a white woman on a train leads to a crowd forming around the City Jail with the intention of lynching the accused.

Governor William McKinley sends two companies of troops to town. The Prisoner is moved to the Court House from the jail for safe keeping.

The crowd storms the Court House, the troops discharge their rifles through the Court House doors to disperse the crowd. 5 people are killed and about 20 wounded. Bullet holes may still be seen in the doors on the South side of the Court House facing Court Street.

Prisoner is later tried, convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He serves out sentence and is released.

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Last Service in 1867 Church

Last church service in 1867 Brick Church is held. Preparations continue for new Church Building.

The work of the building is taken up under the direction of the pastor, Reverand Franklin McElfresh and a building committee composed of Morris Sharp, Chair, C. H. Brownell, Treasurer, A. A. Creamer, Mills Gardner and George Dahl.

1895
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Cornerstone Laid & Dedication of New Church

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Cornerstone laid for a Stone Gothic Styled Church at same site of 1867 Church. Cornerstone is preserved in courtyard of the 1961 church. 

The Church is dedicated the 8th of December, 1895 at first service in New Church. The architect, Mr. Sidney Rose Badgley of Cleveland said, "It is the handsomest church I ever built."

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X-Rays discovered

German physicist, Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen discovers X-Rays.

1898
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Spanish American War Fought

With the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor, and escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Spain lead to war. 

President William McKinley and Congress authorize war. The U.S. invade and defeat Spanish forces in the Philipines, Guam, Cuba and Puerto Rico, destroying the Spanish Navy as they encounter it. The Treaty of Paris is signed by Spain ceding Guam and Puerto Rico to the U.S., turns over administration of Cuba to U.S., and U.S. pays Spain $20 million for possession of the Philipines.

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1900
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Wesley Chapel Formed

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Grace Church purchases existing Staunton Methodist Church building and physically move the building to the intersection of Elm and South Fayette Streets in WCH. Renamed "Wesley Chapel" and serves as remote Grace Methodist site to serve the city residents of the South side of town.

1901
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President William McKinley Memorial Service in WCH

After the assassination death of William McKinley (former Ohio Governor who had previously spoken in Grace Church and as Govenor called out the National Guard to help surpress the 1894 WCH "Riot"), a Citywide Memorial Service is held at Grace Church.

1903
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Wright Brothers Fly

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Dayton, Ohio brothers conduct first heavier than air powered flight in Kitty Hawk, NC.

1905
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Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) "Encampment Concludes in WCH

Grace Church serves as one of the primary venues for the gathering of Ohio Veterans of the Civil War. The city hosts roughly 20,000 veterans, family members and others over the 3 day event. 

The town and church host another Encampment in 1913.

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1910
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New Parsonage Built

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A "modern" brick Parsonage, more in keeping with the impressive stone church building is completed, replacing the original parsonage at the same site at a cost of $6,500.

1913
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2nd GAR "Encampment" Held in WCH

Grace Church again serves as one of the primary meeting sites. The song "Marching to Georgia" was the GAR anthem. The attached link provides some details on the song.

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1915
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"Peanut Fed" Turkey Supper

The 400 member Men's Bible Class serve a community dinner for 1600 diners. Dinner includes peanuts in a serving plate shaped like a Turkey.

1917
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Additional Activities Within Church

Seven different Women's groups and 18 neighborhood small groups function within Grace Church.

1918
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World War I, "The Great War" Ends

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At 11:00 AM, November 11th, 1918, the "War to End all Wars" comes to an end. The war starts in 1914 in Europe and the US joined the Allied Forces in 1917.

Worldwide deaths are estimated 16 million lives. Grace Church member Paul H. Hughey, a pilot with the 91st Aero Squadron is killed September 14, 1918. One of the two American Legion Halls in WCH bears his name. He is buried in Washington Cemetery. 

Grace Church member Carl Lloyd also dies in WWI. Carl dies at "Camp Sherman" in Chillicothe, OH of the Spanish Influenza that ravages the world in 1918-1919. Camp Sherman serves as the training site for much of Ohio and surrounding states. It suffers one of the highest death rates from the flu in the US during the epidemic.

Because of systematic racial segregation practiced in the U.S. during this time, African-Americans serve in separate "colored" only units in the U.S. Armed Forces. The other American Legion Hall in WCH bears the name of WCH African-American Homer Lawson. Homer Lawson is an infantryman killed in action September 28, 1918 in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign. He is buried in Greenlawn Cemetery in Columbus, OH.

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1919
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Influenza Pandemic Ends

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The 1918-1919 Worldwide influenza ends as mysteriously as it began. Worldwide deaths are estimated at 50 million people.

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1920
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18th Ammendment Goes into Effect (Prohibition)

After passage of the 18th amendment, the WCTS finally achieves nationwide prohibition of non-prescription alcohol. The law goes into effect almost 1 year after passage allowing people to "stock up" on liquor. Additionally, it does not prohibit "medical" uses, prompting abuse of prescription privileges by some doctors.

The Volstead Act states that "beer, wine, or other intoxicating malt or vinous liquors" means any beverage that was more than 0.5% alcohol by volume cannot be sold. The Act also states that owning any item designed to manufacture alcohol is illegal and it set specific fines and jail sentences for violating Prohibition.

Prohibition is repealed 14 years later with the passage of the 21st Amendment on 5 December 1933.

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Women Granted the Right to Vote 19th Amendment

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Seventy two years after Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, NY in 1948, the states ratify the 19th Amendment, giving full voting rights to women.

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New Pipe Tubular Pneumatic Organ installed at Grace Church

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A new 1200 Pipe, Tubular Pneumatic organ is installed in Stone church. Choir wears new robes at dedication service.

1923
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"Teapot Dome" Scandal Rocks Harding Administration

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Presidential scandal around selling government oil reserves at the "Teapot Dome" in Wyoming includes fallout to Local WCH residents Jess Smith and Harry Daugherty, members of Harding's "Ohio Gang."

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1933
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Prohibition Repealed with 21st Amendment
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Christmas Eve "Candlelight" Services Initiated

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First midnight candlelight service occurs at Grace Church. Service ends at midnight with lighting of candles and singing of iconic Franz Gruber hymn, "Silent Night". Tradition continues through present.

1939
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Wesley Chapel Sold

Wesley Chapel is sold and becomes home of South Side Church of Christ.

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Methodist Churches Merge

The Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the Methodist Protestant Church merge to form The Methodist Church. The various women’s home and foreign missionary societies and other women’s groups of the three uniting churches are joined and become the Woman’s Society of Christian Service (WSCS).

Black churches remain segregated in a separate Central Jurisdiction

1940
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Women's Society of Christian Service (WSCS)

Women's Society of Christian Service organized at Grace Church, 4 September 1940.

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1945
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World War II Ends

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WWII, starts September of 1939 in Europe with Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland, ends after the US drops two atomic bombs on Japan in August of 1945.

The US enters the war December 8, 1941 after the December 7th bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii by the empire of Japan.

Throughout the war, the community supports the war effort. Ladies of Grace Church are active with the Red Cross. A group of them may be seen rolling bandages and packaging other medical supplies in the image above.  

Two Grace Church members give their lives serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Herbert Sanderson dies in battle, and is buried in Washington Cemetery in the family plot along with his parents. Walter S. "Bud" Fults, Jr. dies during an air training mission in the Gulf of Mexico in 1943. A headstone for Bud is besides his parents' graves in Washington Cemetery. 

Total worldwide deaths are estimated at 70 - 85 million people; of these, 48 - 50 million deaths were civilians. For the US, total deaths were 419,400 with 12,100 civilians included in that total.


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1949
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Gardner Bequest to Church Conference

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Edith Gardner, donates 17 acres of land in the Circle Avenue area for a new parsonage and development complex for Methodist Ministers. It becomes Gardner Village. Earlier, the Gardner family donates property to Washington City Schools for establishment of a field house complex with a football field and tennis courts. This property is currently known as Gardner Park.

1950
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Grace Church Women's Circles

Twelve Grace Women's Circles, our local extension of the WSCS continue work to support missions, charity and church projects.

1953
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Fighting Ends in Korean War

Korea, separated into North Korea and South Korea at the end of WWII breaks into open warfare in 1950 when North Korea supported by the Soviet Union invades South Korea. The United States, as part of a United Nations (U.N.) effort, join the South Koreans to repel the invasion. As the U.N. & South Korean troops approach the Chinese border, China enters the war in support of the North.

While the military comedy M.A.S.H., is set during this war, there is no humor in the aftermath. After 3 years of bloody fighting, the loss of 54,000 Americans and well over 1 million Koreans and Chinese people, the war ends how it began; two hostile countries armed and facing each other across the 38th parallel.

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1956
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General Conference allows full ordination of Women

Clergywomen have been part of Methodism since John Wesley licensed Sarah Crosby to preach in 1761. Although women were ordained in the Methodist tradition as early as the late 1800s, it was the May 4, 1956 General Conference vote for full clergy rights that forever changed the face of ordained clergy.

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1959
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Fire Consumes 1895 Stone Church

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In the early morning hours of 14 January 1959, a fire completely destroys the 1895 Church building and ruins the church parsonage next door.

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1st Church "Rummage Sale"

First church rummage sale conducted by GMC Women's circle. Sale provides used clothing and merchandise to the community at low cost and proceeds benefit Women's Society projects.

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Death of Reverand L. J. Poe

Pastor serving the Church since 1956 dies of a massive heart attack.

1960
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Construction begins on New Church

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24 July 1960, Groundbreaking occurs for New Church.

18 December 1960, Cornerstone Laid.

The photo above shows members present at the laying of the cornerstone that were present at the dedication of the 1895 church.

1961
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First Church Service in 1961 Church Building

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Congregation marches from old Washington High School on North Street, where services had been held in the auditorium since after the fire, to the new Church Building. The Hymn "Onward Christian Soldiers" is sung by the congregation during the march.

1963
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President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, TX

President Kennedy is shot while riding in a motorcade in Dallas and is declared dead at Parkland Hospital. Vice-President Lyndon Johnson is sworn in as next president on Air Force One during flight to Washington D. C. from Dallas.

1965
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Church Membership, 1751 Members
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Voting Rights Act of 1965

This Act secures voting rights for racial minorities throughout the U.S. The U.S. Department of Justice views this legislation as the most effective piece of Civil Rights legislation enacted in the U.S.

In 2013, the Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder, struck down parts of the Act as unconstitutional, effectively killing the legislation, reasoning it was no longer responsive to current conditions.

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Burning of Mortgage and Dedication of Debt Free Church

Mortgage Burning ceremony held on 28 November; Dedication of Debt Free Church building occurs 5 December.

1966
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Pipe Organ Installed in the "New" Grace Church

A new Schantz Pipe Organ with 1355 pipes is installed and dedicated.

Unlike the 1920 organ, the pipes for this organ are concealed behind acoustically transparent but visibly opaque coverings.

1968
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The "United" Methodist Church Organized

Union of Methodist Church and Evangelical United Brethren Church.  General Commission on Archives and History, General Commission on Religion and Race and General Council on Ministries created.

Black Methodists for Church Renewal formed. As a part of the union, the Central Jurisdiction (see 1939) is abolished and formal segregation ended. Roy C. Nichols becomes the first African-American to be elected a bishop by a regional jurisdictional conference in the new United Methodist Church. The General Commission on Race & Religion is formed with Woddie White as the first African-American to head a United Methodist general agency.

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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated

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April 4th, Civil Rights Activist, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is killed in Memphis, TN. Rev. King is in Memphis to offer support to striking garbage workers. His killing sparks riots in many major cities.

Site of his killing at the Loraine Motel now houses the National Civil Rights Museum.

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Robert (Bobby) Kennedy is Assassinated

June 5th, former Attorney General and younger brother of President John F. Kennedy is killed in California, just after winning the California Democratic Primary for President.

1970
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Lenten Luncheons Initiated

The tradition of Grace Women serving a series of six Lenten Luncheons, serving a mid-week lunch time meal in conjunction with a sermon series begins. The tradition continues as an ecumencial community preparation for Easter.

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Kent State Shootings

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Student demonstrations in reaction to President Richard Nixon's expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia results in campus unrest across the US.

On May 4, 1970, Ohio National Guard troops fire into a group of protesting students at Kent State University, killing 4 and wounding 10 students. A later Report of the President's Commission on Campus Unrest concluded that the shootings were "unnecessary, unwarranted, and inexcusable."

Ten days later, police in Jackson, Mississippi, kill 2 students and wound 11 others in reaction to further campus unrest at Jackson State University. These killings at the predominately African-American Jackson State University are not followed by the same public outcry as Kent State.

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New Parsonage Completed

A new parsonage is built at 135 West Circle Avenue on the property of the original Mills Gardner family estate.

1972
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United Methodist Women (UMW) Formed

The Women’s organizations in The United Methodist Church merge to form one inclusive organization with the name, "United Methodist Women." The 1972 General Conference ratifies the formation of United Methodist Women, and the "Agreements of ‘64 " in all essentials are preserved.

1973
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U.S. Involvement in Vietnam is Ended

After WWII, Ho Chi Minh leads Communist backed rebels in fighting the French to throw off the French colonial rule. The French are defeated in 1954, however, because of communist worldwide expansion, the U.S. supports South Vietnam in resisting the Ho Chi Minh led North Vietnamese. 

What starts out as military advisors and military aid, expands significantly in 1964 with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. The war continues escalation with no clear winner until a negotiated cease fire in 1973. Soon after the U.S. leaves Vietnam, the North Vietnamese conquer the South and set up a single Republic of Vietnam.

During American involvement, opposition to the war escalated and resulted in significant domestic unrest. American involvement results in over 58,000 U.S. deaths and more than 150,000 wounded. Estimates of Asian combatant casualties range from 966,000 to 3.8 million Vietnamese deaths, 240,000 to 300,000 Cambodians and 20,000 to 62,000 Laotians.

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Professionally Published Cookbook

The first Grace UMC professionally published cookbook, "Cooking in Circles" is produced. It features favorite recipes contributed by members.

1974
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First African-American President of Women's Division

Mai Gray becomes the first African-American president of the Women’s Division, General Board of Global Ministries.

1978
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First Woman Pastor Assigned to GUMC

Rev. Harriette G. Zoller is appointed Associate Pastor of Grace Church. Harriette serves in this capacity for 10 years until 1988.

1982
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Grace School for Young Children (GSYC) Established

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Noting the lack of adequate pre-school educational opportunities in the community, Grace UMC organizes Grace School for Young Children. GSYC is subsequently expanded to include day care for younger children and latch key programs for school age individuals. Overall program now called Grace Weekday Ministries for Children.

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1984
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First African-American Woman Bishop

Leontine T. C. Kelly becomes the first African-American woman to be elected bishop in the UMC

1986
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Capital Improvement Projects

Repairs and upgrades were started on the building - parking spaces and playground is added adjacent to church on Market Street. Air conditioning added to Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall

1990
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First African-American Women District Superintendents

Charlotte Ann Nichols (Peninsula-Delaware Conference) & Jeannette Cooper Dicks (West Ohio Conference) become the first African-American women District Superintendents in the UMC. 

1991
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Persion Gulf War Ends

Iraq, after invading Kuwait in 1990 faces international condemnation and an authorization of force by the U.N. U.S. lead coalition forces push Iraq forces out of Kuwait and into Iraq. Ceasefire announced 28 February 1991.

1998
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Additional Parsonage Acquired

An additional parsonage, at 745 Kimberly Drive, is purchased by the church for use by the associate pastor.

2001
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September 11th Terrorist Attacks on US

Four passenger airliners are hijacked by Moslem extremists and used to attack targets in the US. 

World Trade Center in Manhattan, NY is destroyed when 2 planes are crashed into the twin towers; the Pentagon is damaged by another plane, and the fourth plane is brought down in rural Pennsylvania by passengers who attack the hijackers before the plane may be used as a weapon.

Subsequent to the attacks, President George W. Bush declares the "War on Terror."

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U.S. and Coalition Forces Invade Afghanistan

In response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. along with coalition forces invade Afghanistan to assault al-Qaeda and remove the Taliban from power. The conflict extends at various levels of intensity until 2014. As part of the conflict, Osama bin Laden, mastermind of 9/11 attacks is killed, 2 May 2011 by a U.S. led strike into Pakistan. U.S. Forces are drawn down and withdrawn in 2014 with ongoing support of the Afghans to be provided by 28 NATO nations.

During the time period of 2001 - 2014, U.S. suffered losses of 2,356 killed and 19,950 wounded. An estimated 91,000 Afghans have been killed. Of those, 26,000 are civilians.

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2003
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Iraq War 2003 - 2017

The U.S. with major support from the U.K., invade Iraq in order to eliminate threats posed by Iraq's "Weapons of Mass Destruction" and to topple Saddam Hussein. The U.S. officially withdraws in 2011, but remain involved fighting insurrections resulting from the power vacuum resulting from the deposition of Hussein government.

U.S. Casualties are over 4,800 killed and over 47,000 wounded. Civilian death estimates vary widely depending upon the agency, but one estimate places the total around 405,000.

The insurrections continues.

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2004
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Elevator Installed

An elevator, funded almost entirely by Memorial monies, is installed, making all 3 levels of the church building handicap accessible.

2005
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Church Property Expanded

Thru funding by an anonymous donor, property adjacent to the Market Street playground is acquired and cleared.

2006
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"Mark House" Renovated

The adjacent building originally donated to the church by Tom Mark and family, is renovated and redecorated to serve as additional meeting space.

2007
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Market Street Playground Renovated

The Market Street Playground is is expanded and renovated for use of Grace Weekday Ministries for Children.

2008
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Church Initiative

Church Administration reorganized to improve operational efficiency and rededicate the church to external ministries.

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Barack H. Obama Elected President

President Obama, the first African-American to hold the office is elected President of the United States. He is re-elected in 2012.

2009
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Growth Through Grace Campaign

The 3 year (2007 - 2009) capital improvement campaign raises over $500,000 to replace windows, repair roof, leaks and drainage, install a more efficient heating and cooling system, clean the building exterior and improve the courtyard area.

2010
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Church Membership, 710 Members
2011
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"Be The Church" Sundays

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A series of "Be The Church" Sundays are held empowering congregation members to perform hands-on community involvement. Projects include house painting, providing free gasoline for motorists, bicycle repairs, visitations and other projects to provide a human face for Grace Church outside the church walls.

2015
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"Backpack Ministries"

Grace UMC provides support the community ecumenical "Backpack Ministry" program which provides dietary supplementation for weekends to City School children.

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Homework Club

Grace UMC partners with City Schools to provide homework assistance from church members to local grade school students.

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Love Your Neighbor-hood

Church purchases "Bouncy Houses" & during the summer, deploys them weekly in area greenspaces and parks along with hot dog grills. Focus is engaging with the community in local areas for fun, fellowship and community building.