History of Montville Churches


As the settlement grew, so did the social structure of the township. Alra Sanford organized the first religious service which eventually merged with the Medina Episcopal Church. General Champion gave Reverend Stephan Bareres 100 acres so he would settle his family in Montville Township and by 1830, the Methodist Church began to meet at the old school house.

In 1844, the general made another donation of $300.00 so that a house of worship could be constructed in the center of the Township and it still stands there today. The founding church members were John S. Wheeler, who headed the building committee, Asa Bradley, Washington Nichols, John Nichols, John Fritz, Daniel Wheeler, Asa House, Bunker and Geuas Buch.

Reverend W. B. Farrar of Medina preached whenever roads were passable. In 1832, old clerical records listed the following names of people at the time: Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Wheeler, Mr. and Mrs. Bert Norse, Mr. R. L. Gehman, and Mrs.Lila Thayer. When Montville had a post office, the name Poe was chosen after the Ref. Adam Poe, who was the presiding elder of the district at that time.

Records indicate that after 20 years of service, the church needed a new roof and this was provided by members of the congregation. Charles Crofoot who lived on a farm eventually purchased by Willis Roshon, had a shingle machine. The original roof was thatched, made of oak slates split by hand about 2 feet long by 1.5 inches think, 4 to 5 inches wide and experts were required to split them.

In 1868, the Sexton David Hackethorn was paid $10.00 for a year of employment. The pulpit at this time was in the form of a box three feet high with a door which was tightly closed. In 1873, records showed that the pulpit was removed for a musical convention to be held by a Professor C. E. Leslie of Oberlin. A book called Silver Carols was preserved by R.L. Gehman, one of the singers, and other singing and drama classes ensued briefly, until the church board discontinued them and restricted the building for only devotional purposes.

Over the years, there were many preachers who served the township’s community and who were remembered for their contributions. Rev. B. J. Hoadley served from 1875 – 1876. He was known to ride a white pony from Medina to Poe to preach when the roads were bad. Twenty years later, Rev. H. T. Steves received $150.00 for his services. In 1900, Miss Eva Johnson and Mrs. Lila Thayer were mentioned among the church members. From time to time, students from Baldwin Wallace College led the worship service. In 1931, Rev. Rowe of Wadsworth became pastor and he was remembered for giving illustrated lectures on experiences in foreign fields. Rev. P. S. Jude of the Leroy Church served both congregations in 1939 and historical records show he also found time to call on the people of the community. In 1942, Rev. Tripp became pastor.

In September of 1944, the Apostolic Christian Church was started on Wadsworth Road, about one mile north of Poe.