Genoa Trinity United Methodist Church (GTUMC), located at the corner of 4th and Main Street in Genoa, Ohio has served the Genoa area for over 150 years. On Sunday, October 1, 2006, a Sesquicentennial Celebration Service was held to commemorate not only the service of the church, but to glorify God and thank Him for His grace and mercy.
The following is a history of GTUMC.
The First 100 Years
The history of the current United Methodist Church in Genoa, Ohio begins with the history of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and dates back to the year 1856 when a few person of that denomination were organized into a class by Rev. Hill of Freeport, Ohio. Services were held for a time in an old school house. Then, being refused the use of that building by the school directors, they held their meetings at the home of Dave Wood, and later in the United Brethren Church after the erection of that building as a place of worship.
In 1866, the present site was deeded by Newton U. Cooley to David Wood, Samuel Jones, John Sweeney, Fred Strawhacker, and Andrew Anderson, trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church. On this property was constructed a frame building 56′ x 30′; the lumber used was all native timber from the surrounding forests and hauled to the sawmill to be cut. Mr. William Humlong was the architect and director of the labor. Rev. Samuel Lynch was pastor. This building was dedicated November 26, 1869 by Rev. Thomas Wilson.
Until 1901 there was no parsonage owned by the church, but in that year, through efforts initiated by Miss Pearle Frent, the dwelling south of the church property was purchased for less than $500. This occurred during the pastorate of Rev. Charles A. Parks.
Around 1905, the church was slightly changed as the direct result of “an act of God”. Improvements had been badly needed for some time, however the congregation delayed them due to the expense of the project. Then lightening struck the church steeple, completely demolishing it. The insurance paid not only for a much lower bell tower, but also for a badly needed roof and redecoration. At the first service held in the church after the renovation, the minister preached from the text “Ask and it shall be given you”.
In 1911, the parsonage property was sold and the proceeds, together with funds accumulated by the M. E. Hustlers (an organization formed among the women of the church) were used to erect a new parsonage location on the northeast section of the church lot. This improvement was made during the pastorate of Rev. W. M. Hartford.
The new parsonage was built by William L. Fouke and Ed Uthoff at a cost of $2,387 and included a $140 furnace! It provided a 25 x 15 foot living room which was used by the Ladies Aid and Epworth League for social purposes until the present church was built.
After serving as a place of worship for 58 years, the old building seemed inadequate and agitation for a new church building began while Rev. Ringgenberg was pastor. However, no real action was taken until June 30, 1927 –