HISTORY OF THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH AT LUCKEY, OHIO
The Evangelical Church at Luckey, Ohio, was organized in the early part of the year 1860. It was organized as the Jacobs Class and kept that name until sometime later when it was named Salem Evangelical Church, under which name the present church edifice was built in 1893. Sometime later it appears the name was changed to Zion Evangelical Church, which is the name the church now bears.
Mrs. Carrie Snyder of Toledo, Ohio, who was 88 years old on June 28, 1941, gave the writer the following narrative of how the church had its origin: When Mrs. Snyder (Carrie Jacobs) was six years old, her older sister had been confirmed at the Switz Lutheran Church (several miles east of Luckey) and at the confirmation service, when the holy communion was given, the pastor declared that by that rite he forgave them their sins. This disturbed Carrie’s mother (Mrs. John Jacobs) very much and on Sunday noon she spoke of it to the family, telling of how the pastor had declared he forgave the ones confirmed their sins, and of how contrary that is to God’s Word.
She had heard of the wonderful meetings they had at the Isch’s Class (where the Moline Evangelical Church now is) under the ministry of Rev. Rosenberger from Perrysburg. She decided to walk there that afternoon, a journey of ten miles. The Jacobs’ home was at the present site of the home of Gottlob Schaefer. It took all afternoon to get there. When she arrived at the John Isch home she found Mrs. Isch milking. While milking, she was joyfully singing the hymns she had learned at the church. This fervent Christian joy made a deep impression on Mrs. Jacobs. She ate with the family and then walked to church with them. On the way Mrs. Isch explained how that the pastor would give an altar call at the close of his message and offered to go to the altar with Mrs. Jacobs if she wished to have her. This annoyed Mrs. Jacobs, for she thought to herself that she did not want to do anything like that, and for the moment wished she had not come. Satan was trying to keep her from surrendering herself. But she was under deep conviction of sin and when the invitation to accept Christ was given she went to the altar by herself and was converted.
For three days she stayed with the John Isch family before returning home. In the winter following, her husband, John Jacobs, was converted at Woodville. Occasionally they journeyed to the Isch Class to attend the service.
In the spring of 1859 Rev. Jacob Rosenberger, pastor of the Perrysburg Circuit came to hold meetings, first in the John Jacobs home, and then a little later at the school house, called the Smith School house. A revival meeting was held and there were a number of converts. They were “Samuel Jacobs and his wife Elizabeth, John Clauser, Anna Mary Jacobs, John Layman, Margaret Layman.” And it seems that to this list should be added Mrs. Elizabeth Brandt. Mrs. Jacobs made the candles and her husband made the candleholders that were suspended from the ceiling. Prayer meetings were held in the houses. John Isch, a local preacher from the Isch Class, used to come on Sunday afternoons to hold preaching services at the schoolhouse.
By consulting the quarterly conference record of Perrysburg Circuit of this period (by kindness of Rev. R. B. Leedy, Ohio Conference historian) we find the first record of the Jacobs Class in the quarterly conference session of June 23, 1860, when Jacob Rothenbuhler and John Clauser are listed as members of the quarterly conference and attending that session. The preceding quarterly conference session to be held at the Isch Clas on Nov. 5, 1859, does not list any names from the Jacobs Class. The next quarterly conference session was held at the Beaver Creek Class on Jan. 9, 1860, and here too no Jacobs Class names appear, and no excuse was offered for their absence, as is the rule. All who were not present at the Jan. 9, 1860 and June 23, 1860. We have not been able to find the exact date.
John Clauser was the first class leader and Rev. Jacob Rosenberger was the first pastor. For many years the Jacobs Class was an appointment on the Perrysburg Circuit. The charter members of the congregation were Mr. And Mrs. John Jacobs, Mr. And Mrs. John Clauser, Mr. and Mrs. Christian Brandt, Mr. And Mrs. John Layman, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Jacobs, Anna Mary Jacobs, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Burkholder and John Clauser, Jr. (The information of this paragraph and the list of first converts was furnished by Rev. Smithson to Rev. Leedy on Oct. 19, 1916).
At this point it may be well to give a list of the pastors and their assistants of this church and circuit from 1859 to date. This information was secured from the Ohio Conference Journals in the possession of the Conference Historical Society at Flat Rock, Ohio. Conference sessions were held in May at that time, so that Rev. Rosenberger was possibly the pastor when the church was organized and continued until May 1860.
Worship services were held in the schoolhouse until 1882. until this time the school house had been rented, but the building was now purchased and moved to the present site of the church (opposite the consolidated Troy Twp. School). The lot was leased until 1885 and was then purchased from Henry Fahle.
In 1893 the little frame church building, which formerly had been the schoolhouse was sold to the Catholics, and the present edifice was built. The building committee consisted of John Christen, John Burkholder and Fred Rothenbuhler, Sr. it was dedicated on Nov. 19, 1893 by Bishop William Horn, during the pastorate fo Rev. H. C. Berger. During the interim that the church was being built, the congregation worshipped in the local Methodist Church.
In 1920 the church became a self-supporting charge. Up until this time it had always been on a circuit with other churches. The first pastor to be sent to this new charge “ Luckey” was Rev. S. L. Shockey.
In 1930, during the ministry of Rev. M. Neumeister, the church building was raised and a basement put under it. A furnace was installed and the entire church was remodeled.
On June 12, 1941 the lot of 100 feet frontage adjoining the church to the east was purchased for $300, for the purpose of a parking lot and eventually for building a parsonage.
Compiled by Daniel F. Brose
“United Methodism Takes Root In The Black Swamp” by Ed G. Wallen
Luckey Zion Evangelical (U.M.) Church
A young recruit by the name of Jacob Rosenberger was appointed to the Perrysburg Mission Circuit of the Evangelical Association in 1856. He held a revival which not only added many “converts” to the kingdom, but also became the basis for the Moline, Millbury and Luckey churches, besides giving a new lease to Perrysburg.
One of those converts was Anna Barbara, wife of John Jacobs from the Luckey area. In the spring of 1859, a revival by Rev. Rosenberger was conducted in the John Jacobs home and in 1860 a class was established in Luckey with John Clouser as leader.
Some of those early members included John and Anna Barbara Jacobs, Elizabeth Jacobs, Samuel Jacobs and wife, Elizabeth Clouser, John Clouser and wife, John and Margaret Layman, John Clouser Jr., and Peter Burkholder and wife.
The Smith schoolhouse was rented until 1882 and then purchased by the congregation for services. In 1884 the lot was purchased from Henry Fahle and the congregation continued on as the Jacob Class using the schoolhouse until 1893 when it was sold to the Catholics. A new church building was under construction during the pastorate of H. C. Berger and was dedicated November 19, 1893, costing $1,500. During construction the congregation held services in the Methodist church. Members of the building committee were John Christian, John Burkholder, and Fred Rothenbuhler, Sr.
Luckey was a part of the following circuits: Perrysburg, 1859-98: Bowling Green, 1898 – 1901: and Bradner, 1901-20. It was in 1920 that Luckey Zion became a station. The use of the German language and the custom of men and boys being seated on the left side, with the women and girls on the right side was discontinued. The building was raised in 1930 and a basement with a new heating system was installed. The lot east of the church was purchased in 1941 and plans for a $35,000 addition were approved in 1954. A $500 grant was received from the Ohio Sandusky E. U. B. Board of Missions. In 1965 the narthex was enlarged and the main entrance relocated. A church library was established in 1973 and extensive improvements made to the social rooms in 1975.
The membership of Luckey Zion was 179 in 1950; 206 in 1960; 292 in 1970 and 291 in 1978 with an average worship attendance of 116. During this same period the minister’s salary rose from $2,950 in 1950 to $12699 in 1978 or 39 percent of its annual budget, a rather high percent for pastoral salary. Yet this congregation continues to meet its obligations in full and reaches out to serve others.
The ministers to serve the church since 1859 are listed below with lay delegates since 1951.
Years Circuit Minister Lay Delegate
1859 – 60 Perrysburg Jacob Rosenberger
1860 – 61 Perrysburg Jacob Shafer Wm. Eckley
1861 – 62 Perrysburg Stephen Henni, Joseph Dick
1862 – 63 Perrysburg Frederick Frech, J. S. Felger
Years Circuit Minister Lay Delegate
1863 – 64 Perrysburg H. T. Stauch
1864 – 65 Perrysburg H. T Stauch, L. Naumann
1865 – 67 Perrysburg Thomas George
1867 – 68 Perrysburg W. H. Pfeiffer
1868 – 69 Perrysburg John Plantz
1869 – 70 Perrysburg Wm. Wonder
1870 – 71 Perrysburg John Plantz
1871 – 72 Perrysburg John Plantz, S. Hippert
1872 – 73 Perrysburg George Hasenpflug, Samuel Fry
1873 – 74 Perrysburg George Hasenflug, G. W. Ellenberger
1874 – 77 Perrysburg C. A. Munk
1877 – 78 Perrysburg B. F. Shubert
1878 – 79 Perrysburg F. R. Totheroh
1879 – 82 Perrysburg Daniel Strawman
1882 – 84 Perrysburg C. A. Munk
1884 – 86 Perrysburg J. S. Fitterer
1886 – 88 Perrysburg H. C. Berger
1888 – 89 Perrysburg J. S. Fitterer L. H. Seager
1888 – 91 Perrysburg J. S. Fitterer
1891 – 92 Perrysburg Daniel Stull
1892 – 94 Perrysburg H. C. Berger
1894 – 95 Perrysburg J. J. Bernhart
1895 – 97 Perrysburg J. N. Steffanni
1897 – 98 Perrysburg J. N. Steffanni, C. H. Berger
1898 – 1900 Bowling Green J. N. Steffani
1900 – 01 Bowling Green F. Bone
1901 – 03 Bradner J. S. Fritterer
1903 – 05 Bradner N. J. Steffani
1905 – 07 Bradner J. F. Atkinson
1907 – 10 Bradner E. A. Tovey
1910 – 12 Bradner H. Brenneman
1912 – 14 Bradner J. W. Zachman
1914 – 15 Bradner E. F. George
1915 – 18 A. L. Smithson
1919 – 21 John C. Ludwig
1921 – 24 S. L. Shockey
Years Circuit Minister Lay Delegate
1924 – 25 F. Handke
1925 – 27 Charles Ohman
1927 – 30 J. A. Hetche
1930 – 36 M. Neumeister
1936 – 38 O. D. Myers
1938 – 41 D. F. Brose
1941 – 45 Homer L. Rickel
1945 – 47 John A. Eversole
1947 – 50 Malcolm McClenaghan
1950 – 51 Simmon W. Brandyberry
1951 – 52 Simmon W. Brandyberry Anna Babione
1952 – 53 Simmon W. Brandyberry Walter Oestreich
1953 – 54 Simmon W. Brandyberry Wilber Korn
1954 – 55 Simmon W. Brandyberry Walter Oestreich
1955 – 57 Simmon W. Brandyberry Merle Walter
1957 – 58 Simmon W. Brandyberry Carmen Schaefer
1958 – 59 Ernest H. Daubert Leonard Eiler
1959 – 60 Ernest H. Daubert Lester Miller
1960 – 61 J. V. Bigelow Lester Christen
1961 – 66 J. V. Bigelow George Schaefer
1966 – 69 J. V. Bigelow Harley G. Jacobs
1969 – 71 Theron E. Donaugh Harley G. Jacobs
1971 – 72 Theron E. Donaugh Mrs. Lester Miller
1972 – 73 Charles E. Selby Gerald Farmer
1973 – 74 Charles E. Selby Nancy Oestreich
1974 – 76 Charles E. Selby Gerald Farmer
1976 – 80 Charles E. Selby Earl Widmer
1980 – 81 Charles E. Selby Harvey G. Helm