Zion United Methodist Church – the past 25 years (1985 – 2010)
The past twenty-five years at Zion have been a time of praise, struggle and change. During the past twenty-five years we have seen much change in our pulpit. We have seen five ministers serve our congregation during this time; Rev. Don Hague, Rev. Thomas Cook, Rev. Joy French, Rev Ted Maust and presently Rev. Melissa Steinecker. We have enjoyed fellowship with our Luckey followers in Christ and a brief partnership with the Cedar Creek church of Perrysburg. We continue with our singing songs of praise that has been an important part of our worship since the very beginning or our church.
The children of our congregation and community are an important part of our worship and charge. What a joy to see the little ones parade to the altar for special children sermons. Those special times when the children’s choir sings from the altar are certainly music guided by the angels. What a special talent the children’s choir directors must have in order to produce such melodic tunes. Sunday school is also a special time for our children and again what patient and talented teachers we have. We actually had an archeological dig in the yard behind the parsonage in June of 1995. The young adults led by teacher Anthony (Tony) Lane spent weeks digging for pieces of a broken tablet, pots, etc. buried in the soil. Each artifact found during excavation contained clues about the people living during Jesus time. Each spring hundreds of little ones pour into Zion Lutheran Church for Community Bible School. It takes an army of volunteers from the community to orchestrate this event. There are people in charge of snacks, teaching lessons, crafts, games, singing and let us not forget the special program usually a cast of characters portrayed by the local ministers. The last Thursday of Bible School the special program is a grand display of children sharing their love in song during the evening in the park. Hundreds of parents, grand parents and loved ones line the grass with chairs and blankets to see the little ones perform.
During the past twenty-five years we have enjoyed great fellowship. We have celebrated weddings, funerals and holidays together. Each year we have a feast surrounding the decorating of the Christmas tree and Church for the holiday season. Christmas is usually celebrated with a special musical program with the adults and children. A Christmas feast, treats for the children and maybe even a visit from Santa are not out of the question. In the fall we have had some wonderful celebrations surrounding the harvest, an important part of our community. Our membership also takes part in the Luckey Fall Festival that takes place at Basic Park. The Luckey’s Couples Class is known in the community for their tasty elephant ears. The Luckey’s Couples Class also fills the park with the smell of freshly brewed apple butter. The butter is brewed and canned right there at the park. What fun and fellowship we have enjoyed.
We have had to say goodbye to some of our life long members of the church and important members of the community. Walter and Hilda Oestrich were members of our congregation for ?????? years and have both passed. Dale Gardner was a member for ????? years. I don’t know of anyone else for here but there should be more.
Fire seems to be a big part of the history of Luckey. Large sections of our town have been lost to fire in the past. In 1893 the entire business district on the north side of town was lost to fire. In 1921 the building which housed the bowling alley and Shaffer’s grocery store which stood on the corner of Main and Oak Streets burned. In 1940 the north side of Main St. including Jacobs Meat Market and Clause Store were destroyed. In 1949 the Helm Garage located on the south side of Main St. was destroyed. In January 1987 the Luckey Lumber located behind our present post office was destroyed. In ???????? the Jim Jacob’s home north of town was almost completely lost to fire. The kitchen area was saved and a new home built around the kitchen. The Jacob’s home on Luckey Road was where Anna Willi Jacobs spent her last years.
In the winter of 2008 Zion became partnered with Cedar Creek church of Perrysburg. Cedar Creek is known for its contemporary upbeat style of worship. The pre-taped program allowed Zion to include their own parts to the worship service and the video leading to the sermon came from Cedar Creek. Currently Zion no longer uses the program offered by Cedar Creek. Rev. Steinecker produces her own up beat program. This style of program has allowed Zion to reach out to people more comfortable with the relaxed service.
Another changed to occur in the last twenty-five years was the sale of the parsonage. The original parsonage was located at Main St. downtown Luckey. It was the first house east of the rail road tracks on the south side of the street. The first minister to live in the Main St. Parsonage was Rev. S. L. Shockey who served from 1921 to 1924. The last two Zion ministers to live in the Main Street parsonage were Rev. John Eversole and Rev. Malcolm McClenaghan. Mrs. Anna Babione lived on Krotzer Ave. in what was to be the Zion parsonage. Her husband had passed away shortly before she offered to sell the property for the amount of $10,500. This proposal was brought up at the congregational meeting on April 7th 1948 and was accepted by the forty members in attendance. Mrs. Babione wished to remain in the house until she found another. Since that time the Krotzer Ave. residence has been the Zion parsonage until 2004 when Rev. Ted Maust was serving as pastor. The parsonage was remodeled several times between 1949 and 2004. Rev. Melissa Steinecker became our half time pastor in 2004, sharing her duties with Stony Ridge United Methodist Church. Rev. Steinecker lives in her own home in Perrsyburg. The decision to sell the parsonage was made by the congregation in 2004. It was sold for $140,000. The monies from this sale are required by the Conference to be put aside and not used for anything but another parsonage. The church owns a lot east of the church parking area to build another parsonage should the need arise in the future.
Parsonage for sale in 2006