A Rich Heritage
Faith United Church of Christ may have looked forward to celebrating its 50th anniversary, but its heritage goes back over 150 years. The formation of Faith United Church of Christ is the rather unique story of how, two small churches with Evangelical & Reformed background, merged.
In 1961, two small churches were sharing a pastor and holding services in their respective churches on alternate Sundays. St. Paul’s church was founded in 1844 and in 1874 a new church building was built for $1,650 on the new road just south of Ackerville. St. John’s church was founded in 1852 with a brick structure being erected in 1894 on the corner of Hwy E and Slinger Road.
Both congregations had special needs in 1961. St. Paul’s wanted to enlarge their structure, but the building was located too close to the road. St. John’s wanted to enlarge their worship area and expand their fellowhship area. The two congregations were already sharing a minister so each voted to combine their buildings and form Faith United Church of Christ. The bricks were removed from St. Paul’s and the structure was moved 4 miles to the site of St. John’s. The cost of the move was $1,875. The building was moved across a farm field to avoid moving the structure over the railroad tracks. When a February snowstorm swooped in, the move was halted and the church structure sat in the middle of the farm field for over a week.
On June 11, 1961, the three oldest members from the congregations particiatpated in the groundbreaking ceremony. Work now began to combine the two structures into one building with the project being completed the following May. Servies were held at the site each Sunday during the construction and no members were lost during the merger.
The interiors of the two church buildings remained intact until 1969 when the interior was renovated and the current entrance was added. The congregation’s desire to have a handicapped accessible building became a reality in 2002 with the completion of another addition containing an elevator.
The faith of the people of Faith still continues on today.