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An American Family History

Canfield Church

 


 
 
 

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from Trumbull, Mahoning Counties, Volume II, p. 24

The German Reformed Lutheran Church
This church was organized a few years prior to 1810. The first meetings were held at the houses of Peter Lynn, George Lynn, and other members. Among the first members were John Neff, Conrad Neff, Peter and George Lynn, John Lynn, Jacob Ritter, Philip Borts, John Harding, Henry Ohl, Jacob Frank, Simeon Gilbert, Benjamin Butt, Philip Stitel, Charles Gilbert, Philip Arner, Martin Dustman, Henry Neff, David Ohl, Henry Brunstetter, Henry Crum, and others, for the most part with their wives and families. . .

The first church building erected in Canfield was the German Reformed and Lutheran, built in October, 1810, of hewn logs, 40x50 feet in dimensions. It was situated one mile north of the village. The house remained in an unfinished condition three or four years. It was then completed and continued to be occupied by the two congregations until April, 1845, when it was destroyed by fire. A new and more substantial house was built during the summer and autumn on the side of the road opposite the site of the old one.

In 1857 the congregation placed a pipe organ in this church at a cost of $800, which is believed to be the first organ of its size ever placed in a country church in this county. Father Mahnensmith and Father Hewitt ministered in the church for many years. Father Becker also served a long term. In the early years of the settlement the Canfield church was the religious home of the church-going Germans for miles around. For fifty years or more the services were conducted exclusively in the German language. The needs of the rising generation have caused change, and of late years the services are half the time in English. . .

Lutherans are Protestants who follow Martin Luther's religious teachings, especially the doctrine of justification by faith alone.