Chapter 6. Early Churches In Ohio

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1 Chapter 6 Early Churches In Ohio 54

2 The first church of Christ of the Restoration movement in Ohio was organized at Mantua, Ohio on January 27, Walter Scott organized the church. Steadily, many of the Baptist Churches belonging to the Mahoning Baptist Association began to change to church of Christ Churches. David Statts (D.S.) Burnet was instrumental in getting Church of Christ Churches here in Cincinnati. Born in Dayton, Ohio he moved to Cincinnati at age 8. At age 13 his father was elected mayor of Cincinnati. At about the same time he was sprinkled in accordance with his Presbyterian faith but his own investigations soon convinced him of the errors in this form of baptism. On December 26th, 1824 D.S. Burnet he was immersed and joined the Enon Baptist Church. He began visiting with Walter Scott and others and at the age of 20 started preaching. He helped form the Sycamore Street Baptist Church in Cincinnati. But, his continual plea for the return to Christianity divided the church into the Ninth Street Baptist Church and the Central Christian Church. Brother Burnet adhered to the latter organization, and until his death was thoroughly identified with the restoration movement and a zealous defender of the principles and practices advocated by the Disciples of Christ. Though he got into some disagreements with Alexander Campbell, he kept true to the mission of returning to the primitive church. He yielded to his convictions in opposition to every worldly interest. He broke away from wealth, 55

3 Central Christian Church 1901 Picture 322 W. 9th Street; Cincinnati, Ohio position, fame, friends, relatives, and religious associations, and united with a people at the time held in low esteem. He would go on to publish many papers, magazines, and books. He would serve as pastor of the Central Christian Church for sixteen years. D.S. was the first president of the Ohio Christian Missionary Society and would serve as such for three years. It was there he became friends with another resto- Central Christian Church Fire Destroyed Church January 20, 1940 ration preacher, Isaac Errett (one of the founders of Standard Publishing). It was under his leadership that the Ohio Christian Missionary Society would seek funds to better educate students for the Ministry and then better pay them when working as pastors. Indeed, they would help pay for a portion of the salaries of our first pastors. Had we not had D.S. Burnet and this organization, who knows if we would have had a College Hill Christian Church. In fact, it was not until 1959 when the College Hill Christian Church would become independent of funding from the O.C.M.S. D.S. Burnet, A.D. Fillmore, Isaac Errett, and so many more in the Cincinnati area helped build that path. This next generation of Restoration Movement Ministers would build upon Stone, the Campbell s, Scott, Purviance and others. They would reach out beyond where Burnet and Fillmore would go. They would preach 56

4 the primitive Christianity model as never before along with music from hymns published by Standard Publishing. Bible Schools or Sunday Schools would get started with this generation, and indeed, this generation would be the founders of the College Hill Christian Church. The Disciples of Christ are leading others in Bibleschool work. It took a long time to lay the foundation, James Henry Lockwood but now the work is prospering to the salvation of many and to the glory of our Father in heaven, D.S. Burnett would quote. J. H. Lockwood was a pioneer preacher in Cincinnati. Born in 1822 his early education included studies at Woodward High School. Ill health in 1840 made him withdraw from Bible studies in Cincinnati. When his health returned he finished his religious studies at Fairview College in Indiana. At the age of twenty he became pastor of the Fulton Christian Church in Cincinnati. He would later pastor churches in Felicity, Georgetown, Moscow, Mt. Orab, Dayton, Hammersville, Liberty, Ripley, Russellville, Fincastle, Monterey, and other towns in Ohio and Kentucky. J.H. Lockwood numbered among his friends many leaders of the Restoration Movement including Alexander Campbell, Barton W. Stone, Isaac Errett, and W. T. Moore. But it was when he sent one of his own students to preach in the Christian Church in Bethel, Ohio that we find an important College Hill Christian 57

5 Church Connection. A young Alexander M. Harvuot was the understudy of J.H. Lockwood when he was senior Minister at Bethel. Harvuot would go on to be a minister of various churches in Cincinnati and President of O.C. M.S. When Harvuot was president of this society in 1905 he was asked to preach in the Fergus Street (Northside) Alexander M. Harvuot Christian Church by his friend Justin Green (then pastor at Northside) about expanding the gospel through starting new churches. Several members of this church listened to him and some seeds were planted. Indeed, the members of this church who lived in College Hill began talking to one another about starting a church there. And Harvuot would be present at the July 1909 meeting at the College Hill Town Hall which would officially form the College Hill Christian Church. We have little information about Alexander Harvuot. He did preach at some of the churches here in Cincinnati Richmond Street Christian Church and was president of O.C.M.S. But a big connection was his friend and neighbor, Justin Green. Both lived on Richmond Street (Off Mound Street and close to 9th Street downtown). Harvuot lived at 617 and Green lived at 611. They both had close ties to the Richmond Street Christian Church down the street. And, Green was also a preacher and was preaching at the Evanston Christian Church in Green who had his own printing shop and 58

6 was trained as a stenographer would often ask Harvuot to contribute commentaries for his publications. Green also was president of the O.C.M.S. and often was one of the official secretaries at their conventions and meetings. When Alex Harvuot gave the thumbs up to form the College Hill Christian Church, he went to his Justin N. Green First Pastor of the College Hill Christian Church neighbor and friend again and asked if he would be the first minister to this new church. Green agreed even though he remained as pastor of the Evanston Church. He would preach in Evanston in the morning and then preach to the new College Hill congregation in the afternoon or evening on Sundays. Green knew all of the congregation. After all, these were members at the Northside Church when he pastored there. Both men would be a great spark for this new congregation. They would see them through the formative years and even see them build their first church building. They would receive help from Standard Publishing and the O.C.M.S. to get this church going and growing. But, it is with a grateful heart that we are so indebted to Alex Harvuot and Justin N. Green, for without their vision and leading by the Holy Spirit, we would not be celebrating God s Church at 1631 Marlowe Avenue, 100 years later. 59

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