Zion Evangelical United Church of Christ

Despite the severe hard times of 1840-1842. a small courageous group of German speaking people organized this congregation at a meeting in February of 1841. Reverend J.G. Kunz was called to the pastorate on April 18 and a temporary constitution was adapted. Services were held in the old “Collete Building” on Pennsylvania Street for the first four years. A Sunday School was also organized in 1841. In 1844 the congregation was incorporated and chartered by the state legislature.

In 1845 Rev. J.F. Isensee (grandfather of the Rev. F.R. Daries who served Zion for 51 years) began his pastorate and a small frame church building was erected at 32 West Ohio Street. At that time the church’s name became the German Evangelical Zion’s Church. Rev. Herman Quinius was sent in 1859 by the Evangelical Synod of North America. His pastorate saw the construction of a two story brick parochial school building in 1860, and in 1867 a second church building which became a city landmark was dedicated on the site of the first church. Because of the large building debt, members decided to rent pews. (Pew rent was abolished in 1886.)

Rev. J.C. Peters succeeded Rev. Quinius in 1883, serving Zion for 38 years. The outstanding achievement of his ministry was the building of our present church edifice, dedicated in May 1913. The parish Hall was dedicated in 1928.

In 1934 the Evangelical Synod merged with the Reformed Synod. In 1957 after a merger of the Evangelical and Reformed and the Congregational Christian Churches, our church’s name became Zion Evangelical United Church of Christ.

Sitting in the sanctuary with its vaulted ceiling and the sunlight pouring through the beautiful colorful art glass windows, it is not difficult to remember the interpretation of the name “Zion,” according to the Biblical dictionary means “sunny.”