Discover the Oldest Church in All of Ohio

Written by Karla Lewellyn
Published: November 28, 2023
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When researching the oldest churches in the U.S., you’ll find that many of them were Roman Catholic. Additionally, many of the earliest churches were Presbyterian, Anglican, Lutheran, Unitarian, and even Quaker congregations.

What is the oldest church in The Buckeye State? Let’s discover the oldest church in all of Ohio.

Old Wyandot Mission Church

The Old Stone Fort. It is presumed to be the oldest structure in the state of Ohio.

The oldest church in Ohio was made of stone like The Old Stone Fort — the oldest standing structure in Ohio — seen here.

©Fionn0011 / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

The Old Wyandot Mission Church is the first officially recognized mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church. It is located in the Old Mission Cemetery in Upper Sandusky, on the northeast corner of the junction of North 5th Street and East Church Street.

The mission was initially founded in 1816 by John Stewart, a missionary who enlisted Native Americans from the Wyandott nation. This tribe of Wyandotts had settled in northern Ohio after the end of the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Eight years later in 1824, the congregation, under the guidance of Reverend James B. Finley, built the stone mission church building.

Members of the Wyandot tribe worshipped at the church until 1843 when most were relocated to Indian Territory in Kansas. Much later, in 1889, the congregation restored the building, and in 1960, the General Conference of the Methodist Church designated it a national historic shrine.

Today, visitors and worshippers can find the graves of John Stewart and some of the early Christian Native Wyandotts. Inside, you can find artifacts and historical church documents on display. Worship services are still held in the stone building every Sunday at 8:00 a.m. As well, the church is open from 1-4 p.m. each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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The photo featured at the top of this post is © Mihai_Andritoiu/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Karla Lewellyn is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on places, dogs, travel, and geography. Karla has been writing and researching for 10 years and holds a Master's degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. A resident of Tennessee, Karla loves reading, writing, and spending time outdoors in East Tennessee.

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