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