Church History

History of the West Lafayette United Methodist Church
From History and Records Committee resources including oral and written input from Lorena Sims and Betty Darr
Compiled by Jane Ann Eckelberry

     The West Lafayette United Methodist Church can trace its heritage to two Methodist churches built in the 1800s, one a Methodist Protestant church and one a Methodist Episcopal church. In the early years of these churches meetings were held in private homes. The area may have been served at some earlier point by circuit riders.

     The Methodist Protestants met in private homes beginning 1831 with the Methodist Protestant Society known as the Loos' Class. The Methodist Episcopal members met in area homes beginning in 1852.

     Methodism in public buildings in this area began with the Methodist Protestant Society or Class meeting in the Loos Log School House east of West Lafayette on Cadiz Road, now State Route 751. In 1842 the Methodist Protestants built a church on the north side of Cadiz Road which was known as the Plains Chapel, Ferguson Church, or Brick Chapel Church. The Methodist Protestants met there until 1892 when they built what became known as the Main Street Church at the corner of Main Street and Gay Street in West Lafayette, Ohio.

     The Methodist Episcopal members built a church at the northeast corner of Wall Street and now Russell Avenue in 1858 and later built at the southeast corner of Oak Street and now Russell Avenue in West Lafayette, Ohio. This church was known as the Trinity Church.

The Methodist Protestant, Methodist Episcopal, and AME became the Methodist Church in 1939, and the Main Street and Trinity Churches merged in 1958 to become the Methodist Church of West Lafayette. The Sanctuary, Phase 1 of the current building, was built at Union Avenue and Oak Street in 1962. Phase 2 added an Education Wing to the West Lafayette United Methodist Church in 1968. The Methodist Church, United Church of Christ, and Evangelical United Brethren became the United Methodist Church in 1969. The Family Christian Life Center, Phase 3, was consecrated in 2001.

Chronological Outline

1831 Methodist Protestant Society Known as Loos' Class Met in private homes

1836 Methodist Protestant Society or Class Met at Loos Log School House east of West Lafayette on now 751

1842 Methodist Protestant built church on north side of Cadiz Road Now State Route 751, just east of the intersection of Orchard Street at College Park
          Church called Plains Chapel, Ferguson Church or Brick Chapel Church Met there until 1892

1852 Methodist Episcopal met in homes

1858 Methodist Episcopal built church at Northeast corner of Wall Avenue & Russell Avenue

1887 Methodist Episcopal built church at Southeast corner of Russell Avenue & Oak Street

1892 Methodist Protestant built church at Southeast corner of Main Street & Gay Street

1939 Methodist Protestant + Methodist Episcopal + AME became Methodist Church

1958 Merger of the Trinity Methodist Church and Main Street Methodist Church
                To be known as The Methodist Church of West Lafayette

1962 Methodist Church phase 1 Sanctuary built at Union Avenue & Oak Street

1968 Phase 2 Education Wing built

1969 Methodist Church + United Church of Christ + Evangelical United Brethren became United Methodist Church

1969 Trinity Methodist Church, known as Asbury Hall, torn down and bell saved

1976 Bell Tower erected

2001 Phase 3 Family Life Center built in 2000 was consecrated January 4, 2001

Organ History


     The current organ was built in 1936 by A.J. Schantz & Sons of Orville, Ohio. This family company has been in business for over 150 years. A.J. Schantz & Sons still maintains and tunes the organ. The organ was originally in the Methodist Protestant Church on Main Street and moved to the Oak Street Church. It was taken back to the factory and rebuilt before being installed.


     The organ is in need of repairs due to age and bat activity from many years ago. Repair to the blower will cost $4,321.00, re-leathering of pipes $7,921.00 and cleaning $2,198.00 for a total of $14,440.00. If cleaning and pipe work are scheduled and done together, it will save $1,267.00. As of May 2017, we have received $3,260.00 with a remaining balance of $11,180.00. So please make this a priority to your thoughtful giving. We appreciate the support for the organ project.
Marvin Troendly,
Finance Chairperson

     The blower was replaced on June 19 and cost $4,321.00. Releathering of pipes will cost $7,921.00 and cleaning the bat debris will be $2,198.00 for a total of $14,440.00. If cleaning and pipe work are scheduled and done together, it will save $1,267.00. So we still need your giving above and beyond your regular giving to get this much-needed organ work done. We need to take care of our valuable organ! We appreciate your support!!
Church Bulletin
June 25, 2017

Pastoral History

This is a partial list of pastors.
Dates for some have not been found and the status of some is uncertain because titles varied - President, Pastor, Assistant, etc.

Main Street Methodist Protestant

Date           Pastor

1836           Rev. Robinson                                    
                    Samuel Lancaster
                    T. Bache
                    Jeremiah Bidison




                    Joel Baldwin

                    John Murphy

1857           Israel Thrapp

1864           John Baker

1873-76     G. W. Hessey

1876-77     J. H. Hamilton

1879-82     W. L. Wells

                   J. W. Rice

                   J. A Thrapp

1885          S. S. Fisher

                   J. T. Black


1895         F. L Brown

                  H. M. Peebles

                  C. A. Ismer

                  C. E. Sheppard

                  C. C. Falkenstine

1921-24    D. L. Custis

1924-29    Fred Gilhausen

1929-34    George Beck

1934-40    Olyn Hull

1940-44    Lloyd Yoder

1944-46    Ira Rife

1946-48    Russell Bohner

1948-51    Glenn Lockard

1951-52    Virgil Turner

1952-55    Carolton Heinline

1955-57    Norman Prichard

1957-59    James Cox, Co-Pastor

Trinity Methodist Episcopal

Date             Pastor

                     Bradshaw and White

1857             James Bray and C. H. Edwards

1858            Sinsebaugh and R. Hayes

1859            T. Davison and H. M. Close

1861            S. H. Hickman and J. J. Neigh

1862            W. R. Fouch

1863            W. D. Stevens

1864            William Shaw

1865            W. L. Dixon

1866             J. H. White

1867             J. E. Starkey and M. C. Harris

1868             J. W. Toland

1868-70       J. W. Weaver "Preacher"

1869            H. M. Radar "Junior Preacher"

1870            T. W. Anderson

1871-73      D. Falbraith

1874            H. H. Pershing

1875-77       J. W. Fouts

1878-80       John I. Wilson

1881-83       J. J. Jackson

1884            D. D. Knowles

1885-87       John Beetham

1888-92       J. W. Satterthwaite

1893-95      Samuel F. Ross

1896            G. T. Humble

1897            John Weir

1898            N. B. Stewart

1899-1902   J. G. Exline

1902-05      G. E. Rainsberger

1905-08      E. H. Roberts

1908-11      W. C. Rain

1911-14       J. E. Russell

1914-17      S. F. Wood

1917-21      T. I. McRae

1922-25      M. W. Bevington

1925-28      O. M. Peoples

1928-32      E. E. Wheeler

1932-33      George Davis

1933-35      William Power

1935-38      Harry J. Young

1938-47      S. P. Ozmun

1947-53      R. A. Hall

1953-55      S. S. Burnett

1955-59      William Boone, Co-Pastor

West Lafayette United Methodist Church

Pastors current building 1962-

Date                 Pastor

1959-64          David Patton

1964-66          Paul Olinger

1966-72          Charles V. Ireland

1972-79          Orville O. Wilson

1979-85          Kenneth Baillis

1985-93          William E. Norman

1993-2002     Kenneth W. Anderson

2002-2007     James H. Woodring

2007-2014     Sue E. Chidley

2014-2017     William E. Buckeye

2017-Current  Matthew Anderson