The History of The First Christian Church of Niles.

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The First Christian Church

In the year 1840, after meeting about 3 years under the leadership of Elder John Henry, the group met in the brick schoolhouse on Leslie Ave and organized the Disciple Church of Niles.

The group met there until 1844 when a frame building was erected on the lot where the present church now stands, at a cost of $1,800. The lot had been given to the church by James Heaton in 1843.

The frame church is seen behind the brick church which was built in 1894.

First Christian Church: P01.330


The First Christian Church

The pulpit was in the south end of the church with a door on each side of the pulpit, one for the men and one for the women. The building was heated by a stove and lighted with candles. Some time later the candles were replaced with oil lamps. This building served the growing congregation until 1876 when it was remodeled. The doors to the south were closed and a single entrance was placed in the north end of the building on Church Street. In 1882 a belfry was added. The bell from this structure was later installed on the roof of the new educational building.

Evangelist meetings were held in open air tents holding over 4,000 and producing numerous conversions and baptisms at revival meetings. These meetings were an important part of the early church and people came from far away to hear the speakers.

First Christian Church: P01.332


A new church was built at a cost of $12,500 and was dedicated on November 25, 1894. A pipe organ was installed at that time also. In 1899, a parsonage was built for $4,500 at the south end of where the educational building now stands.

The Men's Bible Class of First Christian Church on the lawn in front of the church.

Men's Bible Class: PO2.452


A photo of the Parish House of First Christian Church which was purchased in 1918 and razed in 1966.

By 1918 the church had outgrown its Sunday School, so they purchased the property where the Parish House was located on Church Street. As time went on, the Parish house was repaired and remodeled several times. It had served nearly a century to the church and the community when it was razed in 1966.

A photo of the Parish House of First Christian Church which was purchased in 1918 and razed in 1966. It sat on the northeast corner of Arlington and Church Streets where the Masonic Temple parking lot is located.

Parish House: P02.447


The stained glass window which faced Arlington Street

For 122 years the corner of Church and Arlington Streets had been the home of the First Christian Church. The stained glass window which faced Arlington Street was demolished when the new church was built in 1966.

Stained glass window: P02.450

The stained glass window which faced Arlington Street

A new church and the present day First Christian Church was dedicated in 1966 and the first service was held on Palm Sunday April 3, 1966.

A new church and the present day First Christian Church was dedicated in 1966 and the first service was held on Palm Sunday April 3, 1966.

Left: P01.335

Right: P01.33

A new church and the present day First Christian Church was dedicated in 1966 and the first service was held on Palm Sunday April 3, 1966.

 
 
 
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