Orrville’s Trinity UMC celebrates its 60-year milestone

Orrville’s Trinity UMC celebrates its 60-year milestone
Courtesy of Olin Gerber

Orrville’s Trinity United Methodist Church, located at 1556 Rex Drive, hit a 60-year milestone on June 7 and earlier that week held a special celebration service. In this photo church members are shown leaving the first service back in 1964.


Orrville’s Trinity United Methodist Church, located at 1556 Rex Drive, hit a 60-year milestone on June 7.

On June 2 the church celebrated this anniversary with a special celebration service. Present for the service were Bonnie Bailey (Orrville High Class of 1965) and John Bailey (OHS Class of 1967), children of the Rev. Paul Bailey and his wife Dorothy. Rev. Bailey was pastor at Trinity from 1958-67 and oversaw the building project during his tenure.

During the celebration Pastor Kristen Buchs shared the history of the church through use of some puppets. Current District Superintendent Cara Stultz Costello, who is the daughter of former Trinity Pastor Valerie Stultz, who served at the church from 1992-96, also helped to celebrate the occasion by sharing her own memories of the church.

“A Methodist celebration would not be complete without ice cream and cake and some special apple-related goodies to celebrate the apple orchard connection to the church,” said Jennifer Reusser, a longtime member of Trinity.

In 1959 Mr. and Mrs. C.V. (Chauncey and Winna) Hostetler donated more than 7 acres in the new Ellendate Allotment to the church. The land the Hostetler family gifted the church was originally part of the apple orchard Jerome M. Smucker used for his apple butter.

“Crownhill is a very busy thoroughfare today, one of only two streets in Orrville that stretches between north and south city limits,” Reusser said. “But decades ago Crownhill was a country road where the Smucker apple orchards flourished and provided fruit for making apple butter that was based on the family recipe.”

In 1959 the church had been seeking additional space for a growing congregation, which was then housed in the 1905 built stone church located on North Main Street. The 1964 church would be the third building for the Methodists, whose services in 1852 were held in a log schoolhouse located at what today is 248 E. Church St. Upon the opening of the current church, Dr. Charles Hamilton, the Canton District superintendent, celebrated the first service held in the new building.

The 1964 building was designed by architects Conrad and Fleischman. The design was considered architecturally significant, and plans for the church were at one time on display at a highly rated art exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The architectural design features laminated wooden arches that support the roof, with each arch weighing 3 1/2 tons. Additionally, there are over 2,500 pieces of colored cathedral glass in the chapel and sanctuary. The copper church spire reaches 100 feet into the air, and the cross at the top of the spire is made of anodized aluminum and is 8 feet high and 2 feet wide. Tying the new building to the old, the white marble baptismal font was brought from the old 1905 church.

A church in Orrville wouldn’t be complete without a Schantz organ. A new Schantz organ was ordered in 1963 and completed in 1965 at a cost of $26,212. Much of the history of the church was collected and written down by Ned Hostetler, who was the grandson of the Hostetlers who donated the land.

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