Our History
4130 Edwards Road Greenwich, Ohio 44837
Sunday 10:00 a.m. Worship Service

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On January 18, 1851 a group of residents of Ripley Township, Huron County, in the Firelands Area of Ohio, “with prayer and consultation,” organized The Free Congregational Church of Ripley. They expressed their belief that “the cause of Christ demanded the formation **** of such church.” The church records of that year list names of the nine members who “were examined on their faith and hope in Christ” and who adopted Articles of Faith and Covenant. Those nine members were Harvey Hubbard, his wife Frances Hubbard, Sarah W. Brown, Joel Hall and his wife Mary Hall, Clarissa Edwards, Justus Brown, Sarah Hall and Henry E. Brown. Articles of incorporation were filed in Columbus, Ohio on March 20, 1851.

May 3, 1851 Joseph Edwards and Clarissa Edwards, his wife, deeded to the church one-acre of land “as a site for a meeting house and burying ground.” The Rev. Mr. Joseph Edwards served the church as its first minister. Mrs. Clarissa Edwards was one of the nine original members who organized the church.

A house of worship was built upon the land given by the Edwards Family. The building cost $1000. The New England Congregational Union furnished $300 of that sum, the remainder was provided by subscription. On February 11, 1854 the new Meeting House was dedicated. The burying ground continues to be known as Edwards Grove Cemetery.

In 1910 the church building was remodeled, enlarged and refurnished. There were new stained-glass windows, and a basement with furnace and lighting plant. A rededication service was held December 18, 1910.

On Sunday, June 24, 1951, the One Hundredth Anniversary of The Ripley Congregational Church was celebrated.

In 1954 the neighboring residence on Edwards Road across from the church was purchased for the parsonage. Payment in full of indebtedness on that property was celebrated in January, 1957.

May 14, 1961 the church voted to become part of the United Church of Christ, a merger of Congregational Churches with the Evangelical and Reformed Churches.

A building fund, begun in 1957, had grown to $3200 in 1964. Long preparation led to a building fund drive on March 21, 1965, Canvass Sunday. Contributions and pledges together with the existing Fund made a potential total in excess of the $20,000 estimated cost of a building expansion program. Ground breaking ceremonies took place May 9, 1965. The final building cost was $36,000 PLUS many, many, volunteer hours of labor.

Worship services were held at a school building on New Street in Greenwich while the church basement was deepened and additional construction work was begun. The congregation returned to the partially completed building on December 5, 1965.

Part of the Hugh and Hattie Lewis estate bequest to the church in 1971 was the present property on US 224 for a parsonage. The property on Edwards Road was sold to Richard and Judith Runkle in 1972.

In 1990 Ripley Church purchased 6.457 acres north of the church building from the Village of Greenwich. This has allowed for the expansion of the parking lot, playground area, and future expansion of the building. January 20, 1991 the church voted to withdraw from the United Church of Christ. The name of the church changed to The Ripley Church.

On May 1, 2002 ground was broken for a new addition on the north side of the existing building which included a new fellowship hall (which can be divided into classrooms), new offices, library, youth room and restrooms. The dedication of the new addition was on May 1, 2005. The new building was paid for without having to borrow any money or going into debt.