Open Minds, Open Hearts, Open Arms
Senior Minister - Reverend Chad Delaney
Associate Pastor - Pastor Len Malotte
Church Secretary - Kelly Misterka


4118 State Route 82
, P.O. Box 550, Mantua, OH 44255
(330) 274-8258

Our Journey...

1808

A Baptist congregation is formed in Nelson, called “Bethesda”- it is said to be the first “of any order” in Portage County.

1827

 The Church of Christ of Mantua is founded in a schoolhouse by nine charter members who formerly belonged to the Bethesda Baptist Church. This church was the fourth to be founded in the Restoration Movement, and the first formed in Ohio.

1828

Thomas Campbell visits Mantua Center - at his suggestion, Zeb Rudolph and Darwin Atwater are “ordained and set apart as teachers.”

1829

 Members of the church who lived at some distance ask to leave Mantua Center to form new churches in Hiram, Shalersville, and Aurora.

1830

 A number of members of Mantua Center and the Hiram church were “lost” to Mormonism.  Darwin Atwater is ordained as an Elder.

1838

 The congregation voted to raise money to build a “meeting house” - Seth Harmon, Darwin Atwater, and Phineas Jennings appointed as a building committee.

1840

 “The church, having completed their new meeting house at the Center of Mantua and nearly paid for it, opened it for public worship.”

1850

 The Western Reserve Eclectic Institute was formed in Hiram (later known as Hiram College) - its first “principal” was A.S. Hayden, Disciple minister, historian, and educator, who preached regularly at Mantua Center in the early years.

1855

 A young professor from The Eclectic Institute, James Garfield preaches for the first time at Mantua Center, and on other occasions between 1855 and 1860.

1867

 Frank and Perlea Derthick begin sitting together in the same pew.  Previously, men and women sat in separate pews, with a divider between them.  Ben Derthick later recalled that “considerable comment was aroused” when this first occurred, but it soon became a common practice.

1871

 The church sanctuary is extensively remodeled, partially funded by the local Free Will Baptist congregation.  In return for their financial assistance, the Baptists are permitted half time use of the church for a period of ten years.

1873

Darwin Atwater passes away. He was the last of the original church members and served as an Elder for 46 years. 

1889

 The Christian Church at Mantua Station (now known as Hilltop) was organized with help from Mantua Center.

1895

 The church changes its name to “The Disciples of Christ at Mantua Center.”

1900

 The church is raised in order to manually dig out a useable basement.

1909

 The rostrum is raised and the roof slated.

1923

 The church voted to open her doors to members of other denominations without making baptism a test of fellowship.

1927

 Electric lights are installed in the church at a cost of $173.06. 

1934

 In the midst of The Depression, due to declining membership and poor finances, the church nearly votes to close its doors and merge with Hilltop. The pastor, William Joel, elects to take a pay cut to $8.00 per Sunday - average Sunday attendance is 31 people.

1938

 Water is piped into the building through the efforts of Lucius Converse.

1942

The church sends its first young member to summer youth conference.

1945

 The choir is reorganized through the efforts of Helen (Horton) Alger and Leone Krohn. The Christian Youth Fellowship (CYF) is also formed.

1947

 A new organ is dedicated, and the church pays for Leone Krohn to take lessons to become our organist.  Indoor restrooms are also installed this year.

1950

 To accommodate the growth of the Sunday School program, Lucius Converse is elected to lead the building of an addition to the church, at a cost of $10,000. 

1952

 Rev. Ben Derthick reads “A Look At Our Heritage” at the dedication of the new addition, coinciding with the 125th Anniversary of the founding of the church.

1958

 The church is incorporated and the name officially changed to “Mantua Center Christian Church.”

1962

 The parsonage is built on land donated by Elta Tinker. Its first occupant is Rev. Jackson Pyles and his family. He becomes the first full time minister in 50 years.

1967

 Mantua Center enters into an agreement with Hilltop Christian Church to share the services on a part time basis with their pastor, Rev. William Allen.

1973

 The church has a new aluminum steeple installed, paid for through memorial donations.  Pew cushions are also purchased.

1977

 The Sesquicentennial Year - different celebrations are held throughout the year, highlighted by a two presentations of the original play “Bright Lives,” written by Jon Secaur, and performed by members of the church.

1984

 The Handbell Choir is formed after the purchase of a two-octave set of bells through memorial donations.

1992

 Ground is broken for another addition to the church, for the purpose of adding classrooms, restrooms, a nursery, and an office for the pastor and secretary.

1996

 A celebration is held to recognize Leone Krohn and Helen Alger for their combined 100 + years of service to the music ministry of the church.

2001

 A new organ is purchased and dedicated in February, replacing the organ purchased in 1947.

2002

 We celebrate our 175th anniversary, with an old-fashioned worship service and Sunday School program, potluck dinner, and “Centeseptiquinary Jeopardy.”

2006

 The church forms a committee to develop a Statement of Calling and Ministry Plan - to discern who we are as a congregation, and where God is calling us to go - in preparation for calling a new pastor.

2008

 Rev. Chad Delaney is called to serve as full time pastor.


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