Our History

Our History

 In 1833, thirteen of the original settlers of the township of Litchfield, organized themsleves into the Baptist Church. Elder Asa Strait was their first pastor. A couple years later, in 1835, a meeting house was built about a mile east of Litchfield’s center. Sometime between 1835 and 1846, the meeting house was moved and enlarged, but in 1846 the building burnt and the church records were destroyed. Until 1860, the Baptist Church met in private homes, the school house or other church buildings. Also during this time the Baptist of Litchfield and Penfield united. 
 In 1847, Rev. J.V.K. Seeley and C.B. Chappell organized the purchase of a half-acre lot on the southeast part of the center of Litchfield for $115. In 1860, Rev. William Wood helped organize the building of the church that stood on the circle nearly 100 years. According to a note found of the flyleaf of an old church Bible, the church building (see picture below) was dedicated on July 8, 1860, the building costing $2,475.86. From 1881 until 1884, the Litchfield and Penfield Baptist Churches united once again, calling Elder Dyall to be the pastor. Later, Rev. M.W. Foshay was the pastor for five and a half years, during his time at the church a parsonage was built. 
 In the 1950’s, it was realized by the leadership of the Litchfield Baptist Church that they would need to expand. However, due to it’s closeness to Route 18 and no room to expand, it was decided a move was necessary. On November 2, 1955, Mr. and Mrs Stanley Biggs offered the church two acres of land south of the circle on Route 76 (now Route 83), if they would sell the old church site to the Gulf Oil Company. Today, the gas station on the circle still stands on the site of the old church. 
 On October 3, 1956, the church purchased a new Cesna home as the new parsonage. Then only six months later, March 31, 1957, the new parsonage was dedicated and farewell was said to the old sanctuary. Later that year, on November 17, 1957, the deidication service was held for the new church building under the pastorate of Rev. Roy Hendershot. Since then our church has continued to meet in this building. From 1963 until June 2016, Pastor David Shimp was our pastor. Pastor and his wife Shirley faithful served our community and congregation and we are thankful for their many years of service. Through out this time we have faithfully worshipped our great Savior together.
Our church has had a long and rich history, throughout that time our church has been a Bible-preaching church. A host of faithful people had filled its pews and pulpit. Since 1910 the following pastors have ministered faithfully in this church: 
Rev. Ray C. McMillan..........1910-1912 
Rev. G. Ritchie.......................supply 
Rev. M.L. Wottring..............1913-1915 
Rev. J.S. Gough....................1915-1918 
Rev. J.G. Beard.....................1918-1920 
Rev. V.W. Willard..................1921-1924
Rev. Chester E. Tulga..........1925 
Rev. Clinton E. Garvin.........1925-1929
Rev. George L. Cooper........1929-1930
Rev. B.P. Nuckols.................1930-1932 
Rev. Charles Walsh..............1932-1933 
Rev. Brethren........................supply 
Rev. Robert Hughes.............supply 
Rev. N. Leslie Magargee.....1933-1935 
Rev. H.S. Marie......................1936-1939 
Rev. N.B. Cilbourne..............1940-1942 
Rev. R. Dale Davis.................1942-1944 
Rev. Charles F. Hart..............1945-1950 
Rev. Howard W. Laing..........1951-1954 
Rev. Roy Hendershot...........1954-1958 
Rev. Darrell Bice....................1959-1962 
Rev. David Shimp..................1963-2016 
Rev. John R. Smith................2016-Present

- This information was taken from The Story of Litchfield, Ohio 1831-1981 by the Litchfield Historical Society.
Copyright 2020 LitchfieldBaptist.org