History of Fall Creek


The history of the Fall Creek Friends Meeting dates back to the very first years that Friends settled in Ohio. Only five years following the establishment of the first Friends Meeting in Ohio at Miami at Waynesville, Friends in the Fall Creek Community were gathering to worship together. In 1806 according to Miami Quarterly Meeting minutes, permission was given for Friends at Fall Creek, “on the waters of Paint Creek”, to hold regular meetings for worship.In July of 1811, Fall Creek was set off from Fairfield (near Leesburg) Monthly Meeting of which both Fall Creek and Clear Creek Meetings had been a part of for several years.Even before it had been established as a monthly meeting, Fall Creek was instrumental in setting up the first Salt Creek Meeting in 1808. The exact location of this meeting was not certain, but probably was in Ross County near Chillicothe.The first meetinghouse at Fall Creek was built about ½ mile south and east of the present building where the old cemetery still remains today.The first clerk of the Fall Creek Meeting was Thomas Sumner. Among the first requests for membership to come before the meeting was a request for Gertrude Kearns. This family name (since changed to Karnes) is still well known in the community. In 1817 Fall Creek meeting set off the Leescreek Meeting, which was located near the Highland County line on Antioch Road. During the Hixite Controversy, this meeting was laid down. The Fall Creek Meeting too, was unable to escape the high feelings and divisions that accompanied this theological controversy. The meeting was divided sometime between 1830 and 1840. The orthodox group withdrew and built a small meetinghouse near by.In1876 following a great revival, by Joseph Wakefield, a brick meeting house was built on the present site, the land having been given by the Cowgill Family. (This family is still active in the meeting today.) It was reported that the church was filled to overflowing on the day of the dedication. Articles in the Highland County History refer to this structure as one of the finest church building in Highland at that time. It was about this time that Fall Creek joined with Walnut Creek and Hardins Creek to form the Hopewell Monthly Meeting. In 1920 the following Friends were appointed to a committee from Fairfield Quarterly Meeting to meet with the Fall Creek Friends to establish again a Fall Creek Monthly Meeting: Eliel Green, Mary Hawkins Terrell, Ruth Stowe and Henry Tod Hunter. The meeting was established with the following officers appointed: Elmer Cook, Clerk Edward Meredith, assistant Clerk and Blanche Karnes, Correspondent. In 1937 the Meeting realized the need for repairs on the Meetinghouse and parsonage. With the members of the church and community working in harmony, the necessary repairs were completed and a new Sunday School room was added to the church. This room was complete with a full basement with three classrooms. A new furnace was installed and the sanctuary redecorated. Later, a bathroom was added to the parsonage and a new furnace installed there. Since that time a garage has been built, a Hammond Spinet Organ installed in the Sanctuary and a bulleting board erected on a knoll in front of the Meeting House. Helen Wood Matzke donated this in memory of her parents, Lewis and Rosamond Wood.Through the years many gifts have been presented in memorial to godly parents. It would not be possible to mention all these but we will mention a few. In 1961 Josephine Karnes presented the church a new piano as a memorial to her parents. The three daughters of the late Frank and Irene Ross gave a desk, which was placed, in the vestibule.In the early spring of 1961, Dwight and Gladys Smith, both recorded ministers, came to Fall Creek from Colorado Springs and served very acceptably for a period of 4 ½ years. It was during this time that the Lord Blessed the Meeting and the attendance grew until in 1965 the average attendance was 103.The Meeting had considered starting a new building program for sometime. It was helped greatly by a sizable memorial donation from Helen Free and her brother Robert Overman in memory of their parents, Norman and Cornelia Overman. The building was started in 1964-65. A new unit was added, consisting of a large Sunday School room with sliding partitions, full basement, kitchen and restrooms. A well was drilled and the sanctuary completely redecorated, the south entrance closed and a new entrance was placed at the northeast corner of the original building. All this work was accomplished and the dedication was held on October 10, 1965. This was all made possible because as is stated in Nehemiah 4:6 “the people had a mind to work”.In 1966 Arthur Alexander and family came to Fall Creek and served for 4 years. The Sunday School and worship service continued to grow with and average attendance of 109. Arthur Alexander did much work on the parsonage, installing new cabinets and remodeling the kitchen. He also built a new pulpit for the sanctuary.In 1970 Richard Bowers and family came to Fall Creek for a period of 4 years with good service to the church and community. In 1974 Kenneth and Ruthanna Pickering came and served the church and community for 1 year. Kenneth was followed by William and Dorothy Cronk who faithfully served the church for a period of 6 years. In 1980 new seats were purchased for the sanctuary. In 1881 a new Conn Organ was purchased with funds received from the Martha Cowgill Tylis estate. The exterior of the building was sandblasted. A new clock was donated for the sanctuary, which was made from the end of the old pews by Mary Eleanor Arnott’s father, Oliver Harris.Throughout the years, Fall Creek has been blessed with the ministry of faithful pastor who preacher the gospel. Many revivals have been held with the Lord reaching the hearts and lives of all of us within the church family. As testimony to all that the Lord has done and continues to do, we have been blessed to see the Lord call several within our family to Active Christian Ministries. John T. Montgomery was recorded a minister from the meeting and pastured for several years. As of this time Peggy Caldwell serves as pastor in Western Yearling Meeting. In addition to these Betty Bobb served as missionary to India for 16 years.