As Bellville church nears 200 service continues

The Presbyterian Church of Bellville stands as one the village’s oldest churches founded in 1838.

The Presbyterian Church of Bellville stands as one the village’s oldest churches, as it was founded in 1838 by an area faith group.

“In 1837, members of the Richland Presbytery held services in a small school house for the handful of Presbyterians in this town and vicinity,” said Presbyterian Church of Bellville elder Ruth Ann Kilgore. “By April of 1838, interest grew so much that a group of citizens of Bellville and surrounding farms applied for the organization of a church.”

The group accomplished their mission and started the church that spring. By May of 1854, the church had sixteen members.

“No written record of charter members was kept, but on the 25th anniversary of the church the original members were: Enoch French and his wife; Mathew Geary and his wife, Drusilla; John Lafferty, Sr. and his wife, Prudence; and Mrs. Maria Morrow,” said Kilgore.

The church grew steadily and by 1858, the Presbyterian Church had greatly expanded its membership. The church has continued uninterrupted for 178 years.

Today, the Presbyterian Church of Bellville is well known for choir music as well as full congregational hymns, stated Kilgore.

“They are a caring group,” said Kilgor of the congregation.”The church is active in the Bellville Neighborhood Outreach Center, which handles used clothing for everyone and a food pantry which provides food for those who need it. They also support a monthly free community dinner.”

While maintaining a successful base of attendees, Rev. Karin Wright has departed to a different ministry, stated Kilgore.

“Karin (Wright), her husband, Joe, and their four boys, have moved to a location (closer to their family). A temporary pastor will help the congregation make the transition,” she said.

The Presbyterian Church of Bellville expresses that its mission is to share Jesus Christ with the community and the world in their thoughts, words and actions.

Services begin at 10:30 am on Sundays, following a coffee fellowship time at 10 am. and Sunday school at 9:30 am. Holy Communion is celebrated the first Sunday of each month and on Special Holy Days.