Old Stone Presbyterian Church
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Our mission is to glorify God through active discipleship of Jesus Christ.
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History

 
 
The Old Church.          

 

A historic landmark in Delaware County, The Old Stone Presbyterian Church is the oldest church building in continuous use in the county. Time has wrought changes since the early days when men and women, armed with rifles for protection from wild animals, forded the Scioto River on horseback and followed footpaths through virgin woods to worship. Two potbellied stoves and hearty handshakes warmly welcomed them for many years. Members shared the task of cutting wood and hauling it to the church for fuel and of stripping bark from hickory trees for kindling. Since 1835 the beloved church on the hill has rejoiced in years of prosperity and has weathered years of anxiety.

1985 marked the 150th Anniversary of the edifice at its present site; however, the original congregation dates back 190 years to the organization of the first Presbyterian Church in Delaware in 1810 by The Reverend John S. Hughes. The members were residents of Delaware, Radnor, and Liberty Townships, each meeting in their respective locale, but governed jointly by a united Session.

In 1819 the Radnor Township members built a hewn log meeting house on the farm of John Dunlap. The "Dunlap Meeting House" was located two miles south of Radnor. Today a large, marked rock near the corner of Lawrence and Meredith Roads commemorates the site.

In 1835 the present church of gray limestone was erected on a high hill above the Scioto River. The three acres of land on which the church was built were donated by William M. Warren, Sr. A year later the Marion Presbytery dissolved the relations existing between the three township congregations and the separate churches were established. The membership of the Stone Church at this time was approximately 41.

In 1880 Mrs. Margaret Thompson purchased an old Methodist Church near Radnor in Delaware County and gave it to the Presbyterians. It did not prosper and subsequently was sold in 1889. The money was given to the Radnor Stone Church; thereafter, it was called Radnor Thompson Presbyterian Church, in memory of Mrs. Thompson's generosity. In 1975 the congregation voted to simplify the name and change it back to The Old Stone Presbyterian Church.

By 1912 the church was clear of debt. Average worship attendance was 100. Sunday School attendance was approximately 60. Increasing attendance dictated the need for additional space, thus a Sunday School was added in 1916. Much of the work was donated by members when they could give time during slow periods on farms.

Calling the Reverend David Boumgarden in 1977 was the turning point for the church. Old Stone was on the road to becoming self-supporting in 1981. Membership increased substantially with greater laity involvement, a growing Christian Education program, expanded outreach, local mission programs, and strong pastor leadership.

In the early morning hours of August 26, 1989, the congregation was called together and sadly watched as all but a portion of the new addition and the original stone walls of the sanctuary were destroyed by fire. The congregation worshiped on the lawn the next day as the embers still smoldered in the background. The Elders and Trustees met, and within a few weeks the decision was made to rebuild the church. A large crowd of members and friends held the first Sunday Service in the rebuilt church on Easter Day, 1991.

The church has continued to grow in the ensuing years since the fire.  We look forward with great anticipation to what God has planned for the future of the Old Stone Church family. We are grateful for our people, building, and history. May this always be a place where God's love in Jesus Christ is the cornerstone.