A HISTORY OF
THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF ASHLAND
(1898 - 2015)
Two unsuccessful attempts were made to organize a Christian Church prior to 1898. On Friday, April 1, 1898, five men met with Mr. E.D. Washburn and it was agreed to meet in the Chautauqua Building to hold a series of Gospel Meetings. On April 3, 1898, seventy-five people were present in the Chautauqua building with Evangelist J. B. Lister preaching. Between eighty-eight and one hundred continued to meet through the week.
The church was organized on Tuesday evening, April 19, 1898. The Sunday School was organized on Sunday, May 1, 1898, with about forty members. These services were conducted in the Chautauqua Building with the Elders doing the preaching through the summer. By September 25, the services moved temporarily to City Hall. On February 26, 1899, they moved to the Opera House. Sixteen members were added to the original thirty-two that first year and a constitution was adopted.
The following persons were duly elected by the unanimous voice of the congregation, and for the time herein stated, from the 19th day of April 1898.
Bro. Washburn 3 years
Bro. F. M. Blevins 2 years
Bro. F. D. Robbins 1 year
Bro. L. R. Ulen 3 years
Bro. D. L. Harris 2 years
Bro. James Kelley 1 year
Sister Irene Herrin 3 years
Sister Leah M. Caldwell 2 years
Sister Delphie Bryant 1 year
During the second year, Mrs. Oscar Ganiard donated the lot on the corner of 2nd and B where the church now stands and a building was begun.
The workers were organized by Mr. Frank Robbins and the building was completed and dedicated on February 11, 1900.
As stated in the Constitution of the First Christian Church of Ashland, adopted by the Church, April 13, 1899: The date of the Annual Meeting shall be on the Thursday nearest before April 19 (the day of the anniversary of organization of the church in 1898).
Twice the church has suffered misfortune by fire; losing most of its records when the home of Mrs. W. A. Cooper burned while she was secretary of the Board, and again on September 11, 1946, when the church building burned. The latter was an unfortunate event that tested the faith of the members. They needed to rely on God to provide a meeting place for worship. The members faithfully gathered the night the building burned and prayed that God would provide for them. While they were praying some of the members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church came and offered the use of their building until other arrangements could be made. A new building was constructed and dedicated in 1947, with an education wing added in 1959. The Church looks to the future in 2015 and the possibilities of mission and ministry in the community of Ashland thanks to the faithfulness of many over its 100 years of service to God.