A SHORT HISTORY OF
THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF ASHLAND
1898 - 1998
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 AB@ 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: AThe 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. This was possibly the most depressing time in the history of the congregation. Some were not sure that the church would be able to continue. The church burned on Wednesday and the members gathered that night for prayer. 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 purpose of the church remains what it has always been: to lead others to Christ and to provide nurture for those already dedicated to Him as Lord. We are part of a movement to restore the New Testament Church by reproducing in these modern times the same Name, Creed, Memorials, Organization and Sacrificial Life and Love as was manifested in the Church of the first century. We are dedicated to non-denominational Christianity, believing that when we stand on universal ground we stand on original ground. We strive to be Christians only, although we are not the only Christians.