Trinity United Church of Christ, Tiffin, Ohio
In the year 1833, when the city of Tiffin was barely 20 years old, a small group of German immigrants founded a small church that would grow over the next 180 years to become what we know today as Trinity United Church of Christ.
Fourteen years later, a little red brick church was dedicated at the corner of Madison and Monroe Streets and was named First Reformed Church. To accommodate a growing congregation, a larger church building was built and dedicated in 1861, maintaining the name First Reformed Church.
First Reformed Church building
First Church interior
The history of the Reformed Church in Tiffin is intertwined with that of Heidelberg College. Rev. Hiram Shaull, one of First Church’s pastors is largely responsible for bringing Heidelberg College to Tiffin. He raised $11,030 to persuade the Reformed Synod to locate Heidelberg College in Tiffin.
In the 1880s, more room was needed for the growing church. Some parishioners wanted to add to the current building, while others preferred to build a whole new building. This dispute caused eighty members to break away and form Grace Reformed Church, located at Jefferson and East Perry Street. Grace Reformed Church was dedicated in 1884.
Tragedy struck both of our early congregations in the Great Flood of 1913, with each sustaining significant damage. A group of women representing each church met and prayed for unity between the two congregations. However, when the vote was taken in 1916, the churches chose to remain separate.
As the story of Trinity is a story of two congregations uniting as one, the denomination of which we are a part is also a product of denominational unions. In 1936, there was a union between the Reformed Church in the United States and the Evangelical Synod of North America. This congregation was now known as Trinity Evangelical and Reformed Church. In 1957 there was another union when the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian churches became the United Church of Christ.
As is so often stated in our Sunday welcome and as we have seen over the last 180 years, “No matter who you are or where you are in life’s journey, you are welcome here.”
Welcome to Trinity United Church of Christ.