From R. S. Dills' History of Fayette County
THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCHThe history of Trinity Episcopal Church is necessarily short, for the simple reason that at this date (August, 1881) it is, as a church, less than two years old.
On Thursday evening, December 4, 1879, a meeting, presided over by the Kev. J. H. Logic, rector of St. Philip's Church, Circleville, was held at the residence of Mr. J. M. Love. At that meeting all the persons in Washington Court House who were interested in the Episcopal Church were present. An organization was effected by the election of an executive committee, composed of the following gentlemen: J. M. Love, Edwin Bird, R. M. Campion, J. S. Gold, Clarence Snyder, Edwin Proctor, and Charles A. Palmer. These gentlemen were invested with authority to act in the capacity of a vestry; Messrs. Love and Bird to act as wardens.
Previous to this date (December 4, 1879), occasional services had been held by the Rev. Mr. Logic, of Circleville, and the Rev. Mr. Fischer, of Chillicothe, but at this meeting arrangements were made for regular services, and the first of such services was held on Thursday evening, December 11, 1879.
At this service further arrangements were made by which the Rev. Mr. Logic was to take pastoral oversight of the work, and, with the assistance of the neigliboring clergj', hold services on alternate Sundays in the Baptist Church.
The first Sunday service was held December 28, 1879. In the afternoon the Sunday-school was organized. At first the school met at the residence of Mr. Love; but its growth was so rapid that it became necessary, in the course of three weeks, to take it to the church.
For several mouths the services were held in the Baptist house of worship, but were removed to the city hall, and subsequently to the court house, where the members are still worshiping God in accordance with the faith and practice of the Apostolic Church.
On the 16th of May, 1880, the mission was placed in the hands of the Rev. Korman H. Badger, who thus became the first rector of Trinity Church. His tenure of oflice was, however, very short, he being called to a parish in northern Ohio in January, 1881. For three months the mission was without a pastor. The Sunday- school was, however, carried on by the ladies of the congregation, of whom mention may be made of Miss Nannie Love, Miss Julia Campbell, Mrs. J. C. Von Buhlow, Mrs. Campion, and Miss Tinnie Cleaveland.
In March, 1881, arrangements were made by which the Rev. George Rogers, a graduate of Bealey Hall Theological Seminary, Gambier, Ohio, and a presbyter of the Diocese of Kentucky, took charge of the mission, and is still pastor of the church.
The growth of the Episcopal Church in the county seat has been rapid and solid. The dignity and beauty of its service; its broad, catholic spirit; its adaptability to old and young, rich and poor; its freedom from partizanship—all commend it to the thinking men and women of the community.
So far from being a new church, it is the oldest of all the religious bodies. It was first organized in the United States in 1784, obtaining its orders from the Mother Church, of England. The student of history will not need to be told that there was an English Episcopal Church long before the Reformation in the sixteenth century, and that what was done at the time of the Reformation was not the making up of a new church, but the cleansing of the old from Romish errors. There was an English Episcopal Church, with bishops, presbyters, and deacons, at the time of the Council of Aries, A. D. 314, and through this church the Protestant Episcopal Church of America traces her lineage back to the days of the apostles. She is the daughter of the Church of England in precisely the same sense in which America is the child of Great Britain. We as Americans are not ashamed to call England the mother country.
The government of the church is both lay and clerical, the secular part of the administration being confided to the care of the vestry, composed of the minister and several laymen, in the case of the parish; and in the case of the diocese, to an annual convention, composed of both clergy and laity, with the bishop as presiding ofiicer. The spiritual government is, of course, committed to the bishop and clergy.
The doctrines of the church are summed up in the Apostles' Creed. She believes in God, in Jesus Christ, in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic (or universal) Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting, and does not demand that her children shall believe any more. She does not lay upon men a "yoke which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear. "but simply asks of them a profession of belief in this creed, and a sincere and honest desire to live a godly life. Being- baptized and confirmed in this faith, she helps men to live an earnest Christian life. The non-essentials of religion are left between every man and his Maker. With malice toward none, and charity toward all, she believes it to be especially her mission to preach primitive Christianity, to help the distressed, to comfort the sorrowfnl, and to lead erring men back into the path that leads to God.
Such is the history, and such are the objects of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Washington Court House.
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