Canal Fulton United Methodist Church
The Methodist congregation is one of the oldest in Canal Fulton. The first settlers to the area were mainly of the Methodist or Presbyterian faiths, and services were often held in homes or the town’s schoolhouse. A Methodist church was built in what was then Milan in 1831 on River Road, and the church’s cemetery served the community as well (the “old Pioneer Cemetery”) until the Union Cemetery was platted. A new church was built in 1856; a brick, neo-classical, “colonial” country church with the nave oriented on a Northwest to Southeast axis, and the two entrances (one for men to access, one for women to access) on the Northwest façade. The old church is believed to have burned and been torn down. The members were served by a circuit-riding preacher who covered an area from Coshocton to New Portage (now Barberton). This “Tuscarawas Circuit” continued until 1849 when records place the Canal Fulton members in the “Dalton Circuit”. By 1877, a preacher serviced only Canal Fulton, Clinton and North Lawrence (Bodil). There was little change in the way the circuit served the three parishes until 1955 when the Canal Fulton church became a “station” church and the minister served no other parishes but the village of Canal Fulton. The following is a list of the changes that have been made to the Methodist Church to bring the simple country church where it is today:
- 1886—entrance moved to the west
- 1915—Sunday School annex was built by Mrs. Sisler
- 1931-1934—Excavation for a basement
- 1946—building of the fellowship hall
- 1948-1951—general improvements, repairs, etc.
- 1952—Lots 91 & 92 were purchased for parking
- 1964—pastor’s office and classrooms were built
- 1980 brought about intense restoration work with a commitment to preservation. Old paint was stripped off pews from 1873, leaded glass windows were re-installed, the 1896 metallic patterned ceiling was restored, and a new parsonage was built on the site of the original church.