Bene Israel Congregation
Beth Israel Congregation
First United Brethren
High Street Church of Christ
Ninth Street United Brethren
St. John Evangelical
St. Joseph Catholic
St. Mary Catholic
St. Peter Catholic
St. Stephen Catholic
St. Veronica Catholic
Zion Evangelical Lutheran
Holy Trinity Catholic
St. John Catholic
Elm St. Christian
Holy Trinity Episcopal
Bethany Methodist Episcopal
German United Brethren,
Holy Name Catholic, Trenton
Indian Creek Baptist
Macedonia Christian, Okeana
Methodist Episcopal, College Corner
Methodist Episcopal, Okeana
St. Aloysius Catholic, Shandon
St. John Evangelical, Trenton
St. Peter Lutheran, Trenton
Seven Mile Presbyterian
Somerville Methodist Episcopal
© 2000, Butler County Historical Society
The Religious Heritage
of Butler County, Ohio
|Butler County has a rich religious heritage which is expressed by the
various denominations which established themselves in the area. Some
of these congregations were formed in the very early years of the nineteenth
century. Among the first groups to form a congregation in the county
was the Presbyterians whose first "places of worship" was Fort Hamilton.
The Methodists and Baptists were also among the pioneers of the area.
|As cities and communities were established, the early settlers often
banded together to purchase land and erect a church building. Other
times the communities relied on church members to donate the land, the
building supplies, and their volunteer labor to erect the church.
Even when the fledgling congregations were successful in securing a place
to hold services, they did not always have the luxury of having a resident
pastor. Due to the short supply of ministers in the newly settled
lands, each usually was responsible for a number of mission churches.
These clergymen often came from Cincinnati, Dayton, and other nearby localities
to minister to the people of Butler County.
||As these early congregations prospered, new churches were established.
With the arrival of many immigrants in the mid to late 1800's, a number
of ethnic congregations emerged, particularly in the urban centers of Hamilton
and Middletown. Because the German-speaking immigrants wished to
worship in their native language, the services and instruction were held
exclusively in German. Not until World War I did many of these churches
adopt the English language.
|Religion was a prominent influence in the lives of many area families.
Religious participation extended beyond attendance at weekly services.
Many joined Bible studies, various men's and women's societies, youth groups,
and the choir. Most churches taught the young through Bible classes
or some type of weekly instruction. Other churches, especially the
Roman Catholic and Lutheran supported their own schools.
|The role of religion, in many cases, was also to provide each member
with a moral compass, to teach what was right and what was wrong.
For instance, in 1872, the pastor of Hamilton's Methodist Episcopal Church
informed his flock: "We affectionately admonish the members of our
church to abstain from all participation in dancing as a social amusement
. . . and to use their social influence to discourage its practice."