137 Years of Serving a Faithful God.
The Village of Addison
On March 3rd, 1811 (Only 35 years after the United States became a country), in the new grist mill owned by A. Darot nestled next to Campaign Creek, the first elections were held to found the village of Addison Ohio. The river and creeks made the soil deep and rich, ideal for farming and building a community. The river also provided the village an easy way to ship their goods up and down the mighty Ohio. Surrounded by tall oaks, sugar maples, pine, beech, and hickory trees, a sawmill was built in 1820, and John Cherrington (who was most likely at that first meeting) continued to teach in his log cabin school house with it’s oiled paper windows where he had since 1810 as new families arrived in Addison. The Columbus and Hocking Valley Railroad (then known as the Mineral Railroad) started laying tracks in 1864 to transport salt and coal from the mines in Athens to the capital in Columbus. A few years later, the railroad came to Addison.
For 137 years the faithful gathered together and worshiped the God who sustains and provides. Through wars, floods (including the great flood in 1937), and through new industries and railroads, Addison Free Will Baptist Church has adapted and grown, serving countless people and striving to show the love of Jesus to a lost and dying world. Since long before those who are there now, the church has been a place of refuge and strength. Revival means to renew something, and through God and His Word, Addison Freewill Baptist Church has been a place where people can start over and experience the freedom and grace only Jesus can give. The generations before us served faithfully, making sure that future generations would have a place to worship God and that a legacy of faithfulness would be left behind. While we don’t know all their names, our Savior does. It is required of a steward that he be found faithful, and now it’s our turn. Our turn to praise His name, our turn to spread the gospel, and our turn to make a difference for the Kingdom of God. As we glance back and remember the hardships God has brought us through and how far we’ve come, let it be a reminder that we serve a faithful God.
Addison FWB Church
In 1886 (21 years after the Civil War) Addison Church was founded. The basement was dug with shovels and hard work, and the faithful started gathering. In the 1880 census, the village boasted 79 residents, with Addison Township having around 1,440. W.J. Fulton (a graduate of Rio Grande College) was pastor for a brief time during the early 20s, and during the Great Depression, the close proximity to the railroad offered the perfect place for people riding the rails to jump off and find hope and a meal. Jennings Cremeans became pastor in 1949, then Walter Patterson in 1965. Miles Trout pastored for a time after that, and Richard Barcus became pastor in 1987, where he served faithfully until the Lord called him home in 2021. Matt Smith was elected in 2022, and he continues to serve and shepherd his flock with a passion for the gospel and sharing the Word of God to a lost and dying world. We don’t know everyone who pastored, everyone who served faithfully over the years, everyone who served food in the kitchen, everyone who took time to care for the building, everyone who sang and played music, and everyone who shouted the victory, but we do know the one who was there through it all.