Springboro’s German Reformed Church,

now the United Church of Christ


In early 1802, founding pastor Rev. Jacob Christman, an ordained minister of the German Reformed Church arrived from Rowan County, NC in what was then the Clearcreek Settlement.

According to an 1977, church history compiled by David Miller, Christman baptized George King on February 1, 1802, and preached his first sermon at the home of Augustine Preiz (Price) on February 4, thus beginning the first German Reformed Church in Ohio which later became the United Church of Christ, at Mill St & South Main St.

Additional historical notes on Rev. Jacob Christman:

The first native North Carolinian to become pastor at Pilgrim Church was Jacob Christman, who was largely educated by the Moravians in Salem. He had grown up in the Reformed Church in Guilford County. He was proposed to the Synod of Pennsylvania for ordination in 1794, but was not ordained until 1798. He had studied under pastors in Pennsylvania during this time. Six congregations, including Pilgrim Church, petitioned the Synod that he be sent back to North Carolina. Thus he served churches in the general area in which he had grown up for five years. He left North Carolina near the end of 1803 and began preaching January 29, 1804, at Springboro, Warren County, Ohio, where the first congregation in Ohio was organized a little later. Thus, the first Reformed minister in Ohio came from North Carolina.

With the leaving of Rev. Jacob Christman, there was no resident pastor in Davidson County until 1827. So it was that these faithful church people availed themselves of the services of almost any minister who would come and preach for them. Rev. Boger and Rev. Loretz came as often as possible. They probably did not visit the churches more than once every three months. After the death of Rev. Loretz, the Synod of Pennsylvania sent missionaries to the south from time to time. Among these were Wm. Weinel, H. B. Dieffenbach, Jacob SchoU (sic), John S. Ebaugh, George Leidy, John Rudy and others.

(Left: Jacob Christman memorial in Springboro Cemetery.)


    First Church Davidson County, A History of Pilgrim Evangelical and Reformed

    Church (United Church of Christ) - Lexington, Davidson Co., NC (link)

    Frank W. Snyder, Editor

    Published by Pilgrim Evangelical and Reformed Church, 1957


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