|History of Fall Creek Friends
The history of the Fall Creek Friends Meeting date back to the very first years that
Friends settled in Ohio. Only five years following the establishment of the first
Friends Meeting in Ohio at Miami at Waynesville, Friends in the Fall Creek
Community were gathering to worship together. In 1806 according to Miami
Quarterly Meeting minutes, permission was given for Friends at Fall Creek, “on
the waters of Paint Creek”, to hold regular meetings for worship.
In July of 1811, Fall Creek was set off from Fairfield (near Leesburg) Monthly
Meeting of which both Fall Creek and Clear Creek Meetings had been a part of for
Even before it had been established as a monthly meeting, Fall Creek was
instrumental in setting up the first Salt Creek Meeting in 1808. The exact location
of this meeting was not certain, but probably was in Ross County near Chillicothe.
The first meetinghouse at Fall Creek was built about ½ mile south and east of the
present building where the old cemetery still remains today.
The first clerk of the Fall Creek Meeting was Thomas Sumner. Among the first
requests for membership to come before the meeting was a request for Gertrude
Kearns. This family name (since changed to Karnes) is still well known in the
community. In 1817 Fall Creek meeting set off the Leescreek Meeting, which was
located near the Highland County line on Antioch Road. During the Hixite
Controversy, this meeting was laid down.
The Fall Creek Meeting too, was unable to escape the high feelings and divisions
that accompanied this theological controversy. The meeting was divided
sometime between 1830 and 1840. The orthodox group withdrew and built a
small meetinghouse near by.
In1876 following a great revival, by Joseph Wakefield, a brick meeting house was
built on the present site, the land having been given by the Cowgill Family. (This
family is still active in the meeting today.) It was reported that the church was filled
to overflowing on the day of the dedication. Articles in the Highland County History
refer to this structure as one of the finest church building in Highland at that time.
It was about this time that Fall Creek joined with Walnut Creek and Hardins Creek
to form the Hopewell Monthly Meeting. In 1920 the following Friends were
appointed to a committee from Fairfield Quarterly Meeting to meet with the Fall
Creek Friends to establish again a Fall Creek Monthly Meeting: Eliel Green, Mary
Hawkins Terrell, Ruth Stowe and Henry Tod Hunter. The meeting was
established with the following officers appointed: Elmer Cook, Clerk; Edward
Meredith, assistant Clerk; and Blanche Karnes, Correspondent.
In 1937 the Meeting realized the need for repairs on the Meetinghouse and
parsonage. With the members of the church and community working in harmony,
the necessary repairs were completed and a new Sunday School room was
added to the church. This room was complete with a full basement with three
classrooms. A new furnace was installed and the sanctuary redecorated. Later, a
bathroom was added to the parsonage and a new furnace installed there. Since
that time a garage has been built, a Hammond Spinet Organ installed in the
Sanctuary and a bulleting board erected on a knoll in front of the Meeting House.
Helen Wood Matzke donated this in memory of her parents, Lewis and Rosamond
Through the years many gifts have been presented in memorial to godly parents.
It would not be possible to mention all these but we will mention a few. In 1961
Josephine Karnes presented the church a new piano as a memorial to her
parents. The three daughters of the late Frank and Irene Ross gave a desk, which
was placed, in the vestibule.
In the early spring of 1961, Dwight and Gladys Smith, both recorded ministers,
came to Fall Creek from Colorado Springs and served very acceptably for a period
of 4 ½ years. It was during this time that the Lord Blessed the Meeting and the
attendance grew until in 1965 the average attendance was 103.
The Meeting had considered starting a new building program for sometime. It
was helped greatly by a sizable memorial donation from Helen Free and her
brother Robert Overman in memory of their parents, Norman and Cornelia
The building was started in 1964-65. A new unit was added, consisting of a large
Sunday School room with sliding partitions, full basement, kitchen and
restrooms. A well was drilled and the sanctuary completely redecorated, the
south entrance closed and a new entrance was placed at the northeast corner of
the original building. All this work was accomplished and the dedication was held
on October 10, 1965. This was all made possible because as is stated in
Nehemiah 4:6 “the people had a mind to work”.
In 1966 Arthur Alexander and family came to Fall Creek and served for 4 years.
The Sunday School and worship service continued to grow with and average
attendance of 109. Arthur Alexander did much work on the parsonage, installing
new cabinets and remodeling the kitchen. He also built a new pulpit for the
In 1970 Richard Bowers and family came to Fall Creek for a period of 4 years with
good service to the church and community. In 1974 Kenneth and Ruthanna
Pickering came and served the church and community for 1 year. Kenneth was
followed by William and Dorothy Cronk who faithfully served the church for a
period of 6 years.
In 1980 new seats were purchased for the sanctuary. In 1881 a new Conn Organ
was purchased with funds received from the Martha Cowgill Tylis estate. The
exterior of the building was sandblasted. A new clock was donated for the
sanctuary, which was made from the end of the old pews by Mary Eleanor Arnott’s
father, Oliver Harris.
Throughout the years, Fall Creek has been blessed with the ministry of faithful
pastor who preacher the gospel. Many revivals have been held with the Lord
reaching the hearts and lives of all of us within the church family. As testimony to
all that the Lord has done and continues to do, we have been blessed to see the
Lord call several within our family to Active Christian Ministries. John T.
Montgomery was recorded a minister from the meeting and pastured for several
years. As of this time Peggy Caldwell serves as pastor in Western Yearling
Meeting. In addition to these Betty Bobb served as missionary to India for 16