Monday, January 20, 2003

Ohio Moments


Church established before state

On Jan. 20, 1790, Columbia Baptist Church - the first regularly constituted Protestant church in Ohio and the Northwest Territory - was established at Columbia, in what is now Cincinnati. The founders had arrived in 1788, led down the Ohio River by Benjamin Stites. They landed Nov. 18, near where the Little Miami River flows into the Ohio. Columbia Baptist was established under the authority of the Scotch Plains Baptist Church of New Jersey, of which six of the founders were members. The first meeting took place in the log cabin of Benjamin Davis. Daniel Clark, who was not yet ordained, served as pastor until May 1791. Then John Smith arrived to take over pastoral duties. The first people baptized were Elijah Stites and his wife, Rhoda Brown Stites, on Jan. 21, 1790. The first meetinghouse was completed in 1792 on property donated by Benjamin Stites. Columbia Baptist later became Duck Creek Baptist, and it was the mother church of many other Baptist congregations on the east side of Cincinnati.

- Rebecca Goodman

Ohio Moments will appear here daily through 2003. Have a suggestion? Contact Rebecca Goodman at rgoodman@enquirer.com or (513) 768-8361.




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