Church History

In the year 1934, tent meetings were held on the grounds of Water Works Park in Ottawa, Ohio. These were led by Rev. S.J. Grabill, District Superintendent of the Missionary Church Association from Fort Wayne, Indiana, along with Rev. Armin Steiner, pastor of Pandora Missionary Church and Rev. C.L. Grabill, pastor of the Missionary Church in Bluffton, Ohio. In August of 1936 another tent meeting was held for about three weeks. After the meetings were over, Mr. & Mrs. William Merritt opened their home for Sunday School and Church.

After meeting in the Merritt home for several weeks, the group rented the Rampe store building on West Main Street and began worshiping there the first Sunday in December 1936.

Gideon Niswander was asked to be in charge of the work, so he moved from Bluffton to Ottawa and pastored the church until 1941 when Rev. Kent Welty became the pastor.

In 1938 the Methodist Church building from Gilboa, Ohio was given to the group. After being moved to property purchased at 364 East Second Street in Ottawa, it was found that due to certain restrictions, it could not be used. The donated building was torn down and a cement block building put up using materials from the dismantled church when possible. This church building on East Second Street was used from 1939 to 1962.

On October 1, 1939 dedication services were held. In November 1941 the group organized as a Missionary Church, as part of the Missionary Church Association, with headquarters in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The names of the charter members were recorded as follows: Ella Adams, Mrs. Dray, Daniel & Ruth Grisso, Myrtle Hamilton, Ray & Opal Kohli, Mae Kracht, Katherine Major, Mrs. William Merritt, Irene Newland, Gideon & Sarah Niswander, Mary Salsburey, Thelma Salsburey, Goldie Vogt, and Kent & Alice Welty.

In 1961, three acres of ground were purchased on Route 224 east of the city for the purpose of building a new church building. Groundbreaking services were held April 15, 1962 and the first regular service was held Sept. 16, 1962. This location at 2031 East Main Street in Ottawa continues to the present time to be a place for worshipping God, prayer and Bible study at the Ottawa Missionary Church.

In 2004 the Ottawa Missionary Church web site was created. It underwent two revisions, being completely redesigned in 2007 and again in 2014.

Pastors serving the Ottawa Missionary Church from 1941 to the present time have been:

Rev. Kent Welty 1941-1942

Rev. Randall Rice 1942-1948

Rev. E.F. Clauser 1948-1950

Rev. Paul Grabill 1950-1954

Rev. Russell Persons 1954-1959

Rev. Floyd Klotzbach 1959- 1963

Rev. Doyle Carpenter 1963-1965

Rev. William H. Cox 1965-1972

Rev. Ralph Strome 1972-1980

Rev. Dan Phillips 1980-1984

Rev. Marshall Metzger 1984-present