On the first Sunday of October 1856, under the auspices of the Missionary Board of the Miami Christian Conference, the first worship service of the ‘Troy Mission’ was held in the courthouse led by Elder James Maple.
On August 23, 1857, with 27 founding members, the First Christian Church of Troy, Ohio was born – with the first sermon being preached in the center building of the block of what is now West Main Street in Troy. In 1860, the population of Troy was 2,643 and there were 83 churches in Miami County with ten different denominations in Troy.
Arthur L. McKinney was the first pastor and also served as a chaplain to the 71st Infantry of Ohio quartered at Camp Todd in Troy during the Civil War. He served for three years and saw action in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas.
Harry Brown, great-grandfather of Dean Matthews, helped to dig the church basement – and upon completion, the church was dedicated on August 30, 1863. Inscribed on the cornerstone of the First Christian Church are these words: “Christ our leader, Christian our only name, Christian character the only test of fellowship, and the Bible our only statement of doctrine.” A newspaper, “The Troy Christian,” was published monthly in the parsonage of the original church, with the editor also being the minister. This was in the 1890’s and the subscription rate was 20 cents per year. Our first church “Messenger” was printed in 1942.
The three sanctuary stained glass windows and other stained glass windows were installed in 1906 and built by Schuler and Mueller Ornamental Glass, Chicago, Illinois. The beautiful stained glass windows were installed in the sanctuary at a cost of $500 each, with one of these windows having to be replaced in 1920 after a severe storm had blown it out.
Our congregation was first formed as the First Christian Church and in 1931, with a denominational merger, we became the First Congregational Christian Church. In 1957, our denomination merged with the Evangelical and Reformed Church (formed with the merger of the Evangelical Church and the Reformed Church in 1934) and we became the First United Church of Christ in 1961.