The First Meeting Place of the Church was a Log House
The log house was erected some time about 1856 or 57 and stood on the northeast side of the cemetery (now known as the North Mount Zion Cemetery). It was used by the Methodist Circuit Riders and was called Powell's Creek Church. It was among the first buildings erected in this area. Almost all of this territory was covered by dense forest, abounding in wild life, especially bear, deer, wolves, and panthers. It is well to note how many kinds of trees grew in this county when man began to clear the ground. A man cut up an old rail fence near Columbus Grove and counted 32 different kinds of wood: Buckeye, Native Poplar, Lombardy Poplar, Carolina Poplar, Black Locust, Honey Locust, Black Ash, White Ash, Burr Oak, Red Oak, White Oak, Beech, Sugar Maple, Sycamore, Pawpaw, Dogwood, Ironwood, Linden, Willow Cottonwood, Black Walnut, Shellbark Hickory, Smoothbark Hickory, White and Red Elm.
The Indians had all been moved out to the Reservations by this time. This had been one of the choice areas of several tribes, the largest of which was the Ottawa. By 1839 the last of the Ottawa's had been moved.
Monroe is next to the youngest township in Putnam County, Ohio. It was cut out of Perry Township in 1852 and had a slow but steady growth. Settlement was slow because of the general swampiness of the soil, and it was not until 1849 that its first permanent settler, Adam Perrin, came into the area. He and his family were the only people in this township, except a few trappers, hillilters, and fur traders, who passed through for two years. Then came John Grant (grandfather of Jessie Grant) who risked his fortunes in this malaria-ridden district. Water stood in some areas the year around. Next came John and Eli Fickel, Hiram Madden, William Moore, D.D. Banes, James Early, Samuel Birge, D.D. Murphy and Solomon McCullough.
At the first county election, on April 5, 1852, there were only twelve votes cast and six of these electors were chosen to various offices as follows: William Moore, John and Eli Fickel, Trustees; James Early, Clerk; John Grant, Treasurer; Solomon McCullough, Supervisor. At that time the township consisted of one road and one school district. The first teacher was George Crites. A log cabin school house stood on a knoll just n01th of the log church. Highway 15 now cuts through that knoll. (John Grant kept the township money in his bed).
It was a sh0rt time after this that the Methodist Circuit Riders supplied the church. A record book of 1858 reads: "Observe each Friday preceding the quarterly meeting as days of fasting and prayer. II . Antwerp Circuit, Lima District, Delaware Conference. Nathan C. Gavitt, Presiding Elder; D. Rulle, Presiding Clerk; L.C. Miller, 1. P.
New people began moving into the community in 1871 for no apparent reason and the common conviction was a real need for a church building, as the log church had been destroyed by fire.
What sometimes seems to be a terrible disaster may later be seen as the Hand of God moving His people forward to greater steps of faith and service.
The church constructed a new building about 100 feet from the site of the original log church. Cost of the construction was $2,000. It was one large room with a chimney in the center of the roof. Heat was furnished by two stoves, one on each side of the room. There were two front entrances.
The church entered the Christian Church Conference in 1875.
The church charter read: March 31, 1875, North Mount Zion Christian Church, Putnam County, Ohio.
There were ten (10) people who signed the Church Charter.
On 1902 a steeple and new entrance was built.
L. Custer was the pastor who preached every two weeks and received a salary of $100 per year.
A major (at that time) remodel of the church building was approved. This remodel was to turn the building half around and build an addition on the front. The remodeled building was dedicated on October 18, 1915
In January 1926, the Methodist Church (one quarter of a mile up the road) merged with the North Mount Zion Christian Church.
It was voted to raise the church and put in a basement. The cost was reported at $1,800 and $1,491.50 was given to the project by eight (8) church members and two (2) groups. The remainder came from the church general fund.
A new front entrance to enclose both the front steps and basement stairs was built. This provided a convenient vestibule and coat room.
In 1953 it was voted to severe our relationship with the Congregational Conference thus making the church name, The North Mount Zion Christian Church. This move produced a sovereign, autonomous, and independent congregation. The form of church government would be congregational.
On March 31, 1963 it was voted to build a new church building. Seven and one half acres of land was purchased about one half mile northwest of the old church building on State Route 15. A contract for $89,992 was approved for the new structure with $18,000 cash on hand and the remainder borrowed from a local financial institution. The ground breaking ceremony was held on Sunday, July 26, 1964.
The first service in the new structure was held on May 2, 1965. Sunday School was held in the old building and a procession followed the Sunday School time to the new site and structure. Flag bearers were Tim Spencer and Steve Schafer, carrying the Christian and American flags. Following them was the then current pastor, Rev. Ralph T. Willis carrying the pulpit Bible and he was followed by the then Deacons; Don Schafer, John Kreider, Howard Grant, and Robert Weisenberger.
The old church bell was hung on the new building to continue to call God’s people to worship.
On October 25, 1970 it was voted to remove Christian from the church name. It was felt that the “Christian Church” identification gave an impression of “liberal theology”. The name of the church was then incorporated to be North Mount Zion Church.
The need for additional building space was acted upon with approval to construct an addition of equal size to the present structure. The cost was $115,000 and was paid in full within 9 years.
On January 7, 1987 the parsonage was moved from its location on State Route 15 to six and one half acres behind the new church building. A youth parsonage was built in 1995. It is located north of the church on State Route 15.
In 1998 the church building received new front windows and fascia. The old signage was removed and by 2000, a new sign was erected. The new signage incorporated the old church bell, a cross, and a granite stone in the shape of a Bible.
An elevator was installed with a remodel of the vestibule and the addition of two (2) handicap accessible restrooms on the main floor. Cost of the project was $129,654.25 with special offerings of $62,535.09 with the remainder being paid out of church savings.