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I’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT...1832

In preparing for our Annual Homecoming this year, it was fun to research 1832, which was the year that the Mogadore Christian Church was established.

What a surprise it was, to learn that the calendar years for both 1832 and 2012 started on a Sunday. That got me to thinking about that first Sunday for this newly created congregation. What were they talking about as they made their commitment to be a church family? What was happening in the news in 1832, that would have weighed on their minds?

The only newspaper publication in the area, was the “Observer & Telegraph” in Hudson. Three events in 1832 caught my eye, that I could imagine were very much on the minds of the community as they headed to and from church that day, as they prayed together and later socialized.

As in 2012, there was a Presidential election in the year of 1832. Guess what? The incumbent was elected to a second term: President Andrew Jackson. The main issue revolved around the very political issue of the national bank. Jackson believed that the Second Bank of the United States (established in 1816) was unconstitutional.

He said that "the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes". With this point, Jackson broadened presidential power by giving social, political, and economic reasons for vetoing a bill.

After the election, the President informed Congress of his intention to pay off the national debt. This goal was achieved on January 1, 1835, thanks to income that the federal government received from land sales and tariffs.

The second major issue of 1832 was a serious clash with Native Americans that lasted about 5 months. Called the “Black Hawk War”, the military campaign finally ended in August of 1832. This conflict was the last Native American conflict east of the Mississippi. A strong historical point about this struggle, is that Abraham Lincoln gained his military experience during that conflict. Interestingly, it wasn’t until October 11th that the Observer & Telegraph published news about the arrest of the Native American leader, Black Hawk. With no CNN or the internet in 1832, it took a lot of time before news travelled back east from the site of the battles.

The third issue on the minds of the community members who came to the new church, likely concerned the Mormons. On March 24, 1832, a group of men had broken into the house where Joseph Smith was staying while he was in Hiram, Ohio. They despised this leader of the new Mormon tradition. The intruders not only stripped and beat Smith, they also tarred and feathered him. The front page of both the October 11th and October 18th editions of the Observer and Telegraph newspaper, were filled with stories that defended and explained Christianity.

In light of this startling event, perhaps it’s not surprising that when the evangelist Barton Stone came to Mogadore, Ohio in 1832, the new congregation listened to him carefully. Stone preached about “No book but the Bible” and “No Creed but Christ”. The newly formed church in Mogadore, eagerly decided to join Stone’s denomination.

Locations, pastors and members have changed over the decades. Just recently, a much loved member of our church, Fern Ellis, went home to her heavenly reward at the age of 102. For 91 years, over half of the life of this church, Fern was an active and very enthusiastic participant. Not only was she was a leader in our church for many years, she was was responsible for starting the Nursery program years ago. Fern brought people to church, taught and shared her love of Jesus, and was always willing to do what she knew God wanted the church to do.

On October 21st we will celebrating 180 years! We’ll host Sunday School at 9:30 followed by a festive Worship Service at 10:30am where the Joyful Aires will be the special music. Our celebration luncheon will be highlighted with stories, photos and memories, and maybe a few hopes and dreams as well.

The Joyful Airs are excited to refuel our energy and lift up our faith with an afternoon concert. All these events are intended for the whole community, so please extend your sincere invitations to as many as you can in the Mogadore metropolitan area. We want to break down our walls and let all our neighbors, friends and even strangers know that this church has warm, wonderful hospitality that bursts forth like joyful fireworks. And on that day, we can all imagine Fern Ellis, and so many other loved ones who have gone Home, singing, dancing and celebrating with us in Heaven. And then, let’s look at the children in our midst, and make a commitment to be for them, a strong, faithful congregation for many years to come.

~Pastor J

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