Zion Lutheran Church has deep roots in this community reaching as far back as 1810.
Here's what we know...
It was 1797, John Adams had just been sworn in as the second President of the United States. Within the previous two years the Connecticut Land Company had purchased 3 million acres of Western Reserve land from the state of Connecticut and had dispatched surveyors to this new eastern boundary to begin laying out the townships. Canfield would become Township 1, Range 3. Ohio would not become a state until May 1, 1803.
From 1800 to 1805 a migration of German immigrants from Berks and Lehigh Counties in Pennsylvania came to this new land. They followed the great stream of pioneers who came into the Connecticut Western Reserve. Early settlers frequently met in barns, log cabin homes, or even under the great spreading trees to conduct simple worship. In 1802 Johannes Strauch, later "Americanized" to John Stough, became the first Lutheran minister to serve the little Zion congregation in Canfield. Rev. Stough visited these tiny congregations a few times a year to preach, marry, baptize, and give thanks for those who had died.
Communities of these "Pennsylvania Dutch" settled in the northeast corner of, what was then, Canfield Township. These German speaking immigrants established the Lutheran and Reformed (Presbyterian) congregations in Canfield. Lutheran Services were conducted in German.
It was no doubt a cold January day in 1810 when Zeba and Rebeckah Loveland met with Henry Ohl and John Hurting to conduct the business of selling their Land.
“Know all men by these present that we, Zeba Loveland and Rebeckah Loveland of Canfield, Trumbull County, Ohio, for the consideration of ten cents received to their full satisfaction of Henry Ohl and John Hurting…bargain, sell and convey unto the said John and Henry and those who may associate with them to erect a House of Public Worship on the within after described premises….”
What an incredible gift for a really good price! The deed concludes with these words:
“…Conditional, however that John and Henry and their associates are to erect and keep in repair
a good fence between the described premises and the adjoining land forever, and if a House of Public Worship thirty feet by forty should not be erected and enclosed by the twenty-seventh day of November next, this deed shall be null and void.”
The seal was set on the 6th day of January, 1810 and the pressure was on! The industrious congregation began construction and the church was completed by October, 1810. After their horrendous journey across the Pennsylvania mountains by wagon, ox carts, and on horseback, this new eastern territory seemed like the "promised land" to those weary settlers. It seemed only fitting that the little church would be called “Zion”. Thus, Zion Lutheran Church was born.
Land was precious and money was scarce for these early settlers but wouldn’t the Lovelands and all those who came after, be amazed at what their gifts have done. It is no different now than it was then…”it takes a village” to make things happen. It has been the generosity and caring of the people of Zion for 200+ years that has allowed, and continues to allow, the work of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to continue in this place.
In 1956 Zion moved to its current location after ministering for 50 years at the little church just down the street on Tippecanoe Rd. We have grown by leaps and bounds since that first congregation met in Canfield and God has always been, and continues to be, our mainstay. His blessings are evident in this congregation.
• Vacation Bible School
• 50th Anniversary of our Sanctuary
Zion Christian School