History of the West Lodi Church
Compiled By The West Lodi Historical Society
In March 1844, Trustees of the Baptist Church purchased from Catherine Beard “land in Lodi” for a church building.  They paid $50 for the lot where the church now sits.  They had to clear the lot of trees before they could begin to build.

According to one source, they may have erected a log structure for their first official meeting place, but this is not confirmed. It is not likely they built a log church then immediately tore it down to build a frame structure. The present site of the church is the first and only location upon which a church building was constructed in West Lodi.

The present building, a good example of the Greek Revival style popular in the late 1840’s to mid-1850’s, was built during 1844 or 1845.  Before they had a permanent place of worship, the congregation met in various homes.

 A traveling minister called a “circuit rider” would make his rounds periodically.  These traveling preachers were very dedicated to bringing the word of God to the wilderness and would preach in a different backwoods location each week.  Sometimes the congregation would not see a “real” preacher for many weeks, or even months.

Worship services were held every Sunday, with local men serving as elders, or leaders, of the service.  They were very dedicated in their worship of the Lord and the church was focal point of their religious and social life.

The West Lodi Church was built upon the “union plan” – that is, free to the use of all denominations for worship, but never to be used for meetings of a secret society.  It is not known how long it continued as a Baptist church, but most likely until about 1880.

It served as a Methodist Church from then until 1884,  when Christ's Church in Christian Union was organized with 32 members enrolled.

It has been known as the Union Church ever since, though has not been used for worship services in many years.   The first elders of the Union Church were Freeman Tompkins, H. Hippler and J. W. Showers.

The last trustee of the church was Lloyd Bowen, who died in 1964.

 The church was given to the Seneca County Historical Society in 1971 by the West Lodi Ladies Aid Society, whose dwindling and aging membership felt it was in the best interest of the church building and grounds.

The Seneca County Historical Society was unable to maintain the building and in
January 2002 the membership agreed to pass ownership and control of the church to the new West Lodi Ladies Aid Society, which was formed as a successor to the original society, for this express purpose.

The name of this new organization was officially changed to the West Lodi Historical Society, an Ohio non-profit organization.

Ownership of the West Lodi Church was granted to the West Lodi Historical Society by a quit-claim deed recorded at the Seneca County Recorder’s office in April 2002..

The church is presently undergoing renovation and future plans include renting it for weddings, meetings and other appropriate events.