History of Zion

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Our first church home was constructed in 1834 and was organized in 1837 as Zion Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed Church of Delaware.

Zion Church has been an integral part of the larger Delaware Community for nearly two hundred years.  In the early history of Ohio and Delaware County, missionaries of the Reformed Church made occasional visits to the German settlements for the preaching of the Gospel and to administer the sacraments of the church.  These early church efforts date to 1821.

The first church home was constructed in 1834 and was formallyy organized in 1837 as Zion Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed Church of Delaware.  The Reformed congregation worshiped together harmoniously with the Lutherans (known today as St. Mark's Lutheran Church) until 1852 at which time there was an amicable separation and the Reformed congregation purchased the Lutheran interest in the church building.  A new church building replaced the old church to meet the needs of the growing congregation.

On March 23, 1913 a devastating flood in Ohio severely damaged the church building.  A decision was made not to repair the facility but, rather, to relocate the church.  In 1918, the current church facility was dedicated on the southwest corner of Franklin Street and Central Avenue in Delaware.  We have worshiped at this site since that time and have been witness to the many changes in this community and the world since that time.

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Easter morning, the day before the flood of 1913

The year 1934 was a significant year for the denomination and the local church.  What was once called the German Reformed Church in the United States had dropped German from its name because this local congregation, like many others, now spoke English.  The Reformed Church of the United States merged with the Evangelical Synod in North America in 1934.  The Zion Reformed Church then became the Zion Reformed and Evangelical Church.

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In 1918, the current church facility was dedicated on the southwest corner of
Franklin Street and Central Avenue in Delaware.

 

In 1957, the Uniting General Synod was held in Cleveland, Ohio where the Evangelical and Reformed Church merged with the Congregational Christian Churches forming the United Church of Christ.  This merger brought about another name change from the Zion Reformed and Evangelical Church to the Zion United Church of Christ, the name we bear today. For all of the changes, we remain steadfast as witness to the presence of Jesus Christ in our church, in our lives, and in the world.  We are making an active contribution to Zion's history and tradition today at Zion.

Please feel free and welcome to be a part of this ongoing and wonderful story!

Recent Message

Rev. Beth Gedert

This morning as we continue through our discussion of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, we are going to hear to some verses that may get some us in areas where we feel sensitive. They might remind us of harsh things we've heard in church in the past, or times when God has not been presented as loving. But the fact that other people have used these texts poorly is not a reason for us to ignore them. This is our sacred text, and we are not afraid of what's in here. When the Bible gets difficult, it is tempting to pull out all the reasons that it might not speak to our culture. For example, the Bible doesn’t account for the range of gender roles, sexual identity and expression that we now understand exists in the world. Our topics for this morning—adultery, marriage, divorce and making promises—were different in the ancient world. And this is important for us to realize, especially because it can keep us from using the Bible against other people.