HISTORY OF THE CHURCH
In February 1856, a group of nine persons gathered to form a congregation of the Presbyterian Church for the Village of Fostoria. The Methodist Episcopal Church offered the fast-growing Presbyterians use of their building on Sunday afternoons. The new congregation was officially accepted by the Presbytery of Maumee on September 5, 1856.
By 1858, the Presbyterians were ready for a building of their own. Thanks to the donation of Marcus P. Skinner, the church acquired two lots at 340 W. Fremont St. and, in 1859, began construction of a
new brick building. The total cost was $10,000.
The church continued to grow and, by the late 1880’s, the “old” church, was found to be inadequate for their needs. Plans were formulated a new building at the corner of Perry and West Fremont Streets. Construction began in 1889 and the building was dedicated in 1891. The old church was sold to a Baptist congregation. The total cost of the new church was approximately $43,000. The mortgage was burned on May 6, 1902.
The stained glass in the new building, with the exception of the King’s Daughters’ window overlooking the west balcony, cost $1,200. The large Anchor Cross window and matching Cross and Crown window were unique even in that day. The organ in the new building was a 29 rank instrument built by the Farrand-Votey Organ Company.
In 1911, a manse was erected on the lot next to the church building. The manse cost approximately $7,500, much of which was raised through efforts of the Ladies Aid Society.
Between 1926 and 1929, a second floor was built. This area now includes the Junior in west balcony and Senior High Rooms.
In 1955, an eight-foot stainless steel cross was placed on top of the bell tower by A. Gordon Gray, in memory of his parents. This installation also marked the beginning of another building program.
By 1956, after two World Wars and a Great Depression, it had become evident that some changes needed to be made in the building. Since 1956 also marked the centennial of the founding of the church, a major program was adopted. The organ, which had been in place since 1891, was replaced by a three manual 42 rank Schantz Organ and the front of the sanctuary was redesigned to include a "split chancel" as well as a modern choir loft. The total cost was $55,000.
In 1960 another renovation saw the completion of what is now the Narthex. This project, which was to be the first of four, also included a new furnace and the renovation of the basement. This time total costs rose to $115,900. Soon afterward, the Chapel Parlor was redecorated and a kitchenette was installed. This project was the result of a gift by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Kaubisch.
By 1974 ,the needs of the Christian Education program were such that phases two, three and four of the 1960 renovation were redesigned to encompass one major building program. With a generous bequest of Gladys Andes Harrison and the efforts of the congregation, an educational wing, complete with church offices, gym and a new kitchen, was added at the cost of $565,000. This building was completed in 1977.
During the 1980's, several improvements were made to both the new and the old buildings. A Memorial Courtyard was added in the space between the two buildings, a stained glass window was added as a family memorial by the Cotton and Hanover families, and the narthex was remodeled with a bequest from the Hopkins family.
HISTORY OF THE COMMUNITY
Fostoria is a city of about 13,441 residents, located at the convergence of Hancock, Seneca, and Wood counties in Northwest Ohio. It is approximately 40 miles (64 km) south of Toledo and 90 miles (140 km) north of Columbus.
Established in 1854, Fostoria is best known for its famous glass production years and for its abundant rail traffic and business that continues today. Today, the Fostoria Rail Preservation Society is still very active in Fostoria, as well as the Fostoria Glass Heritage Gallery and Association.
Information courtesy of Fostoriaohio.gov.