About Sixth Avenue United Methodist Church
The beginning of Sixth Avenue United Methodist Church grew out of an organization known as The West Side Sunday School in 1895. This Sunday School was started by a man named J.D. LaRoss. He saw ten boys loitering aimlessly and realized that these boys were in need of the gospel and he proposed to meet with them at one of the local businesses (the Optical Glass Works, located on West Main and Harrison Avenue) on a Sunday afternoon. As a result of his initiative and invitation, four boys, parents and others met in the glass factory. The organization of the first Sunday School was quickly achieved and Mr. LaRoss was elected both their teacher and Sunday School Superintendent.
A room was furnished by the factory for the Sunday School and benches were borrowed from the Methodist Camp Meeting Association. A bell was secured from the Cincinnati and Muskingum Valley Railroad and was used during the first year.
Two years later the Sunday School moved to the West School Building and held classes there for five years. In 1900 the Sunday School officially affiliated with The Methodist Episcopal Church. The organization of the Sixth Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church was effected on October 24, 1901, with sixteen members. On August 7, 1902 the corner stone of the new church building was laid and on May 17, 1903 the new church building was dedicated.
In 1939 a uniting of several Methodist denominations produced the The Methodist Church, and the name “Episcopal” was dropped from the former title.
On May 18, 1958 ground was broken and construction of an Educational Unit began. The Cornerstone was laid on August 10, 1958 and a Consecration Service was held on February 1, 1959.
On April 23, 1968 The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren church officially combined two denominations into The United Methodist Church.
Plans for a new sanctuary, classrooms and fellowship hall were approved on November 21, 1968 to replace the first building. Work began in 1969 on the new building and it was dedicated on January 25, 1970, with the current pastor Rev. David Frazer, Bishop Dwight Loder, and Newark District Superintendent, Floyd Powell, taking part in the special service.
On October 28, 2001, a special service was held to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Charter of Sixth Avenue Church. Former pastors of Sixth Avenue Church were recognized and those entering full-time Christian vocations who came out of Sixth Avenue Church were also recognized. A message from the West Ohio Conference was given by Bishop Ough in a video presentation. A special proclamation from the State of Ohio was delivered by the Honorable State Representative Tim Schaeffer. Other proclamations were also presented from the State Senator, the Honorable Jay Hottinger and our congressman, the Honorable James Hobson.