Over 200 Years at the Village Green
Since 1802, the Poland Presbyterian Church has been located at the Village Green in Poland, the same location for two hundred consecutive years of ministry in Christian service. Throughout the eastern United States there are churches with longer tenures of service, but not many who've remained at the same site for two centuries.
Once the Constitution of the United States was ratified in 1789, the westward movement of people began. The State of Connecticut claimed the northeast section of Ohio and opened the territory for settlement in 1796. Town One-Range One is Poland, founded that year. Turhand Kirtland from Wallingford, Connecticut served as agent for the Connecticut Land Company who surveyed the territory. He made provisions for the Green, cemetery and church in Poland, a town named in honor of generals from the country of Poland who assisted the Connecticut Army during the Revolutionary War. Thirteen Veterans of the American Revolution are buried in the cemetery adjacent to the church.
Four different church buildings have been at the site over the years. The current stone church building celebrated its centennial in 1997. The Parish House was purchased in 1947. In 1958, the two buildings were linked by the construction of the three-level Christian education building.
A commitment to ministries of Christian education for children, youth and adults has been a hallmark of the congregation throughout its history. In the early 1800s, the congregation organized a Presbyterian seminary for higher learning of young men and women. In 1870, the seminary was sold to the Poland Public School District for use as a High School, but with the express provision that the High School‘s name be "The Poland Seminary High School," which is the school‘s name to the present day.
Though an old church, the congregation, today, is relatively new. The church family of over 700 members is a balanced blend of the generations. There are many "grand adults" who value their long association with the church, but the active involvement of many young parents and their children gives witness as well to the church‘s passion to reach new generations with the good news of Jesus Christ.
A brief history (22 minutes) of Poland Presbyterian Church was recently prepared for the Confirmation class by Larry Baughman and Dave Smith.