St. Stephen's United Church of ChristSt. Stephen's United Church of Christ
St. Stephen's United Church of Christ
St. Stephen's congregation was founded on December 5, 1875, in the German M. E. Church building located at 37th and Jacob Streets, with twenty charter members. The congregation was incorporated on October 3, 1877. Early temporary quarters were in Nolte's Hall located on Eoff Street near the site of the present building.
Rev. Louis Mueller was the first pastor, serving from December 12, 1875 until August 31, 1877. The Rev. Joseph L. Schatz then served as pastor from November 11, 1877 until the Spring of 1879. The first church building of St. Stephen's was dedicated during his pastorate, on Decmber 5, 1878. The next pastor was Rev. William Stechow, who served from August 24, 1879 until November 1882, and was then succeeded by the Rev. William Braun, who served the church from December 1882 until his resignation in February 1896.
Rev. John Schweikhart assumed the pastorate in September 1896 was forced to resign because of failing health in February 1900. On March 25, 1900 the Rev. Ernest M. Preuss came and stayed until September 1916. During his pastorate the present building was consecrated and Dedicated on December 14, 1902.
Rev. S. H. Matzke served his first pastorage from December 1916 until June 1920, when he accepted a call to Philadelphia, Pa. During this pastorate the church was redecorated and the present parsonage was acquired.
Rev. George Grether accepted a call and began his pastorate in May 1928. He resigned and was followed by the Rev. E. J. Knoch and served from June 1929 until 1933. Rev. S. H. Matzke then served a second term as pastor of the church, assuming his duties September 1, 1933.
The Rev. C. J. Adelsperger was given a call to St. Stephen's Church November 1949. Because of failing health he resigned his pastorate. Rev. Le Roy H. Jeneskee, Jr. came to St. Stephen's as a supply from May 1974 to October 1975, at which time he was elected to the office of Pastor by the congregation. Coming from the Episcopal Church was then given a License to preach the gospel and render other pastoral duties of the church by the Eastern Ohio Association of the United Church of Christ March 1, 1975 and has served until the present 1990. Rev. Jeneskee retired from the full time ministry January 1, 1991.
Charter members:August Meyer, Sr.Theobald BenderLouis KleinErnest BuchwaldHenry SchaeferLouis LoeellerFrederick AhlCharles GroppeGeorge OttoEmil ColmarWilliam RembachHenry EbelingCarl VockeAugust FischerCharles B. StentzelJacob Beiswenger, Sr.Louis Golmar, Sr.Christ MillerHenry LilverLouis Meyer
--from a 4-page brochure, 1991, in the OCPL collection.