Bay United Methodist Church dedicates historical marker
by Kay Laughlin on 9/18/18
Although rain sprinkles fell, it didn’t dampen the joy and spirit of the day for the Bay United Methodist Church congregation when Pastor Jonathan McCleery, Scott Gregory and Mayor Paul Koomar unveiled the new historical marker for the Dover Lake Shore Methodist Episcopal Church. Spearheaded by Kay Laughlin, church historian, it all came to a conclusion with the unveiling and dedication of the marker during Rally Day, Sunday, Sept. 9.
Laura Russell presented proclamations from the Ohio Historical Connection and Governor John Kasich to the church and Bay Village Historical Society. She remarked about our furthering the knowledge of our state heritage and the governor recognized the Dover Lake Shore Methodist Episcopal Church on how we have encouraged the history of our past as we look to our future.
Kay Laughlin told the story of the church’s founding and shared a video of memories. Paul Koomar stated how fortunate he feels to be raising his kids in Bay and honored our Appalachian Service Project at the church. Rev. McCleery advised us to always strive to be more and make the world better, not sit back on our laurels but know there are strides to make and always look forward saying, “What more can I do to help.”
Elizabeth Sadler, a devote Methodist, arrived in Dover Township in the early 1800s with her husband, William. They lived on Lot No. 98. Elizabeth soon realized there were no Methodists living near her. She did not want to change to another denomination so Elizabeth built a small altar in her backyard where she worshiped daily.
When a Methodist church opened on Center Ridge Road in 1825, Elizabeth started attending church. It was a hard journey for her to make with mud, wagon tracks, wind and rain in the spring, dust and dry rutted roads in summer and snow and blizzards in the winter.
The minister of the church was Rev. Eliphalet Johnson, Sarah Johnson Osborn’s brother. Elizabeth asked him if he would consider starting a Methodist Church on the lake shore. He accepted. In 1827, Elizabeth, Rev. Johnson, his wife Margaret and daughter Rebecca, and Catherine Porter Foote founded the Dover Lake Shore Methodist Church in the Sadler log cabin.
Don Dunham, a member of our church, wrote a short history in 1952 that still rings true today. He was quoted as saying, “Our past is proud; our heritage is rich; our opportunity so great that it should stir the imagination and the hearts of us all. May we give thanks that we were lucky enough to be born and raising our families in such a charming and wholesome community as Bay; and that our forebears handed on to us the organization and building of this Church.”
“The Best Is Yet To Be” and “Take Flight” became the themes of the day of celebration. Outside, standing in front of the marker, our hearts were filled with joy. All is well at Bay United Methodist Church.
Bay United Methodist Pastor Jonathan McCleery, Laura Russell of the Ohio History Connection, local historian Kay Laughlin, Bay Village Historical Society President Cathy Flament, and Bay Village Mayor Paul Koomar unveiled the historical marker on Sept. 9. Photo by Denny Wendell