History of Mt. Tabor
At an early date a few church of God people near Mercer held a meeting the Baptist Church at Mercer, Ohio, and organized a Church of God. Those who became members at this first meeting were Jacob Fast, Sarah Fast, W.S. Hansel, Sam Beery, Zoa Beery, William Banan, Sarah Banan, Tom McLaughlin, Emma McLaughlin, and Floyd Purdy.
The officers elected were: Ruling Elder, Jacob Fast; Deacon, W.S. Hansel.
On March 2, 1881, Rev. C.N. Bellman held a meeting at Mercer and six more members joined the organization. September 11 of the same year, Rev. Bellman appointed Tom McLaughlin, Elder; and Sam Beery and W.S. Hansel, Deacons.
In the fall of 1881, Rev. E. Poling came on the work. During the two years he was on the work, J.C. Fast was Elder and W.S. Hansel was Deacon. Also during this pastorate, preparation was made to build a church building. Several other members were added to the church among whom were: A.G. Fast, Loverda Fast, Grandma Hitchner, Chris Amspaugh, Becky Amspaugh, and Anderson Chapman.
In 1883, the building was erected about one mile south of Mercer. On September 9 of the same year, it was dedicated by Rev. Koogle and named the Mt. Tabor Church. Other ministers present at the time of the dedication were: Poling, Heppert, Voss, and Dolson.
The ministers who followed Rev. Poling and the dates of their pastorates are as follows:
J.H. McNutt, 1883, who resigned in 1884 and Voss finished his work;
G. R. Richie 1886-1888
L.T. Lemunyon 1888-1890
G.L. Hoover 1890-1893
L. Rothrock 1893-1896
A.C. Osborn 1897-1898
J.A. Witham 1898-1902
J.T. Miller 1902-1905
J. Johnson 1905-1907
During 1907 the building was struck by lightning and remodeled the same year.
Samuell F. Bauders 1908-1910
F. Berry 1910-1911
L.T. Lemunyon 1911-1912
B.B. Wenger 1914-1915
Wm. F. Neff 1915-1916
Frank H. Snavely 1916-1918
In 1918 the building was again remodeled.
E.H. Chaney 1921-1923
Wm. F. Neff 1923-1926
Samuel F. Bauders 1926-1929
John H. Tippie 1929-1931
Forest Beery 1931-1943
Elza Beery 1934-1938
Shelby J. Stratton 1941-1944
R. Smith 1944-1946
Samuel F. Bauders 1946-1949
Norman Folk 1949-1952
The church built an addition and remodeled in 1955-1956.
Carl Binkley 1956-1965
The parsonage was built in 1964-1965.
Geoffrey Clay 1965-1972
Lewis Johnston 1972-1974
William Smith 1974-1978
James Pommert 1978-1988
Ricky Mason 1989-2001
James Keiser 2001-2012
C. Tim Hollinger 2013 – 2015
Darwin Dunten 2016-present
1879, A new “Church of God” was organized, which met in the Baptist Church at Mercer. Four years later a new Bethel was erected at the corner of Highway 127 and Tama Rd. The local Eldership dedicated this place “Mt. Tabor, Ohio” on September 9, 1883.
1884, Under the pastoral care of Rev. J. M. Cassel, three ladies – Becky Anspugh, Elsie Chapman, and Laverta Fast raised $35 – the price of a new bell. The bell stood as a sentinel, overlooking the country and sounding its toll before meetings. It survived a fire which destroyed the church in 1907. When the rebuilding was completed that same year, the bell once again took its place in the belfry.
1918-1919, The church underwent a complete remodeling. The belfry at the center of the church as replaced with a tower, and a new entrance, at the north/west corner (see sketches). When the bell was taken down to be moved, someone stole it. A new bell was purchased (considerably more than $35). This bell, originally cast in 1888, in Cincinnati, is of a high quality bell bronze. It has served our church well. If it could speak, it would certainly tell many wonderful tales of the affects of the gospel upon the people of Mt. Tabor.
1992, A new church building was constructed. The old building was deteriorating badly so it was torn down. The bell (along with many other items) was saved and refurbished to its original finish. It again stands at the entrance of Mt. Tabor church as sentinel to all who enter in.
On April 18, 1879, Reverend J. H. McNutt held a meeting at the Mercer Baptist Church. The purpose of that meeting was to organize what would soon become the Mt. Tabor Church of God. In 1883 a building was erected and dedicated as the church began to do the Lord’s work here in Mercer County at the cross roads of Tama and U.S. Route 127. By 1941 the church had been remodeled and enlarged several times. In 1946 the church purchased a 40 acre farm upon which a parsonage was built. On January 30, 1972 a note burning celebration was held as the debt on the parsonage was surrendered. This would be one of several such services that would become a tradition for the folks at Mr. Tabor.
In 1990 the church once again stepped out in faith and began the process of building a brand new facility. On October 18, 1992, the new building was dedicated. Seven years later in 1999 God had so blessed the church with new people that another addition was needed. On August 8, 1999 the mortgage for the existing building was burned, and ground was broken for the new addition. With the new addition came a spacious children’s church area and work room, three new classrooms, and an additional set of restrooms.
In 2009, after several years of praying and planning, the church set out to build an addition that would meet the needs of our youth. During the initial planning stages of this project, the experts told Mt. Tabor that they would not be able to raise the money that they needed to finance the project. A year and half later on July 4, 2010, half of the funds needed to pay for the project had been collected, and the building was dedicated in service to the Lord. A new kitchen and storage area, restrooms, youth pastor office, youth room, and gymnasium/worship area, along with an unfinished second floor, were added with the main focus on providing more room for the needs of our youth.
(As printed in the Daily Standard, Thursday Evening, April 26, 1979)
The Mt. Tabor Church of God, north of Celina celebrated its one-hundredth anniversary with special services on Sunday, April 22.
The activities of the day began with Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. with 109 in attendance.
Dr. Arthur Eakin was the guest speaker for the morning worship service, which was attended by 146 persons. Dr. Eakin is the Ohio Conference administrator for the Churches of God. Fred Aukerman, president of the Ohio Conference, led the responsive reading and former pastor Rev. William Smith had the morning prayer. Cathie Fast and Pastor James Pommert sang solos and Pat Nuding led the boys and girls of the church in favorite choruses.
A group picture was taken following the morning service on the north side of the church.
A carry-in fellowship dinner was held at noon with almost 200 persons sharing around the tables.
An informal service of sharing began at 2 p.m. with 101in attendance, Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Frisch from Cincinnati offered special music, along with a duet by Cathie Fast and Pastor Pommert. Pauline Wilson read a history of the Mt. Tabor Church which was prepared by Helen Harner.
A very pleasant surprise came to the congregation during the afternoon service. Katherine Baney presented the Mt. Tabor Church a check for $18,000 from the estate of Gilbert Anspaugh. This gift was given to the building fund to help Mt. Tabor continue its ministry and outreach in the future. Mr. Anspaugh’s parents were among the first members of the Mt. Tabor Church.
The activities of the day concluded with the cutting of the anniversary cake following the afternoon service. The cake, coffee, and punch were served by Mrs. Lisa Strable, Michelle Grossnickle and Karen Pommert.
“This day will be long remembered by all those in attendance,” wrote the reporter.