OUR BEGINNING

 

 

Around 1815, the Bishop John Henry Hobart appointed Eleazer Williams to be a missionary to the Oneida people. As the oldest Native American mission of the Episcopal Church, the Oneida people first gathered beneath the trees to worship.

 

Then in 1825, a little log church was built on top of a hill, that is now the cemetery. The Oneidas wanted their new church to bear the name of their "Father", Bishop Hobart, and permission was received to call it the Hobart Church.

 

On August 7, 1838, the cornerstone of a second, much larger wooden frame church was laid by Bishop Jackson Kemper, who was the first missionary Bishop of the Episcopal Church. The following year the construction was finished. And on September 2, 1839 Bishop Kemper's first offical act was consecrating Holy Apostles, the first Episcopal Church in the Northwest Territory. Later that same year, Dr. William Adams and Rev. Jomes Lloyd Breck, founders of the Nashotah Seminary, were ordained there.

 

The third church, made of stone, is still in use today. This stone church was made by the Oneida people through great effort from Rev. E.A. Goodnough. Although much of the timber needed was available on hand, the stone was quarried and hauled from a great distance. At one time, over 80 men gave their time and labor to quarry this stone. During 1886 the cornerstone was laid and in 1887 consecrated with the name Holy Apostles. Then, on July 17th, 1920 the Stone Church was struck by lighting and burned all night to no avail to those who fought against the fire. All that remained were the stone walls. The church was then rebuilt and on June 22nd, 1922, it was rededicated.

 

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