In the early 1800's people were moving west to settle Ohio as part of the North West Territory established in 1787. The first wagon came west of Canfield to Deerfield in 1799. Ohio became the 17th state in 1803. During the same time period, Rev. Joseph Badger came as a missionary from Connecticut. On February 16 1802 he preached in Deerfield. Through the following years others were appointed to preach, from time to time, at Deerfield.
On October 2 1818, a group of settlers in the area who were favoravle to Presbyterianism, met in Deerfield Township, for the purpose of organizing a new congregation. The way was found to be clear and the group was organized as the Deerfield Presbyterian Church, being named for the township in which it was organized. the new congregation of 29 members elected 4 elders, and became a part of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
The first church building was built in 1823, just east of the North School (non existent today) on the north side of the road leading to Hartzell Cemetery. It was a brick structure.
This is a painting of what the Deerfield Presbyterian Church could have looked like.
The second church building was dedicated in January, 1852 (present building). This building was located approximately one mile from the original site. The educational unit was added in 1953; the new narthex was completed in 1977.
Painting representing the North Benton Presbyterian Church when it was likely first built.
In 1821 Smith Township was organized and named after Judge William Smith. North Benton was platted in 1830 and was named in honor of Senator Thomas Benton. The church became known as the North Benton Presbyterian Church. The church was incorporated in 1880.
Here is an old photo of the North Benton Presbyterian Church.
In 1958 the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America merged with the United Presbyterian Church in North America. The name of the denomination was changed to the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. Our local church then became the North Benton United Presbyterian Church. In 1983 the Northern and Southern denomination merged forming the United Presbyterian Church (U.S.A).
The North Benton Presbyterian Church looking closer to what it will look like in the modern day.
Through the years, ten sons of this congregation have entered the Gospel Ministry- Rev John Blackburn Miller, Rev. David M. Miller, Rev. Howard W. Stratton, Rev. Alvin M. Reed, Rev. Ralph Smith, Rev. J.F. Kirkbride, Rev.SA Kirkbride, Rev. Alfred Swan, Rev. Clyde W. Brogan, Rev. Ronald Boehm. Many members have also become full or part time volunteers in the misson field: Doug Smith, Youth Initiatives, Ireland; Lisa Wyss, Campus Crusade; Tyler Keene, Great Oaks Inner City Ministry; Tim Keene, Parkside Church in Green, OH; Allen Dicks, Central American Medical Outreach; Gloria Stewart, e3 Partners; Debbie Milliken, Wycliffe Bible Translators. The church has also supplied teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, judges, legislators, businessmen and women, homemakers, and other citizens. It is our prayer that this congregation, through the faithful preaching and teaching of God's Word, may continue to influence and change the lives of people so they can live truly Christ like lives.
The following ministers have served the North Benton Church: