Church History

The History of Ross Community United Methodist Church:
Ross Community United Methodist Church traces its origin to the Venice Methodist Episcopal Church, first organized in 1826. Services were led in the village schoolhouse by Pastor D.D. Davisson and R.O. Spencer for a period of almost five years. It is reported that in 1826, the organization of the new Venice Methodist Episcopal Church originally met with a great deal of opposition from the Presbyterian society in place. However, five years later the Presbyterians gave permission to the Methodists to hold meetings in their church, and services were commenced by P.C. Stewart. This arrangement apparently didn’t last long, and efforts were undertaken to build a new worship house in 1832. The difficult task was led by Sister Hotchkiss, described by history as “a jealous evangelical sister” who “without the aid of a man, embarked in the enterprise of building the first Methodist Episcopalian Church edifice.” The church building was commenced, completed, and dedicated in 1832. In 1862, Sister Hotchkiss initiated an effort to build a new church building on the same site as the first. However, her fundraising efforts were not as successful, until $1,000.00 was bequeathed to the church by Mrs. Sarah Andrews of Miami Town. The chapel was built and was named in her honor, and was originally referred to as “Andrews Chapel”. Carved in the name stone over the front entrance are these words: “Andrews M.E. Church, Erected 1863”. The current church building was built in 1995, and the “Andrews Chapel”, which welcomed worshippers for more than 130 years was sold. Donations of money and labor from many in the church and the surrounding area helped build the current Ross Community United Methodist Church.