"In a brief historical sketch of Zion Congregation, compiled by Prof. Emanuel Schmid, we find this opening sentence, "In the year 1812, Rev. W Foster, minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, preached on request by members of the Lutheran and German Reformed Churches in Hamilton Township for two years, mostly in dwelling houses. This was the beginning of this Congregation."
Most likely the first worship services were held at the "Helsel Settlement", just south of Columbus in the area which is now Alum Creek Dr., Williams Rd. and Spangler Rd. Services were in German and they met in either the home or barn of Philip Helsel. They were ministered to by traveling Lutheran ministers. The church continued to meet for services in members' homes.
In 1821, the first church building was erected out of hewn logs, hauled and assembled by the members themselves. The first building stood about 200 yards east of the church building at 4501 Groveport Rd. Initially, the name of the congregation was "German Lutheran and Reformed Congregation." It was not until 1842 that the name Zion was adopted.
In 1844, the first brick church was built. It had two front doors on the north side, one for the men and one for the women. The men sat on the right of the center aisle, the women on the left. In 1873, the second brick building [featured in this waymark] was built and the first building was used for school purposes, instruction classes, residence for the sexton, etc.
In 1895, Rev. C.J. Walter became the first resident pastor. A parsonage was built on the grounds (pictured below). In 1903, more land was purchased to be used as a hitching lot, indicating substantial growth in the congregation. In preparation for the 100th anniversary on September 8th 1912, much renovation was done. The renovations included: a new steel ceiling, a new altar, new carpet, and enlarging the parsonage. In 1913 gasoline lights were installed and then electric lights in 1916.
During the period of WWI, the congregation split. 55 members were honorably released to start a congregation in Groveport, a neighboring town. During this period all services in German were halted.
During the period of the Depression and WWII, the church continued to grow under the leadership of Rev. William Emch. As the church continued to grow and the facility aged it became clear that the building needed dramatic renovation. However, the renovation of the old church building was deemed impractical. Under the leadership of Rev. Walter Lindenmuth, the church bought 10 acres at 1080 Obetz Rd. Digging for the new building began on September 5th, 1961. On June 24th, 1962, dedication services were held."
"In 1962 the church was rededicated as Obetz Christian Church and is still in use, as is the cemetery."