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Brief History of Merriam Christian Chapel, Merriam, Indiana

The history was taken from a chapel directory dated sometime after January 17, 1965.  The church, a Noble County landmark, is located one half mile, more or less, northwest of Merriam, just off US 33.  Contributed by Dave Winebrenner

The Merriam Christian Chapel was organized June 8, 1843.  The congregation consisted of a small group of believers, saved in a revival meeting which was held in the home of David and B arbara Winebrenner by the Rev. Peter Banta.  For many years they met in homes and in the shool house for worship.  The church became affiliated with the Eel River Conference of Christian Churches.On August 29, 1852, one-half acre of land was purchased from Jacob and Sarah Kitt.  On this site a wood frame building was built, dedicated and paid for in less than three years.  In 1880, a larger brick building was construced under the leadership of the pastor, Rev. Peter Winebrenner.  It was dedicated Aug. 21, 1881.  In 1893 the Merriam Chrisitan Chapel became a part of the Congregational Christian Conference as a result of the uniting of two denominations.  In 1947, the congregation broke its ties with the denomination and became an independent church. Due to the necessity for expansion, more land was purchased from Don and Opal Resler in 1951.  In March 1953 the ground was broken for a new building.  The congregation labored together in the construction and on March 31, 1957, the new Indiana limestone edifice was dedicated, debt free.  Because of God's continued blessing, more room was required.  An educational unit was added and some remodeling done in 1964.  The present edifice was dedicated Jan. 17, 1965.

The first parsonage was built in 1895, and Rev. and Mrs. Peter Winebrenner were the first occupants.  In 1958, the parsonage was traded to Don and Opal Resle for more acreage north of the church for the erection of a new parsonage.  It was dedicated, debt free, on Oct. 2, 1960.  The Rev. Franklin Orr family were the first occupants.

"To God be the glory, - great things He hath done."