|A History of Central Christian Church|
On November 16, 1902, under the leadership of the Rev. J. T. H. Stewart of Findlay, thirty-seven people gathered in the Holiness Mission on North State Street to establish the Central Christian Church of Marion.
Regular Sunday Morning worship services were led temporarily by the Rev. F. B. Bolten in the Masonic Temple. On August 1, 1904, a lot on West Church Street was purchased from the estate of Mrs. Elizabeth McMahon. While a new church building was under construction, the congregation met above a furniture store. The new building was completed on October 11, 1906, while O. D. Maples was pastor.
The congregation voted on May 2, 1947 to purchase the Etowah estate, which is the present location of the church. Having sold the former building to the Nazarene Church, the congregation moved to the new location on November 2, 1947. By the grace of God, the full indebtedness of almost $75,000 was paid off on July 28, 1949.
Another major endeavor began on May 12, 1951, when the congregation voted to remodel parts of the east side of the mansion. By removing walls and a staircase, the seating capacity was increased to 200. With the construction of a sanctuary, dedicated on September 11, 1955, the worship area was increased to hold 360.
Tragedy struck on April 13, 1975 when a fire destroyed the greater portion of the west wing of the mansion. Through much time and intensive planning by faithful and courageous members, the building was restored and remodeled to it's present state. A memorial Chapel was added at this time to the west side of the building by enclosing an existing porch. These projects were dedicated on May 15, 1977.
More recent improvements have included: creating a gathering place in the sanctuary, installing art glass windows in 1984, adding air conditioning to several areas of the church, upgrading the sound system, constructing a memorial library, making the building accessible, placing the mansion on the National Historic Register in 1996, and installing a back-lighted outdoor sign in 1998.
Across the years the aim of Central Christian Church has been to preach the Gospel of Christ and to share God's love in the Marion community and throughout the world.