The First Brethren Church, Covington, Ohio, (now known as Friendship Grace Brethren Church) was originally located at the intersection of Spring and Pearl Streets in Covington. The Building, which is now the J.R. Clarke Public Library, was erected in 1842.
Different groups have used it for worship purposes. In the 1930’s the Rev. H.C. Markin headed a tabernacle type of worship. He was a newspaper publisher in Covington, and attracted a following with some of his doctrinal teachings and prophetic beliefs. He held a type of British-Israelism and Great Pyramid interpretation that met with widespread interest and approval at the time. From this base, upon his death, but without advocating his unique theories, a group assembled eventually under the leadership of Charles Gantt of Covington. With the encouragement and help of the Central District Mission Board, they were organized as the First Brethren Church of Covington in November, 1946.
In addition to Charles Gantt, who was licensed and eventually ordained to the Brethren Ministry, the pastors of the church have been as follows: Gerald Teeter (1948-1951), J.C. McKallem (1951-1952), James Young (1952-1956), True Hunt (1956-1961), William Grey (1962-1966), Ralph Miller (1966-1971), Gerald Root (1971-1976), Randy Maycomber (1976-1983), Donald Staley (1983-1995), Larry Richeson (1995-2000), Forest Jackson (2000-2011), Keith Wiggins (2011-2012), Ugene Oburne (2012-2013), Tim Combs (2013-2018), Ralph Schaafsma (2019) and Roy Glass (2020-pres).
A Sunday School annex was planned, and ground was broken for this addition, in 1957, and building began late that year, during the pastorate of Rev. True Hunt. This addition provided the facilities for the youth activities of the church also.
In 1980, the former Grace Brethren Church purchased land on State Route 41 between Covington and Troy to build a new church. The church on the corner Spring and Pearl Streets in Covington was converted into the J.R. Clarke Public Library, which is still being used today.
While the new home for the Friendship Grace Brethren Church at 5850 W State Route 41 was being erected by members of the church, Sunday services were held temporarily in the Commons of recently built Covington, High School at 807 Chestnut Street in Covington. This construction was complete in 1980. As part of the move to the new location the bell that stood atop of the old tabernacle since the 1870’s was remove and installed in the front of the new church to continue ringing out a call to worship to the community around us.
Below is a gallery of images of the 1980 construction of our current church. Click on the thumbnails to view larger photos.