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Our History

Pleasant View began in 1889 as a second meeting-house for the growing Sugar Creek congregation. 

Take a few minutes to read our history.

1889 church building


The Pleasant View Church of the Brethren had its beginning when a small frame building was erected on the southwest corner of what is now Thayer and State Roads on the Bath and Monroe Township line seven miles northwest of Lima, Ohio.

This was the second meeting-house for the expanding Sugar Creek congregation. This building was dedicated on October 6, 1889 with the dedicatory sermon by Elder L.H. Dickey of near Fostoria, Ohio.

A schedule of services was arranged in such a way that there were no conflicting appointments. Sunday School was held at Sugar Creek in the morning and at Pleasant View at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Many went to Sunday School twice each Sabbath Day. Preaching services and revival meetings were alternated between the two points.


The work at Pleasant View met with good success for by 1910 the building was too small. Plans were made to erect a larger building to house the growing congregation, one half mile south on North Thayer Road in Lewis Grove. One of the reasons for the change in location was the Western Ohio traction line, which afforded transportation to the services. The building committee composed of S. H. Vore, J.B. Driver, and John Miller drew up the plans for the frame structure. In 1911 the old church was torn down, and the new one erected using some of the materials from the old building.

On November 25, 1911 the dedication service was held with Elder Henry C. Early, Penn Laird Virginia preaching the dedicatory sermon.

The time came when the membership of the Sugar Creek Church had so increased in number that it seemed advisable to divide into two seperate congregations, thus forming the Pleasant View congregation which held its organizational meeting in the second frame church building on November 6, 1918 with Elder G. A. Snider presiding.

Elder David Byerly was chosen as the first presiding Elder of the new congregation December 2, 1918. The second Elder was Noah Cool. Several ministers served this new congregation under the free ministry system. They were: David Byerly, Noah Cool, Joseph Wampler, and Walter Landes. Joseph Wampler served the church as first chorister and first church clerk. S. H. Vore was the first church treasurer. Roscoe Koogler was the first Sunday School Superintendent and Walter Landes was the first to represent this new church as delegate to Annual Conference. During the first year the new church entertained District Conference and held a Love Feast Communion in addition to its regular services.

Some other members of this church at the time of its organization were the families of I. W. Byerly, Angus Carroll, J. B. Driver, P. D. Driver, J. W. Driver, Clarence Early, Jacob Early, Newton McDorman, Ami Miller, Isaac Miller, Joseph Miller, A. J. Plaugher, Manley Roberts, Claude Vore, L. G. Younkman, John Grady, John Alger, Ben Driver, D.S. Early, W. H. Koogler, J. B. Sandy, and others.

Early Sunday morning, February 28, 1925, after having been built for only fourteen years, the church building was completely destroyed by fire which had started late Saturday night.

No doubt this was devastating to many of the 235 members of this seven year old church, but new brick building was erected and in use by November of the same year. During the time the new building was under construction, services were held in the Beaverdam School Gymnasium.

The new brick building was dedicated on Sunday, November 1, 1925, with Otho Winger, President of Manchester College, bringing the message.

1911 church building
1916 Sunday School class
Pleasant View outside at Easter in the 1950s
Fellowship building under construction
Fellowship Building Christmas.jpg


After being dedicated on Sunday, November 1, 1925, with Otho Winger, President of Manchester College, bringing the message, Rev. I. Clifford Paul was secured as the first full-time salaried pastor in 1929. Three years later, 1932, a parsonage was built as a home for the pastor and his family. The parsonage was dedicated in 1932 by the Rev. H. L. Hartsough. Rev. Paul served as pastor until 1937.

March 1938, Clarence Bowman moved to the parsonage with his family and began a long pastorate. He served the church throughout the difficult years of the Second World War, leaving in November 1945. In May 1946 Edgar Petry and his family came to Pleasant View. In 1949 an organ was purchased and dedicated, chimes were later added to the organ from memorial gifts given in memory of loved ones.

The parsonage was improved in 1951 by enlarging the kitchen, adding a half bath to the ground floor, and by adding a room to be used as the pastor's study. In 1954 a Fellowship Hall was planned and later it was erected in the wooded area of the church. On a Sunday morning in 1950, Leonard Carlisle was ordaned into the ministry. He served pastorates at Lakewood (1951-1959), Troy, Ohio (1959-1962), South Bend, Indiana (1970-1975), and Peoria, Illinois.

Roger Sappington came to Pleasant View in 1955 and served as pastor until June 1958.

David B. Wampler and his family came to Pleasant View August 22, 1958. On November 2 the new Fellowship Building was dedicated by Pastor Wampler with the former Pastor Edgar Petry delivering the dedicatory sermon.

On Sunday morning, January 6, 1963 the first short form of Communion with bread and cup was served in the pews with 107 persons present. Rev. Wampler served the church as pastor until August 1965.

Rev. Rommie Moore and his family became pastor at the church in 1965 serving until June 1969. It was in 1966 that the church had its first lay-moderator, which was Calvin Kiracofe.

Rev. Roger Eberly and his wife came to Pleasant View in June 1969 after graduating from Ashland Seminary. In 1969 the sanctuary was remodeled under the guidance of James Bassett, arcitect. A new Baptistry, speaker system, and a large cross in front of the alter area were all added, and the church's main floor was completely carpeted. Rev. Eberly served as pastor until March 1973.


Rev. Paul E. Myers, his wife, and three children accepted the call from Pleasant View Church in May 1973 coming from Maryland where they had been for five and one half years.

In 1973 a new Baldwin organ was installed replacing the old organ. A gift from the late Ruby Coffin, her brothers and sisters, as well as individuals who gave in memory of loved ones made the organ a reality. It was dedicated in 1974.

In October 1973 the Pastor's study was moved out of the house into the church at which time a telephone was added to the church and Fellowship Building.

In 1974 the basement of the church was completely renovated allowing us to bring all the Sunday School classes out of the Fellowship Building, using it only for fellowship activities. New lighting, new walls, new electrical rewiring, new classrooms with sliding doors, and the floor was completely recarpeted. All electrical wiring labor was donated by Mickey Schmenk and the plumbing by Waldo "Buck" Richard. All other work was donated by people of the church.

On November 2, 1975 we celebrated the dedication of the newly renovated church basement and the 50th Anniversary of the present brick structure we now worship in. There were 244 persons present at the morning Worship Service to hear former pastor Rev. Edgar Petry speak on "The Commissions of Jesus". At the afternoon services was the former pastor, Rev. Rommie Moore, with his message "History from a Graveyard". The present pastor had the dedication of the church basement.

Two events of importance to our congregation was the licensing of Lon Stettler to the ministry and the consecration service for Kent, Barb, and Sunshine Cherry to the mission field for the O.M.S. in the homeland and in Ecuador. In October a mini-revival was held for Bro. Perry Prather as evangelist.

The latter part of the year saw an addition of a two car garage and laundry-utility room to the south side of the parsonage.

Teenagers in the 1970s at Christmas time.
Women standing by poinsettia cross
1990 outdoor church picture
Basement Cross.jpg


1978 was a year filled with many experiences. A room beside the Pastor's study was furnished for a secretary's office. The memorial fund for Bernice Joseph was used in buying a new electric typewriter. Various equipment was purchased to make an efficient office.

The church was host for the Northern Ohio Women's Fellowship Spring Rally in April.

Kent and Barb Cherry and their two children, Sunshine and Casey, re-enlisted for another term to Ecuador with the O.M.S. mission board. The church also enlarged their support to $1,000 per month for this five year term.

The family of Eva Bice, from her memorial fund, donated a cross which still hangs in the basement worship area to be used by our children's department.

The trustees, working on the parsonage, added a room in the basement at the backside of the house. This is used as a family room. Two bedrooms were renovated by paneling, insulating, and new ceiling tile.

Oliver and Martha Hagar spent their summer months working at (PVS) Paris Volunteer Service at our Church Camp in Northern Ohio, Inspiration Hills. Services were appreciated by the Camp Board and Manager.

Dan and Jill Rusmisel and their two children, Dawn and Ryan, went to Swaziland, South Africa, to serve for three years with the Mennonite Central Committee. He had graduated from Ohio State University after attending Manchester College two years. Dan also taught school and served two years in Alternative Service. After returning from Africa, he and his family moved to Chicago where he attended Bethany Seminary, graduating in 1986. Dan had been licensed at Pleasant View in 1983 and was ordained at Brook Park Church of the Brethren in 1986. He has been serving the Blue Ridge Church in South Virginia.

After John and Erma Harnisfeger did very good work in reinforcing our falling apart pews, the Allen Joseph family upholstered the seats and backs of all the pews in memory or Allen and Nancy Joseph, who were some of the first members at Pleasant View.

In 1979-82 Brent Driver became part-time Pastor at Auburn City, Indiana. He had been licensed at Pleasant View on Sunday morning, September 19, 1972. May 1, 1984 to July 23, 1989, he was pastor of the Columbia City Church were he was ordained June 2, 1985. On August 1, 1989, Brent became Associate Pastor at Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. He is married to Kim Ebersole and their two children are Jeremy and Sara Elizabeth.

In 1979, Eugene and Hanna Lenker came to Pleasant View where they served until 1983.

In 1983 John Mummert and family came to Pleasant View where he served until 1998.

In 1989 we celebrated 100 years of Pleasant View Church of the Brethren and printed "100 Years at Pleasant View" to tell about the history of our church and the pastors that have served from 1889-1989.

*Although many members in this history have passed on, in a sense they are still with us.*

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith." Hebrews 12:1.


In 2000 we constructed a new addition that consists of a drive-up covered entrance, large foyer, an elevator, coat room, and new main floor restrooms. The addition was dedicated by Pastor Kathleen Barkley in 2001. Milton Driver, the eldest member of our congregation, shared in the unveiling of the addition's cornerstone. The congregation all took part in a prayer of dedication and a balloon release.

In 2006 the youth group began to repaint the basement and repair the lighting. The basement was found to have a leak. The church board voted to repair the leak and "ozone" the basement. Once this began, members of the congregation donated time and materials for further renovations, while others supported the renovations with prayer and monetary donations. The renovated basement was dedicated in the fall of 2007. Also in 2007 our church adopted a mission statement: "Pleasant View is a family of believers called to reach out and share with you the Good News of love, peace, and forgiveness offered by our Living Lord Jesus." With the direction of our pastor and the church board, we have chosen to participate in the district-wide initiative "Springs of Living Water."

During the May 1, 2008 Board Meeting, the Church Board decided to proceed with the installation of air conditioning in the church sanctuary based on the support from church members. Installation was completed at the end of May. The nursery was remodeled with new ceiling tiles, paint, border, and more by members of the youth ministry.

The youth also completed transforming the former office into a new youth room in 2008. The youth decided on a fish theme for the room (think "fishers of men") and renamed themselves "The Reef- Youth Ministry."

In 2009, the youth, headed by John Freed, repainted the sanctuary which also included the Sunday School rooms on the main level, the balcony, and the back room. Funds continued to be raised to replace our roof and carpet.

Church in 2007 after addition
New wall in the basement
Installing the new sign
Church sign


In fall 2011, the church's roof was replaced with shingles matching the restroom and entryway. At the end of 2011, with a grant from the Northern Ohio District of the Church of the Brethren, construction began on a new sign featuring a board with changeable letters to better welcome new guests. Construction of the sign concluded in 2012.

In late 2013, the church's main level carpet was replaced and the pews were recovered. The Fellowship Building also had two new furnaces installed.

New windows were installed in 2016 on the front and balcony area of the church along with the redo of the carport beams. The remaining six sanctuary windows were replaced in 2017 with a donation from the family of Helen Driver.  In addition to the remainder of the main level windows and doors in the church being replaced, other energy efficiency upgrades included a foot of insulation added above the entire ceiling of the church and all lighting being upgraded to LED in the church and Fellowship Building.

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