In 1849, elder John Gordon moved from Jelloway, Knox County, Ohio to Warsaw, Indiana, to form a new church. He invited Isaac Butler, living in Marshall County, to come and preach in Warsaw. In 1851, Butler helped to organize a church with eleven members. Meetings were held in elder Gordon’s house until 1865. In March of that year, the church grew to thirty members who then employed J.B. Marshall as pastor. The next consideration was to provide a place to worship. A lot on the corner of Lake and Fort Wayne Streets was purchased for $500, and a small frame church building was bought from the Presbyterians for $150.
In the summer of 1887, C.W. Granger began his ministry. The old church building was sold, and meetings were then held in an Opera House and later in Jaques Hall. The original church building on the corner of Lake and Main Streets was completed in 1889, at a cost of $16,000. The architect, Cass Chapman of Chicago, donated his entire work to the church. The highlight of the building was the priceless Czechoslovakian stained glass windows that are incorporated in the church at our current location.
During the 20th century, First Christian Church was led by many different ministers. A number of new programs began that brought growth to the congregation. Some of these activities included a bus ministry for children, home Bible studies, communion taken to shut-ins, an annual live manger scene in downtown Warsaw, an educational wing added to the church, Kid’s Klub, and involvement in Michiana Christian Service Camp.
The growth of new members and the outdated facilities of the old church building led to a decision to purchase 68.5 acres of land on the south edge of Warsaw in 2000. A “Time to Build” campaign was begun to build a new structure. After many prayers and financial commitments, the new facility for First Christian Church was open for worship in December of 2008. We have been blessed by a new building on one floor with a multipurpose room for services and times of fellowship. We look forward to providing a place for future generations to faithfully serve the Lord.