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185 Ream St. NW
North Canton, OH 44720


Open By Appointment Only

Union and Community Christian Church

Panel Narration

Street Names

Witwer St. NE—Named after Samuel B. Witwer who for many years in the 1800s owned a large piece of land just east of N. Main St. and just north of E. Maple St. The original Witwer Park, located near his 19th-century property, was named after him. Portions of this property can be seen on the 1852, 1896, and 1905 maps located on the Leonard Willaman, St. Paul Church, and Name Change panels, respectively.

Baseball grandstand at the original Witwer Park

Hower St. NE—Likely named after Adam Hower, who was a farmer and large landholder in the mid-1800s in New Berlin. He built two houses which still stand, one in 1826 on Chapple Hill Dr. NE and a second around 1840 on             Applegrove St. NE. Adam was born in 1800 in Lititz, Pennsylvania and came to Ohio with his parents in 1809 and was a farmer by trade. He died in 1881 at the age of 81 and is buried in the Zion Cemetery (now the North Canton Cemetery).

History Here

Municipal Fire Department — The current fire department building was erected in 1971. A New Berlin Volunteer Fire Department was first established in 1906. The original fire department was located in the Municipal building west of the Portage Street School (pictured to the left). The current fire chief is John Bacon.

Interior of the 1872 Union Church— The room was heated by a floor furnace in the basement and had one large register in the center aisle. Light was provided by three or four kerosene lamps in a fixture hanging from the center of the ceiling. The organ, which was played by Mary Hoover Price and Carrie Hoover Berkey, was north of the pulpit. The vestibule was triangular, using the corner space where the two sections of the building adjoined, and in this vestibule was the door to the main room.

Historical Figures

Dr. Ralph T. Warburton — He was a member of the inaugural North Canton High School football team in 1924 and the first graduation class of 1925. He graduated medical school in 1933 and practiced medicine for 60+ years, mostly in the North Canton area. Dr. Warburton helped to establish the North Canton Medical Clinic in 1972 and was also an important and active member of the Community Christian Church. He created the large wooden cross out of pews from the 1908 church that currently hangs above the altar. 

Revs. Jane and George Sullivan-Davis — Ordained ministers and members of the congregation, “Bo” and Jane served the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as mission co-workers in Argentina (Jane), Mexico, Peru, and Chile (both) for a total of 18 years during the period 1977-1998. During their periodic home assignments of four to eight months each, Community Christian Church provided welcome and a home-base for the Sullivan-Davises and their daughters Sadie and Cristina, while Jane and Bo interpreted their mission work throughout the U.S. and Canada. Jane continued her ministry in Global Ministries in the denominational general offices in Indianapolis until her retirement in 2020. The visibility of their work had an impact on the congregation by keeping its mission alive.

Rev. Jerry Sullivan—was Senior Minister of Community Christian Church from 1972 until his retirement in 1994. He guided the congregation through the building of the existing structure, completed in 1976. Rev. Sullivan’s focus on the future of the church, both locally and universally, manifested itself in his commitment to the children and youth of Community Christian Church. He initiated a Christian Education staff position to facilitate a strong children’s Christian Education program and he led annual “Shoestring” Tours for high school youth. Through his intense involvement with the camp and conference program of the Christian Church in Ohio, and through the creation of a student intern program for students from colleges and seminaries at Community Christian, Rev. Sullivan mentored many young people who went on to pastor congregations, work in local and global mission, and lead denominational and interdenominational organizations throughout the world.

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Heritage Trail Sponsors:
Herbert W. Hoover Foundation
North Canton Public Library
Gary & Rita Wechter Family
The Cerreta Family