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185 Ream St. NW
North Canton, OH 44720


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Zion United Church of Christ – St. Paul Church and School

Panel Narration

Street Names

Kolp Place SW—Named after Henry Kolp who owned a house in the 1870’s at the corner of S. Main St. This area would become the location of Kolp Place SW. Members of the Kolp family have been active in the St. Paul Parish since the 1850’s.

History Here

The Kreighbaum house stood at the location of this Heritage Trail panel
1910 Zion Reformed Church (location of current church building)
Interior of the 1847 St. Paul Church           
1909 St. Paul Church Cornerstone Ceremony
1919 St. Paul School Students and teachers (Church—School was located just north of the St. Paul Cemetery) 

Historical Figures

Zion United Church of Christ Historical Figures:

Rev. John H. Beck — He became the pastor of the local Zion Reformed Church in 1878. He represented a new breed of Ohio clergymen. Rev. Beck was born in New York City, a graduate of Heidelberg College and the seminary, his zeal and commitment would equal that of the German pastors. Under his leadership, it was decided the future for the church was in the village of New Berlin. In 1881, the Reformed congregation moved away from their original site on Pittsburg Road into a new Gothic church on S. Main St.     

Rev. Melvin E. Beck — Rev. Beck took over the congregation in 1929 and guided it through two pivotal times in our countries history, the Great Depression and World War II. Despite these troubled times, he was able to foster the continued growth of the congregation. Under his leadership, an English basement was added to the expanding church structure. The second floor had to wait until after World War II ended and was opened in 1950. He initiated plans to build a new sanctuary which was completed three years after he retired in 1952.

St. Paul Church and School Historical Figures:

Rev. John B. Burkel — He administered to the spiritual needs of St. Paul Parish primarily on a monthly basis while based in Harrisburg from 1876 to 1878 and then again while based in Canton from 1882 until 1896. He became the first resident Pastor for the parish on November 6, 1896. He served the growing parish into the 20th century until resigning due to ill health in 1904. He is buried in the St. Paul Church cemetery.

Rev. Jos. J. Schmit — He succeeded Rev. Joseph Gerz in 1917 and continued his predecessor’s plans to establish a parochial school. He oversaw the conversion of the old church building into a temporary school which began educating the local youth in 1919. Father Schmit’s leadership led to the opening of a brand new school building in 1922. Later that year, due in part to his zealous and energetic nature, he was singled out by the Bishop to establish a new St. Clement Parish in Lakewood, Ohio.

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