After 184 years in Brunswick, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has closed its doors. Thanks to the remaining members who called on former pastor, the Rev. Dr. John Mills, to help distribute the collection and furnishings of the church.
The Historical Society now has all the records kept over these years along with a treasure trove of photographs, bibles and ledgers. We will find a permanent home for them once the Society’s new building is ready next year.
The photo above shows two antique chairs and a table that once graced the rooms of the church on Center Road. They are now in the parlor at Heritage Farm. From their age, they certainly came from the earlier buildings.
This is one of the 1870s Bibles that were also rescued, along with several other Bibles, ledgers, written records, photographs and a portrait of Ellen Gibbs, whose family helped found the congregation and who was a founding member of the historical society.
The bell in the church tower that faces Center Road will come to Heritage Farm as well. It also has a plaque built into it that shows the donation of the bell by the Gibbs family. On November 30, 2019, thanks to volunteers Brian Ousley and Michael Austin as well as the equipment donation from ABC Rental, the 640 pound bell and plaque were removed and are being stored until we can arrange a final display.
While the bell has only been in Brunswick since 1971, it was originally cast in 1852 in West Troy, New York. Prior to finding its way to Brunswick, it had been sandblasted and electrified in Cincinnati. The bell was dedicated on Oct. 24, 1971.
The bell tower plaque bears the inscription, “In memory of Farnum H. and Ellen L. Gibbs and Family.” The Gibbs family not only were pioneers and founders of the Disciples of Christ (the original name) Church, members of the family were among the original members of the Brunswick Area Historical Society.'
See a slideshow of the removal below.