The following was taken from the Souvenir Program of the 100th
Anniversary of Grace United Methodist Church and the Souvenir Booklet of the
125th Anniversary of St. Peter’s United Church of Christ.
Two things were happening during the early 1870’s. First, The Evangelical Association, a
Methodist movement among the Pennsylvania Germans, arrived in Wabash in
1871. Second, some members of the St.
Peter’s Church broke off and formed the Albrechtskircher.
By 1872, Evangelical meetings were being held in homes in
the Urbana Community and, in 1875, the meetings were being held in the Speicher
School. There was a “great religious
awakening” in 1876, which caused the meetings to be moved back to a private
In 1877, the church was formally organized and a Chapel was
built across from the school. The new
church hosted the Indiana Conference in April 1878 and a camp meeting in
Also, in 1891 a new church, Grace Chapel, was built in
Urbana to accommodate those from St. Peter's Church who preferred English to German and they provided
English Sunday School for English-educated young people. Those who remained at the original Chapel
soon saw the advantages of an English service, sold the old building and came
The original church consisted of the sanctuary, towers and
vestibule. To add Sunday School
facilities, the south and west wings were added in 1928.
By 1967, the two Urbana churches were struggling and found a
solution – they joined in a Yoke Parish.
During this time, they maintained their own buildings and retained their
relationship with their own conferences.
They worked together on worship services and Sunday School, meeting part
of the year in one church and part in the other.
The two churches formally merged into a single entity and
the Urbana Yoke Parish Constitution was established in 2012. An Urbana Yoke Parish Cemetery Board was
established at the same time.
In 2018, a vote was taken to move the church permanently to
Grace and that move was completed in 2019.
Remodeling to Urbana Yoke Parish Church included two new offices,
reconfiguration of rooms into a kitchen and social hall, and remodeling
restrooms and the sanctuary.
The building progression was:
- 1891: Grace
Added south and west wings
- 187?: Albrechtskircher
/ Evangelical Association (Group which split off of St. Peter’s)
Grace Evangelical United Brethren Church (Group which split off of St. Peter's for English services)
Urbana Yoke Parish (St. Peter’s joined with the Grace Evangelical United
Brethern joined with St. Peter’s – each retained its own denominational
Grace United Methodist Church
Urbana Yoke Parish as a non-denominational church
Included in Grace United Methodist Church’s 1977 celebration
of 100 years was a SERVICE OF WORSHIP TO COMMEMORATE OUR BEGINNINGS and it took
three evening services to accomplish this. An Anniversary Banquet and Service of Worship was held on both
September 18 and September 25.
One sentence stands out:
REMEMBERING OUR HERITAGE AND RECOGNIZING A NEW ERA OF SERVICE.
- - - - - - - - - -
The ending of this section could be almost the same ending
as that of St. Peter’s. The only
difference is that the doors to this church building will stay open and God’s
children will continue to enter the doors.
This information was taken from booklets celebrating the
years between 1853 and 1977. This
information contained the history of two church buildings. What these booklets could not contain is the personal heritage of two churches: the emotions created from memories of wedding, baptisms, celebrations, and funerals. The heritage of
Urbana Yoke Parish began when a need was seen for a church building and a place
for regular religious instructions for the children. The
heritage of these two churches continues to be written.
There is something special to notice in the anniversary booklets. Family names carry from 1853 to today! Many individuals and families mentioned in
the anniversary booklets, continue to attend Urbana Yoke Parish in 2019.
In 1853, a group of pioneers from Tuscarawas County,
Ohio……and with their arrival, our heritage began and our heritage continues.