Walnut Street United Methodist Church (Chillicothe, Ohio)

From Ohio History Central

The Walnut Street United Methodist Church was one of the earliest churches in Chillicothe, Ohio.

In 1799, Edward Tiffin, a Methodist minister and eventual governor of Ohio, held a church meeting in a Mr. Davenport's home. From this meeting, the Walnut Street United Methodist Church eventually arose. On July 7, 1800, Henry Smith formerly organized the church. Tiffin and Thomas Worthington, one of Ohio's first two United States Senators, belonged to the church.

Atypical of many Ohio churches in the early nineteenth century, the Walnut Street United Methodist Church permitted African Americans to join the congregation. Despite this show of tolerance, white church members still discriminated against their black cohorts. Whites forced the African-American parishioners to sit in a balcony, separate from white congregants. Whites also prohibited African Americans from taking communion until after all of the whites had completed this rite. Unhappy with these discriminatory practices, in 1821, Peter James formed Quinn Chapel Church, an exclusively African-American church.

The Walnut Street United Methodist Church continues to hold services today. The current church building, located at the intersection of Walnut Street and Main Street in Chillicothe, was completed in 1905. It is the fourth structure to house the congregation.

See Also


  1. Woodson, Byron W., Sr. A President in the Family: Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemings, and Thomas Woodson. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2001.