Chillicothe & Ross County Church History

"The Methodist Episcopal denomination was the pioneer religious organization in Paxton township. As early as 1800, itinerant ministers of that sect held religious services in the settlers' cabins, and invaded the schoolhouses for the same purpose, as soon as they were established. In 1818, John Mick and John Collins, two of the early ministers in the community, established a church organization in Bainbridge. A class was organized under the leadership of James Gaskle, consisting of himself and wife, and four others. Gaskle's house was a regular preaching place for some years. He finally donated a site, and assisted in building the first church in Bainbridge; and about 1820 a small frame church was erected. The congregation occupied this humble home until 1834, when a more pretentious structure was erected, which was sold in 1868, to the colored Methodist. church. On that date a new location was chosen, and the congregation, still numerically weak, began the construction of a building which cost about ten thousand dollars. On April 2, 1876, this building took fire, and the roof and interior woodwork was destroyed, but the damage was soon repaired.
In the early days, the church at Bainbridge was one of twenty-three appointments on a territory of thirty square miles, embraced within the Hillsboro circuit. The minister was required to make the rounds in twenty days, and preach twenty-nine times. Fortunately he did not have to prepare a sermon for each appointment, but could if he would-\-\use the same sermon, an advantage which the stationed preacher does not enjoy. The church at Bainbridge has been honored with the presence of many eminent divines during its years of existence, not the least among these being the pioneers of Ohio Methodism, Robert and James B. Finley.
The Protestant Methodist church in Bainbridge dates its existence from March 26, 1848, when, by reason of a disagreement on matters of discipline, a number of members withdrew from the Methodist Episcopal church. The church was organized with a membership of fifty persons under charge of Rev. Simon P. Keyota. A church building was erected in 1849, and dedicated on July 20th of that year. Subsequently a country church was established under the supervision of the presiding pastor in Bainbridge, and maintained for a number of years, but this was abandoned many years ago, and the membership principally absorbed by the mother church in Bainbridge." From Ross County History 1902