By Mike Avitt
This article was interesting to research but also frustrating because I failed to find all the answers. Okay, most of the answers. Let’s look at the three churches of Delphos.
The first church built in Delphos was the original Baptist Church in 1884, four years after Delphos was established. It was built on the site of the current Baptist Church.
In June 1889, Rev. J. L. Rowe is identified as the minister of the Christian congregation. In August 1889, he went to Davis City to order stone for the foundation of the new church and it was built late that year. The first service I can find was in January 1890 when John Spurrier of Clearfield was announced as the preacher. In April 1890, James R. Fisher, living southwest of Delphos, donated an organ to the new Christian Church. By November, Rev. M. Chase was the pastor.
Rev. Chase was followed by Rev. Watkins. Meanwhile, the Baptist Church seems to have been without a pastor. In December 1892, Rev. Fink was preaching at the Baptist Church, but Rev. was named as pastor of Salem Evangelical Church and as preacher at Ringgold City Evangelical Church in later newspapers. Finally, Fink was listed as pastor of Delphos Evangelical Church in December 1893. I’m guessing the Baptist Church was used as an Evangelical Church from time to time.
Pastors came and went at both churches for 25 years. In 1917, Delphos got a new brick school. In 1922, Delphos got electricity. And this might be the reason the Baptist congregation decided to build a new church. It was built using lumber from the dismantled Maloy Baptist Church and was dedicated May 14, 1922. The church was modern, complete with a kitchen in the basement.
In 1924, Brother Lowell Oswalt left the Christian Church after one and a half years. This is the last full-time minister I could find for them. Later, Rev. George Warman preached here but he was the full-time minister at Hickory Grove. The Delphos Christian Church Ladies’ Aid Society stayed active into the 1950s.
The Seventh Day Adventist came to Delphos in 1959 with Pastor M. H. Thames at the helm. I don’t know where they were meeting although I know they were in the Christian Church by 1965 and possibly all along. In May 1977, the Seventh Day Adventist Church was remodeled.
The last time the Delphos Seventh Day Adventist Church appears in the church directory of the Mount Ayr Record-News is June 11, 1992. Leonard Kitson was the pastor.
Both churches still stand today, although the south wing of the Christian Church was removed in 2010. Both churches are large and majestic, just as a church should be.
By Mike Avitt