A Historic Church with a Living Mission


The history of First Church of the Resurrection and the history of the City of Canton, Ohio begin about the same time. In 1805, Bezaleel Wells bought a tract of land on what was then the western boundary of civilization. After 3 years, the number of inhabitants was only 27. Life was primitive and most of the early settlers were German with a Reformed or Lutheran faith. They had few possessions of their own, but they often included a Bible and prayer book.

There were occasional visits by traveling pastors in those early years. In 1810, the Reformed and Lutherans built a modest little church on the tract of land that Bezaleel Wells had set aside for a house of worship (current location of Christ Presbyterian Church). The first resident pastor arrived in 1818 and in 1823 the two churches moved to land purchased for $80 at the current location -- a 198’ x 396’ lot on the east side of town. They shared a building and their German language until 1862 when the two congregations began to worship in their own buildings.

There was a transition from the German language to English beginning in 1871. Thirteen Pastors have served here since this church began and there have also been several name changes over the years.

The Reformed Church
1897 First German Reformed Church
1940 First Evangelical and Reformed Church
1959 First United Church of Christ
2006 First Church of the Resurrection (non-denominational)

The year 2018 marked a time of significant changes for the congregation. While the congregation continues to worship in the beautiful sanctuary, the building is now used by various ministries under the vision of ONE Center for Leadership – a leadership training center devoted to sending disciples of Jesus into the world.

First Church of the Resurrection was built on the foundation of Jesus Christ and as we celebrate our past, we look forward in faith to the future. In the words of our 10th Pastor, Dr. Paul Carmany: “It is my hope that we can take more seriously a personal relationship to Jesus Christ
and then be willing to follow where He will lead us. Our future will be dependent upon our faithfulness to lead persons to Jesus Christ.”

Additional photos

Press Release: Canton Repository's Article on First Church's 200th Anniversary

First Church of the Resurrection • Canton, Ohio • 330-453-1719  © 2021