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Founded in 1805, Canton’s first European inhabitants were primarily Germans of Reformed and Lutheran heritage who were migrating west from Pennsylvania and Maryland.

As early as 1806, Rev. John Staugh, a Lutheran minister, and John Peter Mahnenschmidt, who served several Reformed congregations, paid visits to Canton as circuit-riding preachers. Their visits inspired the people of Canton to construct a modest church building on the 500 block of West Tuscarawas which became known as Union Church since it served both congregations from 1810-1823. 

In 1818, Rev. Benjamin Faust became the Reformed Church’s first resident minister, serving until 1832. The principal event of Rev. Faust’s pastorate was the relocation of the church in 1823. A new site was bought a half mile east of the original edifice on the 900 block of East Tuscarawas, and the second Union building was erected. 

Peter Herbruck, who was to serve the church for more than fifty years as its pastor and to play a vital part in Canton’s religious life, began his ministry here in 1832.

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