History of Aley Church



Men and women of the United Brethren in Christ group were migrating into the Dayton, Ohio area as early as 1803.  Early circuit rider, Christian Newcomer writes of his first trip to Ohio in his journal, dated July 22, 1810; he “preached at Lewis Kemp’s, then tarried there for the night.”  Kemp’s house still stands on Burkhardt Road in Riverside. Several weeks later, on August 4-5, 1810, Newcomer returned and held the first two-day meeting in Ohio. Newcomer described this meeting: “Here the Lord met us with mercy; the whole congregation melted in tears; may the seed sown produce fruit unto eternal life.”

 

Aley Church traces its beginnings to that meeting in 1810 at the Kemp home. Jacob Aley, in whose honor and memory the cemetery and church were named, set aside land for a place of worship, a cemetery and for educational purposes in the early 1800’s.

 

The original church building was a 25 X 30 foot structure built between 1837-1838 on the present location of the white frame building that we currently use as an "Activities Building".  For the next fourteen years the building was shared by the Lutherans, the Reform Group and the United Brethren Church.  Since 1853 the United Brethren Church, which became the Evangelical United Brethren Church (EUB) in 1946 and then became The United Methodist Church in 1968, has been the only congregation that has continued worshipping on this site.

 

In 1893 the original building was remodeled and painted art glass windows were added.  In 1907 that building was raised with the earth beneath excavated and a new building with a basement was erected.  In 1918 that building was destroyed by fire.  Soon thereafter the present white frame building was built on the same site and foundation.  It was dedicated in 1922 and redecorated in 1928.  A twenty-foot addition was added in 1951.

 

In 1956 a building program was initiated.  An additional three acres of land was purchased to the east of the existing building with the first portion of the new building being dedicated in 1958.  Worship began in this new building in 1959 and more portions on the building were completed and dedicated.  A full-time pastor was designated in 1963.  The sanctuary was the final portion of the building and was completed in 1966 with a formal dedication services being held on January 29, 1967.

 

In 1989, ground was broken for an addition to the main church building. More than 6,000 sq. ft. were added, providing additional classrooms, wheelchair access, a larger kitchen, more storage, and the location of the Pastor’s and other administrative offices on the ground floor.

 

And the story continues....