Windfall....What does it mean?
Beautiful Ohio, in the early 1800s, was a vast forest of ash, beech, elm, and oak trees. In about 1827, a group of German immigrants came to a placed they called “Windfall.” It was a place where a great wind fell, possibly a tornado, and it had blown down timber. All the immigrants had to do was work the timber already on the ground to build their homes.
About six miles south of the this area that came to be known as “Windfall”, in Marlboro Township, better known as Water Hill, and many years later as the Delaware Reservoir area, lived a man whose name was Henry Klein. Mr. Klein operated a sawmill, but this was not his only interest however. He was concerned about bringing the good news of Jesus Christ and His saving grace to settlers establishing their homes in the area. He would walk from his home to an area about two miles west of where the St. John Church was later built. There, a church was built known as the Berringer Log Church. That was the start of the Windfall congregation.
At first, Mr. Klein came only every two weeks to preach the Gospel, and was paid whatever was in the offering plate that Sunday. The first baptism was on a Sunday, September 5, 1833. The following is a newspaper quote, “The Lutheran Church formed a society in Richland Township in 1835, holding the first meetings in private residences, barns, and groves.” In 1838, the Lutherans and the German Reformed together erected a house of worship, and the Lutherans continued to worship there for many years.
On March 6, 1836, a special bill was passed to incorporate Jacoby’s Evangelical Lutheran and the German Reformed Church in the County of Marion. By May 1836, Pastor Klein had instructed 12 people whom he felt were eligible for confirmation. Apparently, there was no distinction between the Reformed and the Lutherans as one minister served both congregations. On one Sunday, the Reformed would meet in the morning, and the Lutherans in the afternoon. The next Sunday, it was reversed with the Lutherans meeting first.
First Church Building 1867 - 1905
Second Church Building 1905 - 1967
Current Church Building
Drawings by Joanne Mathews