The German Reform Church

Feb 16 2015

The German Reform Church

The German Reform Church was organized in 1865 and a ½ acre of land was purchased for the church from Alfred S. Kelley.

The church was built with native stone in 1866, quarried from across the street. This church was the third of five formal congregations on the Island. By 1871, the congregation had 25 families as members, including Baumler, Jordan, Smith, Trieschman, Becker, Burger, Renter, Nowalk, Dodge, Gerlach, Lange, Scheele, Suhr, Beatty, Schaedler, Hess, Cattenach, Elfers, Boker, Huber, Stoll, Fischer, Keifer and Pringnitz.

The last regular services were held in 1917 and the last funeral in 1942, after which the Ladies Aid Society raised money to maintain the church until 1957. After this date, the building was used for storage. In 1981, the property was leased to the Kelleys Island Historical Association which accepted title in 1986.

The church has undergone a significant amount of rehabilitation under the care of the Association and is a symbol of this island’s rich history. The Kelleys Island Historical Association maintains the church and it is generally open on weekends during the summer months. The church has deep set windows, an altar area, and original wooden pews. There is even a (non-working) pot belly stove inside the building. It’s called the Frost Killer! A recent concert revealed that the acoustics are phenomenal; resonating every clear, pure tone. This beautiful church has proven to be quite popular for intimate weddings.

For more information on the church, please contact the Kelleys Island Historical Assoc.