Goss Memorial Reformed Church was founded in 1904 by Rev. E. R. Williard, Rev. Ewing, and Dr. Goss. From its very inception, Goss Memorial Reformed Church was known as a mission church. The original church building was purchased for $600.00 in Marshallville, Ohio, and was moved on a huge platform on rollers drawn by four large farm horses to Kenmore. The cornerstone was laid on Sunday, August 19th, 1904, and the building was completed that winter. Today, that frame building remains at the corner of 9th Street and Florida Ave.
In the late 1920’s, the Church congregation began to outgrow the building, and enthusiasm for a new church building ran high. The congregation desired a larger facility for worship, education, social activities, and recreation. A building fund was developed and congregation members made financial sacrifices and liberally gave to build a new building. The new building, on the corner of 10th Street and Florida Ave. in Kenmore, was built in brick and trimmed in stone for an estimated $70,000. On August 19, 1928, the cornerstone was laid, with the dedication of the building occurring during the week of April 14-21, 1929.
In 1934, the Reformed Church merged with the Evangelical Synod of North America to become the Evangelical and Reformed Church denomination. Thus, Goss Memorial Reformed Church became Goss Memorial Evangelical and Reformed Church.
During the 1950s, the Evangelical and Reformed denomination and the Congregational Christian denomination studied a proposal to merge. The leadership of the church, led by Rev. Troup, grew concerned over growing liberalism and desired the Church to remain evangelical and true to God’s Word and purpose of world evangelism. In 1958, under the leadership of Rev. Scruby, the church withdrew from the Evangelical and Reformed Church denomination prior to the merger, which resulted in the formation of the United Church of Christ denomination. A court trial occurred between Goss Memorial and the Evangelical and Reformed denomination for the property. After the facts were presented, it was the court’s decision to drop the case and allow Goss Memorial Evangelical and Reformed Church to keep its property at the time of the merger. When the merger of denominations occurred, the name was then shortened to Goss Memorial Church, and it became an independent, nondenominational church. It has remained so ever since.
The following is a quote from Lester Hartschuh, Chairman of the Board during the decision for Goss Memorial to become a non-denominational church. “Goss Memorial Church has resisted identifying with other organizations even though it is a Bible believing fundamental church, teaching Christ and will continue to stand as a lighthouse in the community. God will be glorified and this fact unites our hearts as one as it did through a most difficult time in our Church history.”
In the early 1970s, serious consideration was given to relocating the church away from the center of Kenmore to the Rolling Acres area. In the final analysis, the decision was made to keep Goss at its present location because of the conviction to serve the cause of Christ in the middle of the Kenmore community. It was the desire of the congregation to remain an inner-city church rather than migrate to the suburbs.
To better serve the Kenmore community, the Christian Education addition was initiated during Rev. Bennet’s pastorate, and ground breaking ceremonies were held on May 16th, 1976, during Rev. Belleman’s first year of ministry. This addition provided the additional space for Sunday School classrooms, church-wide gatherings, and offices.
Since the 1970s, Goss Memorial Church has continued to minister to its congregation members, as well as the Kenmore community. Its purpose continues to be the worship of God, the preserving of the faith through the teaching of God’s Word, and the propagation of that faith through the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
List of Goss Memorial Pastors:
Rev. S. E. Snepp (1905)
Rev. W. E. Foltz & Dr Williard (1909-1913)
Rev. W. S. Harmon (1913-1915)
Rev. E. M. Anneshansley (1916)
Rev. W. S. Adams (1924-1926)
Rev. Twinem (1926)
Rev. Rollin Goodfellow (1927-1929)
Rev. William E. Troup (1929-1958)
Dr. Moreton F. Scruby - Interim Pastor (1958-1963)
Rev. William C. Bennett (1963-1975)
Rev. Lee Belleman (1976-1994)
Jack Bacher - Interim Pastor (1994-1995)
Rev. Gregg Delong (1995-1996)
Rev. George (Bud) Couts (1996-2010)
Rev. Kevin J. Burkholder (2010-present)