Church of the Week: Walker Chapel, Reily, Ohio

I had the honor of performing a lovely wedding in this church this past weekend. It is a picturesque country church located on Springfield Road in Reily Township (Butler County), near the Indiana border.

Walker Chapel dates back as far as 1819, to a class meeting led by a prominent farmer and miller in the area, George Allhands (apparently misprinted as Allands on the plaque below). Subsequently, the Church was given a lot on which to build, one mile northeast of the present church.

Until 1845 the society worshipped in the school-house adjacent to that lot, which was then sold, and the proceeds applied to the purchase of the lot on which the chapel now stands. The current church was built in 1895, and dedicated by the Rev. George W. Walker, for whom the chapel was named.

According to the current owners, Walker Chapel last functioned as a church six or so years ago. It was recently acquired by private owners, who have beautifully restored and renovated it for use as a wedding chapel and reception hall (last Saturday's wedding was the first to be performed there).

Adjacent to the church is also the Walker Chapel Cemetery. The inscriptions on the tombstones in the graveyard carry burial dates from 1839 to 1876. Among them is the strikingly specific: "Charles CONE born September 12, 1797, died October 12, 1847. He was killed by lightning on the above date about six o'clock in the morning."

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for these pictures. I am a decendent from the Joseph King (1766-1856) family who are burried in the fences in portion of the Walker Chapel cemetery. Joseph's son, Dr. Anderw king is my great, great, great grandfather who donated land for the chapel. His stone reads "A sinner saved by Grace" which has an interesting double meaning since his spouse's name was
    Grace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erin Miller-BurnettMay 25, 2014 at 1:16 PM

      Looking for a link between a Caroline Irwin and a Robert John King. Wondering if this is relation. I grew up on King road, named after Samuel King and J W King.

      Delete
    2. My husband is a descendant of Dr. Andrew King's brother, Joseph Jr. (1803-1999) who married Mary Ann Shera in Indiana. Any luck on finding Joseph Sr. records in Ireland?

      Delete
  2. Thank you for posting these pictures. It brings back many memories. Along with my family, I attended Walker Chapel every Sunday morning through until the mid-1960's. It is so good to see it restored.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was the pastor at Walker Chapel in 1964-65. Whenever I am near that area of Ohio I try to drive by - Good memories...

      -Richard Harden

      Delete
  3. Would you mind sending me the contact information for the current owners of this church? I would love to get married here. Also, if you know of any other simple country churches like this one in Kentucky particular, but also the Ohio and Indiana areas, I would love to know about them.

    My fiancés father is a pastor, but the church currently meets in an insurance company building and I would love to be married by him in a little country church and have a simple reception outside in the church lawn. It is difficult to find old country churches anymore, however, because there isn't much about them on the internet.

    Thank you!
    egnartsarual@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I painted this church from the photo you took above for my father who was a pastor here in the mid-1960s. Here is a link to the painting for anyone who might be interested: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/walker-chapel-in-reily-ohio-glenn-harden.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi all,

      I'm glad the chapel is important to so many. My family and I bought the chapel in 2007 and began the slow process of restoring it. We love this old building and didn't want to see it changed into a house(which is looked like would happen)or worse, see it torn down. If anyone would like our contact info for an event or what have you, you can reach us at shenson@abbottridgefarm.com. Glad so many have good memories of the place!

      Delete