Batavia Presbyterian Church

Established December 19, 1829

A Brief Account of History . . .

A book and a movie popped into my thoughts as I read the history of Batavia First P.C. The Little Engine That Could exemplifies the uphill climbs this church employed faith and passion to conquer. In fact, the history of this church reads as a long list of ministers, slow building projects, and roller coaster membership numbers. Staying focused on the lists and numbers you miss the underlying Christ-like beliefs and unbreakable faith in Our Lord.

Full History of Batavia PC:

Field of Dreams, is the movie – “Build it and they will come.”

The cornerstone of a new church was laid on April 23, 1860. This was enacted, after 10 years of inactivity, by the “sixteen women and two old men who had remained loyal to the church. . . ” In December of 1858 they decided to raise funds for a new church, “build it and they will come,” since their current place of worship was “dilapidated.” During the completion of this new place of worship a Rev. J. L. French arrived and decided to stay on, “That these people were building a church spoke well of the confidence of God in this little band.” Under his leadership the church membership grew.

Notable Historical Moments:

  • The 1839 Resolutions
  • The 16 women and two men raising funds, after 10 years of no activity, to build a new church in December 1858
  • April 1940 – First woman, Emma Wilke, on Board of Trustees
  • 1963 – Finally, four years after 1st attempt, a female elder!  Ethel Crowe!
  • And its tie to Harriot Beecher Stowe and the Underground Railroad

The 1839 Resolutions . . .

Reading these resolutions I thought, ‘boy would I be in constant trouble!’ And then I wondered what would happen if we had the equivalent resolutions for our world today? How many of us would be guilty of “unchristian conduct?”

The following resolutions express the complete effort to walk “the walk” of Jesus. And in doing so the origins of this church believed firmly in the following:

  • “Resolved, That we will not hereafter admit as a member to this church any individual who shall make, sell, or use as a beverage, intoxicating drinks.”
  • Second, “Resolved, That if any member of this church shall be known to use, make or sell intoxicating drinks as a beverage, they shall be dealt with as guilty of unchristian conduct.”
  • Third, “Resolved, That we will not permit any minister who is guilty of the sin of slavery, to occupy our pulpit.”
  • Fourth, “Resolved, That we will not receive members from slave holding churches into our fellowship, without examination.”

What historical resolutions do you think your church had? Or should have today?

How does Batavia PC serve today?

Assisting their neighbors in obtaining needs at low or no cost is one area Batavia PC practices weekly.


  • an annual event connected to the village-wide yard sale. Items are priced low to help those in need.

Years of such contributions makes Batavia PC a well-known, must-stop location.

This leads to opportunities of greater service. “For example,” Margaret Krueger shares, “recently we were contacted by Job and Family Services in Clermont County to assist with some newly placed families, in homes, who did not have ANY belongings.” These families were welcomed to THE MISSION GARAGE, where they were gifted all they needed.



  • a clothing pantry – free of charge

This outreach grew from the abundance of clothing donations received for The Mission Garage.

Prior to covid this was a monthly event serving 7-10 families. Currently free items are put out with the Blessing Box.

Many coats found bodies to warm this past winter!


  • a “pantry” box located on the porch of the church office.

It is stocked, weekly, with food items (donated by congregants and a neighboring subdivision) for those in need to take.

This effort is part of a larger community push. There are several Blessing Boxes throughout the county, mostly at schools.

photo provided by Cindy Kay Sullivan-Clark