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Several in Canton, OH: the way things work

December 4, 2017

The complexity of church fracture and spin-off in Canton, Ohio is mystifying. Serendipity led me to a bad image of what purports to be Trinity Reformed Church in Canton, a building giving every indication of having been the design of J. C. Fulton in Uniontown, PA; Fulton’s Neo-Classical formality often masks a rather dynamic interior with full-blown A-A organization, usually not as symmetrical as the exterior. Searching for information and other images of Trinity has led me a merry chase, productive in every way other than my intention.

Trinity Reformed Church, Canton, OH / J. C. Fulton, architect (attributed)

And that image led to a second, better one:

Trinity Reformed Church, Canton, OH / J. C. Fulton, architect (attributed)

In the meantime, however, other Canton churches showed up, including First Christian church, one of the first in the database those many years ago. It may ahve been among the first “institutional” churches we encountered:

First Christian Church, Canton, OH / architect unknown but circa 1903

Then these images of First Reformed Church showed up just to add fuel to the fire:

First Reformed Church, Canton, OH / date and architect not yet known

First Reformed Church, Canton, OH / interior view; date and architect not yet known

What is intriguing about these two views is confirmation of a not-infrequent process of adaptive renovation: here a very tradition mid-19th century Gothic Revival church has been updated some time much later in the century with an Akron Plan Sunday school, attached to the left side of the sanctuary. I also wonder if the pews weren’t reoriented at that time, shifting from a straight-line longitudinal plan to the more familiar radial configuration expected in the A-A. First Reformed has gone through a dizzying list of identification and is now known as the First Church of the Resurrection.

An on-line history of one or the other of these Reformed congregations involved so many differences of doctrine and going-of-separate-ways that I gave up trying to follow both name changes and building histories, for the time being.

One additional mystery appeared on google.maps, however, which will occupy more of my time this afternoon: a church labelled Christ the King Apostolic Church, which would seem to be the new occupant of a church built for another congregation.

Christ the King Apostolic Church, Canton, OH / aerial view (oblique)

Christ the King Apostolic Church, Canton, OH / aerial view

Surely an A-A  plan lurks within.

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