The History of Two Ridges Presbyterian Church
The Building Blocks of Our Church
The Two Ridges Cemetery is actually older than the church itself, with the first burial being Josiah Price in 1801. The Ohio Presbytery approved the "congregation of the Two Ridges" on October 19, 1802 at a meeting at West Liberty.
Early records of the church are sparse, as church meetings were held in various homes in the area for the first twenty years that the congregation existed. The first structure to serve as a church building was erected in 1810 in the cemetery. It was made of hewn logs and was used primarily in the winter months. A second structure was built in 1818 in the cemetery and was improved over time.
In 1853, a new building was constructed on the hilltop that sits east of the cemetery. That building existed when the Raiders of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan passed through the area in July 1863. A skirmish took place near the church, with one of the Union forces killed in the conflict and buried in the Two Ridges Cemetery. A 1913 monument sits in the front yard of the church commemorating the event.
A new Manse, the house for the Pastor, was constructed in the 1890s about a mile from the church, replacing an earlier home constructed in the 1860s. That Manse was sold and a new house was constructed in 1936 next door to the church building. That Manse was removed from the site in 2016.
In 1887, the previous church building was dismantled and pieces salvaged to be reused in the new building. The current church building, known to area residents as the white church with the red doors, was served as a sentential on Two Ridges ever since. In 1970, an educational building and fellowship hall were added to the 1887 building.
The famed steeple of the church building was carefully removed from its rest in 2001 and lifted down to the parking lot, allowing a contractor to replicate and return the new steeple back into its familiar spot. In addition, the bell was returned to the steeple to toll the beginning of worship like it has always done.
A major highway project was undertaken in 2006-2007 by the Ohio Department of Transportation to reconstruct State Route 43 and 646 around the church. Today, the church building appears to be higher on its mount with the lowering of the roadway.
The earliest church records date to 1820 when the first Session records are recorded. Actual membership records begin about 1838 and are sporadic through the years. No burial records exist, but cemetery monument readings were done in 1940 and 1996.
Many of the records of Two Ridges Presbyterian Church have been transcribed and are contained on the local library system's digital database of local history information called The Digital Shoebox found at www.digitalshoebox.org.
Two church histories have been written including a Centennial History written in 1902, and "A brief history of the Two Ridges Presbyterian Church" by Rev. Vernon P. Martin in 1952. Both are digitized and online at the above site. Paper copies of all of this information can be found at:
Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County
Local History and Genealogy Collection
Schiappa Branch Library
4141 Mall Drive
Steubenville, OH 43952