The Church of God of Licking County started in 1987 without any seed money, property, or other things of value. The first meeting was held at Northside Elementary School in Newark, Ohio. Later that year, the congregation rented the Plymouth United Church of Christ building located on 4th Street to serve as temporary quarters for worship during the next eight years. About one hundred sixty-five people formed the nucleus of the congregation; and, under the direction of Pastor Anthony Bartlette, the church steadily grew.
A New Building
In 1991, the congregation purchased 110 acres of very scenic farm property at 2181 Riggs Road as a permanent site to erect a new church building. The groundbreaking service was held at the site on May 31, 1993, and the first service in the new sanctuary was held on March 1, 1995. The theme for Pastor Anthony Bartlette’s sermon, “To God Be the Glory,” told the whole story. In just seven years and nine months, the congregation had evolved from humble beginnings with no “home” into a unified worship group with a magnificent facility and three hundred plus worshippers.
The Church of God of Licking County Expands
Over its twenty-six year history, a beautiful sanctuary, fellowship hall, and classrooms were complemented with additional projects including a garage, shelter house, playground with swings, campsites with complete camper hookup conveniences, and the recent million dollar addition to the church building. All has changed the property into the improved site that exists today.
From its inception in 1987, the church has been blessed with members who are good, stable givers. Because of this, the congregation has never had a financial calamity of any type. All of the planned property and capital improvements have been completed as expected. Loans, with the exception of the newest loan for the 2013 addition, have been paid in full ahead of schedule. Payments on the 2013 loan for the new addition are on schedule, and the congregation is aggressively working to eliminate this loan ahead of its maturity date. Today, the net worth of the church is valued at three million dollars, and the congregation continues to be very stable in its membership.
A People Eager to Serve God
As senior pastor of the Church of God of Licking County for over 26 years, Bro. Bartlette, along with his wife Donna, faithfully challenges the congregation to live dedicated, faithful lives for God. The congregation continues to grow and has three well attended regular weekly services. It is home to the GospeLife Choir, Ohio Bible College, Vacation Bible School, and Helping Hands Ministry. Revivals are held each spring and fall, and the church hosts a week-long camp meeting each July that features dynamic peaching, inspirational singing, and fun and fellowship for all ages. The camp meeting encourages unity, serves as a source of spiritual renewal, and brings people throughout the United States together to worship. The Church of God of Licking County also supports four foreign missions and encourages missionary visits both to and from the mission fields.