Rev. Francis McCormick (1764-1836), a pioneer preacher of Methodism, is according to the local historians, the first settler in what is presently known as Milford, Ohio. He fought alongside his fellow Virginians for Independence during the Revolutionary War. He served under Lafayette at Yorktown. In 1796 he was given a thousand-acre land grant in the state of Ohio. Upon arrival he built a log cabin on the hill of what is now 1000 Forest Avenue. The next year (1797) he set about founding the first Methodist Class in the Northwest Territory. In time he birthed the Salem Methodist Episcopal Church. The inscription on his tombstone is telling:
Consecrated to the memory of the Rev. Francis McCormick. Who was born in Frederick County Va, 1764. Served part of two campaigns in the American Revolution and was at the taking of Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1790. Attached himself to the Methodist E. Church in -92, was licensed to preach in 95, removed to Ky in 97, to then northwestern Territory now State of Ohio near Milford in Clermont County where he formed the first class in 1805 removed to this place in -11. Was elected a member of the Legislature and filled other offices by appointment & Election. He died in -36. Being 72 years old. His mansuetude (meekness) and snavity (pleasantness) of manner endeared him alike to all. His time … house & money were all spent in the establishment & promotion of the M.E.C. He treasured not up of this world’s goods but garnered to himself riches as enduring as time and lasting as Eternity.
This is a very interesting historical fact. Our American holiness forbears have preached the Gospel and labored for the cause of righteousness. More than two and a quarter century (226 years) have come and gone, but the banner of Scriptural holiness is carried forward by another generation equally as determined to winsomely represent Jesus Christ in this part of His worldwide Kingdom.
The last Sunday of April (April 30, 2023) I had the privilege of attending and preaching in the ‘Grand Opening’ service of this newest God’s Missionary Church. Forty-nine people attended that beautiful Sunday morning. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost were all very present. Matt and Joy Barnett sang. Pastor Steve Harvey conducted the service. The congregation was diverse. A family of 6 from Romania (met the day before at Target), some GBS college students, the Pastor’s wonderful family, and many precious folks from the community. There is a solid core group of committed Christians here who are shouldering under the cross and lighting a candle of hope in Milford.
The church congregation operates a food pantry every other week. Between 40 to 60 families are benefiting from this ministry. God is helping. There is spiritual growth among the congregants. The vision of Pastor Harvey and Brother Dominic Gatone (GBS ministerial student and raised in our Lebanon God’s Missionary Church) is bold and I believe in short order they will win the day.
Pray for them. Pray there will be many converted. Pray for divine leadership to a more suitable and permanent location. Pray for the church to be established in the fire of God’s glory and presence. Pray for finances to be given for the purchase of property as God wills.
I continue to pray for 10 churches in 10 years. God is answering prayer. Another church to launch soon. Stayed tuned and please continue to support in prayer and finance.
Under Orders! The Gospel to every Creature.