The Lake Gage Congregational Church was organized November 19, 1889. At that time several churches from the vicinity met at the Lake Gage School as a council; the question at hand was whether or not to declare it expedient for the Lake Gage organization to conduct public services. The churches sent delegates to this council; they were as follows: Deacon S. A. Moss from Angola; Rev. T. T. Egerton, and Charles Cook from East Gilead; Rev. J. R. Preston and C. L. Dewey from Fremont; A. Partridge, S. V. Scott and M. T. Rose from Orland; Rev. J. R. Preston from Ontario.
The Church had a meeting to elect three trustees for the Congregation. Elected were Fremont Bachelor, Joseph Butler and Melvin Van Wagner. The charter members of the Church were J. Fremont Bachelor, Mrs. Nattie Bachelor, Mr. J. Van Wagner, Mrs. Mary Van Wagner, Mrs. Abner Shipe, Miss Etta Morse, Mrs. Lyman Pierson, Mrs. Will Johnson, Mrs. Oliver Miller, Mr. Frank Brown, and Mrs. Frank Brown. A. A. Luce acted as moderator at this meeting and Rev. J. R. Preston as scribe. The records of the founding of the Church were notarized by Thompson Terry, Justice of the Peace and were filed in the records of Deeds Office in Angola.
The present Church building was erected in the year 1890 and was dedicated January 1, 1891. Mr. and Mrs. Samuel H. Clark sold the ground to the trustees for $20.00, which is located about one-half mile east of Lake Gage on the first four corners. Rev. D. L. Travis was pastor at the time the church was built and was instrumental in making the building program a success.
The church was active until 1941, when the doors were closed.
In 1947, a group of people from the neighborhood met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Terry, which is across the road from the church to discuss the opening of the doors again. Rev. John Arnot, pastor of the Orland church helped get the church going again. After fixing some broken windows, rebuilding the chimney and getting a new heater, the church was going again.
In 1954, it was decided to build a basement under the church. The basement was dug and the church was moved back onto the new basement. Extensive repairs were made at that time. Several public suppers were held to defray the cost of moving.
In the year 1961, more work was done on the church, new windows were installed, storm windows added and tile put down on the floors.
Over the years, many projects such as putting carpet, remodeling the kitchen, painting the outside and acquiring more land for a parking lot. Just recently vinyl siding was put on the church.
Many bake sales, public suppers, donations and volunteer work have made it possible to preserve the church.
Many of our members are either deceased or moved away, but from time to time the church has new people in to help keep the work of the church going.
The pastors over the years that have served the church were, Rev. John Arnot, Rev. J. Morgan Reese, Rev. Charles Rix, Rev. Bixler, Rev. Gerry Bright, Rev. Boyd Grove, Rev. Orlo Munger, Rev. Davies, Rev. John Long and the present pastor, Steve Altman.
The early ministers were Rev. Spear, Bonney, Preston, Glen Simpson Swambough and Elder Stewart.
Source: Article in the filing cabinet, Steuben County Library, no date or author given.
Submitted By: Jean Ann Childers