Darke County Genealogical Researchers > Church Records > Jackson St. Church

Jackson Street Church, Greenville

This history of the Apostolic Pentecostal Church located on Jackson St., Greenville, Darke Co., OH, was related to me by my mother, Sheila Marie (Sparks) (Statler) Fowble.
The cement block Pentecostal church on Jackson St. in Greenville, Ohio was born out of the Apostolic Pentecostal Church, UPC, in Lynn, Indiana, pastored by Rev. "Mac" MacFarland in the 1930's. It was in the Lynn church that Earl Sparks was saved. Rev. MacFarland began another Apostolic Pentecostal Church, member of the UPC "United Pentecostal Churches" organization, at a storefront close to "Basil Grubb's" electric & plumbing shop around the year 1940 in downtown Greenville, Darke Co., Ohio. Rev. MacFarland chose Earl Sparks to pastor it. After he lost the lease on the storefront, they began holding services at Sis. Menzel's house on Sweitzer St.

Earl Sparks' church congregation bought property on Jackson St. in 1941 and began building the large cement block church there. Rev. Sparks held church in the little house at 928 Jackson St. next to the property, until the main building was completed. Once the sanctuary was completed, the little house next door became the church parsonage. The first parishoners of the Jackson St. Apostolic Pentecostal Church, UPC, were Bro. John Menzel and his mother; Bro. Ed Cordell and family; Sis. Evans, who lived on Gray Ave.; Sis. Mildred and Bro. Glen Delaplaine; Sis. Mae "Grandma" and Bill Dickey; Sis. Pauline Dickey, and her husband who was killed at the Battle of the Buldge - service held in the sanctuary; Sis. Pauline's daughter, Sis. Wanda Lynn Dickey; Sis. Edith Smith; the Campbell's; Bro. Eugene C. Statler and family; Bro. Raymond and Sis. Suzie Lavy of Bradford; the Van de Grift's; the Brickler's from Stillwater; the McGlothin families, and the Bingham family.

Other pastors who followed, up to the 1970's, were Rev. Bro. Stanley Napier, Rev. Bro. Eston Poling, Jr., and Rev. Bro. Berry.

Biographical Source: Sheila Marie Sparks, eldest daughter of Earl Sparks. Earl's wife, Leona Fern (Harris) of Wayne Co., IN, and their children played musical instruments and sang at the services every week. Sheila and her mother were responsible for keeping the church clean and in order.

Note: Earl's son, Robert James Sparks is a Pentecostal pastor in Tazewell, TN. His daughter, Roberta Jane (Collins), and Robert's twin sister, is married to a Non-denominational preacher in Urbana, Champaign Co, OH. Sheila, her daughter, Jeannie Geerts and Jeannie's son, Andrew Geerts, make up a Gospel singing group called "River of Peace".

Written by Sharon Marie Statler, November 2002