Baptists, Adventists, Episcopalians, Methodists and Congregationalists were among the religious sects in Stark’s early history. Religion was important to the early families and if they were fortunate enough to own any books at all, the Bible was always nearly one, some times the only book. Sunday services and prayer meetings were held in the homes or in the schools for there was no church edifice.
Not long after the coming of the railroad the citizens of Stark decided to build a church. Solomon Cole, Benjamin Thompson and Andrew Cole were chosen building committee, and business was carried on rapidly. The church was soon completed, and was the finest church for the cost (about $1,050) ever put up in the country.It was not built by any denomination, and is controlled entirely by the pew-owners. It will seat 250 comfortably, and services have been held regularly most of the time since its erection, principally by Methodists and Free Will Baptists.
To raise the cost of construction, the new pews were numbered and appraised. Andrew Cole was appointed to handle their sale. Printed deed forms listing the pew numbers, the buyer, and the consideration were obtained for the purpose.The pews became the property of the new pew owners, their heirs and assigns.
The first list of pew numbers and owners still exists among the papers of the late Andrew Cole. It bears the names of many of the old settlers whose names have long passed into history. Cole, Pike, Smith, Hickey and Potter names appear on this list as do those of Alexander Dewey and George Bell for whom Dewey and Bell Hill were named, Asa Stone, whose farm has been occupied by his direct descendants to the present day, and John Massure, whose name as Justice of the Peace appears on the old deeds.
Preachers of many faiths used the new church. The population increased rapidly and with it church attendance. More space was needed, so an addition was built, making room for the choir and a reed organ. A horse shed was constructed on the river side of the church where horses,wagons and sleds could be protected from rain and snow.