The United Brethren Church was first organized in Hudson in 1843. The church was located at what is now known as “Holsinger’s Corners” ½ mile north of Hudson. John K. Johnson & his brother, Frank & wife, came from Ohio and started the Steuben circuit by going to different schoolhouses on horseback, preaching and holding revivals. They later built churches known then as: Bethesda (Hudson), Mt. Zion, Pleasant View, Salem Union and Pleasant Lake.
The original church of the Bethesda Class (Hudson) was built ½ mile north of Hudson in 1870-71. It was a frame building 33’ by 44’. In later years, it was moved to Hudson and used as an onion storage building. The owners, Mr. & Mrs. Carl Hardy, gave the building to the church several years later after it was no longer used. It was remodeled to become what was the Fellowship Hall.
In the spring of 1887, the congregation felt the urgent need for a new house of worship. The new church was completed in the fall of 1887. In October of 1987, our church celebrated the 100th anniversary of the church building.
A new Fellowship Hall was built in 2008. The new structure sets behind the church. It features an open kitchen, a pastor’s office, a conference room, a large hall area, classrooms & bathrooms. The local fire departments burned the old hall in February 2009.
Other United Brethren churches in the region include: Living Grace, north side of Ft. Wayne / Hopewell, south of Auburn / Corunna, in Corunna / Clearview, south of Goshen. There are also UB churches in northwest Ohio in Bryan & Nettle Lake. Churches in southern Michigan include Coldwater, Camden & Hillsdale.
The Hudson UB Church is part of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, a small evangelical denomination based in Huntington, IN.
The United Brethren church is the first denomination to begin in the United States. Up to that time, there were plenty of denominations, but they were transplanted from Europe. We are the first American-born denomination. For whatever that's worth.
We started in Pennsylvania in 1767, when two preachers from very different backgrounds met at a big barn meeting. The tall and well-educated William Otterbein, a German Reformed minister, was deeply impressed with the message by Martin Boehm, a small Mennonite who had spent much of his life as a farmer. As soon as Boehm finished, Otterbein walked up to him, embraced him, and proclaimed, "We are brethren." That's where our name came from.
Those two men spearheaded a loose movement for about 30 years. Then, in 1800, the group decided to get organized. They adopted an official name--Church of the United Brethren in Christ--and chose Otterbein and Boehm as the top leaders. They called them "bishops."
And we grew from there. By the mid-1800s, the church had spread across the country, and had established mission work in West Africa and Germany. A whole wagon train of UB people traveled across the western US to Oregon, where they settled and started churches.
Today, about 200 United Brethren churches are scattered among 15 countries, with a total membership of around 47,000. The headquarters for the United States churches and the denomination's only college, Huntington University, are located in Huntington, Ind.
About 200 churches are located in the United States, where it all started. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana account for most of the American churches, though we have churches scattered all around the country--Florida, Texas, California, Washington, Idaho, New York, and elsewhere.
We also have churches in these countries: Canada, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Jamaica, Haiti, India, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Sierra Leone, the Philippines, and Mexico.