History of the Chapel

Liberty Presbyterian Church was founded in 1810 by three families: the Cellars, the McKinnies, and the Monroes. Like many of the pioneering families in Delaware County, they came from the east in search of land, liberty and religious freedom.

Thomas Cellar was born in 1740 in Maryland and served in the Revolutionary War. In the 1770’s, he bought 4,000 acres on the east side of the Olentangy River. In 1801, he decided to permanently locate to Ohio to build a cabin about half a mile north of the current location of Liberty church. His wife, Sarah, joined him a year later and together they raised six sons and three daughters. In 1810, a handful of recent settlers met in the Cellar cabin to organize Liberty Presbyterian Church.

This tiny frontier church was composed of three united congregations—Radnor, Delaware, and Liberty—overseen by a combined Session and sharing one pastor, Joseph Smith Hughes. Pastor Hughes served from 1810-1823. Many of the early worship services were hosted in homes.

In 1820, the Cellar brothers, George and John, contracted to build a Chapel frame for $70. It was a simple 28’x40’ structure with a 12-foot ceiling. Plaster walls, two stoves, plus a pulpit and benches were added in the 1830s. It wasn’t until 1902 that the Chapel’s present belfry and spire were constructed. Electricity was installed in 1934. The first-floor wing was added in 1964, and then a second floor for Administrative offices was constructed in 1979.

The Chapel served Liberty’s congregation for more than 150 years, however, the growing church needed a larger worship facility. Ultimately, a barn structure was chosen, in keeping with the history of the church. Constructed by a crew of Amish from Holmes County, the Barn was dedicated to the glory of God on October 1, 1995. In 2009, the Carriage House was added to provide for the many programs that serve the 1,350 members at Liberty today.