In the spring of 1795, the ship Maria left Bristol, England for the United States of America. On board was a group of Welsh emigrants, many of whom had a dream of establishing a Welsh community north of the Ohio River. In 1801 that dream came true when Welshmen William & Morgan Gwilym and John Vaughn purchased government land in the Paddy's Run Valley. In 1818, more settlers from Llanbrymair, Montgomeryshire, North Wales arrived in the area & they brought with them a strong heritage of religious dissent and political independence.
An independent preacher from Cincinnati began to labor in the area in 1802. The Constitution & Articles of Faith for the Congregational Church of Whitewater were approved on September 3, 1802.
The fledgling congregation met in a sugar maple grove & in members' homes. The membership grew & by 1823, a house of worship was needed. A brick 'meeting house,' now the Community House, was completed in 1825 adjacent to the historic cemetery (est. in 1821). The old building has undergone several modernizations & is still being used for many church & community events. In the early 1800s, our congregation birthed a daughter Welsh congregation located in Gomer, Ohio - a thriving congregation still in existence today!
Shandon, then known as New London or Paddy's Run Post Office, grew into a thriving community & the Congregational Church grew with it. A larger church building was needed. The present sanctuary was built & dedicated to the Honor & Glory of God in late 1855. In 1914, a chapel area was added to hold Sunday school classes, the sanctuary floor was raised to make room for a modern heating system, & electric lighting was added. By the early 1970s, the building, now over 100 years old, needed a major overhaul. After 2 years of restoration & remodeling, while holding services in the old meeting house, the church reopened for use in 1973. With continued growth, more room was needed for Sunday School. The Christian Education Annex was added & dedicated on Founders' Day 1988.