Larry Addis

Larry Addis for his dedication to the preservation of Zion Wakefield Lutheran Chapel, at 7757 Greenville-Celina Road in Greenville

Zion Lutheran Church of Wakefield was founded in 1848 and the congregation worshiped in a log structure until 1863 when the brick church was constructed nearby. The cemetery behind it contains the remains of a number of pioneering settlers who started coming to the area following the signing of the 1814 Treaty of Greenville. One of them was Louis Leis.

Zion Lutheran served its small congregation for over 100 years until it fell into dis-use. In 1984 the Bible Fellowship Church was formed and took ownership of the building, using it for services until a new church complex was constructed on adjoining property. It was at this time that Larry Addis, a lifelong resident of Greenville, made a decision to care for the chapel. Following his service in Vietnam and upon leaving the military, Mr. Addis came back to Greenville and began working on the chapel. This personal ministry has ensured the survival of a bit of Darke County history for generations to come.

With his own time and talent Larry Addis undertook to replace the roof, including a number of damaged rafters, repaired rotted floor joists and re-laid the flooring, repaired leaded glass windows, replaced the wiring, and removed the lovely but very damaging vines that covered the chapel walls. Although other volunteers assisted at times over the 20 years Larry Addis worked on the chapel, it was his dedication and leadership that ensured its preservation. The chapel is used today for youth services and it continues to host weddings and other events.

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Click here  for a list of past Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.