Massillon’s religious heritage began in the early 1800s, with Quaker, Methodist and Episcopal influences; early residents of Massillon, Thomas and Charity Rotch, William Henry and James Duncan, all played unique rolls in beginning Massillon’s religious journey. Members of the city’s initial congregations often met in private homes, the township hall or the local Hogan and Harris Hall, and conducted their meetings in their native languages, as Massillon had a large Irish and German population. Religious practitioners and facilities have diversified and multiplied during the past 200 years to serve an ever-growing population whose tastes range from contemporary to traditional.
Massillon’s church landscape is as varied as the congregations they serve. A scan of Massillon’s skyline will reveal historic steeples and Gothic spires, while a visit to Massillon’s High School gymnasium will manifest a church meeting in a most unlikely place. St. Mary Church, St. Timothy’s Church and First United Methodist Church are recorded on the National Register of Historic places and serve traditional congregations rooted in their history, while Rivertree Christian Church, founded in 1964, conducts a contemporary service containing modern music and messages to appeal to younger generations. With more than 50 churches in the greater Massillon area, services are offered for a wide range of denominations.
Clubs and organizations also provide social and educational outlets for community members, as dozens of organizations keep Massillon’s residents informed and involved. Massillonians enjoy socializing at local fraternal organizations; volunteering for the Lions Club and Salvation Army; or meeting with the Radio Club, Car Club or the Tiger Booster Club. Massillon has a club for every special interest!