Powers Church

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Free Church
Powers Church Front.jpg
Front of the church
Powers Church is located in Indiana
Powers Church
Powers Church is located in USA
Powers Church
Location Old State Road 1 N., east of Angola, York Township, Steuben County, Indiana
Coordinates 41°38′6″N 84°50′17″W / 41.63500°N 84.83806°W / 41.63500; -84.83806Coordinates: 41°38′6″N 84°50′17″W / 41.63500°N 84.83806°W / 41.63500; -84.83806
Area 0 acres (0 ha)
Built 1876
Architect Calvin & Winn Powers
Architectural style Greek Revival, Italianate
NRHP Reference # 83000149[1]
Added to NRHP March 24, 1983

The Powers Church is a historic church in York Township, Steuben County, Indiana, described as a "fine example of early northern Indiana Colonial Revival architecture".[2] In 1983, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places, where it is listed as Free Church, a reference to the Church's non-denominational nature.[1]

The church was built between 1875 and 1876 for $1827 on land donated by the Powers family, one of the earliest settlers in the area.[3][4] In the 1920s, a dwindling congregation brought an end to the regular services, although the church was still used for funerals and other events until the 1950s, when it was closed.[4][5] The building sat unused until 1976, at which time a restoration effort was undertaken. Restorers found that many of the original furnishings were still serviceable, including the oak and butternut woodwork and pews as well as the carpet. The steeple was most in need of restoration.[4][6]

In 1978, the church was again opened to the public, starting an annual tradition of three monthly non-denominational services – June, July, and August – led by area ministers and featuring local musicians,[7] and often followed by an ice cream social.[5]

The building consists of only two rooms: a small anteroom which leads, via two flanking doors, to the much larger sanctuary. The steeple is accessed via a rough-hewn ladder in the anteroom. Behind the church, to the east, stands a boulder commemorating the arrival of the Powers settlers in 1837, and beyond that lies the 15-acre (61,000 m2) Powers Cemetery, where the first burials date from 1839, nearly 40 years before the church.[8]



  1. ^ a b Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Library of American, Built in America data sheet, Powers Church, accessed September 4, 2009.
  3. ^ Steuben Republican (1937) "Powers Reunion Held on Sunday at Old Farm Site", July 21, 1937, p. 9.
  4. ^ a b c Hulliberger, Melissa S. (2001) "Powers Church still standing the test of time", Steuben Herald-Republican, Steuben Summer, July 7, 2001, p. 7.
  5. ^ a b Sauer, Lee (1993) "Life fills old church three times each summer", Evening Star, June 28, 1993, p. A2.
  6. ^ "Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD)" (Searchable database). Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. Retrieved 2016-07-01.  Note: This includes Marcia Powers (July 1981). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Free Church" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-01. 
  7. ^ KPC News, (2009) "First Powers Church service Sunday", 27 June 2009, accessed August 2009.
  8. ^ Haynie, Devon (2009) "Grave secrets - Old cemeteries offer history lesson, scenic views", Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, July 19, 2009, accessed August 2009.