The population of Aboite Township was so scattered and there were so many diverse denominations that it was long before any permanent organization was established. The Rev. James Holman of the Methodist Episcopal Church held the first religious meeting in the township at the home of Richard Andrew in 1834.
In 1842, Enoch Turner donated land for the erection of a building to double as a church and school. The early conditions were so difficult that the regular services called for could not always be held. This building was called "Friendship Church and School." It stood on land close to the plot he had given for a burial ground. By 1880 meetings were held in the Schoolhouse #8 in Section 22.
The story of churches in Aboite differs somewhat from that in most of the other townships. The population was so scattered and the bad roads of the early days of Aboite were largely responsible for the difficulty in church building.
The Bayless Schoolhouse witnessed another group of Methodists who continued to gather as often as a preacher could be found, but never built a church. The Bayless School was on the Liberty Mills Road toward the western township line.
In 1890 the Methodists again tried to establish a church in Aboite Township when they purchased the old Red, White and Blue School on Liberty Mills Road at Homestead Road. The church was closed for several years and reorganized in the 1920s, but only lasted a short time.
In 1849, Levi Moore donated a lot from his farm upon which to erect a church on Covington Road between Scott and Homestead Roads. He stipulated that it should be a Union Church and open to all denominations. The building was never finished, but meetings were held at intervals by various denominations. The building was finally abandoned prior to 1880.
Hope Presbyterian Church was located at the corner of Liberty Mills Road and Homestead Road. It lasted only a few years, probably less than ten. The property was sold to a Baptist church that is still there.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton
Corner of Aboite Center and Homestead roads
In 1988, Bishop John M. D’Arcy announced a new parish would be built to serve the area. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish was formed with its first Mass celebrated by founding pastor Msgr. Robert Schulte at Haverhill Elementary School. Groundbreaking for the new church took place on August 6, 1989, at the corner of Aboite Center and Homestead roads in Fort Wayne. The first Mass in the new building was celebrated on September 8, 1990. It is now the third largest parish in the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese with 140,000 square feet under one roof. A parish and school, as well as a full outdoor football field and rectory, sit on 24 acres. Copied from In MY diocese: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Patrick, Arcola spotlighted by Mariam Schmitz published April 11, 2017 in Today's Catholic News.Back to top