From Ohio History Central
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The first Congregationalists to come to the New World were the Pilgrims in 1620. The faith grew quickly, eventually expanding westward. Congregationalists arrived in the Northwest Territory during the late 1700s. People on the frontier appreciated having a greater say in the teachings and practices of their churches. Most of Ohio's Congregationalists came from the New England area. In 1809, they constructed the first frame church in Ohio at Marietta. Most Ohio Congregationalists originally settled in the Connecticut Western Reserve. Due to the small number of church buildings, ministers, and schools in the region, the Congregationalists and Presbyterians shared their resources. By the 1820s, most major Ohio towns and cities, including Columbus, Cincinnati, and Marietta, had Congregationalist churches. The Congregationalists also established numerous communities in the state, including Berea, Oberlin, and Tallmadge. The most important Congregationalist in Ohio during the early nineteenth century was probably David Bacon. Bacon actively sought Native American converts to Congregationalism, achieving only limited success. He also was responsible for the founding of Tallmadge. Ohio's Congregationalists also were early advocates of higher education, establishing Oberlin College in 1833, Marietta College in 1835, and Defiance College in 1850. Oberlin College was the first school in Ohio to actively seek African-American students. It also was the first coeducational college in the United States.