Oct 27, 2013

Historic Preservation Office recognizes local resident

GREENVILLE – Larry Addis of Greenville was presented the Award of Merit from the Ohio Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio Historical Society on Oct. 22 for his “outstanding contribution to historic preservation in Ohio.” The award acknowledged his dedication in the preservation of Zion Wakefield Lutheran Chapel at 7757 Greenville-Celina Road in Greenville.

This is the first time the state office has given this award to a Darke County resident.

The award was presented to Addis at KT Plum on North Broadway by Greenville Mayor Mike Bowers. In accepting it, Addis noted he wasn’t the only one doing the work.

“We had a facilities group of a dozen men,” he said. “We all shared an interest in it. We worked together to get it done.”

The chapel, which was built in 1863, was purchased and reopened in 1984 by the Bible Fellowship Church. Addis began doing some work on it a year later, but the main effort didn’t start until the early 1990s after a new sanctuary had been built. Over the next 20 years he and his volunteers refurbished it, from the floors to the roof. He was the Facilities Director for the chapel and the other structures of the church from 2009 to 2012, retiring a year ago October.

The new sanctuary was built in 1988; an educational wing in 1992 and a larger sanctuary in 1996. The original chapel is still used for youth services and weddings.

An unsung hero in the process is Betty Broderick.

“They (the Historical Society) asked me to nominate someone from Darke County,” she said. Acknowledging her desire to get the chapel on the National Registry of Historic Places, her first thought was of Addis and his work on the church.

“I nominated him in June. They let me know he won in August and scheduled the presentation for Sept. 28 in Columbus,” she added.

Addis had a conflict and couldn’t be there, so the 80-plus-year-old Broderick went on his behalf.

“Yeah, she rode a horse,” quipped her proud daughter Roberta Ditty. “We offered to take her on a motorcycle. She chose the horse instead.”

Broderick said she’s been trying for three years to get the chapel on the Registry.

“They had me measure every inch of the building, inside and out. I took hundreds of pictures. Then they came out and took hundreds more… it belongs on the Registry,” she said. “Since they have recognized Larry, I’m hoping next year will be the year.”

Broderick added her great grandfather provided funding for the land and building of the church in 1863.

Addis, a two term veteran of the Vietnam war, lives in Greenville with his wife, Shirley. He has a son Larry Jr. and a daughter Sherry Pearson living in Greenville. His other daughter, Jennifer Vogelpohl, lives in Alexandria, near Columbus.

“Two out of three stayed in Greenville,” said the lifelong resident. Addis boasts five grandchildren and one great granddaughter.
Larry Addis, recipient of the Ohio Preservation Office Award of Merit, sits with his family prior to the award’s presentation by Greenville Mayor Mike Bowers.

Pictured are Mayor Michael Bowers and Larry Addis.

Larry Addis holds his award. Next to him is Betty Broderick, the lady who nominated him for the award.


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