DAYTON, Ohio—Mount Enon Missionary Baptist Church is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year as well as its newfound historical ties to the Wright family.
Church and community leaders underscored that connection on Saturday, Nov. 14 with the dedication of an Ohio Historical Marker that describes the church’s history.
Located at 1501 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Way (1501 W. Third St.), the Mount Enon Church began as the Euclid Avenue United Brethren Church, whose leaders included Milton Wright, a bishop of the church and father of airplane inventors Wilbur and Orville and their siblings Reuchlin, Lorin and Katharine. Milton was present at the laying of the cornerstone on May 28, 1911 and the congregation included Orville and Katharine, according to the marker.
A small band of Baptized Believers formed in 1925 and became the Mount Enon Missionary Church. In 1962, the congregation purchased the former Euclid Street United Brethren. The church is in the Wright-Dunbar Village area, where the Wright family and poet Paul Laurence Dunbar lived.
Tony Sculimbrene, executive director of the National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA), attended the dedication ceremony and spoke on behalf of Wright family descendants Amanda Wright Lane and Stephen Wright, who represent the Wright Brothers Family Foundation, a NAHA partner. Both were traveling that day.
“With the installation of this marker today, Mount Enon becomes a partner with the Alliance as it tells the story of what has taken place at this location, from the very beginning, with the presence of Bishop Wright at the laying of the cornerstone, to the establishment of one of the most vibrant congregations in the Dayton community today,” Sculimbrene said.
The church’s historical connection to the Wrights surfaced in research by its Historical Ministry Committee in connection with its anniversary. The research also found the Red Cross credited the church with sheltering and providing care for victims of the Great Dayton Flood of 1913.
A part of the Ohio Historical Markers program, the Mount Enon marker is the 20th in Montgomery County and the second church to be honored, according to Mount Enon.