OUR HISTORY

 

 

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was born almost 200 years ago. Kentuckian Barton W. Stone in 1804 ended Presbyterian ties to become a "Christian only" church. Thomas Campbell and son Alexander, also Presbyterians, founded the Brush Run Church in 1811, seeking union of all Christian on a, non-theological basis centering on the Bible and the presumption that a reasonably intelligent person can understand the Scriptures and determine God’s will as it pertains to himself. Barton W. Stone’s movement called themselves the "Christian Church," while the Campbell’s’ formation preferred the name "Disciples of Christ." When the two like fellowships shook hands, and merged in 1832 at Lexington, Kentucky, they were known by either moniker as the movement spread rapidly along the frontier through the evangelistic energy of Walter Scott and the philosophy and statesmanship of Alexander Campbell. It was only in 1968 that the denomination finally married her two names and became officially the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Many of our church ancestors migrated to Missouri from Kentucky in the 1830’s. A number came from the Mayslick Church, a large Baptist church which, under the influence of reformer Barton W. Stone and evangelists, Walter Scott and "Raccoon" John Smith, split, forming also the Mayslick Christian Church. (Both these churches are in existence today.) Some of our charter members were also charter members of the Mayslick Christian Church including our first minister, Augustus H. F. Payne.

Our early church members were pioneers pushing west in covered wagons, by horseback, riverboat and ferry. In this rugged setting, our pioneer forefathers and foremothers brought their faith, worshipping in homes. On April 9, 1837, the Liberty Christian Church was formed with 38 charter members. It was then called the "Church of God". Rev. Augustus H. F. Payne soon wrote a letter to Alexander Campbell that this congregation was meeting weekly; had elected two bishops and three deacons. They first met in an old stone house which had been discarded by the Calvinistic Baptist Brethren and in 1839, built our first church home, the first of our three church buildings. The original structure of our present building was built for a total cost of $30,000. The three stained-glass windows in the sanctuary were obtained when a church in Cincinnati, Ohio, changed its order leaving the windows without a buyer. We purchased and installed them for $2,200. Construction began in 1905; dedication on February 17, 1907.

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