Liberty Christian Church Records (KC235)
In 1837 about 39 members of two Liberty Disciples of Christ congregations, consisting in part of immigrants from May's Lick, Kentucky, combined to form the Liberty Christian Church. The congregation, led by the Rev. A.H.F. Payne, met in the county courthouse and other buildings until 1839, when they constructed a church building on the corner of Jewell and Mississippi streets in Liberty, Missouri. A second brick church building costing $4,000 was constructed on the church's current site at 427 East Kansas Street in 1852. This building served until 1905, when the present structure was erected, and in 1956, a education building was constructed.
A number of strong leaders have served the church. The Rev. Moses Lard, minister from 1851 to 1857, rose from impoverished beginnings to become a colorful and legendary orator. Lard also helped found the Antioch, Missouri City, and Plattsburg Christian churches. Dr. William Morton, chief elder, is credited with keeping the church intact during the Federal occupation of Liberty during the Civil War. Despite Federal troop orders forbidding church meetings in Liberty, Dr. Morton opened Liberty Christian Church for services.
The church has sponsored many auxiliary organizations and activities. A Bible school for youth was organized in about 1859, and Chi Rho, the Christian Youth Fellowship, and the Disciple Student Fellowship were later formed to provide further opportunities for youth fellowship. Women's activities were boosted when a state chapter of the Christian Women's Board of Missions (CWBM) organized during a state convention of Christian churches in Liberty in 1879. The first local auxiliary group of the CWBM was formed the same year by the Rev. A.B. Jones' wife. The CWBM is now called the Christian Women's Fellowship.
This collection consists of records, reports, booklets, programs, newsletters, correspondence, photographs, and other items relating to the Liberty Christian Church. The materials contain information on the physical construction of the church and its administrative, educational and social functions, as well as church history and local and state history. 1824-1987
344 folders (MICROFORM)
© WHMC-KC, University of Missouri
updated: Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City
(816) 235-1543 WHMCKC@umkc.edu