Despite its long history, Millersburg Christian Church remains an energetic and vital component of the Millersburg community, continually developing worship, fellowship, and mission programs; but the current condition results in many ways from that long history.
Begining around 1817, several families from Millersburg, Kentucky, immigrated to a wilderness area of central Missouri that became the western edge of Callaway County. These included people who were Methodists as well as those following a new revival movement led by Barton Stone who called themselves simply “Christians.” The town of Millersburg, Missouri, was plotted out in 1829.
At first, worshipping in homes, these pioneers constructed a log cabin (1832-33) which both denominations shared. The Christians, who joined with Alexander Campbell’s Disciples of Christ movement in 1831, bought a tract of land in the young town in 1857 and constructed a wood frame building on the present church site. On August 22, 1858, the building was completed and the congregation officially chartered, with Thomas L. Allen, presiding, and 80 members’ names on the rolls.
Many gifted pastors served the Millersburg Christian Church in a part-time capacity over the years, but none with the longevity of R. C. Abrams, pastor from 1926-1948 and again from 1950-52, while also serving as a Professor at Christian College in Columbia. Generally, the church held services and Sunday School once or twice a month until every Sunday (“full-time”) services began in 1978.
The original frame building was remodeled in 1929 to provide more seating in the sanctuary and some Sunday School classroom space. In 1952, the church received a gift of $500. The congregation responded to this generous donation by building a fellowship hall and kitchen.
By the 1970s, the original log foundation of the church had begun to rot. Millersburg Christian Church achieved national denominational attention and acclaim in June 1977 when, under the leadership of Mr. Lawrence Forsee, Chairperson of the church Board of Directors at that time, and the Rev. Dale Angel, Pastor a new sanctuary, classrooms and fellowship hall were built at a cost of $78,000. When the new building was dedicated there was only an $8,337 debt left on the building. This huge effort involved the work of every member of the church. Two themes guided the successful completion of the new structure: “United we stand,” and “Let’s move ahead.” The roots of the past are on dramatic and meaningful display each Sunday in the new Sanctuary. An eight-foot wooden cross was made from two solid 8′ x 8′ roof supports from the original church was fashioned and installed in November 1977.
The dedicated service and loyalty of the membership carries on in the tradition of the church’s pioneers. We join with other churches in Callaway County Ecumenical Ministries and participate in many Mission efforts and projects. We enjoy excellent worship experiences each Sunday along with educational and fellowship opportunities. The past is only the prologue to an exciting future for the Millersburg Christian Church.
For more details on the history of the Millersburg Christian Church, please read the history book that was prepared in conjunction with the sesquicentennial celebration of 2008.
And for even more details, please read the history supplement prepared for our 175th anniversary in 2011.
And now the complete, 116-page book (with both the original 2008 history and the 2011 supplement) is available through Lulu.com. Just go to that site and search for “Millersburg Christian Church”. These would make good presents for anyone interested in the history of the Millersburg community and our church.