In a tearful closing worship service that also captured much of the love and laughter in Christian Service, New Franklin Christian Church in Howard County, Missouri claimed the resurrection of Jesus Christ and let go of life in this world. A full house filled the 114 year-old building to hear once again how God's love lives and never dies through testimonies and a montage of music that was played and sung throughout the years. Its proud history included Maj. Barton Stone, Jr. forming a Sunday School class in 1879 and receiving a stained glass window from the Katy Railroad after the church was instrumental in helping the town recover from a devastating flood, to recent ministry milestones.
New Franklin CC has been served by the Rev. Paula Ritchie and Greg Robinson who bid farewell along with former pastor, Roger McMurry and church leaders. Rev. Dr. Paul Koch, Regional Minister Team officially pronounced the final words that as of July 31, 2016 it is "no longer a meeting place of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)."
Plans are for the building to be used by a neighboring Baptist congregation for two months while their sanctuary is being remodeled. After that, the gorgeous refurbished stained glass windows, crafted communion table, pulpit, pews and other items will be removed and sold, with the building being razed to possibly establish a city peace park in New Franklin. A trust will support the park with excess proceeds going to the Howard County Pastoral Unity Council of Churches. Dr. Koch was also presented a check supporting our Mid-America Ministry Support Fund.
Story and photos courtesy of Paul Koch.