Kansas City, Missouri 2021-06-22 22:45:00 –
Chillicothe, Missouri (KCTV)-A small town preserves one of the oldest churches of its kind.
The Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is a local landmark in Chillicothe. Built in 1868, this church is the oldest AME church north of the Missouri River.
The congregation has declined in the last few decades, but I remember many of the towns participating in the service there.
Linda Steward and her family were members of another historic church, the Mountains. The Zion Baptist, where the congregation came to Chile Kote a few years before Bethel was built. Steward said the two churches were closely related and both places felt like home.
“If we weren’t on Mount Zion, we were in Bethel, if we weren’t in Bethel, we were on Mount Zion, it was an intimate community,” she recalled.
In 2018, KCTV5 followed the church on an incredible journey. A group of movers lifted it off the ground and carried it to many places across the town. Grand River Historical Society Museum.
Pam Klingermann, the director of the museum, remembers breathlessly watching the movement.
“I walked with it,” she said. “I had a stroke every time I bumped into it.”
Klingermann turned Bethel’s sanctuary into a museum space. Today, there are exhibits on black history and slavery, as well as replicas of subway quilts.
“I think it’s part of the community, and it tells a story that hasn’t been told before,” Klingerman said.
The museum recently held a dedication ceremony with a choir of descendants of the congregation. Klingerman said more events and concerts will be held.
“It’s important to preserve history,” Klingermann said. “Once it’s gone, it can’t be replaced.”
The restoration of the church is almost complete. The interior is complete, but workers are still replacing the siding. Projects are becoming more and more expensive due to rising timber costs. The museum said they would collect more money from the masses as it was over.
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Historic Chillicothe church restoration nearly complete 3 years after being hauled across town | News Source link Historic Chillicothe church restoration nearly complete 3 years after being hauled across town | News