Tipton Christian Church (1858-Present)
From The Illustrated History of Tipton, Missouri 1858-2008:
The Christian Church of Tipton was organized immediately after the founding of the town in 1858 out of the old Pleasant Grove Society. Charter members were Mr. and Mrs. Charles Brookins, Mr. and Mrs. M. Carey, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Stephens, Mr. and Mrs. William Stephens, Dr. Miller and his mother, J. D. Miller.
Prior to the Civil War, the group met at the union church/school building on East Morgan Street. On March 24, 1871, a charter was signed agreeing to unite as a church and call themselves Christians. That charter was signed by Dr. William Redmon, Sarah E. Redmon, Nancy Howard, W. W. Herald, Del Harold, J. T. Huff, Margaret E. Huff, Patsy Huff, W. P. Tooley, Mary Stephens, Martha E. Miller, Phebe Huff and Susan Jones.
In 1871, William Redmon donated a 22 X 40 foot building at the rear of his business on the southeast corner of Osage and Moniteau (later City Hotel) for a church. He also furnished the pews and bell, as well as serving as janitor. That building was used until 1888 when a building was erected at the present site on the west side of Osage Avenue, just north of Cooper Street. That building was dedicated by S. M. Martin, State Evangelist, of Mexico, Missouri on June 23, 1889. At that time, there were 39 members. A Sunday School was organized in the new building with Dr. S. H. Redmon as the first superintendent.
A "protracted meeting" that lasted for several weeks resulted in at least forty-eight additions to the church. The Times reported on November 6, 1890 that "each night brings out an audience that crowds the capacity of the church." The evangelist was Rev. Patterson.
The Times of October 15, 1896 reported that work on the addition to the Christian church was progressing satisfactorily and that two towers were being added to the front through which entry would be made with the previous entry closed.
A Missionary Society was organized in 1894. A revival in 1909 by Rev. Wilson saw ten additions to the church, seven by letter and three by immersion.
The Missionary Society held a St. Patrick tea at the home of Mrs. Quigley on March 17, 1917. "A penny for each letter in each person's full name will be charged for the toothsome things that will be served."
In February 1918, 30 men from the church signed a pledge to pay $30 each for a pastor for full time at the church the coming year. "In addition to these there are others who will donate a like amount, and those who have been assigned the work of soliciting funds are sanguine that this amount can be increased in support of a pastor for all time." In June, Rev. and Mrs. J. A. Jackson and son arrived from Boonville. "Rev. Jackson is employed as pastor of the Christian Church for full time having preached his initial sermon last Sunday, making a favorable impression with his hearers." A meeting was called the next week "for the purpose of organizing a Christian Endeavor Society."
For the next 53 years, the building was remodeled and repaired to meet the needs of a growing church. A farewell service for the building was held on Tuesday evening, April 8, 1941. The next day workmen began tearing down the old church to make way for a new and more modern structure.
Groundbreaking for the new building was held on October 18, 1941. Mrs. S. H. Redmon turned the first spadeful of earth with Rev. Freeman leading a short service. The building progressed as volunteers and donations allowed and was debt-free when completed in April of 1944.
The first meeting held in the new building was an Easter sunrise service on Sunday morning, April 9, 1944. Two days later, on April 11, a revival meeting began with Rev. and Mrs. Charles Nininger of Oklahoma as evangelist and music leader. The Times reported that crowds had overflowed "the beautiful new Christian Church twice since the evangelistic meeting began April 11th." When the revival ended on April 27, 36 new members had been added to the church. Also during the revival period, a Christian Endeavor group was organized for the youth of the church with Mrs. Clay Howard as leader.
Rev. George Igo became minister in 1951 and served for 33 years. Under his pastorate, a new parsonage was built adjoining the church. A new organ was donated by Miss Elizabeth Gilbert in memory of the family of Charles and Hester Harriman Gilbert.
In 1957 a tragedy was narrowly averted. Miss Kay Billingsley went to the church to practice playing the organ on the evening of February 16. "A short in a transformer on one of the ceiling electric lights caused a fire to start." Because of the quick alarm given by Kay, the church was not destroyed. "Damage to the church was in the main auditorium only and to the ceiling and roof, there being no damage to the north wing of the church or to the pastor's home." The loss was covered by insurance. Following repairs, the church was redecorated and refurnished. In 1958, an educational building was completed with five classrooms, a kitchen, and an enlarged fellowship hall.
The bell from the 1888 building still hangs in the belfry. In late 1994, the bell was removed so that a new metal casing and frame could be fitted to stabilize it. After the bell was put back in place, it was re-dedicated on the 51st anniversary of the dedication of the present building.
The sanctuary ceiling was replaced in 1996 and new window lighting was installed. In the last few years, the kitchen and dining room have been remodeled and a nursery has been furnished in memory of Lucille Johnson.
Since 1992, the church has held an annual Sausage Gravy and Biscuit Breakfast to raise money for the church. In the fall, the church hosts a Pizza Party for junior-high-age students following every home high school football game.
The Tipton Christian Church was named the "Rural Church of the Year" by the Missouri School of Religion in 2002. The current (2008) minister is Rev. Frank Eastman from Boonville.
If anyone has information on this church, please contact Alan Sparks.
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Last modified: August 02, 2014