Ebenezer Baptist Church (1878-1970s?)



From Goodspeed's 1889 History of Cole, Moniteau, etc Counties, Missouri:

The Ebenezer Baptist Church of California was dedicated June 16, 1878, Rev W J Burton being pastor.


Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2006 and November, 2010.


From the June 20, 1878 California Democrat:

The Ebenezer Baptist Church of California, Mo., was dedicated to God June 16, 1878 at 2 o'clock p.m.  Sermon on dedication by Rev W P Brooks, of St Louis, Mo. Text Gen. 28th chapter, and it was ably handled by the divine. Dedicatory prayer by Rev J Dane of Jefferson City. Rev D T Ulman of Tipton, Mo., preached at 7 1-2 o'clock p.m., text John 13-17, Subject "How to prosper and be happy." There was over two hundred people upon the consecrated spot.  All the region around High Point, Tipton and California were faithful witness of the dedication and at 10 o'clock p.m. all departed for their homes as Anak giants filled with new wine.     Rev W J Burton, Pastor


In the Loyal Missourian:

Listed J Burton as pastor until May 5, 1880.

Listed J Miller as pastor from May 12, 1880 - September 7, 1881

Listed no pastor from September 14, 1881 until December 1882


From the March 9, 1961 California Democrat:

Ebenezer Church Celebrates 82nd Anniversary Sunday

The Ebenezer Negro Baptist Church celebrated its 82nd anniversary Sunday March 5 with 75 in attendance at the services and basket dinner. The Rev. Arsie Pool is the pastor.


Mrs. Henrietta Moore was the mistress of ceremonies.


The Rev. N. H. Coleman read the scripture and the welcome address was by Mrs. Joanna Johnson.


Mrs. Lurlie Smith gave a history of the church and Theo. Christian gave a talk on "What the Deacons Are to the Church."


The Rev. H. M. Thornton of New Salem Baptist Church delivered the anniversary sermon.


Music was by the church choir, and the soloist was Mrs. Frances Harper of Boonville.


The Ebenezer church was organized in February 1879. It was built on ground purchased from Thomas B. Price and wife for the sum of $75. The church is located on South Taylor and Cora Ave.


The church joined the association in 1904. Rev. John Goins was moderator and Rev. J. B. Gardner vice-moderator.


In 1950 a basement was added to the church building and a hot and cold water system installed. The church is heated with gas.


While the Rev. Horace Hopkins was pastor a Community Choir and a Brotherhood were organized.


Four pioneer members surviving are Mrs. Lou Pennington, Mrs. Mattie Hale, Arthur and Theo. Christian.


The first pastor was Rev. Larry Vilman. The first deacons were H. Christian, Frank Christian, H. Price, J. Gross, J. J. Williams. H. Christian was Sunday School superintendent for 35 years. The pastors salary was the offering taken each Sunday which was from $1.75 to $3.00. the salary of the custodian was $1.00 per month. The salary of the present [1961] pastor is $15.00 per Sunday, and the custodian receives $6.50 per month in the winter and $6.00 in the summer.


During the 82 years the church has had 18 pastors.


The present building was erected under the pastorate of Rev. L. D. Hardiman.


The first church was an old log building bought from the white Baptist Church. It was moved on the present lot. It had one door facing north and was lighted with coal oil lamps around the wall. The first pastor was Rev. Larry Vilman.


The church has a present [1961] membership of 29 with two in military service. Miss Gertrude Harris is the pianist. Deacons are Theo. and Arthur Christian, Frank Moore, Richard Davis, clerk. Other officers are Mrs. Vassie Lawson, Mrs. Lois Roland, Mrs. Henrietta Moore, Mrs. Florence Kelly and Mrs. Lurlie Smith.


This and more of the history of the church was compiled by Mrs. Lurlie Smith.


In the February 4, 1970 Jefferson City Post-Tribune:

The article talks about a rally conducted by members of local churches, it states in the last paragraph: The committee planning the rally announced that an offering will be collected for the Ebenezer Church whose building was recently destroyed by fire.


If anyone has information on this church, please contact Alan Sparks.


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