First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) at 1101 Broadway in Hannibal, Mo., will celebrate its 175th anniversary with an old-time service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 6.
Those attending may choose to dress in period attire. Pastor Steve Barker will lead the service. The Bethany Bell Choir will perform.
In keeping with an earlier style of worship, the women and children will sit on the west side of the sanctuary, with the men on the east side.
Former ministers of the church were invited to the celebration, and all are planning to attend.
Among its latest ministries is opening Sara’s Place, an end-of-life home offered for anyone in Hannibal.
The church also provides Wee Care Day Care/Preschool.
Current staff members in addition to Pastor Barker are Mariah Weyand, youth minister; Anita Groner, office manager; Anita Foster, day care director; and Jason Lovelace, custodian.
Church members have explained that when the church was founded in 1838, the original congregation was told it would never last. However, the church is continuing to grow and prosper.
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was the first denomination founded on American soil. Its roots came from the Scottish Presbyterian.
The First Christian Church in Hannibal first met in homes. In 1848 the church purchased a lot at Third and Sixth streets, and built its first building. Alexander Campbell preached in this church in 1853 and 1859.
In 1878 property at Church and Fifth streets was purchased, and this building had two innovations: a baptistry and gas lights. This site is currently the Hannibal Free Public Library.
The present church at 1101 Broadway was built on property purchased in 1889. It had a pipe organ, electric lights and a furnace.
The Dulany family donated property and funds for the religious education building, the Dulany Memorial Building east of the church.
The first pastors included Elder Jacob Creath Jr., then Dr. D.L. Morton, who served without a salary, being a physician with a large practice.
L.B. Wilkes followed him. The next pastor was William Hatch, father of Congressman William Henry Hatch, whose statue is in Central Park.
The public is invited to attend the celebration service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.