PARIS, Mo. – The Granville Christian Church in rural Monroe County celebrated its first “Bring Your Tractor to Church Sunday” on March 16.
About five farm families huddled in the cabs of their tractors as they traveled through a snowstorm to the little country church located about 10 miles northwest of the county seat in Paris.
“It’s a celebration of agriculture and planting season,” said Rev. Fran Schnarre, who farms with her husband in Boone County. Farmers, retired farmers and others who work in agriculture-based businesses fill most of the church’s pews.
Schnarre serves as director of educational ministries for Mid-America Center for Ministry, formerly the Missouri School of Religion, in Jefferson City. The group offers on-line training for pastors of small congregations.
Sheila Harrison, a vocalist and guitarist with Grandma’s Country Music Show of Florida, Mo., sang for the 55 members who attended, a larger than normal crowd.
Rev. Schnarre spoke about needs of farmers in developing nations and the blessings of American farmers.  
Farm-themed centerpieces decorated the table at a carry-in dinner and “friendly discussion over which tractors are the best – green, red or orange,” was common, Shnarre said. Members were encouraged to wear their farm work clothes to the Disciples of Christ church services.
The idea came from a RFD-TV feature on antique tractors being driven to church. Schnarre’s husband had seen the feature and thought it would be a good addition to the annual farmer appreciation day held at the church. Granville farmers were grateful for their modern tractors with enclosed cabs on the windy, snowy day, she said.