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Churches by Denomination

Cole County Christian Churches

A congregation of 19 members established a Church of Christ in Jefferson City, July 5, 1838. A Christian Church group of 23 members was organized in December 1850. Both of these congregations apparently failed soon after they were founded. In the mid 1850’s when Alexander Campbell, a founder of the Disciples of Christ movement, visited Jefferson City, he worshipped at the Presbyterian Church, finding no Christian Church congregation here.

The Christian Church of Jefferson City was organized in 1873, largely through the efforts of R. D. Shannon, the private secretary of Gov. Silas Woodson. He found eight or ten members in the city among them W. C. Boone, wife and daughter, Mrs. A. M. Lay, John T. Sears and Miss Alice Sears, and arranged for a meeting on Sunday for social worship and communion in the home of the small but earnest band, the services being conducted by Messrs. Boone and Shannon.

As their numbers increased the necessity for a permanent place of worship became imperative. While the subject of a church building was recognized, they were not financially able to undertake the erection of a building and met temporarily in a small brick house south of the State Armory, and afterwards in the old M. E. stone church behind the Madison House Hotel, then in the old Court House. In the meantime Maj. J. M. Clarke and his wife had become members of the organization, also John Walker, State Auditor, and Mr. Shannon, who had been elected State Superintendent of Public Schools. Major Clark offered to donate a suitable lot provided funds were raised for a building. Some $3,000 was collected in the city and state and Major Clark deeded the lot at Main and Adams Street and in 1883 the cornerstone was laid on the building pictured above. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. J. W. Montjoy.

The first Pastor was J. M. Gibson who came from the Bible College in Lexington, Kentucky. The Elders of those days included Dr. Shannon, Mr. Boone and later W.E. Coleman, State School Superintendent. Mrs. W.T. Carrington and her husband moved to Jefferson City about that time, and she was active in the church. Mr. Carrington belonged to another church then.

The next pastor was A.E. Carter who gave part time to the work for $50 per month. J. H. Garrison, editor of “The Christian Evangelist”, came up occasionally from St. Louis to preach here. The Walker, Noland and Sebree families were active members.

J. T. Boone, who had been a large figure in the Christian Churches in Jacksonville, Florida, was a Jefferson City pastor from about 1890 to 1893. W. W. Warren, father of Mrs. C.B. Corwin, followed for a time but increased duties at the prison caused him to give up his pastorate. He was succeeded in brief terms by Brothers J. F. Rowlison and Van Kirk. In April 1893, the Sunday school had thirty-five when Mr. Speed Mosby was Superintendent. (He later joined the Catholic Church.)

The church entertained her first State Convention in October 1899. At that time Rev. J. P. Pinkerton was the pastor. His ministry lasted from 1898 to 1902 and under his guidance the congregation contemplated enlargement and improvement of their house of worship.

The congregation had grown to 125 members by 1900. The auxiliaries of the church included the Society of the Christian Workers, of which Mrs. W. T. Carrington was President, Mrs. C. A. Ware, Vice-President and Mrs. G. L. Williams Secretary and treasurer. The Young Ladies’ Guild, Miss Stella Murray, President, met Thursday afternoons at the home of one of the members. The Sunday school had an enrollment of 100 members of which Charlton Corwin was Superintendent and George L. Williams Secretary and Treasurer. The Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, Mrs. Nanon Barret, President and George L. Elston, Secretary and Treasurer, met each Sunday evening.

The members of the business board were F. M. Brown, President, George L. Elston, Secretary and Treasurer, G.C. Ramsey, W. T. Carrington, J. W. Heskett and W. J. Wright. The deacons were Wood Noland, Charlton Corwin, G. C. Ramsey, G. L. Williams, J. W. Heskett, G. L. Elston, clerk; trustees, Wood Noland, G. C. Ramsey.


Brother E. B. Redd followed Rev. Pinkerton for a few months. In September 1902, Crayton S. Brooks became Pastor. He received statewide reputation for the exposure of crookedness in the State Legislature. About 1905 Brother J.C. Bennet occupied a brief Pastorate.


E.B. Widger came to Jefferson City in 1906 after a good record as a church builder east of the Mississippi. The congregation had talked new building for five or six years and under his leadership the cornerstone for a new auditorium was laid in 1907; the building was dedicated June 13, 1909. The debt was reported as $15,574.02. Rev. Widger died later that year and was never able to use the building he had been so large a factor in constructing. A $3,000 pipe organ was an added piece of equipment.

J. L. Thompson had a brief Pastorate in 1910 and in 1911 A.R. Liverett was called to the pulpit. He was another hard worker, known to some as the “Bicycle Preacher” and to many he was a great Christian tonic. The church was incorporated in 1914. Among the Elders at the close of his ministry were E.G. McGee and Charles Maus. The Deconate included Arthur Adams, Arthur Scruggs, Dr. Hill, Fred Stray, Warren Ward, S.W. Shammel, L. Withaup and Emmet Roberts. Mrs. Crook, Mrs. Roesen, Mrs. Heinrichs, Mrs. Lindner, Mrs. Slate and Mrs. Party were Deaconesses.

Robert M. Talbert became pastor in 1918, about the end of World War I. Soon he went to France in Y.M.C.A. work but while he was gone the congregation carried on with Horace Clay as Board Chairmen. At the same time the old building debt was cleared up under the direction of J. Kelly Pool and with the aid of Christians out in the state. The Berean Bible Class, taught by Mr. Pool, was the largest Sunday School Class of its time in Jefferson City and had a long history of effective work in the Church and community. Brother Talbert had the longest Pastorate up to his time and he and Liverett were Chaplains in the Legislature while in the city.

A needed Education Building was planned and begun in 1926. The cornerstone was laid in November 1932, and the dedication was in 1935. The debt on this building was again $15,000.

For many years the Sunday school and the Women’s Council were the most active organizations in the congregation. For some time Miss Jane Brewer was supported as a “Living Link Missionary” in Mexico. The Council contributed funds to missions, benevolence and the local community and congregation.

In 1944 the Annex, a large brick residence adjoining the church, was purchased and remodeled for use as a church office and other needed space. This residence was the long-time home of the Roesen family who had been very active members of the church for many years. A building debt of $15,000 was paid in full in the period of 1946-1949, and the church budget increased by 60%. Many needed improvements were made on church property.

In 1968 the congregation began considering the construction of an addition to replace the old annex. Work on the new building progressed over a five year period and the building was dedicated on November 19, 1972.

Friedens United Church of Christ – Brazito

The history of Friedens Church at Brazito, really begins in the fall of 1902, for it was on October 5 of that year, that a worship service was conducted by the late Reverend Charles Hoffmann, a former pastor of Central United Church of Christ at Jefferson City, Missouri, which led to the organization of the Friedens congregation. It should be noted however, that other worship services had previously been held in the Brazito community. In the official minutes of Central Church of Jefferson City, for instance, we read on September 1, 1889, the Reverend J. U. Schneider, who was then the pastor of Central Church “was given permission to cancel one evening service of worship each month in order to enable him to try to organize a Christian congregation at Brazito.”

The efforts of the Reverend J. U. Schneider did not bring immediate results. On the other hand, it may be assumed that these efforts played an important part in achieving the success which the Reverend Charles Hoffman was privileged to experience approximately 13 years later.

On October 19, 1902 (the official founding date), another service of worship was held in the Odd Fellows Hall and a congregation was organized, whereupon, the following were elected to hold office temporarily: President, John Popp; Secretary, John J. Weber; Treasurer, Charles A. Arnhold; Janitor, John Asel.

Charter members included: Charles Arnhold, John Weber, John Popp, Philip Blochberger, John Asel, Daniel Schrieber, John Bachmann, John Bratchi, George Zillig and John Jungmeyer.

On January 25, 1903, the newly organized congregation held its first annual business meeting and elected the following to serve as members of the official Church Board: John J. Weber and Philip Blochberger for a period of one year, and Daniel Schrieber and John Bachmann to serve for a period of two years. In this meeting the congregation also voted to erect a church edifice in the near future. Mr. Andy Miller was hired as the carpenter.

The project of erecting a church edifice was begun several months later and the cornerstone laying ceremony was held on June 7, 1903, under the leadership of the Reverend Charles Hoffmann, who also presided at the dedication of the new building on November 22, 1903. The dedicatory sermon was delivered by the Reverend I. Theo. Seybold, of Wellington, Missouri, president of the West Missouri district of the Evangelical Synod of North America.

Friedens Church continued to be served by the Reverend Charles Hoffmann until July 17, 1904, at which time he was privileged to install the Reverend Martin C. Hoefer as the first full-time pastor of the congregation. Four adults were confirmed by the Reverend Martin C. Hoefer in 1904. They were Mr. John Weber, Mr. John Popp, Mr. John Jungmeyer and Mr. Charles Arnhold.

On August 14, 1904, a congregational meeting was held for the purpose of designating the place and size of the church cemetery, as well as the size of the family plots and the space for individual graves. Prior to this date, burials were made in a cemetery established by Christopher Arnhold in the early history of the Brazito community. This plot is located along Highway 54, opposite the site of the original Arnhold store. In the spring of 1976 interested persons, some members of Friedens Church helped to restore the first cemetery. Attractive white wood fencing was placed around the graves and some of the stones that had fallen were reset.

On December 3, 1904, it was voted to reduce the size of the Church Board from five to three members, whereupon the following were elected: President, John Popp; Secretary, J.J. Weber; Treasurer, J. Bratchi, Mr. George Zillig was elected Janitor in 1905 and served in that capacity for many years.

In the early history of the congregation the Church Board appointed one or more persons to collect the pastor’s salary. Mr. John Bachmann was the first member to be given that responsibility. HE was also the first lay delegate of the congregation to attend what is now called the Missouri Conference Meeting. At that time it was called a conference of the West Missouri District.

In 1904 the congregation had a membership of 12 families and the total income of the church in that year amounted to less than $300. However, Reformation booklets were purchased for $1.50 per dozen.

On April 30, 1905, a children’s confirmation was conducted by the Reverend Martin C. Hoefer. Members of the class included: Hugo Arnhold, Herman Zillig, Ida Katherine Louise Weber and Katherine Ida Weber. In June 1905 it was voted to build a barbed wire fence around the cemetery. In a meeting held several months later it was decided to purchase the necessary material and employ someone to do this work at a wage of 12 ½ cents per hour.

The Reverend Martin C. Hoefer preached his farewell sermon on Sunday morning, July 22, 1906, and in the same service installed his successor, the Reverend John Buescher. At a Sunday School festival held on September 16, 1907, the congregation raised more than $100, the amount needed to liquidate the remaining indebtedness on the church edifice.

On February 24, 1906, the congregation voted to build a parsonage. This building was dedicated on October 20, 1907. The building committee for this project was composed of John Popp, John Jungmeyer and John Bachmann. Lumber for the building was purchased at Eugene, Missouri. The following pastors resided in the parsonage during their pastorates: Reverends John Buescher, H. Rahmeier, E. Rudolph. The Reverend M. C. Hoefer had a room at the Christopher Arnhold home. It is believed that with improved roads and transportation later pastors chose to reside in Jefferson City and commute to Brazito for services. However, records show the parsonage was rented and some income realized from this structure, as early as 1921. In 1970 the Consistory accepted closed bids, it was sold, and on January 31, 1971, it was razed by volunteer workers and members of the congregation.

In November, 1907, it was decided to build a barn for the pastor’s horse, and every member of the congregation was placed under the obligation to furnish two dollars worth of feed per year for the horse.

On April 11, 1908, bonds were sold in order to secure the newly formed church against loss. Bonds were issued in the amount of $800 in denominations of $10 each. Bondsmen were: John Bachmann, Wm. Reinhart, Daniel Schrieber, Andy Miller, J.J. Weber, Wm. F.J. Mueller, Andy Zillig, W.A. Kuhlman, John G. Asel, John Jungmeyer and Fritz Bratchi.

The Reverend John Buescher submitted his resignation as pastor of Friedens Church early in 1909, and left a few months later. It is noted his salary on August 10, 1908 was $52.52. His successor, the Reverend H. Rahmeier did not arrive to serve the congregation until some time during the year of 1910.

In addition to the Reverend Charles Hoffman, the congregation has been served by the following pastors, either on a part-time or full-time basis:

Martin C. Hoefer, 1904-06
John Buescher, 1906-1909
H. Rahmeier, 1910-1913
E. Rudolph, 1914-1916
Paul Stoerker, early 1917-July 1922
E. W. Berlekamp, August 1922-January 1943


Henry J. Damm, March 1943-August 1953
Robert G. Herrmann, Maya 1954-August 1954
E. W. Berlekamp, August 1954-April 29, 1962
Robert G. Herrmann, May 1, 1962-Nov. 1973
Stephen Buchholz, July 8, 1973- ?
Robert H. Bauer, April 7, 1974- ?

The congregation was also served by the Reverend Charles Schwantes for a period of ten weeks. This was in the summer of 1937.

On July 20, 1924, an ice cream social brought an income of $53 profit. Pastor Stolze served at this time. On June 15, ten members gathered on Sunday evening to organize the first “Christian Endeavor League” in the history of the congregation. The motto adopted was “In God we serve and grow”. On August 3 of the same year, 30 new Elmhurst Hymnals were dedicated.

On April 1, 1951, the Osage Bluff Methodist Church congregation which had ceased to function, decided to dispose of the church edifice. On May 7, 1951, Friedens congregation purchased this structure for the sum of $300 and made preparation for its dedication in 1952. To accomplish this, the weather board siding was removed, and the structure was transported and placed at the rear of the original Friedens church edifice; the doors, windows, and other material was replaced by willing members. Previous to this activity, seven of the active and loyal members of the former Osage Bluff Methodist Church had transferred their memberships to Friedens Church and were formally received on Sunday, January 7, 1951. This was one of the outstanding accomplishments of the congregation during the pastorate of the Reverend Henry J. Damm.

When the congregation was organized it was named Evangelical Friedens Church at Brazito. On May 8, 1910, the name was changed to German Evangelical Welcome Friedens Church at Brazito. This remained the official name of the congregation until the adoption of the revised Constitution and By-laws in January, 1957, at which time it became Friedens United Church of Christ at Brazito, Missouri.

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