The First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) at 703 South Hickory Street in Mt. Vernon will celebrate its 150th anniversary on Sunday, September 17.
From humble beginnings in 1867, the First Christian Church was organized in members' homes. The first meeting to actually discuss building a church was held on August 1, 1876, and the foundation of the church was laid by November. Over the years, three church facilities were built to accommodate the growing congregation including the first building in 1878, again in 1915, and the present educational building was completed in 1958 with the current sanctuary in 1964.
The church represents the many congregants through the ages that have worshipped there and participated in the many activities and Christian fellowship. There are Bible classes for all ages, worship includes blended music with a choir, praise band and a bell choir. There are men’s fellowship breakfasts, women’s Bible study sessions, vacation Bible school, manna time and youth programs on Wednesday evenings September through April, mission trips to disaster areas and many other opportunities for fellowship and working together.
During this 150th anniversary year, the congregation has done several community projects to show the local community how much it appreciates all that they do. This included support for Emmanuel’s Tails (a no-kill shelter), donations to St. Susanne’s food pantry, a fun day to help all of the students at Mt. Vernon Intermediate School celebrate the last day of school in the spring, sponsoring an adopt-a-class at the elementary school, providing lunch for all emergency personnel in Mt. Vernon, a traditional tent revival with entertainment, fun games for the kids and purchasing Kleenex and alcohol wipes to assist teachers at the high school.
The September 17 celebration will begin with coffee and donuts at 9 a.m. All are invited to attend. The worship service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Special guest speakers will be Jean Berg for the local congregation welcoming and speaking to past history of the church. Dr. Mike Weinman, Regional Team minister for the Southwest Office of the Mid-America Region (Disciples of Christ) will be officiating with the celebration of communion.
Dr. L. Brent Cantrell, a past member of First Christian Church in Mt. Vernon, who was mentored and supported by the church in his call to ministry, will deliver the sermon titled “We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations." Dr. Cantrell is currently serving as the pastor of Central Christian Church Waterloo, Iowa. A catered luncheon to be served by Maggie Mae’s catering service will follow the worship service.