Kansas City, Missouri 2021-06-22 22:45:00 –
Chillicothe, Missouri (KCTV) – A small town retains one of the oldest churches of its kind.
The Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is a local landmark in Chillicothe. Built in 1868, this church is the oldest AME church north of the Missouri River.
The congregation has declined over the past few decades, but I remember most of the towns participating in the service there.
Linda Steward and her family were members of another historic church, the Mountains. The Baptist of Zion, where the congregation came to Chile Kote a few years before the construction of Bethel. Steward said the two churches were closely linked and the two places felt right at home.
âIf we weren’t on Mount Zion, we were at Bethel, if we weren’t at Bethel, we were on Mount Zion, it was an intimate community,â she recalls.
In 2018, KCTV5 followed the church on an incredible journey. A group of movers lifted it off the ground and carried it to many places in the city. Grand River Historical Society Museum.
Pam Klingermann, the director of the museum, remembers watching the movement breathlessly.
âI walked with it,â she says. “I have had a stroke every time I hit it.”
Klingermann transformed the Bethel shrine into a museum space. Today there are exhibits on black history and slavery, as well as replica subway quilts.
âI think it’s part of the community and tells a story that’s never been told before,â Klingerman said.
The museum recently held an inauguration ceremony with a choir of descendants from the congregation. Klingerman said more events and concerts will take place.
âIt’s important to preserve history,â Klingermann said. “Once he’s gone, he can’t be replaced.”
The restoration of the church is almost complete. The interior is finished, but workers are still replacing the siding. Projects are getting more and more expensive due to the rising costs of wood. The museum said they will collect more money from the masses once this is over.
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Restoration of Historic Chillicothe Church Nearly Completed 3 Years After Being Transported Through Town | New Restoration of Historic Chillicothe Church Nearly Completed 3 Years After Being Transported Through Town | New