North of Columbia, Missouri there is a country church, a white structure constructed in 1872, that sits atop a gentle rise, shaded by tall hickory and oak trees. This church is iconic of Boone County which is dotted with several country churches that have managed to survive the decades. While much of rural America has depopulated, rural Boone County has been graced by thousands of residents who have sought the refuge of the country life that surrounds the urban center of Columbia. It is this mix of old families and newcomers that have kept these churches going.
This journal is a story about one particular church, but in some respects it is a story shared by many others. It was the church I grew up in, just down the road from where I lived. So I was a first-hand witness to its heritage, the people who made the place special and lent to the memories I cherish. And while many things have changed, the white church still stands as it always has, a quiet, resolute witness to a God who is present and to values we treasure.
This is the story about Oakland Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, Established in 1872.
Photograph courtesy of Mike Christy
There is a marvelous alchemy between a young boy and an old building that is isolated out in the country.
By Eric Niewoehner
© Copyright 2022 to Eric Niewoehner.
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