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.
- Who Was William L. Parker?On August 21st, 1872, William L. Parker signed over a small patch of land on the northern end of his farm to the small congregation that would make up what was then called Oakland Church. He not only donated the land, he was also listed as one of the chief contributors to the building fund….
- The Arc of TravelThe arc of travel defined the community of Oakland.
- Dust in the WindSo keeping cool was always a challenge, especially when otherwise reasonable adults would gather into a confined space on a Sunday morning.
- Food for ThoughtThis is part of a series of stories on Oakland Christian Church, a small country church north of Columbia, Missouri. As Garrison Keilor would frequently share, nothing distinguishes a country church more than the food at the fellowship dinners.
- Old Buildings Can be CreepyThis part of a series of stories on Oakland Christian Church, a small country church north of Columbia, Missouri. It’s an old building, and old buildings can get creepy.