After much praying, Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Bruning of Wright City, MO felt led to call Rev. F.A. Welsh, District Superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene, to come to Wright City for a home mission meeting. The meeting was held on June 27, 1937 in the Odd Fellows Hall. Those taking part in the meeting were Rev. and Mrs. F.A. Welsh, the McNeely Sisters, Rev. and Mrs. F.B. Moore, and Miss Lucille Seibert. At the close of the meeting, Rev. F.B. Moore organized a church with eleven members. Regular preaching, Sunday School, and Prayer Meeting services were held each week from then on. Services were held in the Odd Fellows Hall until November 1940, when we moved into the new building which was owned by Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Bruning, having been built for a place of worship. Dr. T.W. Willingham, the District Superintendent delivered the dedication message.
PURCHASE OF PROPERTY
At a special meeting held on the evening of September 27, 1950, nine members voted to purchase the Will Bruning property for $3,000, which we had rented for worship services since November 1940. There were three votes against buying. Brother Will Bruning offered to accept $1,000 as a down payment. The remaining $2,000 was to be paid in quarterly payments over 5 years at 4% interest. On January 4, 1954 Brother Walter Bruning, Building Fund Treasurer, paid Brother Will Bruning $202, which was the final payment on our church building.
PURCHASE OF PARSONAGE
The church had been renting a parsonage from Brother & Sister Will Bruning since 1951. In 1957 Brother Bruning passed away and in this same year, Sister Bruning decided to sell this property. She asked for $6,000 with $500 as a down payment. Brother Simpson met with the board and it was agreed to buy the property. On June 9th the church voted to purchase the property. On August 10, 1957 the trustees and Sister Bruning met at the Farmers and Merchants Bank where the contract was signed and the down payment was paid. The remainder was to be paid in monthly payments. The Lord blessed financially and the last payment was made early in the year of 1965.
Since the church had been purchased, a basement had been dug under the church with a furnace and restrooms installed in the basement. In 1964 the church was remodeled. An addition to the front was made, giving us a nursery, vestibule, and entrance to the basement. Tile floor was laid, all new furniture was installed, and all the interior was redecorated.
PURCHASE OF GROUND
January 30, 1966; the members of the church voted to purchase a plot of land west of Wright City, from Arthur and Gelena Swope, formerly known as Robert Schmidt farm. The size of the plot was 9.805 acres at $1,000 per acre. On March 29, 1966 a loan of $6,500 was issued and signed by the trustees from the Farmers and Merchants Bank at 6% true interest to be paid in monthly payments. The last payment of $500 plus interest was paid by Alvin Eversmeyer on October 9, 1967.
In the fall of 1968 a contract was signed by building committee with Hase Construction Co. to build a brick parsonage with three bedrooms, family room, living room, kitchen, two baths, and a full basement with a two-car garage. In July 1969, Brother and Sister England moved to the new parsonage with their son Bruce. Since the former church sanctuary was destroyed by fire on February 21, 1969, the church met at the parsonage. The garage was used for worship; the walls and ceiling were painted, indoor/outdoor carpeting was laid on the floor, folding chairs were used for seating, the garage door was enclosed with insulation board, and it was heated with an automatic gas heater. Sunday School classes were held in the basement. This arrangement proved to be satisfactory. In the spring of 1970, an air conditioner was installed in garage, making it very comfortable through summer months.
SALE OF OLD PROPERTY
On Wednesday evening, May 13, 1970, the board voted to accept Mr. Frank Palazzo’s offer of $28,500 for plot, old parsonage, and damaged church sanctuary. This was to be subject to a vote of the church membership to be held on May 20, 1970, and approval of the district advisory committee. The members of the church voted to accept the offer and a letter was received from the district advisory board approving the sale. The money was loaned to MO District at a 6% rate of interest for one year. A planning committee was appointed to consider plans for building a church. On September 12, 1971 a plan was presented to members with the recommendations from the church board. A motion was made to accept the recommendations, which was accepted and voted on by ballot. The results of the ballot were unanimous in favor of the recommendations. The sanctuary was completed and the first service in the new building was held on October 15, 1972.
The church conducted a special mortgage burning service on Sunday evening, August 13, 1982. Those participating in the ceremony were the Missouri District Superintendent Rev. Arthur Mottram, the presiding pastor Rev. Eldon Kirks, and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Earl Wilegus. Also present for this special service was the Rev. Ralph England who was the pastor when the church was constructed and Rev. C.W. Kiser who was a former pastor. Rev. Mottram also delivered an excellent sermon for the occasion. Immediately following the service, an hour of fellowship and light refreshments was enjoyed by all. The mortgage burning service climaxed 10 years of sacrifice and hard work.
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