Churches in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Missouri are celebrating significant anniversaries. Here’s the rundown:
• It’s unusual for a person who founded a church in the 1800s to stop by for a chat in this century . . . but few ever considered “Raccoon” John Smith an ordinary guy.
In honor of her 190th anniversary, the founder of First Christian Church in Monticello, Ky., will be stopping by for a chat and, the next day, the church will host a concert outside the pioneer’s cabin.
“Raccoon” John Smith (portrayed by Paul Patton of Egypt Christian Church in Columbia, Ky.) will be guest of honor during the church’s family cookout on Saturday, Oct. 16. Smith, a legendary figure of the Restoration Movement, founded First Christian in 1831.
The next day, at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, the church will host a free “birthday party” featuring Christian music group I Am They; the concert will take place at Smith’s cabin, located on the church’s property in downtown Monticello. (Smith’s cabin was moved to the church site in the early 1970s.) Also performing will be John Tibbs and Ryan Ellis.
Earlier that day, at the 9 and 11 a.m. worship services, David Roadcup, a Christian educator and co-founder of e2: effective elders, will be guest speaker.
In 1832, a year after founding FCC, “Raccoon” John Smith was a key figure in uniting the Stone Movement and the Campbell Movement. Barton W. Stone represented his contingent of churches at those meetings in Kentucky, while Smith represented Alexander Campbell’s interests. (Read more about Smith here.)
• Oak Grove Church of Christ in Lake Lynn, Pa., celebrated her 170th anniversary on Sunday.
• First Christian Church of Lamar, Mo., will celebrate her 150th anniversary this coming weekend . . . though the celebration actually began back in April when the church received a big special offering for their new $2 million Family Life Center. Since then, there have been a number of special speakers and videos. On Saturday, a potluck supper and program will take place. On Sunday, a special worship service begins at 10 a.m. followed by a catered meal.