St. James is the oldest existing UCC congregation in the area. Some of the records about our church have been lost or destroyed, but it is believed that as early as 1843 a group of settlers were meeting together for worship in their homes.
In 1848, Henry Nothdurft filed in the land office at Jackson, Missouri, for a 40 acres of land. In the year 1849, this group of people who had been meeting together for worship met in the Tilsit School in order to deliberate about building a German church and school. This group constituted the local congregation that became St. James Church. A council of ten members was chosen. At the front of this enterprise were two laymen, Jacob Kneibert and Jacob Tobler. On January 29, 1849, Henry Nothdurft and his wife, Elizabeth, sold 40 acres of land to the church for $110.00 for the purpose of a school. The first church was built about 100 feet west of the present church building.
When the constitution was adopted on March 12, 1858, the name chosen was "German Evangelical Lutheran Reformed Whitewater Congregation of St. James Church". However, the church was known by a shorter name, St. Jacobi (James) German Evangelical Church. In 1891, the congregation adopted a new constitution and became a member of the Evangelical Synod of North America, and in 1896, the present church building was built. Then, in 1898, a new school was built adjacent to the church. In 1934, the Evangelical and German Reformed Churches united to form one new denomination. In 1957, they merged with the Congregational Church forming the United Church of Christ. Since that time, the church came to be known as St. James United Church of Christ.
The church cemetery is maintained by donations and earnings from the perpetual care fund. Only the interest earned from donations to the perpetual care fund is actually used for the cemetery upkeep. The preservation of the church building is funded by donations designated for the preservation fund.
GPS Coordinates: 37.33451, -89.74792
- Added: 14 Feb 2009
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #2293771
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