Timeless Praise

Madisonville Christian Church Celebrates 175 Years

A long-time place for community worship, the Madisonville Christian Church celebrates its 175th anniversary this year. What began as the vision of six community members in 1842, has endured. With the help of these original six members, William Lane established The First Christian Church of Madisonville on April 8, 1842. At that time, meetings were held at Bearbrook Schoolhouse in Madison Township—a building that no longer stands. The congregation took on their first pastor, Alva Hermons in September of that first year, and he served until 1848.

A good deal of change came with the second pastor, Milton Clark, who served from 1848–1873. Not only was Clark pastor of the Madisonville Christian Church, he was also the local doctor. As the church continued to grow, the community required a more permanent space. In 1851, with nearly 69 members in the congregation, the church purchased the current piece of property in Madisonville for $20. The building itself cost $1,100 to build and was completed April 24, 1852. The congregation worships in the same building to this day.                                                                                                                                       

While some changes have occurred over time– such as the addition of electricity in the 1920s–the majority of the architecture remains the same. Current pastor, Scot Schlittler, describes the church building as a, “beautiful sanctuary.” It still boasts the original tin paneling and even much of the same furniture from decades past. Looking through old photos, Pastor Schlittler points out that the space has remained nearly the same over time. While the pews, each branded with a number, have been shuffled out of order (and one has even gone missing), the church itself has stood the test of time. Pastor Schlittler mentions that, like many churches, the Madisonville Christian Church really had its “heyday” in the 1950s and 1960s. At that time, there were a handful of church members who were engaged in full-time Christian work as pastors or missionaries.

The church will welcome back these and other notable members from the church’s past for the anniversary celebration April 29 and 30. In its history, 32 pastors have led the Madisonville Christian Church. Many pastors or their wives will speak at the event. Overall, Pastor Schlittler expresses that organizers hope that the event can be a celebration of how the church has “influenced the community for Lord Jesus Christ” in the past 175 years.

The celebration is grounded by a main theme from Psalm 145– “Praising the Lord unto Eternity.” Organizers felt the psalm really connected to the church’s anniversary year. In verse four, the psalm discusses the idea of generations following each other in praise, the idea of worship growing over time. Pastor Schlittler emphasizes the Madisonville Christian Church extends, “A huge welcome,” as the humble congregation, “really wants to reach out to our community.” The church is located at 2565 Madisonville Rd in Moscow. –Melissa Durante