Stafford Reformed Presbyterian Church

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Covenanter Church
Stafford Reformed Presbyterian Church.jpg
Streetside view of the church
Stafford Reformed Presbyterian Church is located in Kansas
Stafford Reformed Presbyterian Church
Location 113 N. Green Ave., Stafford, Kansas
Coordinates 37°57′46″N 98°36′21″W / 37.96278°N 98.60583°W / 37.96278; -98.60583Coordinates: 37°57′46″N 98°36′21″W / 37.96278°N 98.60583°W / 37.96278; -98.60583
Area less than one acre
Built 1913
Architectural style Gothic Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 05000544[1]
Added to NRHP June 8, 2005

The Stafford Reformed Presbyterian Church, also known as Covenanter Church, is a historic church in Stafford, Kansas, United States. Constructed in 1913, the building is a small-sized example of Gothic Revival architecture.[1] It replaced an older church built on the same site, which was demolished because it had fallen into poor condition.[2] The church itself existed as a part of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) from 1911 to 1961.[3][4]:121 The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 8, 2005 for its architectural significance.[1] Today, the church is owned by a local company, Henderson House Inn and Retreat Center, which uses it as part of its conference center.[5]

Structure[edit]

The church upon its completion

Both frame and concrete were employed in the construction of the church. Its original dimensions were approximately 30×42 feet (9×13 m); a basement was also included. The congregation needed aid from a denominational board to finance the construction; according to the board, the construction cost was approximately $6,000.[2] It was dedicated on January 13, 1914.[6]

Congregational history[edit]

Stafford Reformed Presbyterian Church was organized on January 19, 1911,[4]:121 largely under the leadership of R. A. Boyd. A longtime minister of the Associate Presbyterian Church, Boyd had been the pastor of the Associate Presbyterian congregation in Stafford since 1900, but he came to hold Reformed Presbyterian views and took much of his church with him into the RPCNA.[7] In 1911, the entire denomination included just 105 congregations throughout the United States;[4]:150-158 therefore, the sudden beginning of a new church in rural Kansas, its subsequent rapid growth, and the erection of its new building attracted significant interest across the denomination.[8] Conversely, the congregation rarely attracted much attention in official documents after the mid-1910s:[9] being noted only for its struggles in the Dust Bowl in 1935 and for the death of one of its members in World War II.[10][11] The church reached its highest membership in 1924, when 80 names were on the roll. In the 1940s, it began to decline: with very few exceptions, the church suffered a net loss in membership every year after 1943, and it suffered through several periods in which there was no pastor.[9] By early 1961, only nine members remained, and there was no pastor, as the final pastor had resigned in the previous spring.[12] Ultimately, the Stafford Reformed Presbyterian Church was closed on November 9, 1961.[3][13]:180 The building was sold for $1,500 at some point in late 1960 or early 1961.[13]:12 After serving as the house of worship for the Bible Missionary Church, it was purchased by Henderson House Bed and Breakfast in 2001.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b Minutes of the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America LXXXIV. Pittsburgh: Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, 1913, p. 138.
  3. ^ a b Minutes of the Synod and Yearbook of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America 1962. Pittsburgh: Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, 1962, p. 147.
  4. ^ a b c Minutes of the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America Session LXXXII. Pittsburgh: Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, 1911.
  5. ^ Conference and Meeting Facilities, Henderson House Conference and Retreat Center, 2008. Accessed 2008-12-27.
  6. ^ Dedication of Old Covenanter Church, Henderson House Conference and Retreat Center, 2007. Accessed 2008-12-27.
  7. ^ Thompson, Owen F. Sketches of the Ministers of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. RPCNA, 1930, pp. 45-46.
  8. ^ Minutes of the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America Session LXXXV. Pittsburgh: Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, 1914, p. 35.
  9. ^ a b Comparison of Minutes of Synod listed at http://www.rparchives.org/aboutme.htm
  10. ^ Minutes of the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America Session CVI. Pittsburgh: Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, 1935, p. 27.
  11. ^ Minutes of the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America Session CXVII. Pittsburgh: Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, 1946, p. 61.
  12. ^ Smith, Alvin W. Covenanter Ministers 1930-1963. Pittsburgh: RPCNA, 1964, page 41.
  13. ^ a b Minutes of the Synod and Yearbook of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America 1961. Pittsburgh: Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, 1961.
  14. ^ Moore, Clare. National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Covenanter Church. National Park Service, 2004-12-14, 9. Accessed 2009-09-23.

External links[edit]