The Rossville United Methodist Church had its very first beginnings in 1830, the year Ross Township was organized. William Smith, an early settler who came here from Ohio, dreamed of a church and gathered his family and a few neighbors to his home for services. By 1831, the group solidified and they organized a Methodist Church. Among the earliest members were William and Anna Smith and their children Thomas, Samuel, and Mary, Andrew and Hannah Waymire, William, William, David, Jacob and Amy Saylor, and Mary, Elizabeth and Rebecca Quick. Homes continued to be the place of worship until 1837 when a church was built on South Street. One account says an early Rossville school house supplanted the homes before the church was erected.
In 1871, 34 years after the first church was built, the Methodists moved to the corner of Main and Gaddis Streets, the site of the present church, where a white fame church was constructed at a cost of $4,500.
In 1923, 52 years after the 1871 building was erected, a major remodeling program, at a cost of $25,000, was effected, resulting in a gray stuccoed edifice. This did not prove to be feasible in this climate, and shingle siding replaced the stucco. Gray shingles were ordered but red ones came and were used. Remodeling resulted in a full basement, new entrance, an east room added, and an extension to the north. Only minor changes have come in the 84 years since 1923. The coal furnace was replaced with a gas furnace. In 1949 the first organ was dedicated. In 1954, the first sound system was installed. The church insulated in 1981. A big improvement was made in 1991 when the entire church building was re-wired to make air conditioning possible which was installed in 1992.
At the site of the 1871 church, the first parsonage was built in 1884 and in 1927 the Ladies Aid Society planned and paid for a new parsonage at a cost of $6,323.82, which is today’s parsonage just east of the church. The first pastor to live in the new parsonage was Rev. O.R. Mason and his family. The present parsonage is now 80 years old in this year of 2007.
When the Sedalia and Moran Churches merged with the Rossville Church and the memberships transferred, the Rossville Church enjoyed an increase in memberships.
There has always been a Sunday School and many different church organizations have flourished over the years and some have been replaced by others.
In 1981, the church celebrated the 150th anniversary if the founding of the church. In 2006, the 175th anniversary was observed.
In 2006, the women’s organization, Links Of Love, completely remodeled the church kitchen, adding to and replacing appliances with new ones.
It is a tribute to this church that 23 persons have gone out from this church into full time Christian service. This is a very unusual record for a church of this size; in fact, most churches larger than this one cannot boast of such a record. This is referred to as “The Honor Roll” of this church because such a record is a great honor to this church.
This church reaches out into the community. It has a well known prayer lined that serves the community – anyone may call and request prayer and the request goes out by telephone through a new automatic phone system that reaches the membership quickly. Once each year, on Independence Day Sunday, the church honors all persons in the community who have served in the military with a special program. The Adventure Club is for all children of the community – it meets after school on Tuesdays during a portion of the school year. This program has been very effective in reaching out into the community. This is the second year for a new venture in reaching out into the community – “Cookies for our neighbors and friends,” when the church delivers home-baked cookies to others who may be new in the community and not affiliated with any church, shut-ins, just a program to show this church cares for others beyond the church. So, the Rossville United Methodist Church is a church reaching beyond its doors, to the Rossville community. It is a church in mission, both locally, and around the world.
This church thinks not only of the past and the present but the future. It is looking forward to a remodeling and expansion of the present building in the future.
Anyone who reads this on the web and has no church home, the Rossville United Methodist Church invites you to come pay a visit to the church on any Sunday morning: Sunday School at 9:00 and morning worship at 10:15. You will find a warm welcome and an invitation to make this church your church home.
This church has been a part of this community for 175 years and it looks forward to a bright future, right here on the corner of Main and Gaddis. C-h-u-r-c-h spells church but the two main letters are u-r the church; it takes people to make the church, people who want to serve God and others.