The cornerstone of the church bears the following inscription:
“In faith, unity
In opinions, liberty
In all things, charity”
This is a fitting description of the congregational worship, witness and service thanks to the common belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was organized out of a need to expand the Christian Church as Moberly expanded to the south and west of the railroad tracks. A project was started by the Ladies Aid Society in 1891 to build the new church which was to become known as Central Christian Church.
Construction began in 1892 and was completed in 1893 at a cost of $26,000. Of that, $21,000 was pledged in one day on the day of dedication by 302 persons. The remainder was borrowed from the Building and Loan Association to complete payment for the building.
The church, located on the corner of South 4th and West Burkhart streets is constructed of pressed red brick with white stone trimming. The original size of the main building is 84 feet by 108 feet with an 86 foot tall bell tower located on the northeast corner. The main auditorium has four entrances and covers 3721 square feet. The sanctuary has a vaulted parquet ceiling and is enhanced by stained glass windows on all four walls and a central chandelier. It was estimated that the newly constructed sanctuary would seat 1500 persons.
Building on the adjacent Educational Building began in 1960 and it was dedicated on January 8, 1961. Before this building was constructed, Sunday School classes literally gathered everywhere to meet. The current membership has the immediate and difficult challenge to “fill all the rooms” now available. A major renovation of the parlor, church offices and restrooms (making them handicap accessible) was completed in 1998.
Most recently the Educational Building was renovated with new lighting, energy efficient HVAC, carpet and a new front brick facing. All designed to beautify and preserve the building for the future.
In 1980, the Central Christian Church Preschool was founded with seventeen preschoolers comprising its first class. The Preschool has grown in its 25 years having served over 500 three, four and five year olds. Currently located on the 2nd floor of the Educational Building, it has expanded its service to five mornings a week. The goal of Central’s Preschool is to provide a happy educational program in a Christian environment. It provides a tremendous outreach into the community as well as membership opportunities for students and their families.
In 1988, funding of the Aunt Maude Jones Scholarship was provided to Central through the generous bequest of the late Mary J. Lozier and her daughter, the late Anna Mae Phifer. Now called the Central Christian Church Scholarship, it has provided educational funding to over 100 deserving members of the church to attend over 25 different colleges and/or universities.
Seeking to provide for the varied worship needs of the community, Central provides a blended worship service experience, meeting the needs of the contemporary and traditional style of worship which includes a Praise Team providing music backed by a keyboard and drums. Central has been served by 18 full time ministers and several interim ministers in its 130+ years of service.
Past and present members include several community and governmental leaders. Probably the most outstanding and well known military hero to worship at Central was General Omar N. Bradley. Known as “The G.I.’s General” Bradley began his steps toward his life of military service when he was encouraged to attend West Point Military Academy by the Sunday School Superintendent of Central Christian Church.
This has been a brief summary of some of the important events, experiences and remembrances throughout Central’s 130+ years of existence. It has served many individuals and families as a home for their personal religious commitment. It is our hope that it continues to serve this purpose for generations to come.
We look forward to a successful continuance of Central Christian Church. May our basis for future service and operation continue to be:
“Our Church’s One Foundation is Jesus Christ Her Lord”.