Martin City Telegraph

Former church finally gets its due

Rev. Fr. Zachariah, DaRon McGee, Kevin McManus, Diane Euston and Scott Taylor reveal the historic marker to a crowd of 150. Photo by Kathy Feist

 

Former church gets historic marker

By Kathy Feist

Over 150 people turned out for a Santa Fe Christian Church historic marker dedication at the New Santa Fe Cemetery on Saturday, October 6. Historian Diane Euston, Councilmen Scott Taylor and Kevin McManus, State Legislator DaRon McGee and Father Zachariah of St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church which now occupies the church property at 940 W. Santa Fe Trail. .

The Santa Fe Christian Church was built in 1892. It developed from a pioneer congregation, the Bethlehem Church of Christ established in 1869 in the area. In 1885, the congregation purchased a lot for burial grounds in the town of New Santa Fe, MO. The church was built next to the cemetery and changed its name to the Christian Church of New Santa Fe, later shortened to the Santa Fe Christian Church. The church and its cemetery was all that was left of the town embattled by the Border Wars and became a hub for activity to the surrounding pioneer community. When fire destroyed part of  the building in 1969, newer members of the church chose to erect a new church (now St. Gregorios) rather than rebuild the historic one. (Click here for the complete story.)

A dedication ceremony began inside St. Gregorios led by Margo Aldridge, Regent with the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) Little Blue River Chapter who told of the struggle to get the site marked as historic.  Councilmen McManus and Taylor commented on the ongoing pioneer spirit in south Kansas City. Finally Euston who represented the Historical Society of New Santa Fe recounted the church history and its sad demise. The visitors then strolled outdoors for the marker dedication under what could be called perfect Indian summer weather. After the revealing of the marker, Father Zachariah ended the ceremony with a prayer and invited everyone to the church basement for food and beverage. Artifacts from the church were on display there.