Enjoy a Walk Through the Past of CUCC
From the Communicator
The 1920s – the Beginning of Our Congregation
One hundred years ago, a lot was happening in Columbia that would affect us as current members of Columbia United Church of Christ. The Heritage Team will be sharing parts of the story each month in 2023 to celebrate our 100th anniversary. This month, we are looking at the 1920s.
A name to remember is Professor H. H. Krusekopf. He was instrumental in getting students and faculty together who had similar beliefs. He attended an Evangelical Church back home. In 1921, Professor Krusekopf held prayer meetings, hosted speakers, and led worship services in his home, at the YMCA, and at the University of Missouri, where he was a professor in the soils department, School of Agriculture. Other leaders at this time were Ella Parmeier, Elsa Nagel, and Caroline Brautigam. These four started our congregation and were still very involved at our church well into the 1960s.
On January 23, 1923, the group was formally organized, calling themselves “The Evangelical Club.” They were officially a mission of the Evangelical Synod of North America (one of the predecessor bodies of the United Church of Christ), providing a college ministry in Columbia on behalf of the Synod.
The first newsletter of the Evangelical Club, dated November 22, 1925, did not have a name, but by the second month, it was “The Elevator.” In 1957, the name changed to “The Headliner.” “The Communicator” came later.
From the Communicator
The Origins of
The United Church of Christ
The United Church of Christ came into being in 1957 with the union of two Protestant denominations: the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches. Each of these was, in turn, the result of a union of two earlier denominations.
The Congregational Churches were organized when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Plantation (1620) and the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony (1629) acknowledged their essential unity in the Cambridge Platform of 1648. The Reformed Church in the United States traced its beginnings to congregations of German settlers in Pennsylvania founded from 1725 on. Later, its ranks were swelled by Reformed folk from Switzerland and other countries.
The Christian Churches sprang up in the late 1900s and early 1800s in reaction to the theological and organizational rigidity of the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist Churches of the time.
The Evangelical Synod of North America traced its beginning to an association of German Evangelical pastors in Missouri. This association, founded in 1840, reflected the 1817 union of Lutheran and Reformed churches in Germany.
Through the years, members of other groups such as Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Volga Germans, Armenians, Hungarians, and Hispanic Americans have joined with the four earlier groups. Thus, the United Church of Christ celebrates and continues a wide variety of traditions in its common life.