A Brief History of Our Church
The history of our church is closely entwined and interwoven with the history of our community for both came into existence in 1888.
Monett was originally called Plymouth Junction, which existed prior to 1888 as an unincorporated village in northern Barry County, Missouri. On September 27, 1888, the Frisco Railroad terminal was officially moved from Pierce City to Plymouth Junction. Articles of Association, which had been filed with the Missouri Secretary of State, were granted to the Monett Town Company authorizing the platting of a new town to be known as Monett, Missouri. Plymouth Junction became a part of Monett and a new roundhouse and other railroad facilities were soon constructed in the new town. For the next two generations, the railroad was to be the economic lifeblood of Monett.
Only a few months after the incorporation of Monett, under the auspices of what was then known as Ozark Presbytery, a new Presbyterian church was organized on November 10, 1888. The name chosen for the new church was The First Presbyterian Church of Monett. On the following day, November 11, 1888, four members of the new church met to discuss plans for a church building. Five years later, on December 31, 1893, a new church building with a seating capacity of 300 was dedicated at the corner of 5th and Cale Streets.
In 1913, the existing church building was remodeled to permit the installation of a new pipe organ secured from the Carnegie Foundation. In 1941, a social room, kitchen, additional classrooms and a kitchen were added to the west side of the church.
By the mid-1960’s, the existing church building was no longer adequate and a new education building was erected at 700 Sycamore. The new building contained a social room (which served as a temporary sanctuary), restrooms, six Sunday School classrooms, a kitchen, a nursery and separate offices for a pastor and a secretary. The doors of the old church were officially closed on October 10, 1966 and the congregation worshiped in the education building until the present sanctuary was dedicated on December 14, 1975. Additional office space and a multi-purpose room were completed ten years later and dedicated on December 22, 1985.
As our church changed, so did the Monett community. After World War II, it became apparent that Monett could no longer rely solely upon the railroad for its financial well-being. In May of 1958, the Monett Industrial Development Corporation was organized to promote industrial and economic development in Monett. Thanks to the efforts of this organization and the support provided by a broad cross-section of Monett residents, including city government and the Monett Chamber of Commerce, Monett today enjoys a robust economy supported by a diverse industrial base. During this period of growth and change, members of The First Presbyterian Church consistently provided leadership in all facets of community life.
In 2016, after many months of discernment and discussion among members of our Session and church family, our church sought dismissal from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This dismissal was approved on February 27, 2016 pending reception by ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. On May 16, 2016, we were informed that our church had been accepted for membership in ECO.