Brief history of the Church of

the Resurrection

 

The Church of the Resurrection was organized in 1964 under the direction of Bishop Edward Welles, the fourth bishop of the Diocese of West Missouri.    Ten families formed the nucleus for the new church.  The first service of the Church of the Resurrection was held on February 21, 1965 in the home of C.E. Cleverdon. Other early services were held at Grace Lutheran Church on 19th Street, which is now Parkville RLDS Church.  The first service in the current building was held on March 21, 1965.

 

The Diocese of West Missouri obtained the land where the current church is located from a local family who purchased it from area Native Americans.  By Easter 1965 the Church was established in its present location and dedicated (April 11, 1965) as a mission church in the Diocese.   The nave and sanctuary of the present church structure were built -- the “front door” was where the Holy Spirit window is today.

 

From 1966 to 1970 the people of Resurrection saw their mission grow slowly but steadily.  They shared the services of a priest with another mission congregation, Trinity Mission, better known today as Saint Michael’s of Independence.  In 1970 Church of the Resurrection had its first licensed lay readers commissioned by the bishop, and within the year began to develop its own lay ministry.

 

During the next seven years the mission grew slowly in size but strong in love and faith, and nearly became self-sufficient.  The church had a scout troop, developed a widowed person’s service, and organized a group of Episcopal Church Workers.

 

In the late seventies the church really began to grow in numbers.  Sunday attendance doubled in the late seventies under the leadership of Father Robert Hutcherson, and doubled again in the early eighties under Father Seay.  In 1982 the church entered a new phase of construction.  The present church offices and schoolrooms located to the east of the original church building were built and dedicated by Bishop Arthur Vogel the fifth Bishop of West Missouri.

 

Clergy Leadership:

 

1965-1967       Father Edward R. Sims (shared duties)

                          Father Richard E. Mason (shared duties)

                          Father Warren H. Sapp (shared duties)

1967-1969       Father Carroll C. Barbour

1969-1974       Father Robert Temple

1974-1976       Father Llewellyn M. Heigham, Jr.

1976-1978       Father Robert M. Hutcherson

1978-1983       Father Donald R. Seay

1984-1988       Father Robert A. Terrill

1988-1996       Father Charles (Chip) S. Gilman;  1st Rector

1996                 Father William Lusk, Interim

1997-2003       Mother Holly B. Hutchens; 2nd Rector

2004                 Father David F. With, Interim

2005-2015       Father Ronald D. Keel; 3rd Rector

2016-2022       Father David R. Lynch; 4th Rector

2022-                Father Doug Johnson, Interim

 

 

Two important milestones occurred in the nineties under the leadership of Father Chip Gilman.  The congregation became self-supporting in 1993 and then obtained parish status in November 1994 at the annual Diocesan Convention held at the Lake of the Ozarks.  Bishop Vogel was present when the mortgage was burned in April of 1995.

 

The parish celebrated its first ordination on February 4, 1995 when Joan Zoller was ordained to the deaconate.  In 1999 we sent our first parishioner, John Spicer, to seminary.  John was ordained to the Priesthood and currently serves as Rector of St. Andrew's in Kansas City, Mo.  Another member of the parish, Jon Egger, was ordained to the deaconate in February, 2004.  Jon later became the deacon at Trinity in Independence, MO.  He passed away in December, 2017.

 

Church of the Resurrection continued to grow under the leadership of Father Ron Keel.  In addition to growth in membership, the church's physical plant was improved with the completion of a remodeling to the Church offices and undercroft, as well as a new roof and HVAC system.  The congregation grew spiritually with the organization of a chapter of the Daughters of the King in 2008 and a weekly Bible Study.

 

In 2014, the church celebrated 50-years of service with several memorial events, including the completion of Resurrection's remodel of the sanctuary and renovation of the church grounds and parking lot.  

 

Also in 2014, Resurrection's 3rd Rector, Father Ron Keel, announced his intention to retire in August, 2015.  The Vestry responded by establishing a Search Committee to search for a replacement for Father Keel.  On November 29, 2015, the Vestry announced it had called Father David Lynch as the 4th Rector of the Church of the Resurrection.  Father Lynch began his ministry at Resurrection on January 1, 2016.

Father Lynch's love of music and his formal training as a vocalist, gently moved the parish to significantly improve its music program.  The choir was bolstered with additional voices and the congregation undertook a fund raising campaign to replace its aging organ.  In support, members responded with donations to allow the purchase of a $60,000 Johannus Ecclesia D-470 Digital Church Organ. The new instrument was first played in church services on January 20, 2019.

In what turned out to be a very visionary move, Resurrection installed a live-streaming video system in the Church in early 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic caused in-person church services to be halted for many months.  The video was and continues to be broadcast on YouTube and FaceBook.  Parishioners were able to stay connected and attend services in the safety of their homes during the pandemic's worst time.  Now, many members and non-members alike take advantage of the live-streaming option to attend church whenever they desire.  The video system also allows the broadcast of weddings and funerals.

 

The funding of the remodel of the Church in celebration of its 50th Anniversary didn't allow for the inclusion of one large project that was long wanted by parishioners - a way to provide ADA access between the first and second floors of the Church.  In the summer of 2021, Resurrection undertook a follow-up capital campaign to raise money to construct an addition to the church building that would allow for the relocation of a set of steep stairs between the floors as will as a wheelchair lift.  The project would have the secondary benefit of enlarging the narthex by 50 square feet.  Parishioners again responded generously, pledging approximately $225,000 with a majority of the money given up-front.  The Vestry of the Church of the Resurrection has since approved construction of the project and completion is estimated by the end of 2022. 

In April of 2022, Father David Lynch announced his intention to retire from active ministry on September 30, 2022.  In response, the Vestry authorized the creation of a Search Committee for Resurrection to find its next leader and 5th Rector.