A 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.

 

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.

Clergy Leadership:

 

1965-1967       Father Edward R. Sims, Father Richard E. Mason

                          and Father Warren H. Sapp (shared duties)

1967-1969       Father 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-                Father David R. Lynch; 4th Rector