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Striking edifice: Hannibal's First Christian Church


The following information was obtained from a story written by Bev Darr for the Courier-Post. It was published on Oct. 5, 2013, in honor of the church's 175th anniversary. First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) at 1101 Broadway in Hannibal, Mo., was founded in 1838, the original congregation was told it would never last. However, the church is continuing to grow and prosper. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was the first denomination founded on American soil. Its roots came from the Scottish Presbyterian. The First Christian Church in Hannibal first met in homes. In 1848 the church constructed its first building. Alexander Campbell preached in this church in 1853 and 1859. In 1878 property at Church and Fifth streets was purchased, and this building had two innovations: a baptistry and gas lights. This site is currently the Hannibal Free Public Library. The present church at 1101 Broadway was built on property purchased in 1889. It had a pipe organ, electric lights and a furnace. The Dulany family donated property and funds for the religious education building, the Dulany Memorial Building east of the church. The first pastors included Elder Jacob Creath Jr., then Dr. D.L. Morton, who served without a salary, being a physician with a large practice. L.B. Wilkes followed him. The next pastor was William Hatch, father of Congressman William Henry Hatch, whose statue is in Central Park.

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