Hardin Water Tower

Hardin-Central School

Christian Church

Rockingham Church of the Brethren

Church History

Rockingham Church of the Brethren (1970)

Early in the 1860’s a few families of Brethren moved into the community, which is now known as Rockingham. The nearest organized Church of the Brethren was near Polo, Missouri. Not being able to attend church regularly the Brethren met in homes and schoolhouses.

The Wakenda church was organized in 1871. Meetings were held in the old Union Schoolhouse until 1886 when a new church house was built. The membership grew until it numbered about 400. Leaders thought it would be best to divide the church into three congregations. Accordingly this division was made in 1897. The three congregations formed were Wakenda, Rockingham and Pleasant View, later called Bethany.

Rockingham built a church house about one-half mile north of the present building. This building burned in 1905. The present house was built in the same year. The west part of the church was built on in 1918 for Sunday School rooms.

In 1922 a parsonage was built on the church lot to the north. Rev. W. W. Blough who was the first paid pastor first occupied this parsonage. Other pastors who lived in this parsonage and served the church were Rev. 0. H. Fieler, Rev. E. H. Mathis, Rev. E. F. Sherfy, Rev. Jarboe, and Rev. Lee Kendall, whose family was living there in 1947 when this house burned. In 1948 the church purchased the Will Hollar farm for our parsonage. At the present time the pastor, Rev. Farrell Culler, lives in the house and the members donate calves for the pasture and sell them for church expenses. Other pastors who have lived on the church farm are Rev. H. Mankey and Rev. Harold Correll. Rev. Thomas Murray, a student at the American Baptist Seminary in Kansas City, served the church as pastor for three years. His services were much appreciated by the members.

In 1958, during the pastorate of Rev. Harold Correll, the Wakenda and Rockingham churches merged, forming one organization and worshiping at the Rockingham Church.

The Rockingham Church has always had an active Ladies’ organization known as the Ladies’ Aid. Many of the church women have served as president. The biggest project of the year, with the help of the men, is the making of approximately 1000 quarts of cider apple-butter in the old open topped copper kettles.

Source: Hardin, Missouri: A Centennial History (1870-1970)