Hardin Water Tower

Hardin-Central School

Christian Church

Wakenda Church

Church History

In 1857, David B. Bowman and family came to Hardin from Rockingham County, Virginia. A farm of two hundred acres of land with a two-room log house with attic and shed was bought in 1858. This farm was located about six miles north of Hardin. Mr. Bowman’s wife was a member of the Brethren Church. In 1858, the VanTrumps and Spitzers came from Rockingham County. Virginia. In March 1869 came the family of Samuel B. Shirkey and David B. Rhodes from Virginia. They were members of the Brethren Church. David B. Bowman had become a member and all of these people began having meetings in three houses and a schoolhouse.

On October 4 and 5, 1869, the first Love Feast was held at the home of David B. Bowman. He had built a large house, which is still standing northeast of the present Wakenda Church and Cemetery.

The first organization of the members of the Church of the Brethren was in 1871. These fourteen members were: Mr. and Mrs. Samuel B. Shirkey, Mr. and Mrs. David B. Bowman, Mr. and Mrs. John VanTrump, Mr. and Mrs. John Hase, and Mr. and Mrs. David B. Rhodes. These members set about to build a church house to worship In. David B. Bowman donated the land and native timber for the framework of the church. It was built in 1872 and 1873 on the south side of the road from where the present church stands. The first church was later torn down and lumber used to build a church on the north side of the road in 1895. Rocks for the foundation were quarried on the David B. Bowman land. Land for David Bowman and son, Jacob F. Bowman, gave the church and cemetery and part of the materials.

The church merged with the Rockingham Church of The Brethren in 1958. The pastor at that time was Rev. Harold Correll. In the summer months funerals are still held in the church. The cemetery is well kept.

(Webmaster's note: In approximately the late 1970s, the church was destroyed by a tornado. The cemetery is still well kept.)

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