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Old Argo Presbyterian Church Celebrates 150 Years

CLYDE RUWWE, present member of Old Argo, stands next to the charcoal drawing of his great-great-grandfather, Rev. James B. Braly. This original frame, restored by present member, Jesse Smith, Jr., was unveiled Sunday, and once again hangs in the church.

CLYDE RUWWE, present member of Old Argo, stands next to the charcoal drawing of his great-great-grandfather, Rev. James B. Braly. This original frame, restored by present member, Jesse Smith, Jr., was unveiled Sunday, and once again hangs in the church.

THE STUMPE FAMILY. Descendants of Christina Schwiddee, Rose Schwiddee Cunio and Mabel Cunio Luecke.

THE STUMPE FAMILY. Descendants of Christina Schwiddee, Rose Schwiddee Cunio and Mabel Cunio Luecke.

The little church in the country, Old Argo Presbyterian Church, located off Highway AE near Japan, MO, celebrated 150 years of worship service on Sun., Aug. 28, 2011 at 11 a.m. The church was packed with members and visitors from surrounding areas.
The service was led by Pastor Rob Cardwell, with guest speaker Rev. Ed Wicklein who spoke of the history of the Presbyterian Church and how Old Argo fit into the bigger picture. Clerk of Session, Rosemary Lechten, read correspondence received from past ministers—Rev. Robert Dome, Rev. Kay Mills and Dotty, the widow of Rev. Charles Likely, regretting that they could not attend, but wishing the best for Old Argo. The congregation was happy to see a past minister, Rev. Don Kratz, and his wife, Lyda, who served from 1994 to 2002.
They recognized their two oldest members, Leo Thurmond, age 96, and Dorothy Turner, age 89, who was accompanied by her son, Jim, and his wife, Glora Turner.
“I Remember When” – Memories from the past, written by Ila Faye Luecke Stumpe, was read by her daughter and grandson, Penny and Luke Wells. Several people in church shared their memories.
Marie (Moss) Barrentine – “I remember my parents, Raymond and Dixie Moss, donated the bell that now rings every Sunday, and the two antique high-back chairs in front of the church by the altar.”
Mike Turner – “I remember my parents, Bob and Dorothy Turner, bringing us to church here and, even though I accepted Christ as my Savior later, the seed was planted here.”
Barb Stumpe and Krista Hardecke – “We remember Vacation Bible School being held in stock trailers due to the large number of children attending.” Barb said, “This church has always been ‘all about the kids.’ They have always been our priority.”
Pastor Rob Cardwell – “I remember coming into this church the first time through the back door because the front was under construction. At this time, I thought I would ‘never’ drive that distance to pastor a church. Several months later, I was called to fill the pulpit and was surprised to see construction completed on the new Fellowship Hall and entering the new front door.”
Pastor Rob was voted in as Pastor and started on June 2004, and remains with them still. “Never Say Never!” They are so happy to have him and his wife, Sharon, with them.
The program was completed with special music of “Precious Memories” performed by the Stumpe family. Stephanie was the pianist for the day, Tiffany read the scripture lesson, and Danette led the responsive reading. After the service, the crowd moved into the Fellowship Hall to enjoy an abundance of “carry-in” dishes.
The history of Old Argo started in 1861 with Rev. James B. Braly, founder of the church, in a log building on what is now the Mark Falloon farm. The original members were: Bralys, Bells, Tyrees, Mitchells, Woodruffs, Rowlands, Fergusons, Enloes, Souders, Underwoods, Renicks, McCunes, Naugles, Vests, Everands and Hethcocks.
In 1885, this log building was replaced with a structure that cost $50 plus donated labor. This building burned on Feb. 18, 1954. The new Old Argo Church building cost $9,200 plus donated labor. In 2004, the addition of the Fellowship Hall cost $112,000. They are so appreciative of all the members, neighbors and families that have helped make the building of these churches a reality.
Through the years, their tradition has not changed. Once again, on Sat., Sept. 24, they will be cooking apple butter the traditional way in the copper kettles with the long-handled stirrers. On Sat., Oct. 8, they will again continue their tradition with the Fall Festival Whole Hog Sausage Dinner.
A special appreciation goes to Pam Campbell for compiling the Old Argo 150th Anniversary booklets

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