A Brief History of Coates Street Presbyterian Church

The Coates Street Church of Moberly was organized March 1, 1871 by Rev. H.R. Crockett of the McGee Presbytery. The First Presbyterian Church U.S.A. of Moberly was organized in 1870 by several members of the Old School Presbyterian Church of Huntsville, which was organized in September 1863 before Moberly (junction) became a town. They acquired a church property on August 3, 1873 on N. Morley St. On April 8, 1881 they purchased property on Rollins and Elizabeth streets and erected a brick church, with the assistance of the Board of Church Erection of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.

The Cumberland Presbyterians erected a small building on Coates Street, but by 1891 it was too small for their needs. A new church was built on the same site and dedicated April 2, 1893. This church became the home of two Presbyterian Churches.

By 1895, the church had already grown to 225 members. Our present church building was finished and dedicated on a service in 1896. At that time it cost $18,000 to construct. During the dedication service, the pastor ceremonially tore the mortgage documents to pieces in celebration of paying off their debt. People from all over the town came to join the dedication service such that there were between 1100 and 1200 people present for the joyous occasion. Our building is listed as a “Historic Site in Moberly, MO”.

In December 1906 the two churches were united following a national merger of the denominations. The C.P. Church being the newer and larger building was to be used by the united congregation. The manse was built on the site of the First Presbyterian Church at Rollins and Elizabeth. Members of the First Presbyterian Church marched in a body to the Coates Street Church when the union of the congregations was accomplished. The congregations, at that time, brought together in the union were about equal in number. The U.S.A. church had 223 members and the C.P. church had 215 members.

The pastors of the U.S.A. church from 1871 to 1906 were: Abraham Steed (8 years); A.C. Holmes (4 years); A.W. Lawrence (3 years); Moses Paisley (3 years); Jacob Welty (4 years); Thomas Terhune (3 years); C.C. Hemenway (2 years); Frances Goff (3 years); S. Edward Henry (7 years). Pastors of the united church: R.A. Barnett (1906-1912); David Harrison (1912-1917); Charles Hoving (1918-1924); Allen Duncan (1925-1952); Robert Allen (1953-1958); Robert Cuthill (1959-1963); David Caldwell( 1964-1968); Robert Muncy (1969-1973); Rudolph (Rudy) Beard (1974-1981); William Morgan ( 1982-1985); Andrew Scott (1986-1990); Wallis Landrum (1991-2016); Ann Wasson, interim (2017-2018); Joel W. Lynn (2018-present)

The present Sanctuary was built in 1893, and the Education wing was added in 1955.

We have a Board of Deacons that are active in supporting several missions in the community including: Christos Center, Community Childcare & Learning Center, Moberly Middle School & High School Recourses for home & school, Safe Passage, Randolph County Ministerial Alliance, Coyote Hill of Moberly & Rooted 242.

Our Session (board) is made up of 9 Elders elected by the congregation. They govern all of the business and decisions made for the local church.

CSPC has Sunday School for all ages at 9:30 am and Worship at 10:30 each Sunday. We would like to invite and WELCOME EVERYONE to join us on Sunday mornings.

Cloud of Witnesses Banner Project in 2006

The Bible includes stories of faith from our rich heritage, and testimonies of our fellow believers are powerful encouragement for us all.  Coates Street Presbyterian church bears witness to men and women of faith in many ways, visible and invisible.  Our stained glass windows reflect God’s light and help us enter into God’s presence while reminding us of our inheritance of faith. 

 “…to equip God’s people for work in his service, to the building up of the body of Christ.”     Ephesians 4:12

Moments of spiritual significance and stories of faith journeys were collected from members and friends at CSPC in September 2005.  This project is an adaptation of something done at a cathedral in Chicago celebrating an anniversary of that congregation.  Members of that congregation contributed verses, songs, names, or events in celebration of the many years of ministry of that congregation.  The banners were hung all along both sides of the main aisle so members walked under them coming in to worship.  

Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us run the race before us looking to Jesus.                             Hebrews 12:1

The banners hanging in the Sanctuary are also reflections of that light and very visible reminders of our faith journeys.  The banners, as symbols of our faith stores, can touch us in many subtle ways.    CSPC had the opportunity to enrich the symbols by sharing the full stories with each other.