Friday, June 4, 2010

The White Church

2200 North 85th Street, KCK

9:00am to 6:00pm

Cost: Free


Appropriate for all ages

Let’s answer the first question right off the bat: What is White Church?

White Church is the oldest continuous congregation in Kansas. It’s been an active church since 1830. It was started by missionaries to preach to a Delaware Tribe and ended up converting the chief of the tribe as well as others. Behind the church is the cemetery where many of these people are buried. So that’s it in a nutshell. It’s a piece of Kansas history that’s worth seeing.

I was a little apprehensive when we first arrived as the church itself is quite small. At least the historic part of it. But don’t let first impressions impede you from going on this adventure. It’s worth it and it’s a fun little adventure.

The original church, built in 1830, burned down and was soon replaced. That church was blown down by a tornado. Undeterred and still together the congregation built the third church in 1904 and it still stands today. It’s built out of stone and over the years has been added on and is still in use. Ring the doorbell at the side and you will be let in by the members.

This is where I thought it got really cool. Our guides knew every bit of history of the place. When it was built, who the preachers where, how it was transformed, all of it. As a history buff, this was totally worth it. But the highlight of the tour was that they allowed the kids to ring the church bell. How awesome is that. They were swinging from that thing like monkeys in a zoo.

Before you leave the church, take note of the stained glass windows which are the originals from 1904.

Head on back to the graveyard to see where many of the Delaware tribe are buried. Don’t expect a large graveyard here though. It’s pretty small but fits with the whole theme of the place. But you wont’ be disappointed as you will see graves from the 1830s and onward. What I was really impressed by is that the church replaced corroded headstones so that you could identify who was buried there but also kept the originals as well. A great activity here would be grave rubbings.

In the end, this small piece of history offered a great little adventure. The whole thing takes about 35 to 45 minutes but is time well spent.

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