Honor God, Seek Christ, Serve Others Together


Scarcely fifty years after the founding of our country, Barry Christian Church was established.  The story of the church since that time in 1840 is one of continuous life, and also of heartache, challenge, and triumph.  Today it stands as a testament to the faith, hard work and loyalty of generations of people who invested their lives into the promise of a giving and living church.

Found in the oldest church record is the following entry: ‘“Barry, Missouri, April 26, 1840, “We the underwritten brethren on the day and place above named formed ourselves into a congregation holding the Old and New Testaments for a bond of union and a guide for all our actions”.” It was signed with the names of eighty-nine men and women, many who have relatives still active in Barry Christian Church.   Remarkable for the time, the original list of members included some twenty-six African-American believers.


At that time a rutted dirt road passed in front of the site of our present church.  Primeval forest and unplowed fields lay just outside the tiny community of Barry.  Trading with Native Americans flourished just a few hundred yards to the west along the county line, which until two years before had been the boundary of Missouri.  Slavery was still a strong element in the life of the times.

The first church was a log cabin, hewn probably of whatever timbers were most common (walnut, oak, locust), and chinked with the clay so commonly found beneath their feet.  We can only imagine that the first church differed very little from most of the houses built at about the same time differing only by the “split-log and peg-leg” benches that completed the interior.

Few records exist of that early church but we know this log building gave way to a large frame structure in 1860.  And we know that this building was in use until another was built in 1950.  The turbulence of the Civil War swept past the early church but did not destroy it.  In fact, according to early records, the church represented an island of calm in the violent arguments and armed clashes that tore through the community, surely a testament to the faith and endurance of the early members.  Over time the community of Barry, once a lively trading place disappeared from the map, but the church remained.

The changing times, World War I, the Great Depression, so depleted the congregation that by 1940 the building was in bad repair and there wasn’t a regular preacher so Sunday services were at best sporadic and only half-dozen adults remained of the congregation.  When other churches in similar predicaments joined together with like churches in duress or actually disbanded those half-dozen members wouldn’t buckle under, and with their own ingeniousness saved the church from dissolution.  Through the leadership and devotion of twelve women, in February of 1941 the “Barry Christian Church Ladies Aid was formed to act as a Ways and Means Committee to support the Church Board and Young People in redecorating the church building and employing a full time minister.”  These women were undaunted and over an eighteen-year time period achieved a record that reads like a fairytale.  Beginning with a Saint Patrick’s dinner in 1941, an endless program of fund raising projects ensued including bazaars, plays, ice-cream socials, paper and scrap drives and so much more thus allowing the old church to be completely reconditioned, a basement added and furnished, and they still had operating money as well as what would have seemed unimaginable the ability to donate to many needy causes.


In 1949, Minnie Henderson, a pioneer schoolteacher, left the church $16,000.   Her gift’s purpose was “to build a new Christian Church at Barry”.  A building committee of seven men was chosen to supervise the construction of a new brick sanctuary, using the Ladies Aid basement as a foundation. Then Sunday school classes, the Ladies Aid, general members and interested friends in the community joined together to completely furnish the new church which they dedicated on April 23, 1950, on the one hundred-tenth anniversary of the congregation. One speaker at the dedication, in summing up the recent years, said; “it is doubtful if ever in church history so few people have done so much with so little in such a short period of time”.

Today Barry Christian church continues to be a beacon of God’s love for residents of Clay/Platte Counties and beyond to discover their spiritual home where serving others and sharing their faith in Jesus Christ is primary.

Barry Christian Church

Contact Us

1500 NW Barry Road
Kansas City, MO 64155

Sunday Worship

8:30 a.m. - Worship
9:45 a.m. - Sunday School for All Ages
11:00 a.m. - Worship

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