The town of Longwood is a small town, located in Pettis County, Missouri about 8 miles southeast of the intersection of Interstate 70 and US 65 highway. The Longwood Presbyterian Church is located on the south end of the town, just a few feet off the blacktop. We are in the Pettis County RV school district in Hughesville about 10 miles away.
Our congregation is varied with our folks working in farming, industry, commerce, education, marketing, healthcare and government. We have a loving congregation actively interested in sharing our lives and the Good News of Jesus Christ with all who enter our doors.
Until the early ’90s our building was the typical older rural church--plain white building, with unlocked doors, and lots of steps. Unfortunately, we also had a badly decaying outer facility. Our treasury had a modest $25,000, but there were places to spend ten times that much. We decided to take a huge leap of faith and build a new building. It would be totally handicap accessible, without a basement and on a concrete slab. We hired a retired contractor who had just finished building a church in Sedalia, and with his help and lots of volunteers, we finished it in about a year. The miracle of this project was not that we built the building but that, when we were done, we had no debt and we still had our original $25,000, plus several more thousand dollars remaining. From the youngest to the oldest, from the nearest neighbor to people out of state, from proceeds of sales of failing churches to grants from the Presbytery—everyone that we knew helped us to make our dream come true.
Today, we are enjoying our building and a growing congregation. In the early ‘80’s we were lucky to have 10 people at church. Although our membership is around 30 we regularly have upwards of 40 people during regular worship—and several young people too. We have an active women’s group (PW) who, along with the church, support several mission projects, among which are the Festival of Sharing, One Great Hour of Sharing, Thank Offering, Blanket Sunday, the 1% Theological Fund, the Joy Offering, and the local Open Door program.
When church service falls on the 5th Sunday, we have a carry-in meal after worship. At Easter, we celebrate Good Friday service and have an early breakfast followed by service on Easter Sunday. In December, we have a children’s Christmas program, one or two Sundays before Christmas.
Each year we have fundraising events that are overwhelmingly supported by the rural community and surrounding towns. In January, we have a chili and soup supper, in July, an ice cream social, and in October our Lord’s Acre Sale - that has been with us since 1957. These events bring in about 1/3 of our financial needs. The rest comes from offering, tithes and generous gifts on a regular basis.
We are excited about our future.