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Eastminster Presbyterian Church, Kansas City, MO

February 1, 2016

MOkansascityPres

Faced with shrinking congregations (and diminishing collection plates), some mainline congregations have evolved interesting survival mechanisms. Eastminster Presbyterian, for example, still stands at the corner of Anderson Avenue and Benton Boulevard in northeastern Kansas City, though it has recently sold the building to Iglesia Cristian Palabra viva (Living Word Christian Church) and at the same time become renters of the building. A third congregation, Living Faith, also shares the building, according to an article in local news. Curiously, when I looked for this on google.maps, the building was also identified with “Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” which is presumably an orthodox Roman Catholic group. In addition to a large eminently shareable large sanctuary, there appears to be sufficient space for all these groups to function economically.

On a personal note, it may be that Eastminster’s selling resulted from a 2011 vote to disaffiliate from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) which has been moving toward becoming LGBTQ-friendly.

The architect’s name for this 1907 building is given as L. Grant Middaugh [1841-1930], though there are differences of opinion whether “L” stands for Leon or Loren. Ancestry.com settles the matter with “Loren.” Until this example, Middaugh had been unknown to me.

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2 Comments
  1. Katherine permalink

    Hi — I know this article was posted awhile ago, but I happened across it while looking up history on my old church. I grew up going to EPC in Kansas City, MO, in the 90s and 00s. I can guarantee it is not the same church referenced in the article you linked. My church never voted to leave the Presbytery and was moderate, not conservative, when it came to LGBTQ members. The church in that article is in Kansas and mentions having had over 2,000 members, whereas mine only ever had a few hundred and was part of the Heartland Presbytery, not the Southern Kansas Presbytery. It just happens to have the same name. The building was sold only due to financial reasons. Just wanted to let you know.

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