Editorial: Old McKendree celebrates milestone birthday

Congregants from Methodist churches throughout southeast Missouri gather for the 200th anniversary of Old McKendree Chapel on Sept. 22, 2019, at Old McKendree Chapel in Jackson.
Ben Matthews ~ Southeast Missourian

America is 243 years old, which means Old McKendree Chapel in Jackson, which recently celebrated its bicentennial, has been around almost as long as these United States.

Last weekend a grand celebration was held over two days, marking the importance of the Methodist chapel -- the oldest Protestant church west of the Mississippi River.

There were presentations, worship gatherings, a symposium at Dempster Hall and a cavalcade of speakers, including Kellerman Foundation's Frank Nickell, U.S. District Judge Stephen Limbaugh, Jr. and Cape Girardeau Research Center associate director William Eddleman. Bishop Robert Farr of the Missouri Conference United Methodist Church spoke on Sunday afternoon.

Hopefully you enjoyed the photo gallery by Southeast Missourian photographer Ben Matthews. The gallery along with a list of things to know about the chapel can be found nearby.

Congratulations to all the folks with Old McKendree. Thank you for preserving this chapel for two centuries. It's a local treasure and a peaceful place for reflection and prayer.