Category Archives: Church news

Craft and Bake Sale At FS First Southern Baptist Sept. 24-25

The First Southern Baptist Church, 1818 S. Main.




7:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

BREAKFAST (7a.m.-10:30) LUNCH (11a.m.-2p.m.)

$2.00 each $3.00 each

Breakfast burritos Soup – Chicken Noodle

Sausage rolls (jalapeno & cheddar) Taco

(cheddar) Sandwich – BBQ

Biscuit & Gravy Chicken Salad

Water, Orange Drink, Coffee – $.50

SAUSAGE ROLLS $2/ea or 12 for $22.00

***All proceeds to building fund.

Corn Maze Offered by Local Church For Family Fun

Rinehart Christian Church. Submitted photo.

An area church is gearing up for a family-oriented event that they are offering the community, for free.

A corn maze and other family activities are offered at Rinehart Christian Church, just over the state line in Missouri, 9443 S. 900 Road, Richards, MO.

Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays starting Sept. 25.


“Our purpose behind the corn maze is to provide a service to our community that is fun and unique,” Elijah Pierson, Youth Minister at Rinehart Christian Church, said.

“In particular, we care about families so we want to offer an event that the whole family can enjoy together,” he said. “This year we are also excited about adding special events each weekend which include a dog herding show on Sept. 25, a petting zoo on Oct. 2, a corn hole tournament on Oct. 9, and axe throwing on Oct. 16.

Also for the family to enjoy: hayrides, yard games, a hot dog lunch, pumpkin painting, corn pits, a tiny train, and grain bin basketball.

“It has been a joy the last few years to watch how our church has stepped up to make this event possible for our community,” Pierson said. “It takes a large number of people giving of their time and resources to host this event, and our members have been more than willing to give both because they want the community to know they care about them.”
2021 Corn Maze at Rinehart Christian Church. Submitted photo.

Drive-Through Soup Lunch Oct. 15

The First United Methodist Church, 301 S. National, will host a drive-through soup lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, October 15, 2021.

  The soups available to order will be potato, chicken noodle, and chili with cake for dessert. 

Any free will donation received will be used by the Hospitality and Outreach Committee for their programs in the community and the church.  

Meals will be served under the drive-through of the building.


Submitted by Marla Gorman,Administrative Assistant, First United Methodist Church


Aglow Speaker: Carol Hammerbacker

Aglow’s Guest Speaker will Share a Testimony of  God’s Healing Process of Old Wounds

Fort Scott Aglow Lighthouse welcomes guest speaker, Carol Hammerbacker, on Thursday September 9th at 6:30 pm. We meet at the Fort Scott Inn conference room, 101 State Street.

Carol will share of her faith in the Lord and what an amazing difference He has made in her life. Carol returned to live in southeast KS in 1994 and currently lives in Pittsburg. She graduated high school from Walnut, Kansas and was raised on a farm with two sisters and two brothers. After high school, Carol married and attended cosmetology school. In 1964, she moved to Fortuna, California and had three children. She went into real estate in 1974 and continued her career here.  Tragically her daughter at age 29, was killed in a car accident. Carol’s two sons and their families live in California. She now has five grandchildren and one great grandchild. Carol is grateful to the Aglow International ministry that she discovered while living in California. About 4 years ago she began attending the Pittsburg Aglow Lighthouse and now serves on their board. She says that Aglow has had a positive effect on my relationship with God.
The mission of Aglow International is : Every Nation touched, every heart changed.
For more information, contact Amand Gilmore at (620)215-0418.

Uniontown Baptist Church Multi-Family Rummage Sale Tomorrow, August 21

Uniontown Baptist Church is located on Hwy. 3 on the town’s west side.

In conjunction with the townwide garage sale event, the Uniontown Baptist Church is holding a multi-family rummage sale to help with the new roof project.

The church is located at Hwy. 3 and Fifth Street (Maple Road) in Uniontown and will be open from  7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Items for sale are furniture including tv’s, clothing (25c each), Precious Moments figurines, toys, antique glassware, kitchen ware, nailgun nails, light fixtures, kid-sized wooden chairs, upholstery material and much more.

Uniontown Methodist Church Postpones Homecoming

The Uniontown First United Methodist Church has postponed the Homecoming and New Beginnings Picnic  scheduled for Saturday, August 14, 2021, due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Bourbon County area.

The event will be rescheduled later this year when COVID-19 cases begin to fall, Pastor Carl Ellis said.


Submitted by Carl Ellis


Aglow: Prayer Support For Schools Aug. 12

Praying for and supporting our schools will be the topic of the August 12th gathering of Fort Scott Aglow Lighthouse.

Guests are welcome to visit this interdenominational ministry opportunity for women, men, and youth.

The ministry desires to worship, pray, fellowship, and grow in unity. The goal of Aglow International is: Every nation touched, every heart changed.

Fort Scott Aglow Lighthouse meets on the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm at the conference room of Fort Scott Inn, 101 State Street.

We welcome our guest speaker, Linda Kay Woodworth, Kansas State Prayer Coordinator for Aglow International.

Linda Kay has spent over 35 years in Aglow, having held several leadership positions and she now serves on the North Area Aglow Board. She lives in Topeka with her husband, Bill. She is a former high school language arts teacher. She is currently working during the legislative session at the state capital as an office assistant to a senator.

Linda Kay loves to introduce people to the Holy Spirit and does so every month in the ladies’ prison. She believes that the Kingdom of God is not meat or drink: but righteousness, peace, and JOY in the Holy Ghost.

We bless our schools with the Goodness of God. Many political issues are affecting our children. We need to understand Biblical justice and be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might to stand for truth and wisdom.

Fundraiser Cookout July 17 At Life Point Assembly of God

Life Point Assembly of God, 124 N National Ave is having a cookout fundraiser this Saturday.

We will be having a cook-out to celebrate our 79th anniversary in the Fort Scott community and to raise money for the churches building fund. The cook-out will be from 5 pm to 7 pm on Saturday July 17, 2021. We will be asking for a $5.00 suggested donation. Folks will have the choice of either a hot dog or hamburger on a plate to include a bottle of water, chips, a snack cake. If you have any questions please call Pastor Gregg Sweet at: 316-207-6557 or 620-223-4170. You can also email Pastor Gregg at

Christopher Eshelman is the New First United Methodist Pastor

Christopher and Robin Eshelman. Submitted photo.

Rev. Christopher Eshelman, 53, is the new pastor at First United Methodist  Church in Fort Scott as of July 1.

“People can call me Pastor Christopher, some have been known to shorten that to Pastopher,” he said.

He has been a pastor for 14 years, and prior to that worked in small businesses in Wichita.

I attended Wichita State (University), earning a bachelor of arts in sociology with a minor in political science in 1991,” he said. “My Master of Divintiy was earned in 2011 from Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City. My wife Robin and I met at WSU and she has degrees in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, recently accepting a job with USD 257 in Iola.”

Wichita is his hometown.

“My parents were Lutheran and Catholic,” he said.  “I was baptized at St. Paul Lutheran in Wichita – but after my parents’ divorce, mom took my brother and I to St. Albans, a ‘high rite’ Episcopalian congregation,” he said.

He then did catechism in the Roman Catholic Church as a child, “but found I had too many disagreements and questions to continue,” he said.

His wife Robin had ” basically dragged” him to a University United Methodist Church Disciple Bible Study.

Midway through the study, the leader retired and Eshelman accepted the leader position.

Not long after that, he was offered a staff position at a Methodist church that he had wandered away from.

He was now in charge of creating the classes that he used to refuse to go to, he said.

“After a lifetime of wandering, I found a home in Wesleyan theology with its emphasis on therapeutic grace – and then was sent forth to share what I’d found with others,” he said.

“As I continued to grow in faith and understanding, the path to seminary, ordination, and serving as a pastor became more and more clear,” he said. “In the United Methodist Church, we believe pastors are both called by God and sent by congregations – and that has certainly been my experience. God’s grace has transformed my life and it is my honor to share that with others.”

Rev. Gayla Rapp was a key influence in his life.

“She accepted my (sometimes imprudent) questions and often responded by handing me a book, then we’d discuss it after I’d read it,” he said. “She helped me deepen my spiritual and religious journey – without imposing answers.”

Other mentors include Rev. Cheryl Jefferson Bell, Rev. Barry Dundas, Rev. Cindy Watson, Revs. Howard West and Terry Murray and many, many others, he said.

“We Christians hold that Jesus is fully human and fully God…and is transcendent,” he said. “We hold that we are to become like Christ. Exactly when would we be done growing?…  We always have something new to learn.”

“I love connecting people more deeply with scripture, rituals, and spiritual practices,” he said.  “A personal motto is ‘Find your path… share your journey.’ It is so fun to see a light go on in someone’s eyes as they make a connection, deepen a relationship or even develop a new question that draws them further along their own path!”

This past year with the COVID Pandemic has been by far the most difficult in his career, he said.

“Trying to make decisions to keep people safe, while continuing community has been extremely taxing,” he said.

“Beyond that, people are sometimes all too human – but I often say ‘Jesus hasn’t given up on me, so I’m not allowed to give up on anyone else.'”

He is an avid reader and listens to a wide variety of music,  especially rock and jazz;  is a huge soccer fan, following teams in several leagues and countries; enjoys writing icons (in the Eastern Orthodox tradition) and also enjoys walking labyrinths as a spiritual practice.

“I’m eager to set one up here in Fort Scott and share that ancient tradition with more people,” he said.

In the past, he has served as the president of the Pretty Prairie Community Association and looks forward to getting to know Fort Scott and finding places he and his wife can contribute to building up the community.

First United Methodist Church at Third Street and National Avenue,

Times of church services:
Worship- 10:30 a.m. each Sunday,  Sunday school at 9:30 a.m.

The church hosts “Feeding Families in His Name” each Wednesday evening. “It is open to everyone and you are invited!” he said.

For more information phone (316) 833-4974 or

New Senior Pastor at Life Point Assembly of God: Gregg Sweet

Life Point Assembly of God Church. Submitted photos.

Gregg Sweet, 48, is the new senior pastor at Life Point Assembly of God, 124 E. National Avenue.

Sweet went to seminary at Southwest Assembly of God University, in Waxahachie, Texas, graduating in 2020.

He has been the associate pastor at Bethel Life Center, Wichita, under Pastor Ken Squires, since 2018.

“We have a huge love for the community,” Sweet said. “We are excited to be here and to see what God has in store for the community. We love living in Fort Scott, people are so kind.”

“The church’s mission statement is ‘We are ready to meet people where they are,'” he said.

Sweet and his wife Angela, along with their pug dog, have been here since February 21, 2021.

“My wife and I love history and we like to explore, we love the old Fort (Fort Scott National Historic Site) and Lake Fort Scott and Gunn Park.”

In his spare time, Sweet likes to read and fish, he said.

His hometown is Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Sweet was encouraged by a missionary while young.

“A missionary prayed for me at 16 years old and told me God had a call on my life,” Sweet said.

For Sweet, the best part of being a pastor is ” the relationship with people and being able to share the Gospel and love of Jesus, with the community,” he said.

The biggest challenge is “learning how to do things they don’t teach you in college,” he said. “Like taxes, my wife and I are doing them now.”

His coming to the church coincided with the polar vortex extreme weather in the nation’s mid-section.

The church suffered some weather-related damage at that time and because of that, is having a community cookout fundraiser.  “We will be having a cook-out to celebrate the church’s 79th anniversary  in the Fort Scott community,” Sweet said. “And to raise money for the church’s building fund. It will be from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, July 17, 2021. We will be asking for a $5 suggested donation.”

Hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, a snack cake and a bottle of water will be the cook-out menu.

If any questions, contact Sweet at 316-207-6557 or

Sunday morning worship is at 10:30 a.m., and at 7 p.m. on Thursday is a Bible Study.

Celebrate Recovery is on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m.

For more information contact the church at 620.223.4170.




Fundraiser for First Baptist Church Youth June 25-26

A fundraiser for First Baptist Church Youth will be a rummage sale at the church, 123 Scott Avenue.

First Baptist Church, 123 Scott Avenue.

The sale will be Friday, June 25 from  8 5 p.m., and Saturday, June 26, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Check out the First Baptist Church Facebook page for more information and pictures.

Items available: collectibles, furniture, wall hangings,
books, 45 RPM records,  household goods, and holiday decorations.

Free will donation for items, excluding furniture.

New Pastor at First Southern Baptist: Kenneth Epperson

First Southern Baptist Church, 1818 S. Main.

On June 1, Kenneth Epperson assumed the pastorate of the  Fort Scott First Southern Baptist Church.

Epperson has over 20 years of experience, following his education at Slidell Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisiana.

“That includes camps, evangelism work, and a singing ministry,” he said. “This is the closest I have been to my hometown, Butler, MO.’

The best part of pastoring is getting to encourage and give people hope, he said.

“Everybody needs encouragement,” he said. “We work hard at that. That’s my joy. God loves them and they will make it.”

When asked what one of the biggest challenges for a pastor is, he responded “Bringing people together. Bringing a people into unity and moving them forward in the kingdom.”


Tracy and Kenneth Epperson. Submitted photo.

Epperson and his wife, Tracy, have two married sons, two grandsons, with “one on the way,” he said.

Epperson said God called him at 14 years old to be a pastor.

“We had a guest speaker at our church,” he said. “I remember where I was sitting, when I heard the Lord say ‘You are going to do that someday.'”

“When I was ordained, my Mom told me when she was rocking me when I was young, she felt that I was going to be a pastor one day,” Epperson said. “That was powerful to me.”

The church, located at 1818 S. Main has Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. and worship at 10:50 a.m.

An upcoming event at the church is Vacation Bible School, which is August 4-8 from 9 noon at the church.

For more information contact the church at 620.223.2986.