Category Archives: Church news

Life Chain: October 1

On Sunday, October 1, 2023, the Life Chain will be held at the Fort Scott First Southern Baptist Church, located at 1818 S. Main on South 69 Highway.

Life Chain is an annual public witness for life through peaceful prayer that takes place on the first Sunday in October.

Pro-Life Kansans from all across the state will gather in their communities on this day.

This Life Chain, part of the National LIfe Chain, is the largest prayerful, pro-life, public witness in the world.  More than 1,500 cities across the United States and Canada are expected to participate.

The event will begin at 1:30 with a memorial service for those babies lost through abortion.

At 1:50, participants will prayerfully line up along Highway 69 to make a peaceful but powerful stance for the preborn.

The public is invited to attend.

New Methodist Church Administrative Executive: Kristin Bishop

Submitted photo. Kristin Bishop

Kristin Bishop, 43, is the new First United Methodist Church Administrative Executive.

“My new role is a combination things – covering duties typical of office manager, treasurer, membership, and volunteer coordination – a little bit of everything to help the congregation live out our mission to know, grow in, serve, and share Christ,” she said.

First United Methodist Church at Third Street and National Avenue,

Bishop is a 1998 Graduate of Fort Scott High School, a 2000 graduate of Fort Scott Community College, and a 2003 Pittsburg State University graduate with a bachelor’s of science in Family and Consumer Sciences.

She has worked at the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, New Generation Child Care and Preschool, BIDS & DIBS, USD 234, USD 235, and Big Sugar Lumber.

Her new job is a joy.

“I enjoy working in this environment,” she said.  “The church, the sermons, and interacting with church members and community volunteers. It is a peaceful and productive place to be.”

“It is a blessing to work in this beautiful church building,” Bishop said. “I love the way the light shines through the stained glass windows and the intricate details that went into the design of this church a century and a half ago.”

“I find Pastor Christopher’s Sunday morning sermons to be engaging and thought-provoking,” she said. “There is always a takeaway from the sermon and a melody from the beautiful music to begin each week. I also enjoy working with members of the church and community volunteers alike. They walk into the church with kindness in their hearts and a mission in mind. They selflessly share their gifts, talents, and time. It’s inspiring!”

Kristin is married to Will Bishop, and they have two sons Winston (7) and Linden (6).

She enjoys reading, road trips, good coffee, and conversation in her spare time.

About The Church

 Christopher Eshelman is the pastor of First United Methodist Church, Pat Harry is the organist and choir director, Sara Schnichels is the nursery coordinator, and Robert Wilson is the custodian.
Sunday school groups meet at 9:30 a.m. and Worship is at 10:30 a.m.
The church’s annual  Christmas Candlelight Service will feature communion and real candles again this year, at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve.


Outreach ministries of First United Methodist:
  •  Feeding Families in His Name is a free weekly meal that averages about 500 served a week, with help from other churches.
  • They provide water bottles available for homeless folks, supplied by a resident.
  • There is a Shepherd’s Center program to help encourage friendship and lifelong learning among older adults that features a variety of speakers: The 2024 schedule is coming soon!
  • Community events such as the Chuck Crain concert coming up on October 8th at 6 pm.
  • Trunk or Treat for Halloween
  • First Annual Nativity Festival, with displays of Nativities and Creche from around the world on Dec 1st and 2nd,
  • The church hosts community meetings for K-State Extension, Pioneer Kiwanis, various sewing groups, a support group for Grieving Mothers starting later this month, and CORE Community beginning in November.
  • Beginning the last Friday of October, the church will offer a soup lunch for freewill donations as a fundraiser.
For more information view its Facebook page or website!

Contact Information:

Blessing Closet Open at Uniontown Baptist Church

First Missionary Baptist Church of Uniontown is located at the intersection of Maple Road and Hwy. 3 at 100 Fifth Street.
The Uniontown First Missionary Baptist Church (FMBC)has started a new service to their community.
“FMBC is a generous supporter of missions and we strive to
find opportunities to assist those in our community and beyond,” said Mission Board Chairwoman Marci Williams. “Hebrews 13:16 says ‘And do not forget to do good and share  with others, for which sacrifices God is pleased.’ The  current food pantry (was) located inside the church and (was) open one evening per month and by appointment.”
The church realized this was not convenient for everyone.
Beginning on September 15, the outside pantry, named the Blessing Closet, is available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


The Blessing Closet is located in the alley on the east side of the church at 100 Fifth Street, Uniontown, behind this white door.
“This will be located on the east side of the church in the alley and can be accessed from an outside entrance anytime night or day.  We are hopeful this will benefit our community and increase our outreach efforts,” Williams said.
The church is located at 100 Fifth Street (also known as Maple Road in the county) at the intersection with Hwy. 3 on the town’s west side.
Food products such as canned goods, and boxed mixes (cake, Hamburger and Tuna Helper, etc.) will be in the closet.
In addition, the church believes there is a need to put personal care items in the Blessing Closet.
The contents of the Blessing Closet.
Personal care items such as deodorant, feminine hygiene products, shampoo, brushes, toilet paper, paper towels, soap, washcloths, and some laundry products.
“Motion lights will be located both inside and outside the closet for those who visit after dark,” she said.
The Blessing Closet is funded by our church through monthly offerings,” she said. “Many in our church have brought this project to completion.”
“Anyone in the area is welcome to utilize the Blessing Closet,” she said. “If  additional assistance is needed, please contact FMBC at 620-224-7438.”
The banner can be seen on Maple Road on the north side of the church.

Support for Grieving Mothers Offered Through First Methodist Church

First United Methodist Church at Third Street and National Avenue,

Cindy Valdez will be starting a group called Support for Grieving Mothers in and around the Bourbon County Area. The group will be meeting every Thursday from 6-7:30 in the Church Parlor at the Fort Scott First United Methodist Church at 301 South National.

The meetings will run from 9/21/23-11/16/23. This is a group for mothers who’ve lost children no matter how they were when they passed. I

If you’d like to join you’ll need to contact Cindy Valdez at 620-224-8515 or email her at in advance to reserve your spot.

The Missourians in Concert at First Southern Baptist Church on Sept. 9

The Missourians In His Service will be at  First Southern Baptist Church, 1818 S Main, on September 9th at 6:00 P.M. at the Church. Come one, come all. Free will offering will be taken.

The First Southern Baptist Church, 1818 S. Main.

Tight harmonies, upbeat concerts, soul touching songs & the love of Jesus Christ is what The Missourians are best known for. For over thirty years they have been spreading the message of Jesus Christ through song.

During that time they have recorded 18 albums and 2 videos including their latest release “Say Amen”.

The Group based out of Joplin Missouri, is comprised of talented vocalists who have a true desire of spreading the good news to people of all ages and locations.

In 2018 the guys received the honor of being voted the
“FOUR STATES FINEST” in two categories.

Whether it’s a rural church or city auditorium The Missourians have one purpose…to share the love of Jesus through music.
The Missourians have shared the stage with such greats as Gold City, Brian Free & Assurance, Legacy Five, Ivan Parker, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers and many others.
Don’t miss this opportunity to see The Missourians LIVE in concert .

Carpenters for Christ Youth Carpentry Workshop

Carpenters for Christ Youth Carpentry

Location: First Southern Baptist Church
1818 S Main St

August 7 th , 8 th & 9 th
10am till 11:30am

Ages: 6 th thru 8 th Grade (Boys & Girls)

Enrollment Limited to 15 youth

(Call 620-223-2986 to reserve a spot)

Workshop will include: Snacks, a Bible Lesson, and a Carpentry
Training Session

*Youth that attend at least 2 sessions will receive a free t-shirt
(t-shirts will be ordered after the end of the 2 nd workshop)

Family Crusade at First Southern Baptist Church Aug. 6-9

Fort Scott First Southern Baptist Church





AUGUST 6th thru 9th



Evangelist Tricky Ricky Henson


Illusionist/Ventriloquist (Randy)



Sunday 10:50 a.m. & 6:00 p.m.


Monday & Tuesday 7:00 p.m.




Bounce House/Slide/Snow Cones



First Southern Baptist Church


1818 S Main, Fort Scott




Pastor Joel Crippen

A Local Church’s Mission Continues Years After Closing

First Christian Church, 102 Judson. Taken from Google.

The First Christian Church of Fort Scott closed its doors in January 2016 after 145 years of supporting and ministering to families in the Bourbon County area.  The church was located most of those years at the corner of 1st and Judson.

Founded in 1871 and once one of the largest congregations in the area, First Christian Church faced an aging, declining membership with waning attendance and finally the retirement of the minister.

The Board of Trustees decided the best action would be to preserve the resources that remained and discontinue worship services.  The group recognized the money was provided from Bourbon County citizens and should remain in Bourbon County to provide good works for its citizens.

After selling the church building as well as the parsonage and liquidating assets, the Board of Trustees was determined to locate the best use of their church’s remaining $250,000.

Following serious investigation and much discussion, the Trustees voted to establish an endowed fund with the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation (FSACF).

The earnings of this fund, managed by FSACF, are used annually through grants for worthy projects and efforts to organizations in the Bourbon County area.  The principal amount of approximately $250,000 is left untouched and will continue to generate financial grants into perpetuity.

In 2022, grants through this Endowed Fund were made to a Riverfront Authority Labyrinth in honor of Allen Warren; Methodist Church Feeding Families Program; Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries; USD 234 Preschool Center Community Involvement; USD 234 Healthy Snacks Program and (along with other area Churches) the purchase of a used vehicle to support Afghan families who had moved to our community.

This First Christian Church Endowed Fund should generate $12,000 to $20,000 each year to be used to support worthwhile endeavors in Fort Scott and Bourbon County for many, many years to come.

If you would like to contribute to the First Christian Church of Fort Scott Charitable Endowment Fund or would like information about how an organization, individuals or families can establish their own endowed fund through the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation, go to for more information.

VBS at Nazarene Church is June 26-29

Sending on behalf of Chamber Member

Fort Scott Nazarene Church…

MSTELLAR: Shine Jesus’ Light!

Join us for a “Stellar” week at Fort Scott Nazarene. Blast off is in just a few days!

All kids age 4 through 5th grade are invited to attend.

 Kids may be registered online at the link below.…/1693863

Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce | 231 E. Wall Street, Fort Scott, KS 66701

Historic Church Property Donated to the Gordon Parks Museum

The former site of the church at Third and Lowman Street, the Learning Tree Sign is seen in center, left.

Fort Scottian Josh Jones purchased the property at 301 Lowman for a philanthropic purpose.

“I purchased it from the owner with the intent to transfer it to the Gordon Parks Museum,” Jones said. “I knew of the historic meaning of the property and wanted to get it to them.”

Left to right): Josh Jones, along with Kirk Sharp, Gordon Parks Museum Director  and Sarah Smith, member of the Fort Scott Community College Foundation. Submitted photo.

On the property once stood the historic African-American Methodist Episcopal Church.

Now it’s the property of the Gordon Parks Museum, thanks to Jones and the Fort Scott Community College Foundation, according to a press release from the museum director, Kirk Sharp.

“The FSCC Foundation Department helped with getting it deeded into their name, the museum is under its umbrella,” Sharp said.

“Jones donated the site on the southeast corner of Third and Lowman streets where the church, attended regularly by Gordon Parks and his family, was located,” according to the press release. “The church was also used in a scene from Parks’ acclaimed film, The Learning Tree.”

AME Church
Gordon Parks, 1950.
Photo Courtesy of and Copyright by The Gordon Parks Foundation

“We are very excited about this donation and can’t thank Josh and the Foundation enough,” said Sharp. “This donation creates this wonderful opportunity to keep this incredible history alive in Fort Scott. This is also the same location that is located on our Learning Tree Film Sign Trail.”

The sign that explains this site is part of the Gordon Parks Sign Trail.

The tentative plans, Sharp said, are to develop the property as a commemorative, low-maintenance park neighborhood-type park with signs, photos, benches and short walls with a history of the church as a tribute.

“The museum will look for possible grants and donations to help fund this project,” he said. “There is currently no timeline as of now for the completion of the tribute project.”

In its heyday, the church, established in 1866, was the hub of Fort Scott’s black community, according to the press release. The church moved from its original location in 1885, occupying a new brick building on the corner of Third and Lowman, where it stood at 301 S. Lowman with a viable congregation for more than 115 years.

A reduction in members and unsafe conditions eventually led to its condemnation and razing in the early 2000s, Sharp said. One of the stained-glass windows and two of the pews are on exhibit at the Gordon Parks Museum.

“The largest congregation was believed to have been in 1888,” he said. “The city directory for that year indicates the membership was 260 and the Sunday school membership was 100.”

The AME church was Fort Scott’s first and oldest black church with Shiloh Baptist being the second.

Fort Scott’s Labyrinth To Be Dedicated May 28

Pictured are people painting the initial labyrinth lines in fall 2022 at the vacant lot across from First Presbyterian Church at 308 S. Crawford. Submitted photo.

In nearly every culture, walking labyrinths are a single path to a center used for prayer and meditation, or just a brief walk, according to Pastor Christopher Eshelman of Fort Scott First United Methodist.

“We find examples all over the world, from petroglyphs to indigenous basket weavings, stamped coins and labyrinths themselves,” he said. “In this sense, a labyrinth is not a maze or a puzzle – there are no dead ends (and no Minataur!).”

Building a labyrinth in Fort Scott, was Eshelman’s idea.

“Walking labyrinths is one of my favorite spiritual disciplines and I’ve been building them for several years – everything from temporary chalk on concrete or painters tape on a gym floor to mowing them into fields or, in this case, arranging stone to form the path boundaries,” he said.

The Fort Scott Labyrinth was completed last month, and will be dedicated on May 28 at 11:45 a.m., right after the Methodist church service is over.

Pictured is the completed labyrinth with benches. Submitted photo.

“It just really got finished in the last month or so and we are formally dedicating it on Sunday, May 28th with a brief ceremony, he said. “We added the benches and sign a few months ago using funds from a grant given by the Healthy Congregations program of the UMC’s Great Plains Conference. Anyone can use the space.”


The labyrinth is a place to meditate.

“It’s a personal favorite practice and it is a way of transforming the space from an abandoned lot into something beautiful,” Eshelman said. “This site, where people once bought food to nourish their bodies now serves as a space to nourish mind and spirit. It is a great way to engage people in walking, exercise, and spirituality as well as deepening the connection and cooperation between our two congregations.”

The labyrinth is sponsored by First Presbyterian Church and First United Methodist Church.

The Presbyterian Church logos, left and the Methodist Church Logo, right. Submitted graphics.

“The Presbyterians now own the land, which was the former site of Whiteside’s Grocery at 3rd and Crawford,” he said. “The Whiteside’s are longtime members of First United Methodist, where I now serve as pastor. With permission of their Sessions board, I and a few volunteers initially laid it out with marking paint and then gradually added stone – some is debris from the site and some is stone gathered and donated from nearby fields and projects by one of our members. What was once scattered now contributes to a place of wholeness.”

Memorabilia from Whiteside’s Grocery Store, now the site of the labyrinth. Submitted photo.

“It is a space where you can, quite literally, center yourself,” he said. “It really is what you make of it and what you bring to it. There is no wrong way to walk a labyrinth so long as you are respectful of the space and others who use it. One of my favorite experiences was a time I was trying to very seriously instruct a group of Cub Scouts in the ancient practice… and they did not care. They just wanted to play. When I finally got out of the way and let them runs and skip, they immediately started playing follow the leader and exploring the space. It was wonderful. Our design copies one that was laid in the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France between 1200 and 1220AD and used as a pilgrimage spot.”

Chartres Labyrinth design. Submitted photo.