Community Christian Church Celebrates 50 Years

Community Christian Church.,1919 S. Horton.
A local congregation is celebrating 50 years in the community.
Community Christian Church met for the first time on January 21, 1973.
“It was at the (Scottview Apartments) high rise,” Jerry Witt, who is serving on the planning committee for the anniversary celebration, said. “We were going to meet in homes but the phone rang off the hook that week and we knew we’d have too many for something like that.”


“Sixty-three people attended that first meeting,” he said. “It has never been below that number since. On charter Sunday, 111 people were in attendance and 70 of those placed their membership.”

In the earliest days, finding a place to meet was a challenge.

They met in the band room at the middle school, at Fort Scott Community College, at the high rise apartment complex, and at the old 4-H Building.

As the congregation grew, a more permanent and larger location was necessary.

The ground breaking of Community Christian Church in 1973. Submitted photo.

Once they were able to start building the church facility, it was able to be purchased because all seven leaders: Max Hayden, Ron Billiard, Bill Douglas, Richard Hixon, Jerry Witt, Tom Armstrong,  and Bill Underkofler put their homes up as collateral for the build.

The original church building for Community Christian Church. Submitted photo.

Leon Weece was the only paid staff for at least a year, and volunteers cleaned the church.

The original sanctuary of Community Christian Church, 1973. Submitted photo

Currently they have six ministry staff, two administration staff,  and two janitorial staff members, with one intern.

The Mission

The mission of the first congregation was to start a fundamental, Bible-based Christian church, and there have been three mission statements in the church history.

The current one is “We are a community who loves Jesus, who want to see Jesus loved by our community.”

“We have changed the wording to become more modern over time but we have always stuck to those three basic missions of God, his plan, and his people.” said Karen Billiard, also on the anniversary committee.

The Anniversary Committee

The 50 year planning committee has nine people, and five were present that first service: Sharon Campbell, Karen Billiard, Judy and Jerry Witt, and Robin Billiard-Hartman.

Added to the 2023 anniversary committee are Rita Emmerson, and Billie Jo and Alan Drake, who all came to the newly formed church early in its history, along with Delynn Abati, who has attended Community since 1997.

An aerial view of Community Christian Church in 2023. Submitted photo.


The Current Congregation

Currently there are nearly 500 people attending Community Christian.

Members of the anniversary committee stated their reasons they attend the church:

“The love our church family has for each other,” said Robin Hartman.

“Knowing that we are a Bible-based church,” said Billie Jo Drake.

“The fellowship and care each person has for every other,” Billiard said.

CCC is a mission-giving church, increasing outreach of the congregants.

From the inception of the church, they pledged 10% of all income to missions, according to information from the committee. That number has grown to the 18% currently given to missions every month.

Plans for the 50th Anniversary

There will be one extended service on Sunday, February 12, which is Community Christian Church’s Charter Sunday, beginning at 9 a.m. that will highlight and recreate parts of the last 50 years.

Leon Weece, the church’s first minister, will preach. Additionally, there will be testimonies from some of the charter members and Timothys; people the church has sent out to serve in ministries throughout the world.

There will be a reception directly following the service, which will have a microphone set up for anyone wanting to share memories of their days at CCC.

On the Horizon

The church is currently remodeling the north wing of the facility to be a more inviting and accommodating space for the youth group. They are about 50% done with the remodel.


The service times of the church:  9 a.m. and 11 a.m. every Sunday, with a study hour in between.

They also have programming for students pre-K to 12th grade from 6 to 8 p.m. every Wednesday evening, during the school year.

The church is located at 1919 S. Horton, Fort Scott.

For more information, phone 620.223.1500 or view their Facebook page.

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