Churches of Miller County

Alder Springs Church of Christ
 Alder Springs Church of Christ
Alder Springs Church of Christ

(Located southwest of Iberia in Richwoods Township)
By Peggy Smith Hake

 Oak View Church of Christ
This old church was rather difficult to research because I don't know of any written records about its existence, only legend and folklore........

I made a call to a man in Pueblo, Colorado who attended the church when he was a young boy in the late 1920s and early 1930s.....he was not sure when the church organized and was built, but thought it was in the late 1920s when some members left Pleasant Hill Christian Church and decided to begin their own church after some misunderstanding and advanced to 'a parting of ways and doctrine'. My mother attended Pleasant Hill Church during those years and had told me on several occasions of the split between the membership. I think the problem concerned music in the church that was accepted by some and rejected by others.

Mr. Keeth, in Colorado, remembered that while living in the small town of Iberia in the late 1920s, his mother and her family was driven to this church by his uncle who also lived near Iberia. He remembered that one of the members was Charles M. Snodgrass, the Miller County Supt. of Schools who was born in Vichy, Maries County, MO and had moved to Miller County after teaching in some of the country schools for awhile before being elected as County Supt. of Schools. Mr. Snodgrass knew of a minister in Maries County named Rev. Distlekamp whom he persuaded to come and preach for awhile at Oak View.

From interviews with Mr. Keeth and remembering what my mother had told me, I think the old church only existed for about 15 years or less.....when I was a child, I remember going to Oak View with my grandmother on afternoons when ladies of the community would gather to make quilts and wrap bandages made from old bed sheets. I think this may have been at the beginning of WWII and the bandages were sent to the military to be used on the battlefields. I would venture a guess that the early 1940s was the end of the existence of Oak View Church of Christ.

 Oak View Church of Christ
Another memory I have of Oak View Church was told to me by Eugene Keeth of Iberia who died in 2006 well beyond his 90th year......He said there were graves behind the old church and I think he told me there were 2 children buried there that belonged to the Driver family who lived nearby. The Driver family was a black family, descendants of slaves, who moved to Miller County in the early 1900s and settled on a farm within sight of Oak View Church. In his elderly years, Eugene, who spent much of his life in woodwork, made a couple of wooden crosses and placed them where he thought the little graves were located. He wanted to honor the children who had been there for so long and he continued to stay in touch with the Driver family after they left the Iberia area and moved to Cole County, Missouri. They were very touched that he was so kind to place the wooden crosses on the graves of their tiny babies and always called him 'friend'.


The Congregational United Church of Christ in Iberia can trace its beginning to early organizational meetings in 1870. The Congregational Quarterly of 1873 reports the church was formed in 1871, when Daniel Callahan was called and ordained as its minister.

During its early years, worship and business meetings were held in the I.O.O.F. Hall and the Iberia Methodist Church. The first building was opened in 1879 during the pastorate of W.H. Hicks. A local residence was purchased for a parsonage in 1927. This building was sold in 1957 to start funds for a new church building.

Ground was broken in July 1958, and the congregation moved into its new church in February, 1959, with all bills paid. The classroom annex was enlarged in 1963, and both buildings have been improved in subsequent years.

Charter members included many of whose family names are still well known in the community and represented in the present congregation.

In 1891, the members voted to extend the charter to allow participation in the Iberia Academy. Prof. G. Byron Smith, founder of the academy, served many terms as pastor of the church.

The Congregational Church of Christ in Iberia was incorporated in 1927. A resolution favoring union with the North New Light Christian Church was adopted in 1935. A new constitution, adopted in 1936 and amended in 1939, saw the name changed to Congregational Christian Church in America. Along with the national denomination, the members approved ratification of the constitution of the United Church of Christ in 1961.

The early years saw a succession of pastors, many of whom were partly supported by the national Board of Home Missions.

 Spring Valley Church of Christ

Any information that you have about this particular church that you can share would be greatly appreciated.

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