Historic Mt. Gilead Church

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Mt. Gilead Church was organized in 1830 as a Primitive Baptist Church, with services held in the homes of its members.  It became the Mt. Gilead Christian Church in 1841, with the first building constructed in 1844. That structure burned in 1862. The present brick church was built in 1873. Brick was made on the site and some of the pews were made from trees on the property. The pulpit was fashioned more than a century ago by John Ingram from an old cherry wood rope bed donated by Matt Wilkerson, who at one time, lived across the road. Services were held regularly for many decades until 1930 when the church closed. Four years later it opened as a Community Church with Reverend Forrest Taylor as pastor. It became inactive again in 1937. Services were renewed in 1951 and continued until the early 1980’s.

Adjacent to the church is the cemetery, which was also founded in 1830 with stones dating back to the 1840’s.  Matt Smith maintained the church and cemetery for nearly 50 years before his death in 1969.  A cousin of Abraham Lincoln is buried here, as well as founding church members, and confederate soldiers.

The Clay County Department of Historic Sites acquired the Mt. Gilead property in 1984. The two-acre property includes the historic church, school, and cemetery. In 1998, extensive renovations to both the church and school included new HVAC systems, complete refurbishing of the church interior, electrical updates, flagstone walkways, landscaping, cemetery restoration, restroom facilities, and the installation of a portion of the original fence at the cemetery entrance.

The church can accommodate a variety of events, including weddings, reunions, showers, meetings, picnics, performances and parties. Reservations are available year round. Click here to see our availability calendar. To find out more about weddings at Mt. Gilead, click here. Call us today at (816)736-8502 so we can show you this lovely & versatile venue.  

contact us

Mt. Gilead Church & School

15918 Plattsburg Rd.

Kearney, Missouri 64060

phone: (816) 736-8500
fax: (816) 736-8501