Sharon Methodist Church is a “descendant” of Raytown Methodist church, which is acknowledged in a history written by Christine Davidson Brown in 1972. In the introduction to the general church history, she states that Sharon Methodist must “gratefully and lovingly acknowledge their debt to Raytown as the ‘Mother Church’.” The first Raytown church was built in 1845, although Methodists met in various places before that date. The present Raytown structure was built in 1890. Raytown Methodist is where Sharon Church founders first attended and where they received the inspiration which allowed them to organize and carry on a church.
The Sharon Methodist congregation organized on September 24, 1886, with 38 members. The first land record deeding land to the church is dated November 1, 1890; $700.00 for four acres, which is approximately two miles from the Raytown church. A meeting house that served the congregation for a little over twelve years was constructed. Under the leadership of Benjamin Graham and William Pressley Lovejoy, the erection of a new church building was carried out in the first years of the 20th century. The original petition, undated but believed to date from 1902, still exists : “We, the undersigned, promise to pay, at our earliest convenience, the amount opposite our names for the purpose of building a new house of worship for the M.E. Church, South, in Sharon, Geo; and should a new church building be erected then the present house of worship will be used for an devoted to school purposes.”
No written records of the dedication date for the new church can be found, but the final payment which satisfied all building costs is dated November 2, 1903. A Mr. Norton of Crawfordville is reported to have been the contractor to have built the new church. As you can see, the fretwork in the gables and the shingled turret that functions as a sort of side steeple are more reminiscent of a high style Victorian structure and not a rural church. Sharon Methodist still stands 113 years later as a beautiful example of Victorian craftsmanship.
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