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There wasn’t always a church on the hill on Mt. Vernon Road in Wichita, Kansas. In 1948, there was a two-story farmhouse and a garage surrounded by a field of alfalfa. It was a mile south of the city limits. It was only after World War II, when building materials became available that this southeast section of Wichita grew very rapidly.
In October of 1948, the National Missions Committee of the Wichita Presbytery requested the cooperation of the Synod in making a survey of this un-churched area. In the fall of 1949 authority was given to proceed in securing a satisfactory site for a church structure, to purchase a manse and to secure a pastor for the new parish. Soon a church building site was purchased at the corner of Hillside and Funston and the first public worship of the new developing church was on July 16, 1950. The name of the church was to be The Boulevard Presbyterian Church. In October 1950, sixty-five persons from seven denominations, seven states and South America became charter members.
In 1951 the property on Mt. Vernon Road was purchased and the name of the church was changed to Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church. The sanctuary, with seating for 175 persons was completed in August 1952 at a cost of $53,000.00. The two-story farmhouse, called The Parish House, was used for the Pastor’s study and church school classes. The garage was remodeled to provide space for youth activities and church school classes on Sunday mornings.
In February of 1966 a new sanctuary with seating for 550 people was dedicated. This new sanctuary was built to be handicap accessible and with the addition of a new elevator the Fellowship Hall, located in the basement, opened new vistas for Mt. Vernon.
Jumping forward to today our challenge remains the same…to be creative in serving Christ as we serve others. We have experienced the wild roller coaster ride of the past. We will continue to change but hopefully with more experience and compassion as we spin outward into the world today. Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2000 and while we still fondly remember our past we look joyfully to our future.