About Us

The Osage Church of the Brethren came into being in June 1878.  Sidney Hodgden was chosen as the first Elder.  Samual and Wilson Edgecomb came to this part of the country three years before followed by their parents, Robert and Elsea Lewis Edgecomb, the next year.  In 1877, the families of J.B. Wolfe, D.D. Shively, J.C. Neher, Samual Ulery, and John Ulery came from the same congregation in Illinois (Okaw) to this part of Kansas.

Early services were held in the Osage School house located north of the present church.  In June, 1879, John Neher was elected to the ministry and it was voted to ordain Robert Edgecomb and Martin Neher.  A charter was obtained for the church in 1881.  Four years later in 1885, a meeting house was erected on land donated by Elder Martin Neher.  Church services were held about twice a month, with a love feast and council meeting every quarter.  A membership of between 40 and 50 was maintained during those first years.  In 1894, there was a rush for cheap land in Oklahoma, and the church lost a number of members by migration to Oklahoma, California, and North Dakota.

In 1926, the church was remodeled, a new wing was added to the west, a basement was put under the entire building, Sunday School rooms were added, and a heating system was installed.  Almost all the work was donated.  It was about this time that Osage began to drop the plain dress for its members and they began to use musical instruments in the church.  Offerings were received each Sunday rather than a subscription pledge. 

A tower was built on the church in 1949 and a baptistry was added to the basement.  Almost all work was donated.  A parsonage was placed on the church property in 1951.  Another addition was added on the west side of the church in 1968 housing three classrooms, a fellowship hall, and the first indoor restrooms.

The pulpit was filled by free ministers from the congregation until 1941 when Rev. Gorman A. Zook became the first salaried minister of Osage.  Rev Zook and his wife served the church until 1948.  Rev. Francis Shenefelt and his wife, Estella, was the ministerial family from 1948 until 1956.  Rev. Ralph Hodgden and his wife Margaret ministered in the community from 1957 until 1965.  Rev. Delbert Smith and his wife, Barbara came in 1965 and worked until 1974 in our area.  Rev Larry Moreland and his wife, Eleanor, was our first full-time ministering family from 1974 through 1978, after which Rev. G.A. Zook and Nina assumed pastoral duties for a short time.  Terry Baldwin and his wife, Dawn, served from 1978 through 1982.  Rev. George Harvey and his wife, Tillie, served the congregation from 1983 through 1999.  In 1984, the parsonage was replaced by an all brick three bedroom house.  Gary Ledford was the general contractor.  In 2000 to the end of 2010, Pastor Harold Groth and his wife, Linda, came to the Osage Ministry.  From February, 2012 to the present, Pastor Mike Huffaker and his wife, Laura are here ministering and the church is alive and growing. 

In the year 2001, after years of planning, the church building was completely renovated.  The Sanctuary was extended to the east as was the basement.  Amos Leonard was the general contractor.  To the discerning eye, the old meeting house of the German Baptist Brethren can be seen at the center of the church.  In the renovation, the builders discovered an old spring beneath the footings of the old church.  It continues to bubble beneath the foundations into its own guided outlets. 

Based on the most recent church records, we have found the names of 742 people who were baptized or affirmed into the Osage Church of the Brethren as believers in Jesus Christ and his gospel. Many of the records are lost from 1874 -1900 and some of the names have been found through newspapers and family records.  There several hundred more recorded Christians who have been faithful followers of Christ and workers at Osage through the years.