History

The Highway Church of the Nazarene was organized by Rev. N.B. Herrell, District Superintendent on May 22, 1928 with 62 members and Rev. B.F. Wininger as pastor.
 
On September 18, 1930, the church board voted to build it’s very first building on Highway 5 between Ava and Mansfield, Missouri. This is the current site of the church today. Rev. N.B. Herrell, District Superintendent, approved these plans. The church name would be “Highway Church of the Nazarene” and the church motto would be “It can be done!” An official ground breaking ceremony was held on October 11, 1930 with 73 people present. Rev. Wininger preached the sermon for that memorable event. The basement was constructed first, dug with picks and shovels, mules, horses and wagons! This first phase of construction was completed and dedicated to the Lord’s use on February 15, 1931 with a dinner on the grounds and all day worship service.
 
The first land was donated to the church by Mrs. Clint (Mary) Sullivan in 1930. Later more land was bought, giving the church 3 acres. Additional land was donated and deeded to the church by Sister Carolyn Snowbarger Clark. Today the church sits on a beautiful 80 acre campus which has given Highway Church ample room for ministry to the community and to expand and meet the growing needs of the congregation.
 
On October 28, 1931 plans were made to construct an upper floor which was to be used as the primary sanctuary. The cornerstone was laid on Thanksgiving Day, 1933 at an afternoon worship service. The “second phase” was dedicated in 1934 with Rev. Littrell as pastor.
 
As the church grew, so did our need for additional ministry space. A church parsonage was constructed in December of 1944 and January 1945. In 1959, four classrooms were added to the church; in 1961, the fellowship hall and six more classrooms were added. In 1966, the old basement was remodeled and a kitchen facility was added. Then, on March 5, 1972, with the Lord’s Spirit moving mightily and the congregation growing quickly, a new sanctuary was dedicated to the Lord with Dr. Charles Strickland, as General Superintendent and Rev. John D. Moles, as pastor. The new sanctuary was completely paid for and the mortgage burned in February of 1978 – a tribute to the Lord’s faithful provision and the people’s faithful obedience. In April of 1980, the church gymnasium became a reality — again, through faith and sacrifice, this building was completely paid for in November of 1981. Since then, numerous remodeling projects have been under taken to keep up with changing ministry demands. In March of 2012, the church voted to undertake another major building project. Ground breaking took place on Easter Sunday 2012 for an additional 5,000 square foot children’s and youth ministry center.
 
The Highway Church has always had a “beyond our walls” focus. It’s people know we are not here to gather and store blessings for ourselves, but to be a blessing to others and to use what God has graciously given us to be active in building His Kingdom. As early as 1935, a group of our people were active in planting a church in Bradleyville, Missouri. In 1952, another church was planted out of Highway in Mansfield, Missouri. Also, the Gainesville Church of the Nazarene was started in 1978 by a group of people from Highway who lived in that area.
 
We are currently 93 years old, and truly believe that we are in some of our very best days! With a rich heritage behind us, and a future directed and led by God’s Spirit, these are some of the most exciting days to be serving the Lord and sharing the Good News about our Savior, Jesus.
 
Today our mission is simply: “Making Christ-like Disciples…One Person at a Time.” Until the Lord returns we will pour ourselves out in joyful obedience to love, live and serve in Christ’s name!
 

Pastoral Leadership over these last 92 years have included:

  • 1928-1929 Rev. B.F. Wininger
  • 1929-1930 Rev. Isaiah Buchanan
  • 1930-1934 Rev. Ruth Oneth (Stutsman)
  • 1934-1935 Rev. George Laeger
  • 1935-1936 Rev. F.C. Dunbar
  • 1936-1938 Rev. J.J. Steele
  • 1939-1941 Rev. C.J. Garrett
  • 1941-1944 Rev. W.N. “Bill” Durham
  • 1944-1948 Rev. Leonard Silvey
  • 1948-1952 Rev. W.N. “Bill” Durham
  • 1952-1957 Rev. Riley Archer
  • 1957-1992 Rev. John D. Moles
  • 1992-1999 Rev. Michael Worrell
  • 1999-2000 Rev. Adam Parrish (Interim)
  • 2000-2005 Rev. Dustin Ledford
  • 2005-2006 Rev. Jim Martin (Interim)
  • 2006-2017 Rev. Mark Hatcher
  • 2017-2020 Rev. Shane Weaver
  • 2017-Present Rev. Brian Letsinger