Who We Are


A Brief Outline of Plymouth’s History

Plymouth was organized in October,1854, in a “hay tent” soon after Lawrence was organized as a city. Samuel Y. Lum was the pastor. It was the first church established in Kansas Territory.

Stone Church, 1857

Stone Church, 1857

Its first building, the Stone Church built at what is now 6th and Louisiana, was used from 1857 though not completed until 1862.

Pastor Richard Cordley was pastor from 1857 to 1875 and from 1884 to 1904, a total of 34 years.

Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence in August, l863, killed several church members and friends and destroyed church records when the Cordley home was burned.  The Plymouth church building was not damaged.

The Brick Church, 1870

The Brick Church, 1870

The Brick Church (the current sanctuary) was completed in 1870 at a cost of approximately $45,000. The architect was John Haskell, the Kansas state architect. The women raised the money for the sanctuary windows which were made in England.

Parish House, 1916

Parish House, 1916

The Parish House (where South Church is today) was added in 1916 under the leadership of Pastor Noble Elderkin.

The Marvin Memorial Organ was installed in 1922.

The Parish House burned in l955. The opportunity was taken to rebuild two stories of Parish House and to add North Church.  The Thrift Shop was established at that time. There was a large increase in membership during the pastorate of Dale Turner from 1948 to 1958.

Plymouth voted to be a part of the United Church of Christ in 1961.

Head Start with its day care began in l965 in South Church.

A Reuter organ was installed in 1970.

Homer “Butch” Henderson was a very popular pastor from 1973 to 1986.

The sanctuary was renovated in 1992.

Senior Pastor Peter Luckey came in 1995.

A new South Church was constructed in 2000 and the renovation of North Church followed in 2001.

150th anniversary celebration continues for a year ending in October, 2004.

Written by Al Sellen, Historian