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Small Church, Strong Faith

01. June 2012

Columns, Congregation of the Month,


Hebron RP Church

Location: Clay Center, Kan.

Organized: Nov. 9, 1871

Members: 41 communicant; 20 baptized

Pastors: Ron Graham & Jonathan Haney (Manhattan church planter) and

The Hebron RP Church in Clay Center (pop. 4,334) looks average enough, but, as is usually the case in Kansas, you don’t have to scratch too far below the surface to uncover rich gems of history, character, and the Lord’s blessings.

Clay County received a number of settlers following the Civil War, among them enough Covenanters to successfully petition the Reformed Presbyterian Synod to start a new work there. Rev. Matthew Wilkin arrived as a church planter in 1870, receiving $38 after four months of laboring. The church was organized on Nov. 9, 1871, having branches in the townships of Republican City and Eagle Bend. Two years later, these sites would represent two different congregations: Republican City and Tabor (in Eagle Bend).

While the Tabor congregation would remain active only until 1924, the Republican City congregation exists today as the Hebron RP Church. The name change was most likely brought about to avoid confusing the Republican City Reformed Presbyterian Church with a “New Light” congregation of the same name in the same town. Another way to distinguish ...

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