Harmony Community Church is located in an area that was opened for settlement as part of the original Oklahoma Land Run on April 22, 1889. By 1892, a group had been formed for the purpose of establishing a local community church which could serve as a center for worship and spiritual training, since no town with churches was nearby.
Through the efforts of this group, and their communications with Congregational churches on the East Coast, in 1892-93 the original church was organized as “Harmony Congregational Church”. Construction of the church building was completed in early 1893, with materials donated by the Congregational churches’ mission board. The necessary land was donated by Simon Studebaker (with the proviso that it would revert back to the original 160-acre farm if the property ceased to be used as a church), and all of the carpentry and construction work was performed on a volunteer basis by members of the community.
Construction was completed and the new church building was dedicated in early 1893. The first pastor was Rev. Lawrence Way, and he and his family lived in a small parsonage on the property just south of the church building.
Under the rules applicable to property homesteaded in the Land Run, a family originally resided on every 160-acre parcel throughout the area, but the difficulty of surviving the harsh economic and weather realities resulted in a significant number of people moving out of the community over the first two decades after the establishment of Harmony Congregational Church. Rev. Way left in 1897, and was succeeded by four other Congregational Ministers during the period from 1897 to 1910.
In 1910, due to severely declining population in the area, the Congregational Church Board, which was headquartered in Pennsylvania, decided to sell the church building. It was purchased as a result of efforts by community members who collected donations to assure that a church remained in the area. Located, as it was, a number of miles away from a town of any size, the people saw the need for a spiritual outpost in this rural area when substantially all travel was by horse and buggy.
Following the purchase in 1910, the church ceased to be affiliated with any specific denomination, becoming a non-denominational community church. At that time the name was officially changed to “Harmony Community Church”, meaning that our church has had its current name for more than 100 years.
Without a denominational affiliation which would assure that a pastor was supplied, members of Harmony Community Church have, over the years, been ministered to by pastors of several denominational backgrounds. Consistently, from 1910 through 1957, the pastorate role for Harmony Community Church was filled by a series of devoted part-time ministers. Since 1957, the church has had a full-time pastor.
Throughout Harmony Community Church’s history, the ultimate focus has been upon worshipping and serving the Lord, and leading others to Christ, in a manner that is firmly grounded upon Biblical truth. As the demographics of the surrounding community have changed over time, with less reliance on agriculture as the primary occupation of persons living in the immediate area, the physical structures at the church have also changed. In approximately 1950, a structure which had formerly served as the one-room schoolhouse for the Harmony School was moved approximately 2-1/2 miles and placed upon the church property for use as a fellowship hall and community center. Then, in 1987, the original church building and sanctuary was replaced with the new sanctuary which was constructed throughout 1986-1987 and dedicated in the Fall of 1987. The current parsonage was added in the 1990s.
Our church has a somewhat unique history, as an independent, non-denominational, bible-believing church which dates back to the 1890s, in an area that doesn’t have the concentrated population base that a town or city provides. We are deeply grateful for the Lord’s leading and work in the establishment, nurture and survival of our church body, and look forward to continuing to serve as a lighthouse for the Lord in Logan County in future years. With improved transportation, increasing population in the area as the Oklahoma City metropolitan area spreads northward, and the breakdown of geographic limitations brought about by technological advances such as internet access, email and social media, we look forward to being used by the Lord to accomplish His will for our lives and those with whom we come in contact.