Sappington Community Chapel torn down
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
The old church building at the Sappington Community Chapel cemetery on Route F east of Highway 87 has been torn down.
For many years, area residents apparently gathered for all day services on the fourth Sunday of August each year across the road from the cemetery. According to the memories of one person recounted in a letter, "We had a very nice grove of trees for shade and boards to sit on."
The land for the cemetery and chapel was donated by John W. Sappington about 1875, according to Don Osborn, a Sappington descendant. A "Friends" organization was formed to look after the cemetery about 1898.
According to the minutes, in 1900 the meeting ended early with the notation, "Threat of heavy rain dispersed the crowd." Weather conditions for other years were noted in the minutes by comments such as "Weather was fine" and "Weather fair."
In 1915, the weather problem was taken care of by the moving of the Moreau Church building, said by Osborn to have been a Christian Church. It was moved to the land next to the cemetery from its previous location across the road from the Friendship Baptist Church at the top of the hill south of the Moreau.
For the most part the minutes repeat the struggle of cleaning and keeping the cemetery and property mowed. In 1954, new siding appears to have been put on the building. In 1955, leveling the cemetery and redecorating the building was a priority of the Friends group. Before the next meeting, the redecorating was completed and $749 in pledges collected for the task.
In 1975, six storm windows were donated for the building. In 1979, the minutes indicate a group rented the facility for church services. In 1982, a church congregation called "Open Door" rented the building, but does not say if it is the same group as in 1979.
In 1989, a new concrete porch was added and building repairs made. The cemetery was enlarged with a gift of land from the Harold Allee property.
The 1994 minutes speak of the building being used weekly by a Mennonite congregation, which had paid rent, painted and made other improvements such as lights and heat.
The stone marker in front was added in 1995.
Although the building is gone, the cemetery remains in use today and consideration is being given to construction of a shelter near where the old Moreau church building once stood.