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Lecture examines religion’s role in westward expansion

Friday, February 9, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 6:28 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bob Priddy, a regional historian, will present a lecture Sunday on the role religion has played in shaping the state of Missouri. The lecture, “In the Footsteps of Alexander,” is part of the First Christian Church’s 175th anniversary celebration.

Priddy said the talk, at 3 p.m. at First Christian Church, 101 N. Tenth St., will “provide a broader view” of regional Missouri history.

“Frontier religion was different because churches were more spread out than they are now,” Priddy said.

The lecture is part of the David B. Rogers Memorial Lecture Fund, which was set up by donations from the friends and family of the late Columbia attorney and First Christian member, said Genie Rogers, chairwoman of the 175th anniversary committee.

Rogers grew up in the church and has been a congregant for 62 years. She is one of the sixth generation of family members to attend First Christian Church, dating to the founding of the church. Her husband was a member of the church for all 40 years of their marriage.

“He was a great regional historian,” Rogers said of her husband. “He wrote a history column for the (Columbia) Tribune for years, the one that Bill Clark writes now. He had a keen interest in the history of Columbia.”

The title of Priddy’s lecture refers to the founder of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination, Alexander Campbell. Rogers said the talk will focus on the impact religion, especially the Christian Church movement, had in influencing westward expansion.

“We selected as our first speaker Bob Priddy because he has such a depth of knowledge and interest in Missouri regional history,” Rogers said.

A reception will follow Priddy’s lecture in the church’s fellowship hall.


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