HISTORICAL POSTCARDS OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI
South Street Christian Church
The photograph in the postcard portrays the South Street Christian Church, a church of the Disciples of Christ denomination. The church was organized in 1886 by Reverend E.G. Laughlin. It came into being because of a split among Disciples of Christ congregations concerning the use of instrumental music in the church services. The South Street denomination believed instrumental music, especially organ music, should be allowed.
A lot was purchased at 500 South Street on the east side of the street, nearly opposite the First Baptist Church. A large brick building was constructed in 1887 and was used for more than twenty years. It was razed in 1909 to make room for a larger church structure which was completed in 1910. This 1910 church is the building in the postcard. It is addressed to Miss Lucile Morris and postmarked August 11, 1911.
It was built at a cost of $40,000 and was dedicated on October 10, 1910. It contained a first floor as large as the previous church along with a three-sided balcony that seated almost as many people as the first floor. Behind the pipe organ were three classrooms and office space. A full basement held a Sunday School auditorium with adjoining classrooms and a kitchen area.
The building pictured was replaced in 1972 by the present church at 500 South Street. The earliest congregation, First Christian Church, began in 1834 and merged with South Street in 1918. During the influenza epidemic of 1918, hospital facilities in Springfield were not adequate to handle the emergency, so South Street turned over its building to the Red Cross and it was used for three months as an emergency hospital. By 1919 the church had more than 1,000 members.