Canaan Church Online

Springfield, Missouri

History of Church Organization & Dedication

Written April 18, 2004 for the Dedication of the Church Building
(covering the period 1998 – 2004)

For several years there had been those that had expressed a desire to see a Missionary Baptist Church on the south side of Springfield, MO. Although it was discussed many times among different people, it seemed as though all of our desires would remain wishful thinking. In the summer of 1998, Brother Rick DeGraffenreid and Brother Ken Stephens met and discussed the need to start a mission in south Springfield.

After much prayer, many others in the south Springfield area expressed an interest in a mission work. Brother Mike Rowan, Brother Lou Lairmore, and Sister Susan Gravatt were contacted. They also expressed a desire to work in a mission in south Springfield.

On September 16, 1998, Rick and Alexis DeGraffenreid, Ken and Diane Stephens, Mike and Cathy Rowan, and Lou and Christa Lairmore met to formalize a Missionary Baptist Mission and sign a lease on the current meeting place.

The Mission decided to call themselves “Canaan Missionary Baptist Mission.” It was agreed to invite various preachers to come and preach. On Sept. 27, 1998, Canaan Mission held its first service with Elder Paul Cofer conducting the services.

Preachers who have graciously contributed their talents to come and help the mission are as follows: Elders Doug Skinner, Aaron Hood, Keith Frieze, Ron Erven, Mike Foster, Bro. Rick DeGraffenreid, Paul Cofer, Terry Nicodemus, Charles Pratt (Poplar Bluff, MO), Eugene Brown, (Nashville TN), Brad Wheeler, (Bowling Green, KY), Rick Jones (Missionary to Jamaica), and Brother Jerry Medlin, (Vera Beach, FL).

After much prayer and discussion, the Mission called Elder Paul Cofer to become mission pastor on November 15, 1998.

Bro. Mike Rowan has been serving as music director and clerk; Sister Susan Gravatt as pianist; Brother Ken Stephens as treasurer.

The Mission has three Sunday school classes with Sister Kya DeGraffenreid teaching the toddlers, Sister Christa Lairmore teaching the grade school level and Brother Mike Rowan teaching the teenage through the adult class.

The mission has been blessed with spiritual preaching and as many as 50 people in attendance.
The Lord gave those attending a growing desire to become an organized body of Christ.

On April 18, 1999, Canaan Missionary Baptist Mission voted to organize into a church with a date of June 13, 1999.

Let it be known to all, that this work is and has not been by the will of man, but by the will of our Almighty Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, with the Leadership of the Holy Spirit.
“Except the Lord Build the House, they labour in vain that build it: Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Psalm 127:1

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth into a habitation of God through the spirit.” Ephesians, 2:19-22