The Osage United Church of Christ was founded on December 18, 1858. Its beginning came just two years after Dr. S. B. Chase purchased the land where the City of Osage now stands. Over the years, Osage UCC has lived in four buildings. The first was a one-room brick structure near 10 and State St. The next site was also on State Street. A new church building was constructed on the current site in 1902. It was destroyed by fire and replaced by the current facility in 1954.
The late 80s and early 90s are seen by some as the congregation's glory years. During that time membership grew to over 300. It was a time when the red brick facility's sanctuary was full of worshipers, its classrooms full of students, the Fireside room full of young people and the church calendar full of activities.
The later 90s and 2000s were not as kind. The congregation has experienced a series of ministers and conflicts. By 1998, the membership dropped to a little over 200. In 2014, the membership was at 173, with an average worship attendance of 55.
In 2004, the congregation rewrote their constitution doing away with the more traditional committee structure and using more of a team leadership approach. We are working to keep people connected and involved as much as we can. With an aging congregation, it has it's challenges; however, we are still strong and mighty.
We have experienced with different type of worships and we have come together on a blended worship. We call it "Encounter" and we are trying to make this worship the best experience for everyone who attends.
In 2013, we did speak with Prairie Lakes Church about sharing worship space. Prairie Lakes, at the time, did not have their own facility. In the end, Prairie Lakes discerned that given their size and growth, they would need more space than Osage UCC. It was reported that though the discussion fell through, there was a sense of hope given the congregation was at least willing to consider this change.
In December of 2013, the Reverend Charles Owens was called as Osage's pastor and teacher. During his tenure here, he helped Osage to "recover" from some of the hurt that the years have brought our congregation. We are still recovering at some level, though we feel like our church will be here for years to come. Osage UCC has been a staple in this community since 1858 and we pray we continue long into the future.
One of our missions that has taken off from our church is "Shop on State". This mission was established by the members and is a huge addition to the community. It out-grew the church rooms, and is now in the old Washington School just down on Seventh street from the church.
Another mission Osage shares in is the community meals, The Shared Table. Osage UCC's fellowship hall hosts this mission and people are served throughout the community. As of 2019, we have served over 5000 meals--people served, call in orders, take out, and left overs to comp systems.
We also have another mission called Day for Girls, where we sew feminine products for girls in Africa. These missions help us stay involved, not only in the community, but across the seas. Jesus' message is, "Love your neighbor as yourselves." Our neighbor is every where.
In October 2020, the Rev. Dixie Laube was called to be Osage's next pastor and teacher. She is a shared minister with Eden Presbyterian Church, Rudd, IA and we are excited to see where this ministry leads both of our churches.
After 160 years of it's founding, Osage UCC might be doing ministry a little differently than our fore-fathers; however we are still hopeful for new growth, new ministry, and new opportunities to serve the Osage community.
We invite anyone who is searching for a place to call home, to come and join us on Sunday mornings to see what our congregation can provide for you and your family because in the UCC, "No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here."