DSC_2892_edited.jpg

OUR HISTORY

 Harmonie is a non-denominational church located off of Strack Church Road near Innsbrook Mo. Harmonie is a small, quaint, historic, and picturesque church nestled in the beautiful woodlands of Warren County. We offer Non-Denominational services every Sunday at 10:00 AM.

OUR VISION

At Harmonie Church, we are striving to be an A.C.T.S. 2 Church!  Adoring, Connecting, Transforming, and Serving by the power of the Holy Spirit!

WHAT WE DO

Spirit of the Lord. Harmonie is a church filled with the Spirit of the Lord! All are welcome to worship and praise the Lord with us. 

OUR COMMUNITY

No matter what your denominational background, all are welcome here to worship and praise the Lord. Come as you are! 

HARMONIE CHURCH HISTORY

Harmonie Church has a rich history and heritage. Between 1842 and 1843, it is known that the circuit preacher, Reverend Herman Garlichs from Femme Osage, would minister to these hearty souls. The earliest exact record was a baptism on September 3, 1843. Rev. Herman Garlichs would ride his horse 13 miles to Harmonie on the upper Charrette River to shepherd the flock of God and visit the people.  

Often the history of the church is linked to the ministry of one or more of its pastors. One of those pastors was Karl Strack. Starting in 1843, Harmonie flourished under the 40 years of care and nurturing of Pastor Strack. His influence was such that the church was commonly called by his name “Strack Church” and the road which winds past Harmonie church is named “Stracks Church Road."

 

In 1846, 40 acres of land was purchased for the present site and they were able to build a church of logs. Prior to the log church, the parishioners met in their homes to keep their faith and courage together.  

Harmonie Church was the first German Lutheran Evangelical Church in Warren County and fostered the growth of the surrounding Evangelical churches. Its’ roots have changed from the hardy German settlers to its current role and would later be designated a one-denominational, ecumenical community church. It is to the credit of those faithful and hardy German settlers who carved their livelihood out of this wilderness that they gathered together and built a house of worship. It was here they found faith and courage to do their work, raise their families and suffer the toil and labor required to be part of a great new frontier.  

In 1857, the first log church was replaced by a frame structure. From 1920-1931, student pastors rode the train from St. Louis to Wright City.  They enjoyed the outing in the country, the long ride to the church, the good dinner that was waiting for them, and the return train ride in the evening. The last regular services were held around 1932.  

A link between the past and the future was forged in 1941. The church and the adjoining cemetery were incorporated and the Charrette Memorial Association was formed. It is because of the dedication and great love for this church that a group of souls moved forward to preserve the link with the past that we have both this religious site and this hallowed burial place today. Many of the early pioneers and founding families are laid to rest in the quiet little cemetery. And, in an unmarked area, graves of Civil War soldiers from both the North and South are finally joined together as brothers.

On October 3, 1943, the centennial of the Harmonie Church was held. For reasons unknown, Harmonie was closed from 1932 to 1990 to regular weekly services.

Fast forward to 1988 when Chaplain and Mrs. Albert Nedebuhr moved into their new home at Innsbrook after retiring from the US Army Chaplaincy.  They noticed there were services for the community of Roman Catholics but none for the Protestants. One day, Al shared his observation with Ed Boyce who founded Innsbrook. Ed’s response was that there was “a church." It is “very old," perhaps in “need of some repair," and quite “nearby."

Shortly thereafter, the two men visited the site of Harmonie Church. There she stood, stark and lonely in the summer sun. Paint faded and peeling. Her once beckoning belfry, now silent, thrusting itself into the cloudless sky. Her stately arched windows were covered in plywood to thwart violation by vandals. Inside, things were a little better. The vaulted ceiling which had in its day been an innovation to afford acoustical perfection was cracked and peeling.

 

The elevated pulpit with its mounting ladder was unsafe for ascent let alone the weight of a pastor with the scriptures in his hand. The deteriorating floor had some damage and had been replaced with a slab of concrete. With the vision of these two men and numerous believers, the dream of a new Harmonie began to materialize. The Community Chapel Association was established to raise funds and oversee and direct the work on the massive renovation.

Once again God was worshiped and honored in this place. The future was bright. But it was the sky and not the future that was bright on the morning of February 10, 1990, when Harmonie Church burned to the ground. It was a scene of total destruction. Everything was ash, even the church bell was nothing but molten metal.  

God, however, had not forgotten Harmonie. That “fresh wind” of the Holy Spirit was still blowing and it inspired a whole host of people to build a historically accurate replica of the church on the original foundation. Out of those ashes would come forth a new Harmonie and a new building where believers could once again gather and worship. A new bell was even recast from the molten remains of the former one destroyed in the fire. The Community Chapel Association was formed and was composed of Lola Baseel, Dr. Roger Beckmeyer, Ed Boyce, Earl Neely, Carol Wolfe, Rick Klenke, and Al Ledebuhr who served as the President.  

They found that the exact dimensions of the original church were on record so that an accurate historical reproduction could be possible. The Charrette Memorial Association and Mrs. Hollenbeck gave their fullest cooperation and reconstruction soon began. Gradually, but progressively from the ashes, God’s church arose.  

Beginning Memorial Day Sunday in 1991, Harmonie began to hold a regular schedule of multi-denominational services.  On Palm Sunday 1996, Harmonie began to hold services on the Lord’s Day every week.  It has been 65 years since this “church in the wild woods” met on a weekly basis to worship God. The sounds of singing are amplified with the vaulted ceiling providing acoustical perfection, the tones picked up from the walls and ceiling, with happy, joyous, and abundant quality. No longer is there an elevated pulpit but the pulpit chairs are a link with the past as they were in storage at the time of the fire.  

 

Both time and space would fail to give place to the names and credits due to the countless friends, donors, and believers to this heroic undertaking. What a beautiful experience it would be to look into the faces of these God-fearing people, to hear the cadences of their voices, to look into their eyes and let the fires of their pioneer spirit warm our souls, to touch their hands, and wish them well and thank them for their generosity and dedication to the God we worship in this inspiring setting.

After over 180 years, Harmonie Church stands amidst her forest of trees to proclaim all her devotion to Almighty God.  Today her belfry stands tall and is no longer silent.  Her arched windows lift your eyes naturally toward heaven, from which the light of God does brightly shine. 

Today we invite all to :

“Kommit Laset Un Anbeten”
“Come, Let Us Worship”

No matter what your denominational background, all are welcome here to worship and praise the Lord.