“ He took him [Abraham] outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
~ Genesis 15:5 ~ ~ ~
“And so from this one man, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.” ~ Hebrews 11:12
Haldor Lillenas (1885-1959) = Pastor, Composer, Publishing. Best known for his (3000 +) hymns. Haldor Lillenas was born in the country of Norway on the island Stord, south of Bergen on November 19. His family immigrated to America when Haldor was two, eventually settling in Minnesota.
In 1906, Haldor experienced a conversion at the Peniel Mission in Astoria, OR. He joined the Nazarene church and moved to Deets Bible College (future Point Loma Nazarene University) in Los Angeles, CA where he met his future wife, Bertha Mae (1889-1945) through one of the college’s music groups. She was the second child of a Methodist pastor, W.C. Wilson. Her mother died in 1893 and her father remarried two years later. Then they moved from Kentucky to Pasadena, CA after her father joined the Church of the Nazarene in 1905. Haldor and Bertha married in 1910. They became proud parents of Evangeline and Wendell.
Haldor and Bertha, both ordained, shared the preaching and music ministries in each of their pastorates. They couldn't afford a piano, so bought a "wheezy little organ" for $5.00 from a neighbor and wrote several songs on that instrument. They served in California (1910-14, 1920-23); Illinois (1916-19); Texas (1919-20); and Indiana (1923-26). He founded his own music publishing company, which Nazarene Publishing house in Kansas City purchased as a subsidiary in 1930.
They moved to central Missouri near the Lake of the Ozarks and built a stone house which they called Melody Lane in the 1940s. Haldor would travel to Kansas City by train one day a week for meetings at the publishing house, but composed music in his home office.
After Bertha’s death, he married Lola Kellogg. He died in 1959 after a car accident and was buried in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Kansas City, MO.
More to Read:
1. Called Into Holiness. By W.T. Purkiser. Nazarene Publishing House, 1983. Vols. 1, 2
2. Hymns: Inspiring Stories About 600 Hymns and Praise Songs. By Wm. J. & Ardythe Peterson. Tyndale, 2006.
3. Nazarene Roots: Pastors, Prophets, Revivalists & Reformers. By Stan Ingersol. Beacon Hill Press, 2009.
4. The Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of Iberia Church of the Nazarene: 1908 - 1983, A History. Main & High Street, PO Box 152, Iberia, MO 65386. Rev. Aldean Wood, Pastor.
5. Awakening Messages and Stirring Experiences Including a Brief Sketch of His Sainted Wife, Evangeline. W.L.Surbrook, President of Kingwood Holiness College, Kingswood, KY, 1930. (contains a copy of one of Haldor's poems)
6. Kansas City Star-Times Obituary, August 18, 1959. 7. Findagrave # 6872074
Places to Visit in MO.& KS.
1. NOTE: Melody Lane Estates, in Miller County, MO. is a private residence.
2. Iberia Church of the Nazarene, Iberia, MO.
3. Nazarene Global Ministry Center & Archives, 17001 Prairie Star Parkway, Lenexa, KS. 66220, 913-577-2970 www.nazarene.org (guided tours by appointment)
4. Forest Hill Cemetery, 6901 Troost Ave., Kansas City
John Bristol Wornall (1822-1892) = Gentleman Farmer. Trustee at Wm. Jewell College. Kentucky-born on October 12 in a transplanted Scottish family. He emigrated with his family twenty-one years later to the future Kansas City area. His father paid John Calvin McCoy, son of the Baptist missionary, Elder Isaac McCoy (1784-1846), $2500 for the 500 acre farm 2 ½ miles east of Westport and they moved into the 4-room farmhouse.
John married three women and had two boys that lived past childhood,Frank C. & Thomas J. He married Matilda A. Polk in 1850, and Eliza Johnson, daughter of the Rev. Thomas Johnson of the nearby Shawnee Methodist Indian Manual Labor School in 1854, and in 1866, he married Eliza’s cousin, Roma Johnson. Roma survived him by forty-one years.
Mr. Wornall was a founding member of the Westport First Baptist Church known originally as the Regular Baptist Church at Big Blue which was organized on July 4, 1840. A Brother Burris was the first pastor. There is said to be a stained glass window dedicated to John Wornall at the historical church.
Mr. Wornall, a former trustee of William Jewell College, with a building named in his honor on campus (it burned down in 1913), was named President of the General Association of the Missouri Baptists in 1872. He served in that capacity for the rest of his life. The Missouri Baptist Association was an assembly representing upwards of 80,000 people with 900 ministers at that time.
He built a two-story, red -brick farmhouse for Eliza on the main county road in 1858. The Wornalls lived there off and on. During the Border/Civil War, it was ransacked occasionally and served as a hospital to troops of both sides. In 1964, the Jackson County Historical Society purchased the home and restored it as a museum.
More to Read:
1. The John Wornall House Museum , Kansas City, Missouri Tourist Brochure.
2. Here Lies Kansas City. Wilda Sandy. 1984.
3. The Heritage League of Greater Kansas City Directory of Historical Sites and Organizations History Map brochure. PO Box 10366, Kansas City,
4. The Interpretive Site Coalition (ISC) 2011 Kansas City’s Passport to Adventure.
5. 1870 US Census, Ancestry.com
6. Following the Santa Fe Trail: A Guide for Modern Travelers. Marc Simmons, 1986.
3. Forest Hill Cemetery, 6901 Troost Ave, Kansas City. 4. 1855 Harris-Kearney House, 4000 Baltimore Ave, Kansas City (Westport), MO.
5. 1963 Westport Historical Society Marker Dedicated
to the Memory of the Pioneers Who Settled the Town at the Westport
Shopping Center, 1002 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO.
6. Wornall Road, Kansas City. [Runs north and south. Begins in Westport near the Missouri river with the present day Broadway St and changes over to Wornall Road abt. 50th St. (56 Hwy) and ends in Martin City on 135 Street (150 Hwy)].
7. First Calvary Baptist Church, 3921 Baltimore, Kansas City
8. Wm. F. Partee Center for Baptist Historical Studies. William Jewell University, 500 College Hill, Liberty, MO 64068.