our history & mission
Village Presbyterian Church is a thoughtful, inclusive family of faith, where incarnation is experienced, relationships are shaped and cherished, mission is a way of life and justice is practiced. Village Church is a member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the largest Presbyterian denomination in the country and a part of the Reformed tradition. All are welcome. All are accepted. All are loved.
At Village, we are with you, wherever you are.
Village Presbyterian Church is a family of faith actively shaped by the life of Christ to love one another, provide leadership for the transformation of our communities, and serve the world.
The mission of Village Presbyterian Church is to see and relate to every person in our communities and the world as loved by God.
We will accomplish our mission by:
In the late 1940s, the prairie and farmland just west of Kansas City were rapidly turning into suburban neighborhoods. One such township, known as Prairie Village, had lots of young families settling down, but no Presbyterian church nearby. So the "home office" (Board of American Missions of United Presbyterian Church of North America) decided to do something about it, in a unique way.
Most new congregations begin in schools, theaters or neighborhood garages, but this time the Board provided $100,000 for a church building and parsonage. This unprecedented gift (which was funded in part by offerings from many small churches) was an experiment to see if ready-built facilities would have a positive effect on an emerging young church.
They also sent a young minister, Robert H. Meneilly, to spread the good news about this village church. When the last bricks were set in place, Bob and his wife, Shirley, had already built a congregation with their year-long, house-to-house visitation. On Feb. 13, 1949, at the Village Church’s very first Sunday worship service, 282 charter members filled the Chapel. Dr. Meneilly retired in 1994.
After an interim period, Dr. Robert W. Bohl became the church’s second senior pastor in 1996. In February of 2004, Reverend Tom Are, Jr. became the church’s third senior pastor.
Was the Board of Missions’ experiment a success? Today, Village Church has over 4,800 members operating out of an 95,000 square foot facility which, though expanded several times over, still seems to burst with activity. The church also manages the Meneilly Center for Mission at 99th and Mission Road, which includes a Child and Family Development Center and a Food Pantry that serve the surrounding community.
On Feb. 5, 2017, Village Church became one church at two campuses, holding the first worship service at Village on Antioch, located at 14895 Antioch Road in Overland Park.
Our Village Church family, remembering with gratitude to those small churches which helped us in the beginning, believes that an active mission program is a cornerstone of our life together. We look forward to expanding our mission in even more exciting ways in the decades ahead.
Village Church has always been more than bricks and mortar. Our founding pastor tacked a message to the pulpit, reminding whoever preached here to look beyond himself: "Sir, we would see Jesus." It is the Village Church’s purpose to reflect that image of Christ’s love, now and in the future.
about our founding pastor
The late Rev. Dr. Bob Meneilly and his wife Shirley were the founders of Village Church. “I would suggest that there is no significant work of compassion or justice in this city that doesn’t have Dr. Bob’s fingerprints on it,” said Rev. Tom Are, current senior pastor of Village Church. Explore some of his sermons and watch his memorial service below.
6641 Mission Rd
Prairie Village, KS 66208
14895 Antioch Rd
Overland Park, KS 66221
Meneilly Center for Mission
9900 Mission Rd
Overland Park, KS 66207
Child & Family Development Center