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New book explores unique spiritual history of Kansas City

Have you ever wondered about the spiritual destiny of cities? Kansas City has a unique spiritual history.

A new book, The Spiritual Roots of Kansas City: Discovering the Past to Shape Our Future, reveals the spiritual legacy on which Kansas City stands.

Using the lens of history, Bill High and Annika Bergen examine relevant topics facing today’s churches: division, racism, corruption, community development, generosity, prayer and grassroots change—Kansas City’s churches have done it all, for better or worse. The book helps readers learn from the past 200 years as they step into the future.

Three instances of faith shaping our city include:

  • Isaac McCoy—the power of sacrifice. McCoy sacrificed his life toward serving the Native American tribes as a missionary. In doing so, he laid a foundation for his son’s sacrificial service in building Kansas City.
  • Robert A. Long—the power of generosity. Long built his lumber empire on principles of putting his faith first. He generously provided for his employees through family housing, libraries, and chapels. He took generosity a step further when he led Kansas City in constructing the Liberty Memorial, which has become an icon of Kansas City.
  • The Armour Family—the power of legacy. The Armour family’s meatpacking industry grew Kansas City into the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco. Their family legacy spanned a century as they lived out their faith and cared for the city’s oppressed.

Local pastors have been encouraged by the book’s content. “The Spiritual Roots of Kansas City is a fascinating exploration of our city’s history and heritage,” said Mike Bickley, lead pastor of Journey Bible Church in Olathe. “The book unfolds how from the time of Lewis and Clark’s exploration to the arrival of French settlers and prayerful missionaries, our city was shaped and founded on diversity and faith.”

Greg Ealey, campus pastor at Colonial Presbyterian Church in Kansas City and executive director of Elevate KC, had a similar take. “The story of the Church in Kansas City is a story that must be told,” said Ealey. “This book navigates us through the tumultuous journey that led to what we see today as the Body of Christ in our metro area.”

Each chapter includes discussion questions and scripture passages, making the book a perfect read for classrooms, small groups or Bible studies.

BOOK SIGNING AND Q & A Thursday, June 13, 4:30-6 p.m. 4:30 Book signing & mingle; 5:00 Stories from authors, Q&A; 5:30 Book signing & mingle  LOCATION: The Signatry Office, 7171 W. 95th Street, Suite 501, Overland Park, KS 


The book is published by The Signatry, a global Christian foundation headquartered in Overland Park. The organization provides creative generosity solutions, including donor advised funds and complex asset giving, so donors can give more toward causes they are passionate about.

In addition to the book’s release, The Signatry is offering multiple ways for churches to engage their history. Readers can find resources for their churches and sign up for a guided city tour by visiting thesignatry.com/KCRoots.

To purchase the book visit Amazon here.