The covenant, which recognizes the longstanding partnership between the two institutions, was signed in June by University of the Ozarks President Richard Dunsworth and Pat Farmer, clerk of session for the church and a UofO professor emeritus, a news release states. Farmer, who taught theater at the university from 1987 to 2011, said a declining membership prompted church members to look for alternative venues to hold weekly services.
“As is the case with many other mainline churches who are declining in membership, First Presbyterian, Clarksville, was financially unable to maintain its 100-year-old building,” Farmer said. “Knowing that the church is the people and not the building, the congregation unanimously voted to leave its historic home and to start a new and exciting chapter in our life as we discover what it means to be a church without property.”
The church held its first Sunday service in Munger-Wilson Chapel on June 4.
Dunsworth said the agreement is a celebration of the partnership in ministry and service the two institutions have had for more than 150 years.