History

In 1969, Rev. Dr. Dorsey Levell, along with other community leaders and pastors, had a vision of Christian love and fellowship expressed as service to the most vulnerable of our community.

Originally known as the Springfield Area Council of Churches, our organization began in 1969. Rev. Dr. Dorsey Levell, along with other community leaders and pastors from thirteen churches, had a vision of Christian love and fellowship expressed as service to the most vulnerable of our community.

This group understood that by working together, churches could make a much greater impact than any one church alone. The first official program the Council started was the Crosslines food pantry. It is still operating as the area’s largest food pantry.

After twenty-one years of operating as the SACC, the decision was made to change the name to include a larger area of the community. In 1990, the board approved a new name, and SACC was renamed the Council of Churches of the Ozarks (CCO).

A few short years after changing names, the Council had outgrown its home at Drury Stone Chapel and was in search of a new one.

In 1994, the Council made the move to its current home on North Glenstone. When Rev. Dr. Dorsey Levell retired in 1998, the board voted to name the main building The Dorsey E. Levell Ministry Center.

In 2020, Dorsey finished his work here on Earth, and while we continue to mourn his passing, we celebrate his life and legacy. Through Rev. Dr. Levell’s efforts, the Council of Churches was born and continues to express God’s love.

The Council continues to bring together many churches, individuals, and community partners in pursuit of improving the quality of life for neighbors in the Ozarks.

Our community is made stronger and more resilient through the combined impact of more than 70 Member Churches and more than 6,000 active supporters. Together we have passionately championed hope through services that reach far beyond hunger to include shelter, education, advocacy, and much more.