Once upon a time it was said that God would never cross the Mississippi River. But by the time Missouri came to be a state, that was obviously no longer true. God had moved west of the Mississippi and his agents had established colleges, congregations and churches. The Catholics came first. Historians tell us the Baptists and Methodists sent the first Protestant missionaries to Missouri. Each denomination set up its own institution of higher learning, and in those days it didn’t have to be too high. For a time those schools were the largest institutions in the state. The Methodists had one such institution. It was Howard High School in Fayette, which had a popularity statewide, that was perhaps greater than any other school of its time outside of St. Louis.