Saturday, February 19, 2011

History of one Church of Christ

I recently took on the job of making a new directory for a church of Christ where we attended for many years. In the process some church records were given to me. I used them and inquiries to past members to prepare a summare of the church's works.

This is the history of one congregation of the church of Christ.

Many past members told of the works, classes, & personal kindnesses they fondly remember. Working together draws us closer to each other and to God. Simple things we can do mean much to others & are pleasing to God. He tells us we, Christians, will be known by our love for one another.
In relating the memories shared no names will be mentioned or specific dates given for fear of leaving someone out, or errors in the timeline.
Central’s youth rallies helped the young people & youth from all over the southwest to meet & enjoy each other while learning more about living a Christian life. Our youth as hosts worked on decorating the building & numerous other jobs in preparation for the rallies.

A Ladies’ Day was held in various years. The ladies worked together for the big day. Each one prepared a lesson, found something to share, worked in the kitchen, found songs, led singing, took charge of clean up, etc. & grew closer to her sisters.

Most summers meant VBS time. Neighborhood children & through them their parents, were told about Christ. Yet another way in which Christ was confessed to our community.

Ladies met for Sewing Days. Pads for cancer patients & quilts for hospital patients were some of the items made on these days of work and fellowship.

There’ve been many special classes presented by dedicated teachers who spent extra hours, beyond the normal Bible class times, to further teach their students.

Some past members, who were those students, mentioned ‘summer training’ in which special projects were taken on, such as cooking & doing yard work for the seniors, visiting nursing homes & other service activities.

Learning centers were put together, in which the children took part in hands on activities & games. They learned several Bible lessons by rotated from one center to another.

The young men were encouraged to take part in public services by reading scripture, waiting on the table & picking up the attendance cards. Young ladies helped in classes & the nursery during services.

One of those sharing memories of Central said her son, who was a child when they were at Central, credits the sound Bible teaching he received here for his becoming a Church of Christ preacher.

Central had a Bus Ministry. The purpose was to bring people to classes, particularly children with the goal of also reaching out to their parents. It must have been an uplifting job, as those who worked on the bus said they loved it.

For several years Central held Children’s Church during worship. The deacons primarily conducted these services for the younger children. The ladies & some teens helped out by sitting with the children & taking care of them before & after services. The intention was to teach the little ones about worship. This too was an uplifting job, albeit sometimes exhausting!

For a time Central had a full time evangelist, in addition to the regular preacher. There were special programs carried out at that time and throughout Central’s history to knock on doors & invite people to church &/or to study the Bible. After a while door to door soliciting or any kind was made illegal. Reaching lost souls grew more complicated.

Not a few Gospel Meetings & at least one Campaign for Christ were hosted by Central. After the campaign here some members went on other campaigns.

There have been other organized ministries here which are not mentioned because they are not known to this writer.

Other ministering was done by individual Christians, who made themselves available to their brothers & sisters, to teens & others. Hands have been held, prayers said, shoulders caressds, kindnesses extended from members to our neighbors & members to members. Those sharing their memories told of many here who encouraged them, making a difference in their lives. And, often Central received praise from our local hospital for the way our members cared for each other & others who were hospitalized.

Central’s members have worked on less glamorous jobs, such as building & grounds maintenance, setting up or fellowships or special times, organizing teaching supplies, the pantry, giving away clothes or food to people & much more.

Countless meals have been eaten in our fellowship hall, which often included some special foods, such as pit BBQ. Some special times were celebrated, such as thanksgiving dinners, special meals for the winter visitors, the preachers, the elders & the deacons. Some luncheons were prepared for the ladies by the deacons. These are cherished Church family memories.

Past members shared their love for after-church-meals shared in members’ homes, & other special times in homes, such as singings, teen get-togethers, ladies’ classes & etc.

Wedding showers & baby showers have taken place in our building & homes. Our men too shared in these special times. There have also been many special anniversary parties & weddings.

Outdoor events were great times of fellowship. To name some - we’ve had frequent picnics, hay rides, sunrise services with the teens, ball games & other games for teens & young adults, plus bonfires for everyone. One particular yearly bonfire enjoyed by most everyone was the one held each year after Christmas, in January, to burn the Christmas trees.

Of course, most important were souls coming to God. Some returned to Him by coming forward asking for prayer & forgiveness. Others obeyed Christ in baptism. After the baptism, a welcome circle with singing of, “I have decided to follow Jesus.” usually followed.
The story of the church which meets in this modest building, is not finished. There is much to do, each of us with our own talents, must work so souls can come to Jesus. We need to encourage each other to remain faithful, so we can go home to be with our brother Jesus in Heaven when it’s time.

This survey of Central’s history was researched & written by Janet Toney  February , 2011

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a wonderful minsitry, may God continue to bless all you do:)