A Faith Based in Evidence
by Mike Houts
Sunday Evening Lesson - Mike Houts...Download
It was determined there was a need for a congregation of the Lord’s people in Meridianville, Alabama. A meeting of local Christian men decided to secure a place to assemble. On February 2, 1964, between 40 and 50 people met in the Meridianville Elementary School to worship their Lord. Willard Conchin presented the first sermon and Al Smith was the song leader.
Opening Remarks by Willard Conchin, February 2, 1964
– A warm welcome to all.
– A special word to visitors.
– Why have a church of Christ at Meridianville
– What we want at Meridianville as the church of Christ
– What we do not want at Meridianville
– Remember the story of the new preacher who pulled out a little note pad and said, “If you come to me with gossip, write your name and your criticism in it.” He said he had carried such a book for years and that no one ever had written anything in it.
By the fall of 1964, this present building was erected. Our first service in the new building was held in January of 1965. There were no pews yet, but folding chairs were found. More souls were added to the number regularly, and in February of 1965, the first “church baby” was born – Leigh Ann Cothren Shubert. J.B. Whitaker was the first full-time minister. Bill Harris and Jim Pendergrass served the congregation as the first elders. Paul Brooks, Jim Dowdy, Ray Lowery, Lawrence Matthews, Frank Rogers, and Ray Tucker were the first deacons.
There were fourteen families represented at the first schoolhouse worship service. The families of Chuck Nolen, Jim Dowdy, Addye Hanback, Don Mincher, Vivian Tucker, Bobby Cothren, Paul Brooks, Paul Ragland, Bill Harris, Al Smith, Forrest Hill, Bill Clemons, the Hughes family, and Willard Conchin began the congregation we have today. Seven of the original fourteen families are represented in our present congregation. Twenty-five (or more) of the children raised in and by this church family have returned after marriage and are now raising their own children here at Meridianville in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord”.
In 1981, the number of Christians at Meridianville had increased to the point of requiring an addition to the front of the building. Since that time, three more additions have been made. In 1991, a fellowship area, office space, and classrooms were added. In 1998, a fellowship hall was built to accommodate the growing number of families here at Meridianville. In 2003, our current auditorium was completed.