First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
The first known group in Big Spring to “assemble themselves together for communion and worship” was seven Christian Church believers, namely: I.D. Eddins, foreman of the T & P car repairing department. J.B.D. Boydstun, first county surveyor A.S. Thomas, first hide and animal inspector; their wives; and Mrs. M.E. Barrett who came to the Big Spring with her husband to pick up buffalo bones before the railroad came through Big Spring. These were referred to as charter members but Mr. and Mrs. H. Clay Read, Mrs.. J.P. Green and her sister, Mrs. John Birdwell, Mrs. Elizabeth Rogers and others were very early members.
The first meetings were in homes of members and the first baptisms were in the big Spring. John Birdwell later offered the use of the earthen tank which is now known as Birdwell Park, and Baptisms were held there. A Sunday School for children was soon organized and the group met in the school house for a time. In 1884,, however, they built their first church building at 305 Gregg street. By 1925 the little building had become too small even though a dirt floor shed room had been added for Sunday School use.
Under the leadership of Rev. George J. Ruth the old building was sold to Jess Hefferman who later made it into a hotel, and a new church was built at Fifth and Scurry. When we moved in 1926, after 43 years, three of our charter members were still with us, namely: I.D. Eddins, J.B.D.Boydstun, age 90 years, and Mrs. Barrett who refused to give her age!
By 1949, under Rev. Lloyd Thompson, facilities were again inadequate, and another building program was undertaken. The building on Scurry St. was sold to the YMCA and through much prayer, planning, sacrifice and work by the entire congregation the new church was erected at Tenth and Goliad Sts. Mrs. H. Clay Read, a long time member and early pianist helped with the dedicatory service in 1951.
The communion table from the first building has been moved each time and now stands in the vestibule of the church. A lovely organ donated by Mr. and Mrs. H. W.. Smith in memory of C.A. Dahse and the beautiful communion furniture which Bill Bonner had given in memory of his father, J.W. Bonner, were also moved and add to the beauty and sacredness of the church.
The entire member is proud of the building, situated on a hill with its memorial windows depicting significant events in Christ’s life and its tall steeple pointing heavenward as it stands as a beacon and guide which can be seen from almost every part of Big Spring. Above all, however, we are thankful for the one who came that we might have peace and comfort as we worship Him, not only in beautiful churches and in happy fellowship with others, but also that we can feel his Presence near during times of sorrow and trouble. Many of those who grew up in this church have gone on to positions of leadership, not only here, but throughout the entire nation. Four of our most recent young people are now in full time Christian work. Robin Hoover and Jon Graham have full time pastorates; David Holmes is working in a Home for Wayward Children and Paula Waters, who was only recently ordained here, is an assistant pastor in Abilene.
Pastors of First Christian Church during first 100 years
J. Thos. Brown (1919 – 1922)
George J. Ruth (1922 – 1926)
Claude Wingo (1926-1929)
D. Ray Lindley (1930-1933)
J.S. Shettlesworth (1933-1935)
G. C. Shurman (1935-1940)
Homer Haislip (1940-1942)
Jerry McCoy (1943-1946)
Lloyd Thomson (1946-1952)
Clyde Nichols (1952-1959)
John C. Black, Jr. (1959-1967)
Ronald Hanson, assistant pastor 1964
John Beard (1967-1974)
Clyde Pearce — interim 1974
William (Bill) Smythe (1974-1979)
Marshall Masters — Interim
Victor Sedinger (1980 — )
Our commitment to ministry in the name of Christ has evidenced itself up to the present. The congregation sponsored a young Vietnamese family in 1976, resettling them and giving them an excellent start in our country. Currently we are sponsoring an Afghan refugee family as well.
We believe in and have led in the way continuously in cooperation among the church in our city and county. Our thoughts are turning now to plans for the celebration of our Centennial from August 21 through November 28, 1982. We are committed to the idea that Big Spring will grow in proportion to its spiritual growth, and we will continue to be a source in that growth in the name of Christ.
–copied from Page 503 of HOWARD COUNTY — 1882 – 1982
Material to update this page is welcomed from those who have information and are willing to submit it.
Email the Webmaster, Lane Bond, or call him at 432-263-4033, or contact the church office.