History of the congregation of the Church of Christ that meets in Edgewood, Texas
The church now meeting in Edgewood originally began in the Small community about 1900, meeting each first day of the week from house to house. The elders of the congregation were R. E. Lee, Bill McChristy and A. M. Roberson. Other early elders of the congregation were Jno. Gammons, Dod Erwin, Charlie Waggoner, Frank Connant, and John McDonald. The first preachers were W. P. Scagges of Itasca and Will Richardson who lived at Small at that time.
In 1906 the group of Christians moved to Morince, or “Stewarts Chapel,” and the Gospel “turned the world upside down ,” as in the days of the apostle Paul. Naturally there was negative reaction to the gospel from some of the folks at that time. In fact, some of the Ladies of the church had to escort the preachers to their buggy to avoid being pelted with rotten eggs. Members, joined by members from Small, met in the Morince or Stewart’s Chapel (as it was called) school. Others added to the Church were, Mr. and Mrs. William “Bill” Tinsley Wade (Bill died in 1911); Nellie Bell Joyce; Mr. and Mrs. John Wade; George Stewart; Mr. and Mrs. Jim Stewart; Frank Stewart; Mr. and Mrs. Bill Deen; and John Deen. Later some of those added were Will Daniels; A. L. Pettus; with Brig Smith and Don Jordan as song leaders. The church was meeting at the school house in Morince during this period. There are members of this church today in 2007, who descend from some of these early members.
This is a photo of that old Morence school house that was rebuilt after a fire. In the background on the right is the old Morence Church of Christ building. This building was later moved to Edgewood, then in a few years, the congergation moved to the present location on Hwy 80. Pictured in the foreground are a young Celestine Wade (Celestine Schneider) and Jack Manery.
Some early pioneer preachers were I. A. Ussery; W. P. Mings; Joe G. Warlick; and W. L. Swinney. W. C. Middleton conducted a very outstanding gospel meeting in 1918. About 30 people were baptized and a number were restored.
It was in 1914 that the school house burned, (It was later rebuilt), and for 6 years the congregation again met from house to house. In 1920 the church purchased the Woodmen of the World building for a meeting place. In 1924, the church nationwide began to experience division over the Bible Class issue, and the congregation here was also affected. Some believed in Bible classes and some did not. The church divided and those believing in classes met in the school house. (Pictured above.) Both sides agreed to debate. D. J. Whitton of Gunter represented the anti-class system and Bynum Black of Oklahoma was for Bible classes. Bro. Whitton became convinced that Bible classes were scriptural. This debate strengthened the church. It was only because of the Christians’ willingness to listen to the word of God, motivated by their great love for God and their brethren, that a short division in the church was healed.
Preachers later were John Hedge; Ancel Chandler; Lyle Price and I. A. Mullins. The church supported Bro. Mullins in a gospel meeting at Small in 1936 with a good number of baptisms and some restored. John Vines was song leader at the time. Bro. Mullins and his family lived in the community and were lots of help to the church. This congregation was never known for it’s size but it was well known for helping the needy, the fatherless and widows.
Baptisms, at that time were very impressive. They usually gathered at a beautiful stream or at a neighbors stock pond out under God’s blue heaven at twilight or a full moon. In later years they would turn their car lights on the water and baptize the same hour of the night. The night time gatherings were more comfortable for gospel meetings at the building because of the Texas summer heat. There was no cooling because there was no electricity in that area out in the country until about 1945. Those attending used the little hand held paper fans and all the windows were left open for the cool evening summer breeze. The seats were homemade wooden benches and cain bottom chairs. In the winter there was an iron wood stove in the center of the room for heat. In the late 1930’s a lot of us came to the building riding in horse drawn wagons.
There was a time in the early 1940’s when Bro. I. A. Mullins was our circuit preacher, and was only there on certain Sundays. He had several places where he preached. During that time, there were many Sundays when there were no men in attendance. At those times, the ladies of the congregation had to take the lead. they read from the Bible, led prayers, led songs and took care of the Lord’s supper. Some of the ladies who kept the church going during that time were Alma Persons, Myrtle Mullins, Lydia Pickens, and Melissa Wade. Lydia and Myrtle had young children but no sons old enough to take the lead.
In August of 1951, the congregation bought a building site from Lydia and 0. T. Pickens, and the old building at Morince was moved to Edgewood. Leaders at that time were M. W. Gilbert; John Deen; John B. Winn and John McDonald. The first services were August 26, 1951. Bible classes were at 10:a.m., taught by J. S. Deen and J. B. Winn. Preaching services were at 11:a.m. conducted by Joe Hambrick of Wills Point. The prayers were led by Jack Gammons and John McDonald. The singing was led by J. B. Winn.
Those present at the first service in Edgewood were Mr. and Mrs. John McDonald; Robert and Sterling McDonald; Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Simpson; Grace Boydston and Janell; Jessie Carden and Annie Deen Berry; Myrtle Mullins (widow of former preacher I. A. Mullins); Alma Persons; Mr. and Mrs. Loyd Cannant; Kate Cannant; Ab Henderson; Blunt Joyner; Lydia Pickens and her children, Doug, Don, Betty and Doris Pickens Phillips and baby Richard Phillips; Oma Counts; Kate Jones; Mr. and Mrs M. W. Gilbert; Lillie and Lora Deen; Nellie Bell Joyce; Mr. and Mrs. John Deen; Mr. and Mrs. Herman Wade; Mr. and Mrs. Jack Gammons and children Herbert, Billy, Lois, and Earline; Mr. and Mrs. Jake Cartwright and children Kerry, David, and Cathy; Mr. and Mrs Dodd Erwin; Mrs. Howard Venable; Helen Gressom and son, Van; Annie Russell and Marvin; Don Jordan; Joe Hambrick; Bud Turner; John Winn; Mr. and Mrs Erwin Tull and sons, Stanley and Terry.
The first gospel meeting was conducted by Willis G. Jernigan in September 13 through the 20th of 1951. The church at this time was strengthened by the addition of members from the congregations that lived closer to Edgewood than where they formerly attended.
Albert Brown of Dallas was the first full time preacher and the first person he baptized was Betty Pickens. Baptism was conducted at the church in Wills Point as there was no baptistery yet in the building at Edgewood. Other preachers for the church after it moved to Edgewood were Bro. Jernigan; Thurman Chitwood of Resaca; and Henry McCaghren.
The church appointed as elders, M. W. Gilbert; Denver Massey and Hobert Travis. Later, Mr. Massey resigned and John Valentine was appointed to take that place. Deacons appointed were Jack Erwin and Jake Cartwright. About this time Bro. Brown resigned. Those who filled in part time were Don Frazier, Bro. Stanley, and Bro. Ingersol, Avone Malone, J. P. Wilhite. Robert Banks preached in revivals later. Mason Adair of Van, began work as local minister in 1954.
In August 1957, the old building was taken down. A new building, erected of tile-bricks, with a baptistery, more classrooms, and air conditioning, replaced the old W. 0. W. building. First services in the new building were November 3, 1957. Brother Martin of Dallas preached that day as Bro. Adair was ill that day. All the while, attendance was improving, showing the power of Gods Word. Bro. Adair served until February of 1959 when B. E. Tate of Arlington began the work and served until May of 1962. On June 3, 1962, Perry D. Kerr started regular preaching. The church advanced under his preaching and he and his family located to the community.
The church for some time helped the far East mission, Home for the Aged, and Boles Home at Quinlan. The church also helped the Herald of Truth and others locally when the need arose.
Bro. Adair conducted a good gospel meeting in August of 1963. Ed Blue led the singing. Bro. Blue did a lot of work with the youth here.
The church experienced growth in 1964, some were baptized and several active members moved in. Earl Foster was appointed elder and Kerry Cartwright deacon and song leader. A good gospel meeting was conducted in July of 1964 by Srafford North of Oklahoma. The church sent contributions to the work that was done by the Lord’s church at the World’s Fair in New York and to missions in foreign lands.
Beginning in 1964 several members passed away. They were Mrs. Bell Joyce; Mrs. Rena Erwin and John Winn. In 1965 death claimed Mrs. J. W. Simpson and Mrs. Tom Britton. In 1966 Dodd Erwin and Wesley Simpson, later Ed Martin and Mrs. Kate Cannant.
Brother Sam Morino of Dallas conducted a good Gospel meeting in July of 1965.
As 1967 began, the work of the church progressed with Bro. Kerr preaching. There was much interest shown during a gospel meeting in June with a different speaker each night. Some were baptized. At the close of 1967, Ed Martin passed to his reward.
In 1968, Lillian Matura went to help with the Manuelito Children’s Home in Gallup, New Mexico. The church sent help to that home, also to the flood victims of the South Texas flood. There was some improvement done on the building. Cushions were purchased for the pews as we have so many elderly.
A good Gospel meeting was conducted in July of 1968, with Cecil Allen of Van preaching. Jerry Travis, a local boy was song leader. Bro. Kerr resigned in 1968 and Lonnie Teague was employed as local preacher in September. He was the first full time worker for the church. A home for the preacher was purchased and a Ladies class met each Thursday for Bible study. Marion Stevens and Lewis Risner were appointed deacons. A gospel meeting was held in June 1969 by Hal Smith of Dallas with Robert Jordan of Canton leading the singing.
Our regular preacher, Lonnie Teague, has helped the church. A visiting program resulted in several being baptized as well as some restored. Some inactive members have become interested. There are always sad notes to report. Sister Kate Canant and Ed Martin passed away.
In August of 1970, we got our first bulletin. The Ladies Bible class on Thursday morning has stirred up quite an interest. They visit the sick and some have taken cookies and toys to Boles Home. A Gospel meeting was conducted in October by Bro. Teague. The average Sunday morning attendance for 1970 was 141.
In 1971 death claimed John Deen at age 85, member of the church for 67 years; Ace Carden and Mrs. Myrtle Mullins who had been members for many years. In 1972, Erwin Tull, Mrs. Ida Heart, and Ollie Martin passed away.
Brother Teague conducted a short Gospel meeting in the Fall of 1972. The attendance averaged 165. A new congregation was established at Fruitvale. We lost about 10 members to them.
The old building on FM 859 had been outgrown by 1973, and the congregation purchased the site of our current building. The old building was sold, and work began on the 4-acre site to give the church in Edgewood a new meeting place. Meanwhile, the congregation met in the High School gym on Sunday morning and evening, and on Wednesday night, we gathered with the North Main church. At the ground-breaking for the new facility, sisters Lillie and Lora Deen, the oldest members of the Lords church here, turned the first shovel of dirt.
It was on Mothers Day, April 27, 1973, that the church in Edgewood met in the new building with 12 classrooms, an office, nursery, and an auditorium that seats 400 people. Bro. Teague preached, Roger Brittian led the first prayer, Kerry Cartwright directed the singing and the adult class. We had 150 for Bible class and 261 for worship service. We are thankful to God for the facility that we have, and we realize without Him, we would not have it. We understand that our building is not the church, but serves only as a meeting place for the called-out of God.
Bro. Teague resigned May 27, 1973 and Bro. Greg Cummings began preaching here June 3, 1973. Brenda Long, granddaughter of Frank Foster, a leader in the church for many years in the past at Bethlehem community, before that congregation began meeting at Edgewood, was the first to be baptized in the new building. The elders were Kerry Cartwright, Earl foster, Louis Risner, Marion Stevens, and Hobert Travis. The deacons were Howard Erwin, Stanley Tull, Neal Travis, Jake Cartwright, Jack Erwin, Ralph Workman and Jerry Ramsey. From June to December of 1973, the following were baptized: Karen Long; Katie Schneider; Carla Pendleton; Lola Robertson; Carl Gauntt; Dan and Orvalean Ingle and Kacy Duncan.
Open house and homecoming was held on August 26, 1973. The former preachers who participated were Don Frazier, Albert Brown, B. E. Tate, Perry Kerr, Mason Adair and Lonnie Teague. Gregg Cummings, current minister, preached Sunday morning. The attendance was 193.
In 1974 average attendance for Bible class was 141 with 191 for worship services.
The year of 1974 was another good year for the church with the following baptized: Jeff Bomar; Randy Evans; Rocky Mooney; Darlane Pickens; Pat Londonberg; Deborah Turner; Glynn and Jeanette Thurston; Gayther and Mary McBride; Charles and Jo Ann Daughtery; Don and Barbara Bailey; Anthony Bateman; Petra Pickens; Bill Smithand Tim McMakin, 19 others placed their membership during the year. Around 1975, we lost Don Jordan by death. He had a golden tenor voice, and was a long time song leader and faithful member of the church.
Greg Cummings resigned as local minister in August of 1975 and Bro. Afton Smith preached until Ken Madox arrived 8 weeks later to serve as preacher. The church was much in need of improvement in the area of contributions. After a series of lessons and prayer the church improved greatly in giving. At the end of October of 1977, attendance was 162 in Bible class, and 235 in worship service.
Ken Maddox resigned July 1, 1979. Ollie Duffield began work here in August of 1979 and quit June 8, 1980. Avon Whitworth had a gospel meeting in 1980. Doug Carter was our next preacher, with his first sermon August 31, 1980. Bro. Gilbert passed away in about 1981 and his wife passed away in 1982. They were both long time faithful members. In 1983, Hobert Travis, a faithful member, teacher, and elder, passed away. In 1984, although a number of our members are in nursing homes, our attendance was averaging 175.
Dan Davis died in 1991 at the age of 57. He was a member of the church in Edgewood for 34 years and was an inspiration to all for his dedication and faithfulness in spite of his major handicaps.
In 1996, Dale McEnturff died in a tragic automobile accident.
In 1998, we lost one of our elders, Ralph Workman to death. The remaining elders soon appointed Stan Stevens and Paul Fortner to serve with them in that capacity.
The following year, 1999, Kerry Cartwright, another of our elders, passed away.
Reagan Ragsdale put on her Lord in Baptism in the year 2000.
Bro. Doug Carter preached until early in 2001 when he became unable to continue. Several men from other area churches and our local elders filled the pulpit until it became apparent that Doug would never be able to return to preaching. He died of cancer in July of that same year. The elders invited several young men from Brown Trail School of Preaching in Hurst to preach for us in anticipation of hiring a replacement. On August 1, John Baker, a recent graduate of Brown Trail School of Preaching and a gifted teacher and preacher began work as our full time minister.
We all rejoiced when Gene Valentine decided to obey the gospel and then mourned the same year when his death came. Also that year death claimed Dona Foster, Jimmie Curnutt, Ozell Foster and W. F. Hale. Paul Fortner resigned as elder because of ill health.
The year 2002 saw the deaths of Perry Kerr, Gladys Pendleton, Marion Stevens and Polly Wilson. Baptized that year were Weston Jameson and Rebecca Ragsdale.
Our local preacher, John Baker, married Angie Boswell on Saturday, March 9, in Tyler, TX. The congregation was invited to share their joy.
Weekly contribution in 2002 averaged $2,130.32.
In 2003, we lost another long time faithful member, Lydia Pickens who had been a member of the church for 83 years. She was 98 at the time of her death. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Wade from the Morince community. Death also claimed Mike Logsdon, and Jeanette Robertson.
On a happier note, we rejoiced when Ginger Phillips put her Lord on in Baptism.
Tex and Mary Smart, long-time members here, elected to move from Edgewood to Frisco in order to be closer to their family.
Johnny Ramsey held an excellent gospel meeting. The theme of the meeting was “The Truths and Challenges of Christianity.”
The year 2004 brought two precious souls with the decision of Kayla and Marissa Baker to be obedient to the gospel.
Several of our members died that year including Bruce Pendleton, Dorothy Travis, and Jack Erwin.
The elders sold the home they had purchased for earlier preachers and purchased a newer one on Humphries St. to house the current and future preachers and their families.
Don Simpson conducted our gospel meeting that year. The topic was “The Importance of Salvation from Sin and the Kind Heart We Should Cultivate.”
In 2005, Dwayne Spencer, Megan Dobson, Brandon Bell and Kimber Stevens were baptized into Christ and death claimed Edgar Dobson, Clyde Lantrip, and Ralph Robertson.
John Baker, the current preacher, taught a series of lessons on Sunday night entitled “I’ve never heard a sermon about….” In which he taught about frequently overlooked Biblical topics such as sex, gluttony, racism, etc.
The church tried out a new projector which would allow speakers to use visual presentations to enhance their teaching. It was such a success the elders purchased one for our use.
We did what we could, both individually and as a congregation, to help the victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita which ravaged the Gulf Coast that year.
We expanded restroom and parking facilities at the building and began publishing a monthly calendar to help keep up with the many activities of the Edgewood church.
In 2006, both Lee LaPrade and Jordan Kerr were baptized into Christ.
Earl Foster, a long-time church leader and elder died in January and June Grunden died in October of that year.
John and Angie Baker made the decision and began preparations to take their children, Daniel and Abby, to do mission work in Tanzania. The Edgewood congregation served as their overseeing congregation and several other congregations helped with their support.
We had our annual Teacher Appreciation Banquet in which the young people honored the efforts of our teachers.
Our gospel meeting had as its theme, “If I Had One Sermon Left to Preach”, with several excellent speakers.
John and Angie Baker and their family left Edgewood on February 18, 2007 after a going away dinner in their honor the day before. On the following Sunday, February 25, Ed Stover began his work with this congregation. He and his wife, Emily and their daughter, Payton were honored with a welcoming dinner on March 4.
Sarah Mason and David Collins-Peet were baptized into Christ and death claimed Janet Carter, Peggy Wallace, Floyd Tharp, Sterling McDonald, Mary Smart and Hugo Blackstone.
The year 2008 saw great opportunities open up for the church here in Edgewood. We hosted a seminar in June with Kyle Butt, on the topic of Creation vs. Evolution. The seminar was open to the public and had good attendance.
The elders announced that they would like to receive the names of men to be considered for the positions of elder and deacon. After receiving names and conducting extensive interviews, Robert McEnturff was chosen as an elder to work with our other elders, James Jacobs and Stan Stevens. Lynn Brantley and Robin Ragsdale were chosen to join Jay Jameson, Billy Don Phillips, Alan Travis, Jerry Travis and Stanley Tull as deacons.
A new larger sign was erected with a marquee section to post announcements to the community. This year saw the death of Eva Poe, Doris Phillips and Marie Cartwright.
Tim Catir and Shalise McKinsey were baptized into Christ. This was a young couple from Florida who, while passing through our community, happened upon Ed Stover in a local eaterie. He began a Bible study with them which continued for several days and resulted in their obedience to the gospel.
In December, several member families “adopted” one or more children from the Rio Grande valley and Mexico to provide gifts for the holiday season.
In 2009, Larry Nathan Henderson (Larry Henderson’s son) and his girlfriend, Hanna Fox were baptized by Larry. Ann Griffin was also baptized after visiting with us several times, as were Mark Smith, Heath Harper and Zane Oden and on the very last day of 2009, Billy and Barbara James put their Lord on in baptism.
A class was conducted for those who wanted to be leaders in the worship services.
Many members of the congregation attended the 90th birthday party for Norma Latham.
Once again, several member families “adopted” children from two congregations in the Rio Grande valley and Mexico to provide gifts of toys and clothing during the holiday season.
Death claimed Mildred Lantrip, Norma Latham, Eugenia Ramsey, T. B. Mills, and Max McEnturff.
The mission of the church in Edgewood is to plant the seed, the word of God (Mark 4:14). God will supply the increase. It is our purpose to keep ourselves strong in the faith, to take the word of God to the lost, to help the needy and to glorify God.