Brief History of the church of Christ in Moundsville, West Virginia
From the program at the Dedication of the New Building, 5-20-1956
In the summer of 1905, Evangelist T. H. Kirkman began a series of gospel meetings in the Courthouse yard in Moundsville, but was compelled to close without any visible results due to ill health.
The first of January, 1906, Bro. L.V. McGary assisted by a few other members rented a hall on Jefferson Avenue as a place for the church to assemble. Bro. J.M. Rine of Glen Easton, W. Va. was called to assist in arranging for regular Lord’s Day services. There were less than a dozen members in attendance on Lord’s days. The work continued with no fixed meeting place.
Early in 1909 Evangelist W. B. McVey conducted a series of gospel meetings and on Feb. 27, 1909, he set the following brethren over the congregation: Jasper B. Gray and W. A. Wilhelm as elders; E. L. Jolliffe and Ernest D. Conner as deacons. Bro. Wilhelm was also chosen as Church Treasurer. The Church at this time consisted of 37 members.
W. B. McVey
Nov. 19, 1909, the church purchased a lot at 210 Cedar Avenue upon which to erect a meeting house. The purchase price was $775. No attempt was made to build until the fall of 1911. At this time a contract was let to George W. Wright and Encil Pyles to build a meeting house. The contract price for the completed house was $1975. The house was opened for worship for the first time on Lord’s Day, Jan. 7, 1912. Evangelist Daniel Sommers, Indianapolis, Ind., was the speaker at each of three services on this Lord’s Day.
This was the beginning of the work at Cedar Ave. At the beginning of the year 1912, the Church had borrowed the sum of $2000 to complete the new building and beside this amount the record shows the balance in the Church Treasury at the first of the year of 1912 to be $1.47. The donations to the Church and Lord’s Day contributions for the month of January was 4567.68. Final payment on this borrowed money was made in September 1918.
In 1929 Thomas Shimp was given a contract to remodel the house. The house was enlarged and the basement was completed. The contract price was $4300. Later classrooms were built in the basement.
Christian Leader 12-2-1930
In 1934 the Church bought the two adjoining lots on Cedar Avenue from J. S. Sullivan. The price paid for the two lots was $2500. In 1950 the Church purchased the house and lot at 206 Cedar Avenue for a preacher’s home. The price paid for the house and lot was $5,000.
For some time the congregation was in need of more room to accommodate the growing congregation. It was found after considerable investigation that it was unadvisable to try to remodel the present meeting house. Early in 1955 a building committee was appointed to arrange plans and supervise the construction of a new house of worship.
Plans were drawn and approved by the congregation. Bro. Dan Rine was appointed to supervise the construction of the building. Work of construction began the first of April. The building committee bought all the material and contracted the erection of the building. Bro. Edis Pyles was appointed to do the woodwork of the building. From the beginning of the building, many members donated their time in helping to erect the building. Skilled labor was employed wherever needed in the construction of the building.
The total cost of material and labor was approximately $90,000 and estimated donated labor to be $27,000, of which the church borrowed of the First National Bank of Cameron the sum of $35,000.
On Lord’s Day, April 1, 1956, the church met to worship for the first time in the new house of worship. The auditorium was filled to capacity. Chairs were placed in the aisles to seat the crowd. A count was made and a total of 820 were counted, but this was not accurate as people left the building by the three exits. Bro. Jess Nutter, our local minister, preached at both services this Lord’s Day.
On April 16th the old meeting house was sold to John Garrison for the sum of $710. He began immediately to dismantle the building.
The new building is being made ready for the dedication services that are to be held on Lord’s day May 20th. Brother Nutter is to be the speaker at each of the services on this day.
For several years the Church conducted all services by using members of the congregation to do the speaking. Occasionally a preacher would be called for a Lord’s Day service or one would pay the Church a visit. Generally, two protracted meetings were held each year. Under this system the Church grew in number and ability to teach.
There have been almost a hundred preachers who have preached for the Church.
Officials of the Church
Since the first officials were set in the church in 1909, several brethren have served as Elders and Deacons. Some are deceased, some moved away and some resigned. At present there are two elders – viz. Charles Heath and I.L. Wood, and four deacons – viz. L. E. Knapp, Perry Lancaster, Bert R. Truex and Harry Carney.
Preachers from the Congregation
Bro. L. V. McGary, a local member of the congregation preached a lot for the church, but long since moved to Detroit, Mich., where he has been active in church work.
Our first young brother to take up the work of preaching was Bro. Charles S. Miller. He gave part time to work and part time to preaching. He lost his life January 7, 1924, while working in a coal mine. The church suffered a great loss by his death. He at this time was one of the elders. Bro. Reid Robinson, now of Shrewsberry, W. Va., was another of our young preachers. He is still engaged in the ministry.
Bro. Austin Siburt of Henderson, Texas, is another of our boys who made good as an evangelist of the Church. And is well-known throughout the brotherhood.
Bro. J. R. Harris came to us as a minister, has preached frequently for the church here and also served for a time as an elder. He also preaches now as his health permits.
Bro. Robert Tennant now in Florida began his work as a minister of the Church while a very young man among us. He is still preaching the gospel.
Bro. Ernest D. Conner (the first convert of the church here) has for a number of years been preaching for many of the surrounding congregations. Mostly conducting Lord’s Day services and protracted meetings.
Bro. Charles Heath one of the present elders has been engaged in much work in teaching and preaching at home and other places also doing much radio work.
Finances of the Church
The New Testament plan of contributing to the work of the church is the plan used in financing the work of the church. For many years all money contributed is deposited in the bank and all bills are paid by check and a quarterly report of all money received and paid out is made to the congregation. Bro. L. E. Knapp has for several years been Treasurer of the church.
The following named preachers of the church have been located here as “MINISTERS” of the church: H. W. Bankes, J. H. Pennell, R. A. Zahn, C. D. Plum, Boyd Fanning, E. C. Koltenbaugh, C. W. Scott, W. Herman Neal, A. C. Grider, Charles Wells, and our present minister, Jess. W. Nutter.
Activities of the Church
The church has always been willing to assist in starting new congregations when and wherever they were able to do so. Considerable support has been given to support ministers in new fields or to assist weak churches in preaching the gospel. Assistance has been given to radio work. The church has for some time supported a daily radio program over station WMOD. It can be said of the church here “They Lend a Helping Hand.”
- Keep the church at all times pure in doctrine, practice and morals.
- Keep the mission of the church always before the church.
- Develop the young into active workers of the church.
- Inspire to do greater work for the Lord.
- Endeavor at all times “to keep the Unity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace.”
History of the Hillview Terrace church of Christ
meeting in Moundsville, West Virginia
Submitted by Harold Jones
The Church of Christ, Hillview Terrace, Moundsville, was established May 17, 1964 because dedicated Christians wished to see a further and more complete restoration of New Testament Christianity in the city.
Members selected L. H. Anderson, Earnest Conner, Samuel Johnson, Walter Masters, and Harold Sole to serve as Elders. Deacons were James Adams, Lester Baker, Harold Blake, Arthur Hubbs, Harry Long, Howard Myers, and Clarence Sole.
In February, 1966, D. Gene West became the first located evangelist and worked in that capacity until June, 1973. Donald R. Cooper preached until June, 1978. He was followed by Kenneth Burton who ministered until June, 1983. The present minister is Denver Cooper.
When the congregation was first established there were approximately 100 members. Today, membership has grown to 307.
The Hillview Terrace church has always been a mission minded church, supporting missionaries in Gambia, West Africa, for several years and supports the church in Webster Springs, WV. Monthly support is sent to Mid-Western Children’s Home in Ohio. Locally, the church aids needy families in the community.
Present elders are Wilford Baker, Paul Harris, Harold Jones, Walter Masters and Howard Sole/ Present deacons are Lester Baker, Harold Blake, Howard Conner, Clifford Fogle, Harry Long, Howard Myers, Austin Postlathwait, Edward Tennant, Clarence Sole and Howard B. Sole.