Marion Co TOC
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Church of Christ Churches
When the Battenfield brothers, John and Ben, came into the area of southern Marion County, they stirred great interest among the people concerning "setting up the kingdom" in the Water Creek community. Much labor was expended by some in this effort, but it came to naught.
About 1930 a much larger church building was erected at the site where the Caney Church of Christ now stands. By 1940 this building seemed inadequate. A supervisor was employed and the families of the community donated their time and labor to construct the building now used. The stones that were used were dug and hauled from the nearby creek bed.
In the late 1930's and early 1940's the Mull congregation had been meeting in the old school building. The Stamper building was purchased in the early 1940's and is still used by the Mull Church of Christ congregation. G. B. Keeter, deceased, was an active worker and an outstanding leader in the Caney and Mull communities. At present, both communities have strong and active congregations with Doyle Davenport preaching at Caney and John Dillard preaching at Mull
By: Earl Berry
This congregation of the Church of Christ was first set in order at Wild Cat and met for many years in the school building known as Wild Cat District #13 near the then Wild Cat Cemetery. It was probably organized about 1900. Early elders in the congregation were G. W. Jenkins and W. J. Parker. Deacons were J. R. (Uncle Richmond) McCracken and J. G. (Jones) Osborne. later both Elder Jenkins and Elder Parker became ordained ministers of the Church of Christ. Inserted herein is a copy of the Ordination Certificate of G. W. Jenkins:
"TO ALL THIS LETTER OF GREETING MAY CONCERN:Among the early members of the congregation that worshipped with the church at Wild Cat were the families of: Dr. M. B. L. Matthews, Daddy and Aunt Josephine McCracken, Bunk McCracken, W. J. Parker, Silas Parker, Doc Osborne, J. G. and Aunt Martha Osborne, Aunt Mary McCracken, G. W. Jenkins, Dink Berry, J. R. McCracken, G. W. Parker, Sr., George Sanders, Elder Beckham, Waggoner and some members of the Stone family. Perhaps, there were others who cannot be recalled. At one time this was, perhaps in membership, the largest church in Marion County. Though it did not have a full-time preacher, some of the most able preachers of the Church of Christ at that time did preach there and conduct revivals. Among these were: Elder J. A. Rose, G. W. Brand, Tom Nowlin and Elder Beckham. Elders Jenkins and Parker preached for the congregation once a month. Many were converted to Christ while this congregation met at Wild Cat, and many were baptized in James Creek near the building.
Later the congregation moved to the old Malidda schoolhouse with G. W. Jenkins and W. J. Parker as Elders. After the death of J. G. Osborne, Dink Berry, W. A. (Arthur) Moore and J. R. (Uncle Richmond) McCracken served as deacons. Among the evangelists who conducted revivals at Malidda were: Joe Blue, S. C. Garner, W. C. Rise, Willie Flippin, Bro. Brumelow and Walter Leomius. At one such revival there were some fifty conversions.
After the death of G. W. Jenkins and W. J. Parker, Dink Berry, G. W. (Dump) Parker, and S. R. Osborne were chosen as elders. Uncle Richmond McCracken continued to serve as deacon and was the song leader for the congregation, until his death. Names on the church roll at Malidda included members of the Manse Holden family, Grandpa and Grandma Coots, Jim Coots, W. J. Kirkland and several members of his family, Uncle John and Aunt Mary McCracken, Rex and Lizzie, Mart and Pearl, Edd and Ernie, and Ethel, wife of Johnnie McCracken, Roscoe and Goldie Jenkins, Dewey and Della Mitchell Jenkins, Elmer, Guy, and the Jenkins and their sister Zella, now Mr. Othel Coots, the Marshall family, Vester Smith and Julia, Grandma Smith, Eva Smith, Tilden Flippin family, several members of the G. W. Parker, Sr. family, Aunt Hannah Ann Mitchell, Frank, Ed and Leonard, Wallie Parker and Delia, C. C. (Doll) Treat, Charlie Parker and Nellie, Jim Kirk McCracken and wife, Pat McCracken, Fred and Zella Payne and others whose names cannot now be recalled. (Page 502 Top) This remained a large congregation until after the close of World War I. Following the close of this war, a large number of the families of this congregation migrated and settled in Oklahoma-in the Wetumpka-Holdenville area. Among these were the families of Bud, Cam, Elza, Ellis, Joe and Wallie Parker; the families of John, Jim, Ealum, and Joe Osborne; the W. J. Kirkland and Frank Kirkland families; Roscoe, Elmer and Dewey Jenkins families; Rommie Sanders and wife. Many members of these families were members of the Malidda congregation and with their moving the congregation declined in membership. Bible study was conducted each Sunday and preaching was usually one Sunday each month. Among those who preached were J. R. (Raleigh) Matthews, W. C. Rice, J. A. Henry, and C. C. Parrott, Sr.
With the building of the Fairview schoolhouse, the congregation came to be known as the Fairview Church of Christ with the elders and deacons as referred to above in the Malidda congregation. G. W. (Dump) Parker served until his death in 1937, Dink Berry until his death in 1942, and S. R. Osborne until his death in the latter part of the 1960's. Uncle Richmond McCracken served as deacon until his death in 1938. At the present time the congregation is small and has no ordained elders and deacons but meets regularly on each Lord's Day for worship. Preaching services are conducted on the first Sunday of each month and the Saturday night preceding. A revival meeting is usually conducted each year. Among those who have preached in these revivals were: Leland H. Knight, Paul Knight, Ervin Waters, Homer L. King, Tom Smith, Joe Deal, Earl Berry, Silas Dean, Joe Howard and Bro. Woody Wood.
Among those who have worked hard to keep the congregation alive, credit must be given to Roy (Buck) McCracken, Willie Bailey, and Floyd Kirkland. There are others including many of the ladies who have shared in the work. In 1975 death took four of the faithful-Paul and Nora Flippin, Aunt Mae Osborne and Uncle Bill McCracken.
This small group of people still is interested in carrying out the Great Commission and our hope is that it will ever continue to be as a city set on a hill whose light cannot be hidden.
By: Earl Berry
The congregation in Flippin began with a small group of members in 1949 or 1950 who met for worship in the Community Building located on the Flippin School ground. Among the group engaged in the effort to establish the congregation are: Mr. and Mrs. Silas Dean, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Rex McCracken, Garner Jenkins, the Glen Parrott family, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Wooten, Ominus Kyle, Mr. and Mrs. Foresee, Charlie, Nellie and Willie Parker, Mrs. Belle Ott and Mrs. Lennie Ott.
By: Mrs. George Young
In the spring of 1951 the church was reorganized under the leadership of Bro. Tommy Richesin and met for about a year in the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Chaney. Attending these services were: Mr. and Mrs. George Chaney; Mrs. Ben Chaney and Richard; Mr. and Mrs. Delmar Ply and Mardell; Mr. and Mrs. Jim Tippit; Mrs. Earl Foresee; Mrs. Maureen Wolfe and Rocky; Mr. and Mrs. Will Sharp; Mrs. Monty Ply; Miss Ona Tabor; Charlie Tabor; Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Cheek and Jimmie; Mr. and Mrs. Owen Ingle; Mr. and Mrs. Bryant Nowlin and daughter; Mrs. George Young, Penny and Judy; and Miss Mabel Leeds. These were not all members.
On January 11, 1952, lots were purchased from Ben Chaney and a house purchased from Clomer Gilley on Georges Creek was moved to and erected on the lots and remodeled into a church building.
With the new church building, the congregation began to grow and to the number were added Mr. and Mrs. Jackson Stanley and Viola; Mr. and Mrs Warren Rose and daughter; Mrs. Ola Rose, Miss Josie Young; Mrs. Hattie Young; Mr. and Mrs. Berry Melton; Mr. and Mrs. Ed Gunther, Bucky and Bobby; Mrs. J. D. Roger and Gary; Mrs. Everett Young; Mr. and Mrs. Bill Rose and children; Mr. and Mrs. Ewell Sharp and children; Alice Cheek and Mrs. Annie Cheek; Pierce Ply; Talmadge Richardson; and Mr. and Mrs. Alva Stanley and Nancy Ruth and Helen.
In 1963 the congregation purchased land on Highway 62 back of the Pyatt School building and constructed a concrete building. This was completed and ready for services in May 1964. A number of the earlier people in this congregation have passed on to their eternal reward; others have moved out of the community. The present congregation includes many of those already mentioned. In addition, the present members include: Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Rodenwald and Kathy; Mr. and Mrs. Charley Burgess and daughters; Mrs. Alma Chopin, Mrs. Kenneth Harris and sons; Mr. and Mrs. Bill Phillips and Keith; Mr. and Mrs. Brice Emerson; Mr. and Mrs. Bingham Dodd; Mr. and Mrs. Truman Rose; Mrs. Bob Brown and baby. Others in the community who have attended include Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Tabor, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. Ronal McClean, Joel Tabor, and Mrs. Willard Tabor.
Among the early preachers who labored with the congregation were: Tommy Richesin; Delbert Wilson; Roy Lee Wilson; Bro. Denny; (Page 505) Top) George Elkins and, perhaps, others for a short time. Evangelists who have preached in revival services were: Johnny Carter; Pierce Adams; Louis Fullerton; Bro. Arnold. At this lime of writing Bro. David Watts is engaged in a revival effort and hopefully souls will be saved.