Church of Christ in Center Celebrates 60 Years

May 1, 2018 - Center Church of Christ invites you to come and celebrate our 60th Anniversary by joining us for an area wide singing and gospel meeting May 4th - 6th, 2018.

  • Friday, May 4, 7pm - Area Wide Singing, Refreshments Served Afterward.
  • Saturday, May 5, 7pm - Gospel Preaching, Phil Sanders Guest Speaker
  • Sunday, May 6 - Bible Class 9:45am; Worship 10:45am; Phil Sanders Guest Speaker Both for Bible Class and Worship

Click image above for full viewPlan to come and join us, we will lift our voices in songs of praise. We will hear a wonderful message from the word of God by an able Gospel Preacher and we will be having a covered dish luncheon immediately following the morning worship.

Center Church of Christ, 110 Hurst Street, Center, Texas

History of the Church of Christ in Center, Texas

The church of Christ that meets at 110 Hurst Street in Center, Texas can trace it's beginning to 1936. Prior to that time, the history of the church of Christ in Center is obscured by a lack of complete information, due to the fact that at one time in the past, what is now known as the Christian Church was part of the original church of Christ.

However, early in 1936 a young man named Blakely Campbell, who was employed by Beall Brothers, moved to Center from Longview, Texas. He deserves much of the credit for helping to reorganize the Church of Christ in Center. Members met in the courthouse part of the time, and also in the Rio Theater. About 20 members, more or less, met regularly. Blakely Campbell was acquainted with Brother John W. Aiken and the good work that he was doing throughout East Texas in financing construction of buildings for Churches of Christ. Through this contact, arrangements were made and the property was purchased at the corner of Nacogdoches Street and Wheeler Avenue. Brother Aiken financed construction of the red brick church building (the building is still there) which was completed in 1936. He later deeded the property to the Church.

Brother C. M. Pullias preached in the first gospel meeting held in the fall of 1936. The first regular minister of the local congregation was Brother Foy E. Wallace, Sr. His salary for the first year was supplemented by Brother Aiken.

The first elders of the congregation were Fred Jarry, Ira Bell and Tom Watson. The first deacons were Roy Russell, Marshall Thomason and Ottis Stack.

Following Brother Wallace as minister were George McCaleb, S.C. Kinningham, Lee Reynolds, Buck Parham, George McCaleb (a second time) and Louis Wright. This 14-year time period saw the congregation gradually increase in strength and numbers.

In December 1949, Merle Bryant began to work with the Church in Center. During the next few years there was a period of rapid expansion. Many new members were added to the congregation and others who had drifted away were restored to the faith

The Church began to sponsor a series of radio broadcasts daily over the local station, and regular Sunday evening Church services were broadcast for about a year or more. Also, weekly articles were published in the local newspaper. Gospel meetings were held in several rural communities in Shelby County during the summer months. These were sponsored and financed by the congregation in Center

The church of Christ in Center had grown from a fledgling congregation in the period of 15 years to a congregation with a membership of about 150. While Brother Bryant was in Center, the first Sunday in April, 1953, a renewed drive was begun for the building program and a separate fund was set up for that purpose. 

That day, there were 226 present for Bible Class and the building fund offering was $5,567.

Construction began on the building on Hurst Street in October 1957, and the building was completed in the spring of 1958. The first services were held in this building on May 25, 1958.

Since Brother Bryant left in 1954, the following have served the congregation as ministers: James C.Murphy, Jady W. Copeland, R.L. Foutz (he was the minister when the building was completed), Norman Keener, James Montgomery, Eugene Greer, Larry Eoff, Murphy Phillips, Glynn Purdy, Murphy Phillips (a second time), Mel Shulman, Don Norwood, Joe Wrape, Royce Frederick, Foy Forehand, Larry DeLong, and the current minister, Tim Perkins who has been the minister since November 2000.

The history of the Center Church of Christ is a great heritage as we celebrate our 60th anniversary of being in the building at 110 Hurst Street. However, with our faces toward the future, we know that the best and most glorious days of the Center Church of Christ are yet to come.