Our History

From the worship service program, January 1942

 

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About the time of Oklahoma Statehood [1907] a few Christians started assembling on the Lord's Day in a rented building then standing in the east part of the business section of Shawnee and thus really started the work of the Lord in that city. In 1920 the members numbered about 20. Brother John T. Hinds, late editor of the Gospel Advocate, was the first preacher to assist this small group in a gospel meeting which was held in old Convention Hall. Year after year the group endeavored to conduct a meeting and as a result they continued to grow.

Many hardships and difficulties internally were encountered from the beginning of the congregation until 1927 at which time the church took on new life. In that year the property at 213 N Union Street was purchased and became the permanent home for the small group. They continued to struggle along for several years gradually growing until in 1920 they hired their first full time minister, B. U. Baldwin.

Brother A. A. Ewton who before his death resided at Tecumseh and the father of one of the present [1942] elders of the Shawnee church rendered much valuable service and aid during the early days of the congregation. Many Sundays Brother Ewton came over to Shawnee and preached for the group without receiving even expenses. Brothers J. M. Seward and N. J. Brundage, the father of Mrs. Boland Harris of the Eastside congregation now, served the church as elders and pioneer leaders. Without the sacrifice and devotion of these Godly men and others, the church would not today be what it is in Shawnee. Many of the preachers of the past generation had weekly appointments and conducted meetings in Shawnee.

Since 1920 the church has been able to employ a minister full time in preaching the gospel in the city and neighboring communities. Several good valuable men have served the church through the years. Each ministry brought added growth to the congregation. About five years ago during the ministry of Brother Perry B. Cotham lots were purchased in front of the city auditorium at Tenth and Bell Streets with the plan in mind of erecting a new church building thereupon within the near future. In June of 1939 the congregation had grown until the old building would not take care of the audiences so the new church on East Main was started under the supervision of the elders of the old congregation. One hundred and twenty-five members were given to this new work. Within a few weeks this new church was self-supporting and since that time has also employed a full time minister, Brother Leroy Thompson now serves that congregation as minister.

In June 1940, Hulen L. Jackson, then of San Saba, Texas, moved to Shawnee to succeed Brother Cotham as minister. Rather soon thereafter plans were developed for the new church building and on April 1, 1941, excavation was started for the new structure. It stands today at Tenth and Bell Streets as a memorial of the sacrifices and devotion of the entire church. The building is an asset to the city of Shawnee and to the Church of Christ of Oklahoma. The present [1942] officers of the congregation are listed on the cover page of the booklet.