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Church of Christ
Evangelist Clint Yarber
THE HISTORY OF THE GOSPEL HILL CONGREGATION
The church of our Lord is one of the greatest institutions upon the face of the earth. It had the greatest architect, God; it had the greatest price paid for her, the blood of our savior. There have been those down through the ages who have loved her enough that they were willing to sacrifice their lives, their wealth, and their time for the well-being of the church. Those of us who are now a part of the church at Gospel Hill ought to especially be thankful to those who had a love for God, his truth, and for the souls of men and women of this community. They had enough conviction to see the need of having the gospel preached here in the summer of 1909. This effort was put together and encouraged by two women. They were Elizabeth Betty McGoldrick and Cynthia Story. Elizabeth was the grandmother to Bob and Harry McGoldrick. Cynthia was the grandmother to Myrtle Roberts and Herman Story.
These two women contacted Brother Squire Garner at the County Line Bible School and requested someone to be sent to preach in a meeting here. The men who were sent by Brother Garner were Preston Fields and Iverson Blackwell. These were both young preachers at County Line. This meeting was to be conducted in the Missionary Baptist church building. To the best of our knowledge, this took place in the summer of 1909. This building was located just west of where Walt and Hazel McGoldrick lived. The building is no longer standing, it burned down. The meeting only lasted a few days in the Missionary Baptist building. Our brethren were informed that the Baptist people needed their meeting house back so that they could conduct a meeting of their own.
There was a man of the community whose name was Alec Anderson (an infidel, who later obeyed the gospel) who informed the brethren that he didn’t like to see any group forced out. Therefore, he gave them permission to set up a brush-arbor and donated lumber to build the seats. It was 100 yards off K Highway, and to the north of Cureall, where Jinx and Mable Endicott lived.
Those who obeyed the gospel as a result of the preaching at this first meeting were Tom McGoldrick, Jim Roberts, and William Lawing. Tom McGoldrick was the father of Bob and Harry. Jim Roberts was the father-in-law of Sarah Roberts. William Lawing was the father of Clara Briggs.
The church continued to meet in the home of Tom and Linnie (Story) McGoldrick. They met there until they were able to construct a one room building. This building was built on the property given by Jim “Pop” and Mary Roberson. This property is down the hill, west of where the present building stands. It was referred to as “Seed Tick” by many. This came about because the seed ticks were so bad during the building of the meeting place that the men were covered with seed ticks even before they got to do any work.
The labor for the construction of this building was donated by the men. One of those who hauled the lumber for the building was Harry Williams. This was Lorene Roberts’ brother.
After the building was constructed, the older men were asked to come up with a name for the congregation. Those men who had a part in this were Pierce Crider, Joe Fox, and Will Cox. Will Cox was a grandfather to Jack Fox. Pierce Crider was a great-grandfather to Melvin Long. Those men chose the name “Gospel Hill”.
There was a time in the thirties in which the church here became very small in number. There were John and Bessie Davis, Harry and Neil Williams, three or four women, and a few children. They continued to meet until they could encourage others to be part of the assembly.
John and Bessie Davis would probably have been considered as the “hub” of the church at Gospel Hill during the first years of its existence. They not only were faithful to support it with their presence at all the services, but they also stood firmly and upheld the truth.
In the late forties, the brethren saw the need to make some improvements in the building. They added a front porch with two front doors. They also sealed the building on the inside and installed electric lights. Carson Ramsey did the wiring with the help of Roy Simkins (Lydia Simkins husband).
The truth continued to be preached and taught and there was honest and sincere souls seeking the truth. As a result, the Lord’s church continued to grow spiritually and numerically. The time had come that the congregation was in need of a new building. There was great deal of discussion as to where they might build it. In 1956, Orval and Maxine Williams donated an acre of best ground they had on which to construct the new church building. They gave an additional acre on the north side for future needs. They also donated half an acre for the preacher’s house.
The first assembly was held in the new building on October 14, 1956. Those who helped conduct this worship service were as follows: Harry Williams, song leader; Charley Cox, prayer; Jack Fox, taught the lesson and those who served the communion were Jack Fox, Edward Roberts, Jim Cockrum, and Robert Hixon. Those who taught classes were Jim Cockrum, Edward Roberts, and Ang Williams. Luther Story dismissed the service. Attendance was 120. Contribution was $69.08.
In 1960, the brethren decided to add the classroom wing off of the old auditorium. In 1981, with God’s help, having outgrown the auditorium that had been constructed in 1956, the brethren decided to build a new auditorium on the west side of the old building. The building of the new auditorium started April of 1982 and the first service was conducted in it on October 24, 1982. Those assisting with the service were Giles Roberts, announcements; John Roberts, song leader; Irl Taylor, prayer; Buddy Rhoads, Bob Crites, Vernon Greer and Dwight Laxton served at the Lord’s table. Attendance was 270 and contribution was $1,034.65
The church has had many different men who have served as elders over the years. Those men have helped the church to remain faithful to the Lord. Those men are: Jack Fox, John Roberts, Vernon Greer, Giles Roberts, Buddy Rhoads, Irl Taylor, Jim Cockrum, Pete Riley, Bob Crites, Burl Roberts, and Ronald Roberts.
Some of the preachers who have preached at Gospel Hill are : S.P. Fields, Iverson Blackwell, Elmer Butler, Joe Blue, Jonnie Newberry, Cleo Blue, Tome Erax, Joe Taylor, Tom Davis, Clavin McCord, Orbie Robbins, Boyd Morgan, Rue Porter, H.H. Dunn, Arthur Blackwell, Emmett Smith, Carl Bryant, Claude Truex, Guy N. Woods, O.L. Grisham, Dub McClish, Galand Elkins and others.
Preachers who have worked with the congregation as full-time evangelists have been: Riley Henry, Art Smith, Cliff Stewart, Hugh McNary, Paul Watson, Robert Jackson, Bruce Stulting, Johnie Scaggs, Jr., Raymond Wiseman, Ron Brotherton, and our present full-time evangelist, Clint Yarber.
The Lord’s church that meets here now is a vibrant, loving congregation that remains strong and solid in the faith. This is because from its earliest beginning and down through the years there have been men and women who have seen the need to uphold and defend the truth. We must be eternally grateful for their contributions.
When you worship with Gospel Hill Church of Christ, you will notice our emphasis on God’s word. Worship must be directed by Christ if we expect to be pleasing unto God. God has not left men to themselves to devise what they choose in worship. When we do that which is not authorized in worship, our worship becomes vain and unacceptable. Jesus spoke of people who “...draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:8-9).
The New Testament reveals five acts of worship. These acts are included in worship on the Lord’s day, every first day of the week.
Singing: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). Singing is congregational and a cappella, i.e. without the accompaniment of mechanical instruments of music. There are no choirs, solos, or “special music” in New Testament worship.
TEACHING: A message from God’s Word is delivered. “And upon the first day of the week...Paul preached unto them...and continued his speech until midnight” (Acts 20:7). Nothing but the pure and unadulterated Word of God is proclaimed. The whole counsel of God is preached without fear or favor of any man (Acts 20:26-27).
GIVING: A free-will offering is collected from each member on the Lord’s day. “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him...” (1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7). You will not find sales and fund raisers in New Testament giving.
LORD’S SUPPER: Each member partakes of unleavened bread and fruit of the vine every first day of the week to remember Christ’s death on the cross. “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread...” (Acts 20:7; cf. 1 Corinthians 11:23-29; Matthew 26:26-29).
PRAYER: Members reverently pray unto God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ the Son. “...Prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God...” (Acts 12:5; cf. Acts 2:42).
Jesus said true worship is “in spirit” (from the heart, sincere) and “in truth” (according to and directed by God’s Word) (John 4:24).
Hear (Romans 10:17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Believe (Hebrews 11:6) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently week him.
Repent (Luke 13:3) I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all like wise perish.
Confess (Romans 10:9) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Be Baptized (Acts 2:38) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Live Faithfully (Rev 2:10) Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried, and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.