Webmaster's Note: A more in-depth history of
the settling of the Church of Christ in Texas, especially with the D'Spains and
Clarks, was found in the article below
written by Dr. Don Vinzant, of the Granbury Church of Christ, Granbury, Texas.
Church of Christ History
A Historical Sketch of the
Granbury Church of Christ
by Dr. Don Vinzant
men labored, and ye are entered into their labors” (John 4:38). So many
labors by so many laborers over so many years! For one, such as this
writer who only moved to Hood County in 1982, the debt owed to those who have
gone before is beyond repayment. In fact, the extent of the debt to
previous laborers in the Church of Christ, is even beyond acknowledgement.
It is perhaps a truism that those who make history are too busy to write it.
Thus, much of the earliest (and hardest) work may not ever even be acknowledged,
not through lack of appreciation, but through unawareness of some of the
sacrifices of earlier times.
This effort at
sketching some of the earlier labors of workers in the Restoration Movement in
Granbury (or in Hood County of which Granbury is the county seat), is itself
dependent on the memories, as well as some written records of those who have
gone before. While it is inevitable that this sketch will be incomplete,
the God who sustained these “other laborers” will reward them, whether we
are able to name them and acknowledge their endeavors.
Two of the earliest
congregations in Texas of the Restoration Movement (an effort to go back to the
New Testament and restore the church as it was intended to be), were those in
Melrose, near Nacodoches; and at Old Liberty, near McKinney. The
congregation at Melrose dates from 1836, the one at Old Liberty from 1845.
Each of these congregations provided leadership for the early efforts to
establish the Church of Christ in Hood County.
The congregation at
Melrose began in 1836 with the arrival of a wagon train of settlers from
northern Alabama. They were guided part of the way by Davey Crockett,
Tennessean who was to die at the Alamo a few months later. Two men who
adopted the Restoration principle were the spiritual leaders of this caravan –
Mansil W. Matthews and Lynn D’Spain. Upon arrival in Texas, this colony
began immediately to worship as a congregation of believers. The
D’Spains were descendents of the French Huguenots, early evangelical victims
of persecution in France. They had long valued the principle of
acknowledging no authority but the Bible. Some of these Huguenots in
America found in the “back to the Bible” approach of Barton W. Stone and
Alexander Campbell a message which they had already adopted. The specific
connection of the church in Melrose (sometimes call the church in Clarksville),
with Hood County is an interested one since both M.W. Matthews and the D’Spain
family were to appear in the area around Granbury. Matthews did some
preaching in the Squaw Creek area, evidently at a church house near the home of
Silas Scarborough (of whom we shall hear more). In later years he settled
in Wise Country, not very far away, after he had spent many years in a nomadic
kind of range life. He was a preacher, doctor and lawyer. Of
interest to Texas history is the fact that he hurried to San Jacinto in 1836,
where he was treating Sam Houston’s wounds when Santa Anna was brought in to
him. Matthews preached all up and down the Texas frontier from Gainesville
The story of the
D’Spain connection with Hood County is even closer. Lynn D’Spain had a
sister named Hetty. Hetty was to meet a young man, Joseph Addison
who came to their community. Clark, at that time irreligious – somewhat
skeptical about religion, was in the Nacagdoches area. Trapped by high
water, he attended a singing class which the church was conducting. He
became interested in the singing. In time, he fell in love with Hetty and
they married. He became a Christian, and a fervent one. Ultimately,
he, along with his sons, Addison and Randolph, were to found Add-Ran University
at Thorp Spring, just three miles north of Granbury. This school is the
lineal ancestor of present-day Texas Christian University, at Fort Worth.
Clark’s two sons preached in Granbury in early days. His sons later
introduced an organ into worship at Thorp Spring, which caused a major split in
that community and ultimately was the cause of the University relocating.
More will be said later about the Clark family.
The other early
congregation referred to, is the one at Old Liberty, near McKinney, Texas.
Descendents of Collin McKinney were leaders in this church along with the
Wilmeths. Collin’s son, William C. McKinney, was one of the preachers
for the Old Liberty church. The other was Joseph Brice Wilmeth, who only
arrived there the year the church of was organized. Wilmeth, as was not
uncommon among men of the frontier, had moved already from his native state of
North Carolina, to Tennessee, then to Arkansas and finally into Texas.
They first moved to a farm near present-day Grand Prairie, but the Indians made
this location unsafe, (1846 antedates by two years the establishment of Fort
Worth), so they moved to Collin County, where J.B. Wilmeth farmed and shared
preaching responsibilities. Two of J.B. Wilmeth’s sons, James Ransom and
C.M. (Mack) Wilmeth were later to teach at Add-Ran University at Thorp Spring.
(Of special interest to this writer is that his wife, Carol, is the great-great
granddaughter of J.B. Wilmeth. Some family papers have been useful at this
The work of the
Church of Christ in Hood County, then, is entwined with some of the earliest
work done in Texas by pioneers of the Restoration Movement. As has already
been mentioned, later on in this story, a division occurred over instrumental
music. Another issue was over the organization of a missionary society.
Those congregations holding to the conservative position of a cappela music in
worship and not supra-congregational organization became known as Church of
Christ. Those holding to a liberal approach which permitted these
innovations became known as Christian Churches or Disciples of Christ.
Thus, in Granbury, there came to be two separate churches – the Church of
Christ and the First Christian Church – who look to the same pioneer preachers
and workers as their spiritual ancestors. The time-frame in which this
division occurred in Hood County was from about 1893-1910. The federal
census of 1906 distinguished the religious preferences of those who had formerly
been united as Church of Christ and, separately, Christian Churches.
With this background
narrated, we look to the first reference to work done by a Restoration pioneer
in this area. The early historian (1898) of Hood county, T.T. Ewell, is
helpful at this point, by calling attention to Silas Scarborough.
Scarborough lived in the area of the post oaks south of Squaw Creek.
Scarborough was a tall, stout man of robust health. As common in those
days, he was a farmer-preacher. He preached in the Squaw Creek area and
also at Thorp Spring, some 18 miles away. Silas was the son and grandson
of preachers. His grandfather, Lawrence Scarborough had preached in
Arkansas where he appears on an 1833 record as a “Reformed Baptist Church of
Christ preacher.” Silas’ father, John Scarborough, was also a preacher
and John and Silas moved together to Squaw Creek. John died and is buried
there. Silas did considerable preaching in the area as early a 1855.
There seems to have been a church house near Squaw Creek. Ewell also
records that M.W. Matthews also preached at Squaw Creek. It seems that
Matthews was not given to the kind of emotional presentation to evoke a crowd
reaction, but he got quite an outburst of reaction at Squaw Creek.
Scarborough ranged over the territory around Granbury and Thorp Spring and had
responses to his preaching. Those baptized may have remained faithful to
their confession, but we do not have specific names with later information as to
their fidelity to the cause of Christ. Scarborough seems to have preached
the first sermon at the natural spring, which came to be known as Thorp Spring.
Silas Scarborough, as was common then, kept moving westward. Later years
found him and his cousin, Ike Polk Scarborough teaching in a little school near
present-day Breckenridge in Stephens County. Scarborough is the first
Restoration preacher whom historians can identify as having worked in this area.
Hood County became a separate entity from Johnson County only in 1866.
(Granbury was officially incorporated in 1873), thus, Scarborough was here quite
early. In those years prior to and including the Civil War, there was till
danger from Indian raids. In fact, there is a historical marker between
Granbury and Glen Rose, on Highway 144, memorializing the Squaw Creek Indian
Raid of 1864 in which an early settler was killed by a group of some 25 Indians,
who had stolen about 60 horses. Later, that same day a Mr. W.C. Walters,
Silas Scarborough, and a Nego slave were spotted by this same group of marauding
Indians. The slave was attacked and died. Walters and Scarborough
managed to make it to a cedar brake where they escaped death. Within a few
hours the United States Calvary had found the Indians, chased them away and
recovered the stolen horses. The great-granddaughter of the man killed is
a member of the Granbury Church of Christ – Hettie Lena Hayworth.
One other early
worker in the general Hood County area deserves mention, Stephen Slade Taylor.
Although most of his work seems to have been pointed even further westward, we
are advised that Taylor moved, in 1854, to the mouth of Robinson Creek, eight
miles to the north of Thorp Springs, “… to the old Dick Blevens place …”
Taylor helped a work get started in Weatherford. It began at a Mr. B.K.
Emerson’s house, on Sanchez Creek, eight miles southwest of Weatherford and
then moved to the courthouse. Later, Taylor moved to Golconda, the name of
which was changed to Palo Pinto. He continued there until his death in
1898. The Palo Pinto church is dated from 1857.
To these brave
pioneers, Silas Scarborough, Mansil W. Matthews and S.S. Taylor, we pay our
respects and turn now to the more fully recorded work of J.A. Clark, and his
sons, Addison and Randolph.
It is important to
remember the local state of development in the 1870’s when the Clarks were
beginning their school in Hood County. The county had only been organized
in 1866 and Granbury was not incorporated until 1873. The county seat was
located at what had been called Lambert’s Branch. The railroad was not
to reach Granbury until 1887. There was already a Methodist church in
Granbury which had been established in 1871. While Presbyterians had held
services since the 1850’s, their church was only organized in 1879.
There had been a school begun by the Methodists called Granbury College, which
was essentially a district high school. It lasted until 1889 and the
college at Weatherford was counted as a continuation of Granbury College.
As late as the 1860’s people were still being killed by Indians. Indeed,
in one of Wilmeth’s travel reports, he indicates in 1875 the feeling of
apprehension as he began a trip to Stephenville, Comanche, etc. For a time
the Brazos was viewed as a “dead line” to the west, beyond which one was
imperiling one’s life.
The Clarks were
already operating a school in Fort Worth when a representative of Mr. Pleasant
Thorp, owner of the spring bearing his name, came to the Clarks to persuade them
to come to Thorp Spring and begin a college. The school in Ft. Worth had
already operated from 1869-1873, under the name The Male and Female Seminary.
In the summer of 1873, this representative of Mr. Thorp found Randolph Clark in
town in Ft. Worth. Randolph called his father into the matter for
discussion. Addison was out of town preaching and promoting their Fort
Worth School. The father, J.A., and Randolph decided that Randolph, aged
29, should journey to Thorp Spring and look over the situation. Randolph
was pleased with what he saw and plans were made for him to move immediately to
Thorp Spring and begin a school that fall. Meanwhile, the father and
brother Addison, aged 32, would remain in Fort Worth and move later.
To aid in
recapturing some idea of what things must have looked like in Hood County, its
county seat, Granbury, and in Thorp Spring in 1873, we quote from some almost
contemporaneous accounts (the latest from 1876), from C.M. Wilmeth and his
brother, J.R. Wilmeth. These men both later taught at Add-Ran, and are
ancestors of this writer’s wife (Carol Mitchell Vinzant).
Next morning we
opened our eyes on the beautiful Brazos Valley. There was its rolling
river winding on toward the sea; there its craggy cliffs crowned with
evergreens; and last and loveliest, in the distance stood Comanche Peak, lifting
its proud head into the heavens, and like a silent sentinel looking down on
little hills, lovely valleys and the on-rushing river. – Granbury, the
county seat of Hood County . . . is a small but thriving town, affording a stone
courthouse, a stone hotel, and several stone stores. The Brazos at
Granbury is a prairie stream, there being little timber except sparse groves of
live oak, post oak and mesquite. Soon the little village (of Thorp Spring)
lay before us. I fell in love with the Spring, the place is beyond
question, besides being highly romantic in scenery. Nestled among these
hills, it reminds one of Bethany and the hills of Virginia, (this reference is
to Alexander Campbell’s College at Bethany, West Virginia, which J.R. Wilmeth
had graduated from). The village, setting on its trinity of hills was
alive . . . on the side of Hotel Hill could be seen tents of invalid attendants
at the Spring, on Thorp’s Hill could be seen the covered wagons of the college
patrons (this excerpt is dated 1876-DV) from Collin, Denton and other distant
counties; and on College Hill, under the spreading oaks were the wagons, buggies
and saddle horses of many patrons from the regions round about.
very time that Randolph made his survey trip to beautiful rural Thorp Spring,
the Clarks were facing the difficulty of operating a Christian school in
rough-and-tumble Fort Worth, a frontier city of saloons – seemingly ill-suited
for a high-tone moral school to train young men and women from the sheltered
back-ground of strict family life of a rural Christian father and mother.
At any rate,
Randolph Clark was well-impressed and made the decision to start the school in
September, 1873. It is impossible to exaggerate the significance of this
decision for the Church of Christ in this region. It meant that
congregations would now begin to spring up – not only in Thorp Spring, but
also in Granbury and other near-by places where faculty and student preachers
from this Church of Christ – related school could visit on week-ends.
Much later there was
to occur the division over the instrumental music question and the
supra-congregational organizations such as the missionary society. At this
time, 1873, however, in Texas, so such division had yet occurred.
Therefore, the history of those congregations now denominated as “Christian
Church” and those wearing the name “Church of Christ” was the same.
It is interesting
that the First Christian Church of Granbury celebrates its anniversary of
founding as May 7, 1873 – a few weeks before Randolph Clark’s survey trip to
Thorp Spring. There was no lasting congregation yet in Granbury, however.
We have already cited the early work near-by by Scarborough, Matthews and
Taylor. In addition, a Church of Christ leader, H.D. Bantau, had briefly
attempted a school at Thorp Spring, just prior to the Clarks. Also from a
letter written by Randolph Clark in 1922 to a Brother Thornton, we quote,
When I came to Thorp
Spring in 1873 there was a small church at Granbury. J.H. Harbinson was
living there running a livery stable and preaching for the church. I think
he organized the little band. They held their meeting in the Court House. At different times Addison and I supplied for them.
then cites some preaching work by a Brother S.W. Smith. Interestingly,
however, from an account of a trip in May, 1876, C.M. Wilmeth writes, On the 1st Lord’s
Day in May (1876), Brother Addison Clark and I visited Granbury, the county seat
of Hood County. It is a small but thriving town . . . although there is no
Church of Christ organized there, the people heard the word with gladness and
showed their appreciation by invited Brother Clark to visit them monthly.
exact date is relied upon for the initial “organization” of a congregation,
certainly there was some regular preaching being done in the mid-1870’s. In near-by Thorp
Spring (just three and a half miles away), the congregation was meeting in
November, 1875. In a report from J.A. Clark to C.M. Wilmeth’s paper,
Brother Clark States: The church at this
place is increasing in numbers gradually – some converts from the students in
college, and some members moving in and casting their lot with us here. We
meet every Lord’s Day. Preaching two or three Sundays in the month.
Sunday school, breaking the loaf and Bible lessons every Sunday. Our
prospects in Christianity are brightening. We think we have a good church
. . .
closest and most vital link the Granbury Church of Christ had with the earlier
history during the last century was in the person of Dr. T.H. Dabney. The
Dabneys had come to Texas from Kentucky and settled between Brenham and Beeville
at a place called Kentucky Ridge. They were members of the Church of
Christ. The Dabney family had originally been of the French Huguenots,
then spelling their name D-Aubigne. After the Edict of Nantes, they fled
to Wales, where the spelling of their name became Dabney. Some of the
Texas branch of the Dabney family were preachers. Several family members
moved to the Hood County area to take advantage of the educational opportunities
at Add-Ran University at Thorp Spring. They moved here in 1880. T.H.
Dabney reports that there was a thriving congregation in Granbury when he moved
to Hood County. Property was purchased from D.C. Cogdill and a church
building was erected in 1889, with leadership being provided by S.H. Smith.
Preachers who were active in the Hood County area at this time included.
W.H. Stewart, H.D. Bantau, the three Clarks, J.H. Harbinson, a Brother Key, and
others. These men were so involved in making history that they had little
time to write it. Their contributions remain largely unenumerated, but
were doubtless made at great sacrifice. T.H. Dabney had a brother, E.M.,
who was a cotton farmer and long-time member of the Church of Christ at Thorp
Spring. T.H. went to medical school at the Louisville School of Medicine,
graduated and returned to Hood County in 1888. Back at Add-Ran University
at Thorp Spring, just three miles from Granbury, a problem was developing which
was to break the unity of the church in Granbury and throughout the state of
Texas, and beyond. The church had long been committed to a policy of
restoring the doctrine, practice and worship of the church of the New Testatment.
Since there was no indication from Scripture or church history that instrumental
music was a part of the worship of the first century church, it was not a part
of the worship of Churches of Christ.
Some throughout this
brotherhood, however, were now advocating the use of the organ in worship as an
aid to better singing. Some of the students at Add-Ran wanted to use an
organ in the worship at a service on February 20, 1894. At that service,
the father of the Clark brothers, J.A. Clark, presented his son, Addison, with a
petition signed by J.A. Clark and more than a hundred others, asking that the
organ not be used. Addison read the petition, conferred with his brother,
Randolph, then, announced that he had promised the students that the organ could
be used and that he could not go back on his word. He turned to the
organist and said, “Play, on Miss Bertha.” J.A. Clark, then 78 years
old, arose with his wife and walked out of the building. About 140
followed him out. Joseph Lynn Clark, J.A.’s grandson, authored the book,
Thank God We Made It!, in which he correctly observes,
. . . the organ
episode . . . at Thorp Spring had far-reaching effects . . . the reverberations
of the conflict were felt throughout the state and beyond its borders.
Involving, as it did, the Brotherhood’s school, whose patrons were scattered
throughout the region, news of the affair spread rapidly to the churches,
raising local tensions, crystalizing personal opinions and splitting
congregation in near-by Granbury is one that split over this matter. The
split did not occur immediately, but some 11 years later. Dr. Dabney was
one who led the conservative group in forming the Church of Christ. The
liberal group became known after the split as the First Christian Church.
The liberal group kept the church building and occupies it until the present
time. Dr. Dabney and a few others were to meet under makeshift
arrangements until 1911, when they began meeting in a church building on
“stilts” which had been used earlier by the Old School Presbyterians.
This building was located on the corner of Travis and Pearl Streets. The
names of some of the early conservatives were: Dabney, Bell, Skipper,
Terrell, Woolard, Brooks, Bearden. Coming into their number later were
such family names as: Waldrop, McElhaney, Lewis, Cruce, Tidwell, Newman,
and Miller. Those who stayed with the liberal group which introduced the
organ and kept the original church property (now known as First Christian
Church) included such family names as: Protho, Crites, Reeder, Brouse,
Hannaford and others. What was happening in Granbury was also happening in
other congregations across Texas – division over the introduction of the organ
and over the organization of a supra-congregational missionary society.
This division came along conservative-liberal lines. The total number of
members of each viewpoint was perhaps about the same, but the liberal element
retained control of most of the real estate and the schools, etc. The
conservatives began congregations again in their homes, courthouses, school
buildings (Churches of Christ are now (1983) much stronger numerically in Texas,
and in Granbury, specifically, than the Disciples).
Dr. T.H. Dabney
lived until December 2, 1960, just two months and a few days beyond his one
hundredth birthday. Some of the above information and much of that which
follows comes from him as an invaluable source from an earlier historical sketch
written by Lloyd Frederick in 1958.
began to drop immediately at Add-Ran University nearby and, ultimately the
college was to move to Waco and then, to Fort Worth, where it is now known as
Texas Christian University. With the school property vacant, a desire
arose among the conservatives to have a school again at Thorp Spring.
Through the leadership of Dr. T.H. Dabney and his brother, E.M., along with
others a Christian college known as Thorp Spring Christian College began to
function again, using some of the old facilities formerly used by Add Tan.
Thorp Spring continued from 1910-1928, with Dr. T.H. Dabney serving as chairman
of the board for most of that time. It is likely that much of the
preaching done on Sundays at Granbury Church of Christ was done by
administrators, faculty men and students. Presidents of Thorp Spring
Christian College were: A.W. Young, R.C. Bell, C.R.
Nichol, W.F. Ledlow,
C.H. Hale, A.R. Holton, and U.R. Forrest. Other faculty members who may
have preached at Granbury on a supply basis were: Batsell
Klingman, B.F. Rhodes and others.
During the extremely
difficult years after the division and before the Granbury Church of Christ had
its own meeting place, (about 1900-1915) a gospel meeting would be held each
summer under a tent on the courthouse lawn. While there were good crowds,
there were not many converts. Some of the preachers holding these outdoor
services were Jim Dunn, L.S. White, Tom Phillips, John Denton and L.P.
Mansfield. For a few years numerical growth came quite slowly. In
fact, during the year of 1910, the Church of Christ did not meet in Granbury,
but the few people at that time (Dr. Dabney’s family and another member or
two), met with the Church of Christ in Thorp Spring.
The Church of Christ
was allowed to meet in the building of the Old School Presbyterians without cost
from about 1911-1915. At that time the congregation (then consisting of
about 15 members), purchased the building and lot from its former owners for
$500.00. In 1920n a storm blew down the old building on stilts. Dr.
Dabney expressed it as being “a storm from the Lord.” It got them out
of an old, small building. They next built a stucco building on the same
lot, using as much salvageable lumber as possible. A nice, airy tabernacle
was built in the 1920’s which proved a comfortable place for the church to
meet in the warmer months. Possessing ceiling fans, a concrete floor and
enclosed with wire, the tabernacle was considered one of the coolest places in
By the 1940’s, the
building was enlarged to a 30 feet by 60 feet structure. In 1951 the
dwelling house west of the church property was purchased and made into
classrooms. While this additional space alleviated the space problem to a
certain degree, there was still more space needed for the auditorium.
In 1952 a beautiful
new auditorium was built and opening services were held on the last Sunday of
September, 1952. The auditorium proper seated 350. Three classrooms
had accordion-doors and could be opened, increasing the seating capacity to 450.
This constriction also provided a total of five additional classrooms, an
office, new baptistery with dressing rooms, two restrooms, a ladies’ lounge
and a foyer. Two classrooms were created in the old tabernacle. This
continued to prosper and, in 1958, an eight room Bible class addition was
constructed. (Please see the appendix for a comparative listing and graph
showing Bible School attendance for the first quarter of the years, 1962-1983).
In 1972, a beautiful
new building was constructed on a piece of land on Highway 377 (Business), just
across from the new high school. This auditorium will seat 750 and is
fully decorated in colonial style finishing and furniture. There were
twenty classrooms with all of the necessary restrooms, nurseries, printing
facilities, offices, etc., and with grounds fully landscaped. There has
been a later addition to the “new building”, which will be mentioned later
in this history.
Among the preachers
who have held gospel meetings in the church auditorium and in the tabernacle
through the years have been: Flavil Colley, Roy Lanier, Roy Cogdill, Hohn
Hedge, Brother Cook, James W. Adams, Silas M. Triplett, Everett O’Dowd, Claude
McClung, Harold Thomas, Tom Warren, Max T. Neal, Weslie Mickey, J.P. Williams,
Wayne Smith, David Allan and Lloyd Frederick. In more recent years, Cleon
Lyles, Mid McKnight, Jon Jones, John C. Stevens, Jack Zorn, John Whitley, John
Shero, Paul Wallace, Ralph Starling and many others have spoke on lectureships,
gospel meetings and other special occasions.
A number of
dedicated Granbury men have provided spiritual oversight as elders in the years
since the congregation was organized. The first elders were Dr. T.H.
Dabney, Mose Lewis and J.D. McElhaney. Then, Lee Bandy, John Cruce, Landon
Wythe and Virgil Andrews were appointed in 1947 to serve with Dr. Dabney.
Richard Wilhoit was added in 1950. Then, the following men were appointed
as elders: Barney Davis, Raymond Gauntt and Horace McCauley. At the
time of moving into the new building on Highway 377, the elders were Keith
Hillman, Cecil Thomas, Virgil Andrews and U.L. Tidwell, Jr. These same men
were still serving when the major addition to the building was completed in
June, 1976. Of those four men, U.L. Tidwell, Jr., continues to serve as an
elder. Other elders in 1983 are Paul Bickle, Tom McClelen, Howard Smith,
Ole Woodard, Jack Sparks and Lloyd Swindle. Fred McClung, formerly an
elder in recent years resigned and is now residing in Fort Worth.
faithful men have served as deacons. Among that number would be included:
U.L. Tidwell, Sr., John Cruce, Cogdill Cats, Dub Thomas, Raymond Gauntt, U.L.
Tidwell, Jr., Horace McCauley, John Thompson, Roy Moore, Bill Hudson, Lonnie
Reynolds, Preston Durant, Curtis Monroe, Carroll Fletcher, Frank Howeth, Tommy
Brisco, Dwain Bills, Ronald Dunn, Floyd Elam and Winston Nickel. The
deacons serving in 1983 are Andy Anderson, Floyd Antwine, Steve Brown, Joe
Collins, Ray Crass, Larry Dyer, Donald Gauntt, Dwight Hoover, Joel Martin, Hoyt
Moore, Phil Moore, R.F. Parkinson, Delmer Shugart and Larry Tipton.
The list of those
who preached regularly at Granbury must of necessity, remain incomplete since
early records are not full. Nevertheless, from about 1929, there have been
a succession of gospel preachers whose names and approximate tenures are cited
on a special page in the appendix. We were able through interviews, in
person and telephone, to reconstruct a fairly accurate listing of some twenty
local ministers’ tenures. Without the historical work done by Lloyd
Frederick, up-dated by Dub McClish, this part of the history would have been
even more difficult to recover. Among the many fine ministers who have
worked here at Granbury, doubtless each person deserves special mention for
unique work that he did. Much of the good that is done is known only to
benefactor, recipient and to God. This writer, at this late date of 1983,
so far removed from the earlier years, would mention especially the three men
who have done two tenures of work here: H.D. Cash, J.P. Williams and the
last Lloyd Frederick. It is a real compliment to the congregation that a
minister would want to return again. It is also a real compliment to the
minister that a congregation would desire them to come back for a second tenure.
Another minister who was here during a time of rapid growth as Dub McClish.
Also, deserving of special mention is this writer’s immediate predecessor,
Dale Mitchell. Dale came here as one of the youngest pulpit ministers in
quite some time. He moved in at a time of tension and yet ministered in a
positive way. He began the program for senior-age Christians known as the
Granbury Joyful 39ers. The congregation has also been served well by
associate ministers. These men are listed: Bill Mitchison, Jr., Jim
Hall, Larry Throneberry, Larry Dyer, Jim Sullenger, Henry Petree and Mark
Jennings. Secretaries have been Joyce Beckworth, Sandra Durant and Nona
expansion to the new church building across from the high school, should be
mentioned. An additional 6,200 square feet contains four large permanent-wall
classrooms, a multi-purpose room capable of seating 250 at tables (divisible
into three large classrooms by means of accordion doors), a new kitchen, new
restrooms and new storage rooms. This construction was begun in May, 1978.
The church leaders here decided to challenge the members to give a large-enough
offering on one Sunday to pay for the cost of the construction, the purchase of
a 15-passenger van, installation of a new public address system and liquidation
of other indebtedness. This required a total of $176,000.
Preparations were made and a date was set of June 25, 1978. Although the
full goal was not reached, there was an offering of $91,400 contributed and
pledged as of August 2, 1978. This represented a sacrificial outpouring of
love and concern for the prosperity of the work of the Lord.
The year of 1983 has
been a good one, thus far, (May 16), with the addition of two full-time
missionaries – Antenor Goncalves in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Javier Medina in
Chihuahua, Mexico. The present writer, Don Vinzant, moved here in October,
1982. The minister of education is Mark Jennings. The secretary is
Nona Nickel. Looking at population trends and community growth, it would
appear that everything is in place for continued growth.
A LIST OF
RESIDENT PREACHERS OF THE GRANBURY CHURCH OF CHRIST 1929-1983
1934 H.B. Cash
1935 Christian A.
1937 – 1938
1939 – 1940
1940 – 1941
James W. Adams
1941 – 1943
Silas M. Triplett
1943 – 1948
Charles E. Fitzgerald
1948 – 1951
1951 – 1953
1953 – 1955
Robert B. Farrar
1955 – 1957
1957 – 1960
1961 – 1962
1963 – 1965
James F. Scott
1965 – 1966
1966 – 1974
1974 – 1980
H.W. (Dub ) McClish
1981 – 1982
Present - Stan Reid