History of the Restoration Movement

Matthew Anderson "Mac" Creel


The Life of M. A. Creel

Matthew Anderson Creel was born October 7, 1887 in Carroll County, Georgia. He was third child and second son of David Anderson Creel (1855-1943) of Clayton, Georgia and Allie Frances Sims (1852-1929) of Fayette, Georgia. According to the 1900 Census, by the time Matthew was thirteen the family was living in Pleasant Hill, Bavars, Cullman County, Alabama. In 1909 he married a Georgia girl by the name of Mary E.. To this marriage was born five children: Anna Francis (1911-1992); Theophilus “Theo” Larimore (1913-2000); Dorothy A. (1915-2007); Olene (1918-2000); and Raymond (1923-1928).

It is unclear at this writing how his family was introduced to the gospel of Christ, but at some stage he obeyed the old-time gospel of Christ and set his eyes on preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ.

To discuss in any detail the work of churches of Christ in Limestone and Madison counties Alabama in the early to mid-20th century the name of M.A. Creel must enter the conversation on many levels. For many years he was the preacher for the Athens church of Christ. In later years he was the preacher at Elkmont.

When the Athens Bible School was being planted in 1943, M.A. Creel was involved in the planning and later in the teaching. He was known and beloved by everyone who knew him. It was estimated that no preacher during his day in any church presided at more funerals and weddings than did brother Creel. He preached meetings and baptized many into Christ over the years of his career.

Sister Mary passed from this life May 17, 1924. Her obituary appears on this page further down. He did remarry in 1925 to Geneva Rochelle McConnell (1888-1984). To this union were born three children: Mary Agnes (1927-2006); Henry Mac (1932-1991); and another child.

When brother Creel was 67 years of age he suffered a massive heart attack on December 17, 1955 and passed away the following day. His body was returned to his Hanceville home where his first wife and his parents were buried at the Hopewell Baptist church Cemetery.

It is hard to imagine the amount of people who will walk that “street of gold” due to the influence and teaching of M. A. Creel.

-Scott Harp, 06.02.2021

Sources: Ancestry.com; various newspaper articles.


Hanceville, September 2.-I have conducted and helped. to conduct a number of meetings this summer. The first was at Bethesda, in Cullman County. Brother J. H. Horton and I labored with this congregation one week. Brother Horton did the preaching and I led the singing. There were three additions to the church there. The church seemed to take on new life. The brethren supported the meeting well. From this place we went to Hanceville, my home congregation. Brother Horton did all the preaching here, except one sermon by Brother Pride E. Hinton. Brother Hinton is a young man who has a bright future. There were eleven additions to the church here. Brother Horton then went to Albany; while I went to Hopeful, in Talladega County, where I spent a pleasant week, preaching and warning everyone night and day. No additions. I made my home with Brother B. F. Camp and family while at Hopeful. The church there has learned how to support a meeting. There is a very good congregation at Munford which grew out of the congregation at Hopeful. I went from Hopeful to Hebron, in Morgan County. Hebron is the largest country congregation of which I know. This congregation is rich in this world's goods, in my judgment, and should support a man in the field all of his time. And, too they have the man in their midst in the person of B. F. Moody. Brother Moody is a man of ability, one of the most forceful preachers I have everheard. He lives, loves, and labors with the Hebron congregation. As a visible result of my effort with the church there, three souls were added to the one body. From Hebron I went to Pleasant Grove, in Clay County. The meeting here was well attended. Seven persons were added to the church, all by primary obedience. I enjoyed my stay with the congregation here. From Pleasant Grove I went to Campbell's Cross Roads for a short meeting. I preached nine sermons and baptized one young lady. I am now at home for a short time. I shall go to Blessing, in Marshall County, for my next meeting.-M. A. Creel. Gospel Advocate-9/16/1920

Mary Creel's GA Obituary

Sister Mary Creel, beloved wife of M. A. Creel, was born on March 2, 1890, and was called away from this life to her reward in heaven on May 17, 1924.  Our sister's maiden name was "Nigg."  She leaves her father, mother, three brothers, and one sister, to mourn her death.  In her immediate family she leaves a devoted husband and five children--three girls and two boys.  Her husband, Brother M. A. Creel, is a faithful gospel preacher, now located at Cullman, Ala.  I trust that he and his dear children will be remembered by the churches where he has so faithfully labored in the years gone by.  In early youth our dear sister heard the gospel of Christ, believed, repented, and was baptized.  Thus she became a member of Christ's body, the church.  She loved the church and the pure word of God, and she praised the Lord for his goodness.  Funeral services were held at the church of her childhood, at Hanceville, Ala., conducted by the writer.  Many friends and loved ones were there to show respect for the dead and sympathy for the bereaved ones.
T. C. King.
Gospel Advocate, June 26, 1924, page 618.

News Of M. A. Creel's Sudden Death

The Huntsville TImes, Huntsville, Alabama
Monday, December 19, 1955, p.1

Directions To Grave

The Hopewell Baptist Church Cemetery in Hanceville, Alabama is the location where M. A. and Mary E. Creel are buried. The church is a short distance north of town on Hwy. 31. Just turn right on Hopewell Dr. and go to the church building. You'll see the building then continue driving around and see the cemetery. Go up the drive behind the building to the end of their metal buildings. When you see the office (a small metal building) stop in front and head into the cemetery to your left. The Creel plot is a couple of rows in - in front of the office. While there be sure and find the grave of Howard P. Horton, just a few rows further in. Then John Henry Horton is located toward the rear of the cemetery. I believe Howard Horton had a brother who also preached. He's also buried here, but his grave is yet to be found.

GPS Location
34°04'56.0"N 86°46'55.4"W
or D.d. 34.082211,-86.782066

See Creel plot where C. Wayne Kilpatrick is in connection to that of Howard Horton

Mary E.
Wife of
M. A. Creel
March 2, 1890
May 17, 1924
She was a kind and affectionate
wife . A fone mother and a friend
to all.

Matthew A. Creel
October 7, 1887
December 18, 1955
Rev. 14-13 Blessed
Are The Dead Which
Die In The Lord


Photos Taken 05.31.2016
Webpage produced 06.02.2021
Courtesy Of Scott Harp

Special Recognition: It was my birthday in 2016 when my friend and cohort C. Wayne Kilpatrick and I visited the graves of M. A. Creel, J. H. Horton, and Howard Horton in Hanceville, Alabama. Thanks to Wayne for his continued assistance in bringing our history to life.


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