Featured, Local History, The Centennial History of Hurricane

Centennial History of Hurricane: Church Histories: Hurricane Church of Christ

In 1988, The Centennial History of Hurricane, WV was published to commemorate the town’s 100th anniversary. The publication included the histories of 16 Hurricane area churches. This week’s selection is the 8th of the church histories which were published in 1988.

Submitted by Jeanette Gamer

In 1950, there was no meeting place in Hurricane for members of the Church of Christ, though several townspeople worshipped with congregations at Pine Grove, twelve miles up Teays Valley or eight miles to Laywell. At about this time, Mr. Ed Rappold obtained some lots on Lakeview with construction of a building in mind. Paul Grey, who ministered with a congregation in Huntington, came and held a tent meeting at the site. The local people began to meet at some of the larger homes during the week for prayer, planning, and lots of singing.

By 1953, these Christians were able to start construction with the help of a local contractor, Fred Lawson, and some extra financial help from the 21st Street congregation in Huntington and Pine Grove.

The building was dedicated at 2:30 August 22, 1954, with C.D. Beagle, minister at Washington Street in St. Albans, as guest speaker.

Services were begun with Frank Cope as preacher and George Sowards and Owen Erwin as elders. The first deacons were Judd and Dell Craddock. Charter members were: George and Frances Sowards, Owen and Emma Erwin, Judd and lnez Craddock , Dell and Alma Craddock, Raymond and Dorothy Phelps, Paul and Kitty Selan, Don and Billie Rappold, Ed and Una Rappold, Pete and Ruby Rappold, Bessie McGhee, Libby Ellis, Nettie Boggess, Peggy Martin, Ruth Kinder, Thurman and Bobbie Burdette, Jim and Freda Handley, Howard and Hulda Kinder, Mark and Esther Honaker, Hobart Arbaugh, Okie and Barbara Terry, Uncle Tom Lawson who lived to age 102, Denzil and Irene Thomasson, Virgil and Beatrice Clark, Grover Clark, Pat Caldwell, Ross and Lesta Burdette, Cline and Eloise Duke, Doc and Edna Amos, Amos and Venna Honaker, Alvin and Laura Stone, and Blanche and Marvin Stewart.

The first baptism in this new congregation was Connie McGhee Smith, daughter of Fred and Bessie McGhee. The church outgrew the building on Lakeview, so land was bought and a more adequate larger facility was built on the hill at 600 Midland Trail.

The new location was initiated on April 16, 1978, at 6:30 p.m. Full services began with Bible study on May 14, 1978. Mission work has been supported in many local areas and some in faraway places like lndia, Sierra Leone, and Brazil. Evangelists who have served here are: Frank Cope, Flavil Smith, whose family was first to occupy our residence, Edgar Beagle, Robert Reeves, George Browning, Victor Jarrell, Duane Glover, and Roger Lee.

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