Church Street Church of Christ marks 175 years

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The main assembly hall at the Church Street Church of Christ is seen above after a recent service.

Church Street Church of Christ is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year and Monday was the congregation's 125th year of worship on Church Street.

On the third Sunday of September, the congregation begins its four-day Gospel Meeting that will include celebration of the 175th anniversary of a church that traces its roots to the very beginning of Lewisburg and Marshall County.

"Immediately following the establishment of Marshall County in 1836, the City of Lewisburg was organized," the church bulletin reported Sunday. "At the time of its incorporation, a group known as the 'Church of Christ' existed in the area."

Greater detail of the church's origins is documented in a church history book written as part of the celebration. Some 38 pages tell about the church's growth, its people and service to honor the Lord Jesus Christ. The history is from accounts accumulated throughout the years.

Now there are plans here to totally remodel the main auditorium, Wayne Cozart, the current chairman of the church's five elders, said. It's anticipated that that work will start on Sept. 26, the Monday after the four-day Gospel meeting.

Thereafter, until the renovation is completed, the congregation would worship in multi-purpose room of the annex, Cozart said.

"It should take 60-90 days," he said. "This has been discussed for years."

Why now?

Planning the work during the congregation's 175th year is "coincidental," Elder Lee Morrison said.

Cozart was asked who will conduct the renovation. He named John Chunn of Truette Construction.

Part of the preparation for the anniversary is a general request issued to members.

They're asked if they would share memorabilia such as photos, other documents and objects related their church life with Church Street Church of Christ. And there's been a desire to find the oldest member of the church so that oral history might be heard about the institution.

The search for the oldest member appears to have been completed. Mary Davis, 104, a resident of the Hickory Heights subdivision was named by Morrison as the member who he believes to be the oldest member of the church.

As one of the oldest churches in the county -- its members are quick to be sure there's no undeserved accolade -- the institution and its building in the historic downtown part of Lewisburg stand as a landmark and a place where a number of city and county leaders meet to worship.

In fact, Lewisburg's city councilmen and the mayor signed a proclamation and the county commission passed a resolution to recognize the 175th anniversary of the church. That part of community history is preserved in city and county records and copies were made available to the church.

While the focus of the church's anniversary is on the 175th, Pulpit Minister Kyle Bolton's message this Sunday -- just a day before the 125th anniversary -- told the good news of Christianity from the Bible as is customary among such congregations.

Introducing his remarks, he noted that they'd gathered "to celebrate who we are," and he addressed basic issues of life: Why are we here and what is our purpose?

"This do in remembrance of me" are the words in front of the communion table and Bolton's sermon answered the questions: To bring glory to God ... to please Him.

After the service, churchmen spoke of the anniversaries and continued work and they echoed the pulpit minister's remembrance of modesty, "If we draw attention to ourselves, we are not bringing attention to God."

Moses' special relationship to God and his service were also considered by the congregation on Sunday.