Second Avenue Church of Christ is over 100 years old

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

By Gary Davis

Special to the Tribune

Lewisburg's Second Avenue Church of Christ will celebrate 102 years on June 7, 2015.

In 1913 worship services were held in a house on Glaze (now known as Limestone Avenue). At that time some of the ministers were Bro. Jim Gant, Bro. Jim Hall and Bro. Fishback, and one or two souls were baptized into Christ each year.

Some of the old brethren (now deceased) were Bro. George Liggett, Bro. Tom Liggett, Bro. Will Collins, Bro. Andy Grandberry, Bro. W. Kennedy, Bro. Andy Wakefield, Bro. West Wakefield, Bro. George Elliott, Bro. D. Sowell, Bro. Holbert Burns, and Bro. John French.

As the church began to grow in 1920, a lot was purchased from John Darnell on what is now Verona Road with an old school building on it. This was known as the old public school property and had been used as a public school for African-American students. The church was now called the Verona Road Church of Christ.

Some of the faithful brethren there were Bro. P.B. Black, Bro. Roy Mayberry, Bro. Ben Mayberry, Bro. Eady Mayberry, Bro. Grant Mclean, Bro. Harvey Ewing Sr. and Bro. Newton Dysart.

In 1944 a new building was built at the same location. On the first Sunday in June 1945, the first worship service was held in the new building. Bro. Henry Bryon was the minister.

The first Sunday in June became the church's annual Homecoming Day, with a week-long gospel meeting. As the congregation grew, a Wednesday Evening Bible Study was started by Bro. Sam Amos and Sis. Laura Dysart.

In 1959 a lot was purchased from Bay Roberts on what is now Second Avenue North. As the new building was being built by Bro. Scobey, service was held under a tent for two weeks. Twenty souls were baptized into Christ, and preaching was done by Bro. Quincy Carter.

The first worship service in the new building was held on Oct. 11, 1964, with Bro. Fred Dowell as the minister. The elders and deacons at that time were Bro. Harvey Ewing Sr., Bro. J.B. Mayberry, Bro. Elbert McClain, Bro. Newton Dysart, Bro. Claude Duke, Bro. Mayfield Hightower, and Bro. Doyal McClain. The church set aside the second Sunday in October as Fellowship Day.

In 1975, the church was able to purchase a bus from the funds started by Bro. Will Ed Jones of Detroit who donated 29 acres of land in Belfast.

In 1987, the church was able to build an addition onto its present structure, giving the congregation more classrooms and a large fellowship hall. A cornerstone was also added.

In 1996, the church was able to pave its parking lot.

Serving as trustees for the church were Bro. Gary Davis, Bro. Berry Duncan, Bro. Harvey Ewing II, Bro. Billy Hill, Bro. Charles Robertson, Bro. Fred Robertson and Bro. Johnny Hurt.

After many years without scriptural leadership, on Dec. 14, 2008, the church installed three elders: Bro. Harvey Ewing II, Bro. Gregory Yeargins and Bro. Gary Davis.

Other ministers since that time were Bro. James Caldwell, Bro. Henry Johnson, Bro. Larry Murdock, Bro. Andrew Bulter, Bro. Darrell Holt, Bro. Charles Browning, Bro. Ellis Allen, Bro. Michael Brown and Bro. Bruce Frierson, who is the current minister.

Bro. Frierson and his wife Murenda live in Columbia. Our assistant minister/elder is Bro. Gary Davis; he and his wife Valerie live in Belfast, and Elder Gregory Yeargins and his wife Catherine also live in Marshall County.

The Second Avenue Church of Christ continues to do many faithful works within the congregation as well as in the community, it has a meals-on-wheels program, a clothes give away, nursing home ministries, community handout program and a community youth day.

The church believes it is possible to have first-century New Testament Christianity when it speaks when the Bible speaks and remains silent when the Bible is silent. It must be the same in organization, worship, doctrine, and lifestyle. The Bible is right and we are right only when we follow it.

Many souls have been added to the church, and although many faithful members and ministers have come and gone, the church still continues the legacy that its congregation was founded upon with one goal and one goal only: to save souls and uplift the name of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The church not only invites you to come and visit us, but it also wants you to become part of God's family. It meets Sunday morning at 11 a.m. and Sunday evening at 5 p.m. Our Bible study is Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m. and Wednesday evening at 6 p.m.

Gary Davis is the president of the Marshall County branch of the NAACP.