To View An In Depth Look At The Centerville Church’s First 125 Years,
Click Here For Paul Rogers’ Book “I Have Much People In This City.”
1870— Church begins meeting in homes.
1873— William Walker deeded a piece of property to Trustees of the church for the purpose of the spreading of the gospel. Original building completed at the cost of $1,000 including seats.(Still located at the corner of Church Street and College ). Elders John Nicks, Sr., Gabriel Fowlkes, Pleasant Walker
1912—T. B. Larimore held two week meeting with services twice daily.
1922-25—Ira Douthitt held meetings.
1925– Membership 125
1932—D. Ellis Walker was first fully-supported minister.
1941—James Wells, minister Elders: E. J. Beasley, W. L. Downey, Dr. C. V. Stephenson, J. P. Thompson
1945—B. B. James Minister. First organized men’s business meeting.
1950—Ralph Stout, minister
1952—Addition to the auditorium on Church Street.
1955—Ray Walker began work with congregation. James R. Brown, Ezra Ammons were added as elders
1957—Paul Rogers becomes Minister. 345 members George Goldtrap, Youth Minister.
1959—1,000 enrolled in VBS. Gospel In Word & Song begins over local radio station
1959—Expansion program announced
1960—Record number to hear Judge Sam Davis Tatum
1961—Educational building completed $51,800
1962—Motorcade to Nashville auditorium meeting. 10,500 attended
1963— Marshall Keeble speaks at the Centerville congregation.
1964—Bus Route, Correspondence Course, Mailing of Church Paper, Property on Nashville Highway purchased for new facilities
1965—Doors to building locked for the first time after 92 years. Building Committee appointed. Bond Sale begun. Bids open for new church plant. Average attendance is 479 and 426 in Sunday School.
1966—Operation Doorbell. Kindergarten begun. Dedication of new building in September with 1,071 present.
1967—Budget $1,471 weekly. Speakers: Batsell Barrett Baxter, Williams. S. Banowsky. Jane Aydelott Talley employed as first full time secretary.
1968—160 acres donated for church camp. 40 passenger bus purchased
1969—Organized Visitation Team Meetings. Children’s Home dedicated in October. Camp Meribah opens.
1970—Centennial Homecoming with 1,100 present. Ken McDonald Hall dedicated. Annis Womack hired as secretary. Average attendance 562 and 512 in Sunday School.
1971— Middle Tennessee Preacher’s Forum begun
1972—Record Sunday night crowd of 512 to hear John Clayton. 2nd Bus route begun.
1973—First Teacher’s Appreciation Dinner
1974—Willard Collins meeting. Sunday Night draws 515
1975—3rd bus purchased, all-time high of 121 riders. Children’s Bible Hour begun. A-frame Chapel built. Paul Rogers preached in India. 50 acre addition to Camp property.
1976—New Testament memorized, written by members. Chorus performs frequently on Nashville telecast.
1977—Tulipwood Corporation formed. New bus purchased
1978—Outreach Center begun, $161,617 Funds secured for Tulipwood. Record contribution of $50,101. Day School opens.
1979—Work begun in Cervignano, Italy
1980—Singles Ministry begun. Outreach Center opens. Jimmy Allen record revival. Ground-breaking for Tulipwood in September. Ruth Reece hired as secretary. Average attendance is 648 and 498 in Sunday School.
1981—Lifeline Telephone Ministry begun. Amazing Grace telecast locally
1982—World Evangelism Forum
1983—First scheduled telecast of service. WCKY Radio Broadcast. Golden Rule Reading Club, 27,001 chapters read. Nicks Scholarship Fund established.
1984—First color Directory printed. Double Day sets record of 1,122
1985—Turks & Caicos work begun on the island of North Caicos.
1986—Camp Meribah remodeled. Highland, Illinois work begun. Homecoming ‘86 with 1,142 present. Lads to Leaders/Leaderettes begun
1987—First annual Thanksinging with Ray Walker. Final Sunday offering of $22,010. Joseph Worndle began working in Turks and Caicos Islands
1988—250,000th caller to Lifeline. Building construction in Highland, Illinois by volunteers. WBHL-FM Broadcast added. Mark Hayes hired as Youth Minister and Song Leader.
1989—312 persons ordered One-Year Bibles. Funds raised for North Caicos building. Tour bus purchased. 50,000 visits by teams since 1969.
1990—Modern TV Production Center added. 31 children complete Summer Scholars Program. 20 Somethings begins with emphasis on young married couples. 120th Anniversary—Record 1,235. Average attendance is 650 and 440 in Sunday School.
1991– Mission work begun in Farmville, Virginia. Announcements of plans for addition. $120,000 paid on indebtedness.
1992— Paul Rogers 35th Anniversary. $1,200,000 expansion announced. Record $83,156 offering. 5,000 served at Outreach Center.
1993—Bond Sale completed, $1,100,000. New day school, classroom and fellowship hall facility opened in June. Greg Vanderveer hired as Youth Minister and Song Leader. Congregation has 800 members
1994—35th Anniversary of Radio Program. New mothers honored. 100,000 at Meribah since 1969. Willie Franklin meeting best-attended in history of County, 1,088 Sunday night. 1870’s pageant in December. Computer networked in offices.
1995—Record Budget of $464,986. January 2—2000 A.D. Vision Committee formed. 125th Anniversary Celebration. Greg McCord hired as Summer Camp Director.
1996–Campaigns in North Caicos, Turks & Caicos Island and Farmville, Virginia. Dr. Joe Johnson, President of U.T. and Willard Collins, President of Lipscomb University speak.
1997—Paul Rogers’ 40th Anniversary. Craig Shelton hired as Youth Minister, Greg McCord hired as Associate Minister and Shane Willis as song director. Men of the congregation read the entire New Testament aloud in 18 hours 51 minutes with a 4’’ snow surrounding the building.
1998—New building opened in Farmville, Virginia. New Bus Purchased through donations.
1999—40 Days of Prayer Campaign. 30th Anniversary of Visitation Program. Framing the Future Campaign. 295 attend Summer Camp at Meribah.
2000—New Millennium Celebration. Turks & Caicos Campaign with 23 youth and adults. India National Conference hosted. Mladen Jovanovic, from Yugoslavia speaks. Millennium Moments Yearbook Published. Dotson Alumni Lodge completed at Meribah. Membership 875. Average attendance 681 and 440 in Sunday School.
2001 –Kittrell Bus Garage completed. Paul Rogers and Craig Shelton distribute School Supplies in the Turks & Caicos Islands during September 10-15. Alumni Lodge burned to the ground on Christmas Day. Youthline Telephone Ministry begun.
2002— Old factory building & property adjacent to bus garage purchased. New Dotson Alumni Lodge completed. Hosted Christian College Choral Festival weekend. Church web-site goes online. 328 campers enjoy Summer Camp at Camp Meribah.
2003— 1,003 present on Friends Day. Property adjacent to the Outreach Center purchased with a large portion donated by members. It is dedicated the Hope House to be used for emergency situations.
2004—May 2, 2004 Generations Day. All-Time Record Attendance of 1,405 for small-town churches of Christ. Paul Rogers, speaker. Four buildings/shelters built at Meribah. Purchased property next door to building known as the “Hassell property.” 24-Hours of Prayer—praying the old year out the new year in. Nick McNabb is hired as Summer Camp Director.
2005—January 6, Minister of 48 years for the Centerville church, Paul Rogers died in Cleveland Clinic of heart failure. Craig Shelton and Greg McCord are Interim Ministers as Craig Shelton takes on new position as Operations Minister. Chris Webb hired as Youth Minister. 135th Anniversary Celebration & Revival, John Miller speaker. Elders: Bobby Bates, Bill Davis, Dr. James Blackwell, Bill McDonald, Wayne Qualls, Alfred Williams. 24-Hours of prayer. School bus donated to church by a member for youth and camp work. 50th Anniversary of “Gospel in Word and Song” on KIX96 supported by local churches of Christ. Longest running program on the station. Average attendance is 634 and 415 in Sunday School.
2006—Bill Perkins hired as minister. Budget set at $686,650. Bobby McCoy hired as Camp Superintendent. Anderson, South Carolina added as a mission point. Mike Tanaro speaker at Revival. Complete overhaul of sound system. November 5 “Homecoming & Welcoming Home the 779th” Jim Bill McInteer was the speaker and the National Guard’s Freedom Salute was held in the auditorium. Standing room only for All-Church Night. $56,603 given on the last day of year to balance budget and go beyond goal of $50,000!
2007— Bond Indebtedness paid off January 1. The 33rd Annual Middle Tennessee Preacher & Church Leader’s “Healthy Habits of Successful Churches.” David Shannon and Marlin Connelly shared speaking times at this year’s Revival. The Piedmont Congregation in Farmville, VA became self supporting after 17 years of support from Centerville. Support was given for Mission efforts in Pearlington, MS, Anderson, SC, Navajo Reservation in Nevada, Panama, New York, China, and Tanzania. 20/30’s Ministry begins with emphasis on college age and young married couples. Seven new deacons are added and Lonnie Gilliam and Mike Goodpasture are added as Elders. On December 30, 2007 the congregation gave $112,606. to completely wipe out all debt and set an offering record!
2008— Jim Brown hired as Interim Minister. Matthew Dotson hired as the Preacher-in-Training. Clay Chessor is hired as the Summer Camp Director. Auditorium re-roofed, parking lots repaved, interior of older parts of the building repainted, windows restored, and landscaping updated for the “Framing the Future Campaign.” Special Dinner is held for the 771st as they depart for Iraq. A Saturday and Sunday Gospel Meeting is held in October with Jim Bill McInteer as the speaker. On November 23, Bryan McAlister preached his first sermon to the Centerville church.
2009— Bryan McAlister begins work as minister. Tammy Willis hired as secretary. Matthew Dotson began work as the Associate Minister. 933 total enrolled in Summer Spectacular, Vacation Bible School. 265 attend Summer Camp at Camp Meribah. 50 Years of the Gospel in Word and Song, a broadcast sponsored by the churches of Christ in Hickman County, on KIX96 is celebrated.
2010- John Durham hired as the Missions Minister. May 1 and 2 Hickman Country receives the biggest flood in recorded history. Thousands of dollars and many truck loads of supplies were donated to the Centerville Church of Christ to be given out to those who have need in the community. Shane Willis is hired full time to head up the disaster relief effort. Property on the front side of the building, east side nearest the bridge, bought and donated to the church. Average Attendance 511 and 334 in Sunday School.
2011- Shane Willis takes on new position as Operations & Benevolence Minister to oversee the day to day operations of the church office. $1,400,000 construction which includes a new Office Complex, installations of a new HVAC, and renovations of the auditorium, fellowship hall, and old office space begun. Harvest Time Outreach Ministry, Team Harvest, begins. A campaign is taken to the Turks & Caicos to encourage the church and a campaign to Bogalusa, La as it is added as a mission point.
2012- Elder, Alfred Williams, passes away after a long bout with cancer. Bobby Bates after 42 years and Bill Davis after 34 years retire from the eldership. Renovations are completed and the new office complex is completed. The new office complex dedicated on Friend’s & Family Day in memory of Dr. Bobby Morrison. Craig Shelton returns as Youth Minister. Vacation Bible School has over 300 in attendance each day. Summer Camp has almost 300 in attendance. Messenger mailed to 1500 homes and 280 emailed. 250+ foodboxes prepared. New Camera system making capable to stream services and programs live via the internet. Complete upgrade of Audio equipment following lightening strike. Average attendance 530 and 358 in Sunday School. Over $653,000 given through weekly contributions with expenditures being 2.5% under budget for the second consecutive year.
2013-Former Elders Bill Davis and Bobby Bates pass away. Additional Elders are installed November 17, Mike Elkins, Gary Gatewood and Shane Willis, join Lonnie Gilliam, Mike Goodpasture, Bill McDonald, and Wayne Qualls. Sunday morning services begin airing in the Clarksville Area. Services continue broadcasting in the Dickson area, on the Webcast internet services and on KIX96 on Sunday morning and evening.
2014- Ruth Reece retires after 34 years as church secretary. Also retiring is Bobby McCoy as Camp Superintendent after 8 years and Hattie Delk as nursery attendant. Derek Newsom is appointed Camp Superintendent. Over 350 enjoy four weeks for our Summer Camp at Meribah with the largest Teen Week ever. A campaign was held to Provo Church of Christ in the Turks & Caicos Islands for VBS and encouragement. 1100+ food boxes distributed for the year to needy families with additional assistance given for utilities and clothing. Messenger mailed to 1348 homes and emailed to 364. The Great Toy Giveaway helped 328 children. Worship Stream viewed by 1100 per month worldwide. Day School enrollment full with 94 students.
2015- There were campaigns to Turks & Caicos Islands in June to finish the new Provo church building and to Montana, led by John Smith, where the group traveled over 5000 miles. The Messenger, our weekly bulletin, goes online with paper copies available saving the budget over $19,000 a year. “Endeavor” involved 25 churches of Christ from Hickman Co. at the HCHS Auditorium for time of combined worship. The basement was renovated through donations for the “Lighthouse” youth center and classrooms. WNKX, Centerville’s local radio station, celebrates it’s 60th Anniversary as Sunday morning and Sunday evening services continue being broadcast. Also, “The Gospel in Word and Song” is the longest running broadcast on the station. 2015 ended with a budget surplus of over $7,000. Average attendance 515 and 349 in Sunday School.
2016- Davis House, a child advocacy group assisting in domestic abuse, opens in the Hope House leased for $1 a year. 20 men were selected to serve as Deacons joining our current 19 we have serving. Over 300 in attendance each day for VBS. Close to 400 at Summer Camp at Meribah with 116 campers at Teen Week. Bill McDonald resigns as an elder after 27 years of service. Friends & Family Day has 625 in attendance. Worship services streaming online averages 2000 visitors per month from all over the world.
2017- Shortly after several return from the Turks & Caicos on a campaign, a hurricane struck Providenciales. Several congregations, as well as Centerville, helped with rebuilding and collected 105 Christmas Boxes. Largest Camp Snowball with over 100. Camp Meribah Main Camp saw 36 Groups and 44 Groups used the Dotson Alumni Lodge. The Elders visited each church families’ home in 2017. 91 Day School Children are enrolled weekly. The Jail Ministry had 26 baptisms. Our Outreach ministry provided 650+ Food Boxes to needy families, 45 families assisted with clothing needs, 52 families assisted with Utility Bills, 11 Individuals or Families assisted with Lodging.
2018- Lonnie Gilliam retires from the eldership after 11 years. Craig Shelton steps down as Youth Minister after 15 total years of service. Carter Hoover begins work as Youth Minister. After 10 years with Centerville, Dr. Bryan McAlister resigns and Matthew Dotson begins role of Interim Minister. Clay & Tara Chessor are honored for 10 years of Directing Summer Camp at Camp Meribah. Todd Parsley is announced as the new Pulpit Minister. 709 present on Friend’s Day. Van donated to the church from McDonald Funeral Home. 950+ food boxes given out, several helped with utilities, clothing and lodging.
2019- Todd Parsley begins work with the Centerville church on January 13. 50th Anniversary of Camp Meribah celebrated throughout the year. Over 600 in attendance of Community Sunday. Additional Elders are installed on July 7, Ken Dickerson and Craig Shelton join Mike Elkins, Gary Gatewood, Mike Goodpasture, Wayne Qualls, and Shane Willis. Lot adjacent to the building is cleared. 630 present for Friend’s & Family Day. Brother Jacques Phanor, minister of the Providenciales Church of Christ in the Turks & Caicos, and his family visit. Over 500 present for the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Camp Meribah. Bill McDonald was the speaker as several were honored for their contributions to Camp Meribah.
2020- 150th Anniversary of the Centerville church. New Directory distributed. In March an unprecedented occurrence of “stay safe at home” is encouraged and all worship services continue but are completely online temporarily.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!
Those who have served as Evangelists for the Centerville Church.
Ministers; D. Ellis Walker, Wallis Beasley, T.A. Burkett, Leroy Thompson, James E. Wells, B.B. James, Ralph Stout, Paul Rogers, Greg McCord & Craig Shelton, Bill Perkins, Jim Brown, Dr. Bryan McAlister, Matthew Dotson and Todd Parsley
Associate & Youth Ministers; Ray Walker, George Goldtrap, Dick Brackett, Larry Walker, Ron Ingram, Tim Walker, Jeff Henry, David Craig, Phil Patton, Toby Hamann, Teb Batey, Larry Keen, Putnam Reeves, Bill McDonald, Wayne Qualls, Earl Lavender, Mark Hayes, John Plemmons Jr., Mike Bradley, George Gregory, Greg Vanderveer, John Smith, Mike Kelley, Greg McCord, Craig Shelton, Chris Webb, John Durham, Matthew Dotson, Shane Willis and Carter Hoover.