A Church History
I, Michelle Swim, have quoted (in blue) and paraphrased (in red)a fascinating history of First Christian Church that was compiled by Mrs. Adella S. Drew. The Church has since had another fire, this time at the 10th and Kokomo location , and relocated once again to where we now sit at 1800 N. Interstate 27, Plainview, TX.
“The County of Hale was organised in 1888. It was just a small community of only tents and dugouts where families lived. This part of the State of Texas consisted of Ranches but people wanted to come here to establish homes. At the time they could get four sections of land by filing on one section and living on that three years. They paid $1.00 per acre. these were people of intellect and ambition and soon realized the great need for a school building.”
A dugout was made measuring 20×20 ft , 4ft deep and covered in Sod with the grass side up to keep rain from running through.( this paragraph Paraphrased by Michelle)
“On September 9, 1889, the people met in this building to organize a Christian Church. With 12 members present: Rev. Thomas G. Nance a minister from Central, TX as the official Key leader; the group of men present were given duties to set the body in order. They met there until a school building was built on the present Lamar School is located.
That school building burned and the church met in the courthouse and any other place they could find, until they were able to buy the Methodist Church located on the corner of 6th and Beech streets.
As the Methodists built a larger building in the corner of the same block; in 1907 (or during that time), the church divided and formed 2 Christian Churches, (the progressive and the non-progressive) the division being over musical instruments and missionary programs. The progressive (First Christian) went back to the courthouse to meet.
The Revered Jewell Howard of Amarillo would preach about one Sunday in each month. In the summertime,they would stretch a tarpolia from the top of one wagon to another making shade and people would come for miles to have services for two or three weeks. People would bring their camping equipment, cook on the ground, and sleep on the ground. This would be a real CAMP MEETING.
Cowboys would come from the ranches to attend. Many lasting courtships were made from that association. About that time, the Reverend Jewell Howard, who was living in Amarillo and preaching here here at intervals decided we would build a church.
A lot was selected at 9th and Austin with only $300 to build with and faith in God, the arrangements were made. The Fulton Lumber Co. agreed to extend some credit. Individual men in the church agreed to furnish the stained Glass windows which were beautiful. On September 10, 1910, the church was dedicated. Rev. Howard was called as full time minister and it was legally incorporated. A spiritual program was well on its way.
The church had no money for a piano, Mrs. A. M. Lycan who lives where 5th street is presently, loaned the church her organ. It was hauled to the church by wagon from her home on a Saturday afternoon and returned Monday morning. The Organ was burned in 1954 when we had a fire.
We were ready to move into a new church building at 10th and Kokomo.
We remained in that building (9th and Austin) from 1910 until 1954. During these primitive years, the income was very small; so the ministers would once again have to depend on their faith, never knowing how much pay they would receive. The baptisms were conducted in an earthen cattle tank or in the native lakes.
The Baptist Church was the first church in Plainview to organize, then the Christian Church, third the Methodist Church being organized in the same half dugout as the Christian Church. All this from 1889 to 1954.
After 92 years of making history, we are now enjoying an edifice (10th and Kokomo) with a beautiful sanctuary along with several classrooms, a nice fellowship hall, a finely equipped Kitchen.”
All of this was taken from a church document compiled by the then current Church Historian, Mrs. Adella S. Drew. It currently hangs on the bulletin board outside of the church office.