In 1912, carpenter and stone mason John Abbott approached Nelson McKeand and Kady Browning about building a church.
One hundred years and three generations later, the church in thriving at a new location with the same family represented.
Ceredo Church of Christ will mark its 100th anniversary Oct. 14 with special services and a luncheon.
One family crucial to the birth and continued success of the church is the Browning family.
Elder Kevin Dixon is the grandson of Kady Browning.
In 1912, Abbott, McKeand and Browning organized a congregation and built at 30-by-30 building on Walker’s Branch Road in Wayne County with stained glass windows, a metal roof, siding and heat from Burnside stoves. The congregation sat on benches when it met in Abbotts Chapel Church of Christ. Twice-a-week services and revivals grew the church. In 1930, the county road was rerouted and the church was forced to move.
Just a mile from the original building, land was purchased from the Patterson family and, at state expense, a new, slightly larger building was erected using some of the materials from the old church on Walker’s Branch. Expansion followed in 1946, which included a basement and two classrooms. The church also purchased a bus to transport attendees to services.
Still, the church grew and the congregation decided to purchase land on Fourth Street East in Ceredo in the 1950s.
A committee of five oversaw the construction of the new building, a 44-by-80 foot structure that would seat 350 and included a full-size basement, eight classrooms and two restrooms. Much of the funding came from its members. The first services will on Oct. 19, 1953, to a full house of 350. Visiting preachers served the congregation until Aug. 1, 1956, when a full-time preacher, Hunter C. Miller, preached his first service there. Soon, the church began printing a bulletin and hosted its first gospel meeting and vacation Bible school. Its first elders were chosen in 1958.
The church expanded its building in 1999 and continued to grow its membership.
Today, the church averages 120 attendees for Sunday morning worship service, drawing membership from Boyd County in Kentucky, Proctorville, Ohio, and Cabell and Wayne counties in West Virginia. The church is involved in many local mission projects, such as Bible Bowl, which gives students a chance to build their knowledge of the Bible; funding disaster relief programs; aiding needy students preparing to return to school; and providing for a local family’s Christmas needs. Ladies of the church make quilts and other handmade items for cancer patients in area hospitals and veterans and the church supports shelters for victims of domestic abuse and locally broadcast Church of Christ television programming.
The church also supports the West Virginia School of Preaching, the Southeast Institute of Biblical Studies, Chimala Missions in Africa¸ the West Virginia Mountain Messenger, which is a Church of Christ-based newspaper, Church of Christ Disaster Relief Center and Potter’s Children Home.
Ceredo Church of Christ will mark its 100 year with events on Oct. 14. Morning service will be at 9 a.m. with lunch from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Afternoon service will be at 1 p.m. with former preachers speaking. The church is at 264 Fourth St. Pastor is David Roach. For more information, call (304) 523-0403.
LEE WARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2661.