History of the Roanoke Church



Generously transcribed and Submitted by Nancy Bray, thanks Nancy!

(Information obtained from M. M. Jenkins, (oldest living member) Mrs. Viola Adams, Mrs. Ruth Mann and Old Church records. Compiled by Edith Denny and Monta Lee Kells)

The first place of worship known to the Roanoke Community was a schoolhouse located in the cemetery. It also served as a place of worship for Gum Lick Baptist. This was during the time of the circuit preacher who made his rounds monthly.

When Roanoke organized Charlie Barlow built the first church on land donated by George W. Shipp, Sr. in 1881. Gum Lick Baptist continued to meet in the schoolhouse until they built their church in 1882.

The church built in 1881 was lighted by kerosene lights hung from the ceiling until the early twenties when the church purchased carbide lights. When the second church was built in 1929 the carbide lights were used in it until replaced by electric. Two stoves heated the first structure.

The pews in the first church were made by someone in the community. There were long benches in the middle with shorter ones on the side. There were two doors and two aisles. The men sat on the left and the women on the right.

Millard Angel was the first one to teach music to the congregation followed by Charles Justice, and Cecil Bennett. Others have taught music to the congregation but not as a special class as these men did. Mr. George W. Shipp, Sr. led our singing with his spec case or knife. His daughter Mrs. Mary S. Beagle played the pump organ for years at the church.

Few marriages were performed in the early church as most marriages were performed at home. Minturn Jenkins recalls that during a revival in 1896 held by Marion Pfanstiel that after services one night he asked the audience to be seated. A couple walked in from Harrison County and were married. Bro. Pfanstiel also married in the same year. In 1896 George Gennett and Fanny Earls were also married in the church. There were no more church weddings until December 25, 1908 when Brother Brown in a double ceremony married Joseph Porter and Lizzie K. House, and Walter Wilson and Mae Phillips. Several weddings were held in the second church, erected in 1929 by M. L. Hutcherson.

Services in the early church were held Saturday P. M. Sunday A. M. and Sunday P. M. once a month. When we went to half time the Saturday P. M. services were discontinued. Sunday School was held Sunday P. M. at 3:00 P. M. Later changing to Sunday A. M. with no Sunday School during winter months. Our yearly business was held on Thanksgiving Day. When we selected to look elsewhere so the yearly meetings held on Thanksgiving Day were discontinued.

Several ministers and evangelists have served the congregation well. To mention a few with the advancement of the church, James H. Moore taught school in the schoolhouse while Roanoke was having services there. In the early twenties he came back and held a revival. James McCann, the only Timothy of our church, held a revival for us. In May 1943 we went to half while W. W. Winters was pastoring the church. In June 1949 under Walter Steever we went to full time. While John Snyder was pastoring in 1955 our building needed repair, and the furnace needed to be replaced. The funds were transferred to the building fund and used for that purpose. We seemed to rest on our laurels for a while until Tom Mefford in October 1967, started the ball rolling again. One-tenth of all the offerings, unless designated for another purpose, went to the building fund, and all fifth Sunday offerings went to the fund. In 1969 Brother Bob Jones came to us for a second pastorate of the church. We talked of building but needed faith and encouragement to carry us on. On April 16, 1972 we had our last services in the old church that had been our place of worship for 43 years---5 years short of the 1881 structure.

When the decision to build was agreed upon Robert Simon the architect drew the design for our new sanctuary and Donald Logan constructed the building which we are so proud of and give God the glory for it.

We hope to make other improvements as time goes on and also hope to maintain the true purpose for which this church was built. May we ever "continue steadfast in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayers." (Acts 2:42)

Our present Elders are, M. M. Jenkins, Overton Ashcraft, Virgin Mann, Donald House, and Clyde Jenkins.

Deacons are: Claud Moore, Roscoe Wells, Donnie Moore, Bill Moore, Leon Wells and Bobby House.

Elders and Deacons who have served the church in the beginning and later years: (not listed with the present officers).

Elders: Thomas Jenkins, George Wells and John Denny.

Deacons: Joe Moore, James P. Moore, Tom Beagle, Ben Porter, W. S. Porter, Sr., John T. Ravenscraft, George W. Shipp, Sr., Vernon House, Clifton House, Chester Wells, John Shipp, Joe Porter, W. C. Jenkins, Randall Antrobus, Jess Bruce and Joe Florence.

A partial list of former ministers from 1881-1973. The Christian name was not obtainable to some. The * denotes more than once.
______Limerick, ______Todd, Marion Pfanstiel*, Quill York, ______Jones, _____McPherson, _______Brown, Sam Foley, ______Robinson, Peyton H. Canary, E.C. Cloyd, M. L. Hutcherson*, John S. Chambers, Roy S. Davis, Steve Dowd, C. Marion Railey*, P. M. Runner, Cecil Bennett, Clark Winkler, W. W. Winter, Carl S. Miller, Stanley Wilson, Walter Steever, Kenneth Ferguson, Robert Jones*, John Snyder, Carroll McDade, and Tom Mefford.

Evangelist through the years, with an * denoting more than one time. Sam Foley, ______Robinson, ______Henry, J. H. Moore, R. Paul Arnold, Steve Dowd, J. J. Langston, John S. Chambers, J. R. Bachman Sr.*, J. R. Bachman, Jr.*, Roy S. Davis, C. Marion Railey*, Elbert Winkler*, Woodrow Perry, Ernest Dodson, Laverne Taylor, W. W. Winter*, Richard Burton, Robert Steward, Paul Holderman, E. Ray (Cotton) Jones, Wayne Spangler, M. H. Wright, Ralph Byers, John Snyder, Roy McClain, James McCann, Robert Jones, Sherwood Evans, and James Smith*.

Roanoke Christian Church--Centennial Edition, 1981
Courtesy of The Falmouth Outlook

Submitted by Nancy Bray

100 Years of The Roanoke Christian Church

The first place of worship in the Roanoke community was located in the Roanoke cemetery. This building had a dual purpose: a school house and a church building. The pews were benches from logs. Needless to say, there was only one room that was heated by an old wood stove. By the door on the right hand side stood a home-made table on which stood a water bucket with a gourd dipper.

In 1881 when Roanoke Christian Church was established, the new building was located on land across the road from the cemetery. This land was donated by George W. Shipp, Sr., and the first church was built by Charlie Barlow.

This building was a very plain building. When one entered the building there were short rows of seats to the right and to the left to sit upon, with longer benches in the middle. The women went to the right side to sit, and the men were seated on the left. Visitors occupied the middle row. The building was heated by two wood stoves: one on either side at the front of the building. The lighting was furnished by kerosene lamps that hung from the ceiling, and one lamp was on the organ, the musical instrument that was used in the services.

Church services were held only once a month; on Saturday evening, Sunday morning, and Sunday evening. However, most of the time in the winter months services were only held on Sunday morning.

Music had always played an important part of the church service. Millard Angell, Charlie Justice, and Cecil Bennett taught music classes to the congregation. Mr. George W. Shipp, Sr. was the song leader in the early church, and he used his spectacle case or his knife as he directed.

Few marriages were performed in this church for during this period in history home weddings were very prominent. Also during this time many people walked to church, rode horseback, drove horse and buggy, came in a wagon ( if the family was large) or came by sled.

In 1929 it was decided to replace the old church building. Brother M. L. Hutcherson, a former minister, was the building contractor. While this building was under construction, church services were held in the Roanoke school building which had been moved from the cemetery area to a place across the road from the church. During this building period, John S. Chambers and Anson Doud were the ministers. The preacher for the dedication services was Brother Runyan.

This building had double front doors with small front entrance way. In the entrance way on a small table sat a drinking cooler and on the wall behind it was a paper cup dispenser. The pews for this church were bought at Georgetown, Ohio; these pews were very beautiful for these were the first manufactured pews ever used. There were two rows of pews and the women still sat on the left and the men on the right. However, this tradition soon gave way to a new innovation-families sitting together. The building used carbide lighting until in the 1940's when electricity became aailable. The curch was heated by a coal furnace that was located in the basement.

Sunday school classrooms were located in the basement, but the adult class always met in the auditorium. Later on other classed had to find place upstairs; even the entrance way had to be used for a class.

In the beginning church services were held once a month--on Saturday evening, Sunday morning, and Sunday evening. On the other Sundays in the month, Sunday School and Communion were held at 3:00 p. m. on Sunday afternoons. In 1943 when W. W. Winters was the minister it was decided to have church services two Sundays a month-the first and third Sundays. The Saturday evening services were discontinued at this time. Sunday School and Communion were still held on the other Sundays at 3 P. M. Then in 1949, under the direction of Walter Steever, it was decided to have church services every Sunday.

The annual Congregational business meeting was held on Thanksiving Day. Sometimes this was al all day affair with everyone bringing a basket lunch. Later the meeting was changed to the last Sunday in October.

The musical instrument in this church was a piano. The pianists were young ladies in the congregation who were willing to used their talents for the Lord. A choir became a part of the church service. Ministers (or their wives) directed the choir.

Weddings were performed in his church. Youth groups, seasonal programs, VBS, and the Ladies Aid were a very important part of the church work during those days. The church was becoming very conscious of the need to support missions and a mission program was begun.

When John Snyder was minister in 1955, a need was seen for a parsonage, so this fund was started. The fund grew but when the building needed repairs, when the furnace had to be replaced, ( with an oil one), and other small incidentals occurred the money from the fund was transferred into a "building fund". It wasn't until 1967 when Tom Mefford was minister that this building fund became active again. At that time it was decided that one-tenth of all the offerings (unless designated for another purpose), and every fifth Sunday offering would go into the building fund. By this time a future need for a larger building could be seen.

Brother Bob Jones came back to the church for a second ministry in 1972, and with encouragement from him, with much faith and prayer a third building was launched. In May of 1972 the old church building was torn down, and a basement for the new building was dug by Bennie Robbins. A contractor, Donald Logan, was chosen.

During the building period, the church met for worship in the Morgan School gym until cold weather. During the winter months, the Morgan Christian Church graciously allowed the congregation to use its building on Sunday evenings. Sunday School was at 6 p.m. and church services at 7 p.m. Bob Jones was the minister at that time.

February 18, 1973 was the first day for worship services in the new building's basement. The basement was so large and so beautiful; there was a large meeting room, 4 Sunday School rooms, a kitchen, and 2 rest rooms along with closet space.

April 1, 1973 services were held for the first time in the auditorium. Carpeting covered the floor, new pews were in place, and beautiful new lighting fixtures added much to the beauty of the sanctuary. Pulpit furniture, communion table and chairs, and the piano were a part of the old church furniture. Many of these articles were given to the church as memorials. A cross was made by Grover Groves for the new building. It was placed on the left front wall. A beautiful scene was painted for the baptistry. God had been so good to Roanoke; blessings untold with so many answered prayers.

July 15, 1973 was a day long to be remembered-this was a day the new building was dedicated to God as a tool to be used in His service so everyone could come to know God as Lord and Christ as Saviour of all mankind. The speaker at this dedication was John Snyder.

Another highlight day was July 4, 1976 when the mortage burning ceremony was held. This was the last day of the revival with James Smith as evangelist, and David Brown was the minister.

Many programs of service for the glory of God are in the program of today's Roanoke Christian Church. These programs include: Mission support for 6 missions; a monthly calling program; visitation and services to two personal care homes each month; a youth program; choir with Martha Moore as director; the Willing Workers ladies group that meets once a month; Childrens Church for ages 3 through junior high that meets every Sunday evening from September through May; VBS each summer; a sports program of softball in the Pendleton Church league; and participation in the Christian Service camp program at Northward.

Eudell Hall, Brooksville, Kentucky, became minister in 1977 and continues as minister. (as of 1881)

The elders are Virgin Mann and Clyde Jenkins. Serving as deacons are: Randall Moore, Leon Wells, Roscoe Wells, Bill Moore, Donnie Moore, Roscoe Antrobus, and Randy Moore.

The first Timothy of the Church was James McCann; in 1979 Bennie Robbins was ordained as the second Timothy of the Church.


The following is a partial list of the ministers who have served the Roanoke Christian Church:

________Limerick, ______Todd, Marion Pfanstiel*, Quill York, ______Jones, ________McPherson, ______Brown, Sam Foley, _________Robinson, Peyton H. Canary, E. C. Cloyd, M. L. Hutcherson*, John S.Chambers, Steve Doud, Roy S.Doud, Roy S. Davis, C. Marion Railey*, P. M. Runner, Cecil Bennett, Clark Winkler, W. W. Winter, Carl S. Miller, Stanley Wilson, Walter Steever, Kenneth Ferguson, Robert Jones*, John Snyder, Carroll McDade, Tom Mefford, Steve Hooks, David Brown, and Eudell Hall. (We sincerley hope that we have not ommitted anyone.)
The first name for some of these was not obtainable.
* Denotes the minister served more than one ministry with the Roanoke Christian Church.
This compilation of church history has been the great work of Mrs. Rosmond Mann.
"To God be the glory" for a century of service by the Roanoke Christian Church. May Jesus be praised.

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