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Abell Community Church
|Abell Community Church|
|August 3, 1947 to October 25, 1987|
|© Miss Minnie Rose Tellaro|
|Used by Permission|
|Submitted by: Jennifer Ammons|
|Transcribed by: Tammie Chada|
The first session of Abell Sunday School was held in the Abell schoolhouse on Sunday, August 3, 1947. The members came from the Tellaro and North Riverside Union Sunday Schools, which were discontinued as a result of the consolidation of four and a half small school districts. The little school houses had been their meeting places, so they felt led to merge and from the Abell Community Church. The name Abell was chosen from the school, church and community in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Romaine Abell, who gave the land for the school.
Attendance was over sixty on that first Sunday and Rev. Guy George, missionary of the American Sunday School Union, conducted the meeting. Jim Carey led singing and Mrs. H. L. Morrisett played the piano. Ralph Coffin was elected Sunday School Superintendent; Glen Miller, Secretary; and Mrs. Romaine Abell, Treasurer. Teachers of the four classes were Mrs. Ralph Coffin, Jim Carey, Mrs. Willard Gooch and Mrs. Ida Collins. The following week a large group of young people attended the American Sunday School Union Bible Conference at Camp Cimarron near Coyle.
Rev. George served as minister, preaching the first Sunday morning of each month for the next twelve years. Others who preached at the new non-denominational church included Rev. E. E. Holmberg, Rev. C. T. Perkins, and Rev. Bill Howland. A women's class from the First Christian Church of Guthrie conducted the first Vacation Bible School in 1949.
On March 11, 1951, the church moved to the new community building, built by the Abell Progress Club, and dedication services were held on Easter Sunday, March 25, 1951. Leading the services were Rev. Don Morgan of Phillips University, Enid, OK, and Rev. Glen Miller, of Abell community, student ministers, who preached once or twice a month that year.
A weekly Bible Study was started in 1953 by Miss Joyce Campbell and continued in the homes of members for many years. Also in 1953 the first communion service was observed.
In 1958, under the ministry of Rev. Joe Mosely, an Oklahoma Baptist University student, the church began to participate in foreign missions. At the present time, the church helps with the support of David Crawford, Indonesia; Daniel Hamilton, Japan; James Friend, South Texas; Sue Jones and Linda Stucky, Liberia, Africa; Dan Curtis, Oklahoma; Charles Luster, Frontier School of the Bible, Wyoming; and Camp J-O-Y. The Women's Missionary Circle was formed in 1963 under the leadership of Mrs. Jerry Hamilton, who with her husband, had succeeded Rev. and Mrs. George as American Sunday School Union Missionaries. At present the circle meets monthly to sew and pray for missions.
In 1959, the church called their first full-time pastor, Rev. Richard Lythberg of Chicago. He served until 1961. During his ministry an official board was elected to carry out the business of the church, a weekly radio program was sponsored for several months, and an annual Homecoming Day and spring revival were instituted. A group from the Stony Point Union Sunday School joined the congregation in 1961.
Abell Church, pastored by Rev. R. B. Mathis, participated with the American Sunday School Union in the organization of the Camp J-O-Y Bible Conference Association in 1966. It was led by the new rural missionary, Rev. Charles Luster, who had come to the field from Missouri two years before. Rev. R. B. Mathis of Oklahoma City was the pastor of Abell from 1964 - 1970.
In 1971, the three-room school building, no longer used for public school, was acquired by the church and remodeled for an eight room Sunday School building. The church was granted a charter from the state in 1972, while Dean Mackey was serving as board chairman.
Easter Sunday, April 22, 1973, was the first membership day and several "members" moved their membership from other churches to Abell church. Rev. Larry Howland was the pastor.
Other ministers who served down through the years were Rev. Gordon Hoefer, Rev. David Dowdy, Rev. Dave Thornburg, Rev. Don Milner, Rev. David Crawford and Rev. Charles Luster.
The first deacons were ordained in 1974 while Rev. Luster was leading. He served as Abell's pastor for three years while also serving as missionary of the American Missionary Fellowship, formerly American Sunday School Union, until resigning to join the faculty of Frontier School of the Bible, LaGrange, WY in 1977. Presently nine men serve on the board of deacons with Jim Carey as chairman and Rev. Glen Miller, of Oklahoma City, as pastor.
Rev. Miller, who was reared in Abell community, returned as pastor in January 1978. His wife, Willena serves as Sunday School Superintendent. Both attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, TX, where he received his Bachelor of Divinity degree.
Vacation Bible School was conducted every summer by women of the church, sometimes assisted by the pastor or local American Missionary Fellowship missionaries, until 1984. The first Family Vacation Bible School was held that year, led by a group of students and teachers of Frontier School of the Bible.
A large group of young people continue to participate in Bible Conferences and other activities at Camp J-O-Y, now directed by Mr. and Mrs. Dan Curtis, who began serving with American Missionary Fellowship in 1980. They are graduates of Frontier School of the Bible.
In 1986, a new office, that of Youth Director, was instituted. Jack Foster served that summer and Delwin Fowler has been hired for 1987-88. Both men are graduates of Frontier School of the Bible and are preparing for foreign mission work.
Bible study continues to be stressed at Abell with children entering the Beginners class at age two, where Mrs. Lynn Hardman has been teaching since 1961. Youth Day is held the first Sunday of each month with boys and girls filling the various offices of the Sunday School. Sunday night services have been held continuously throughout the years, with a children's service, which was started in 1974, with Miss Minnie Rose Rellaro in charge. Communion is served every fifth Sunday in the morning worship service and baptism is provided at Camp J-O-Y when requested.
After forty years, twenty "charter" members continue to serve the Lord at Abell, grateful for the "new" members who have been added down through the years.
1987 Abell Community Sunday School and Church Leadership
Rev. Glen Miller, Pastor
Jim Carey, Chairman
Darrel Miller, Secretary
David Ogan, Treasurer
D. W. Carey
H. L. Morrisett
Delwin Fowler, Youth Director
David Ogan, Song Leader
Mrs. David Ogan, Pianist
Miss Darla Miller, Assistant Pianist
Mrs. Glen Miller, Sunday School Superintendent
Miss Donna Coffin, Assistant Superintendent
Mrs. D. W. Carey
Mrs. Hubert Plagg
Mrs. Darrel Miller
Miss Minnie Rose Tellaro
Mrs. Donald Coffin
Mrs. Lynn Hardman
Mrs. David Chennault, Assistant
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Updated: Wednesday, 06-Aug-2008 21:57:54 CDT
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