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Gregg County Churches F's

First Baptist Chruch of Gladewater: Between 1849 and 1853 under the name of Bethel Baptist. After the Civil War the original log building was replaced and given the new name of New Bethel Baptist Church. after 1899 it was moved and became the First Baptist Church.

First Baptist Church of Kilgore: On October 11, 1902, the five charter members of this congregation met and formed the Missionary Baptist Church of Kilgore. They were Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Choice, Mr. and Mrs. J. I. Choice, and Miss Lizzie Clinkscales. The Rev. P. J. Vermillion served as first pastor. The church's first sanctuary was constructed in 1906, during the pastorate of the Rev. J. A. Lee. It served the small village congregation for nearly 30 years, until the Kilgore oil boom of the 1930s increased tremendously both the population of the town and the membership of the First Baptist Church. The
original church building, located at South Martin and Main streets, was sold in 1931. The congregation met for worship services and Sunday School in the homes of its members and in various public buildings until a new brick structure was completed at this site in 1933. Throughout its history the First Baptist Church of Kilgore has actively supported home and foreign missions, assisting in the formation of several other local Baptist fellowships. As an integral part of this community, the congregation has grown and developed to provide service and leadership for the changing needs of the people of Kilgore

First Baptist Church of Longview:  (Pictures) This congregation has been in continuous existence since 1871, when fifteen people led by the Rev. D. S. Snodgrass gathered together to form a new church. Known charter members, whose names are inscribed in marble in the church sanctuary are: Mr & Mrs F L Whaley, Mr & Mrs W G Northcutt, Mr & Mrs F J Harrison and their daughter, Mrs A W Morrison, The Rev and Mrs L S Markham, Dr T M Coleman, Mrs & Mrs A B Tankersley, Mrs W F Young, and the Rev and Mrs Snodgrass.In 1874 the Texas and Pacific Railway Company deeded two town lots to the Baptist church at the corner of Fredonia and South streets. The first sanctuary, a small frame building, was erected late that year. Also in 1874, the congregation called its first full-time pastor, the Rev. Dr. A. Eagan Clemmons. Over the years, the church purchased additional property adjacent to its original two lots. As the congregation grew, more church buildings were erected and later replaced with larger structures. A red brick sanctuary which replaced the original frame structure in 1901 was in turn replaced by a larger building in 1914. continued expansion led to further building programs over the years. In addition to serving its own members, the First Baptist Church has been instrumental in establishing new congregations in the community, including Northside Baptist Church, Valley View Baptist Church, Moberly Avenue Baptist Church, and Oakland Heights Baptist Church. It continues to serve the community with a variety of religious and educational programs.

First Christian Chruch of Gladewater: The First Christian Church held its first meeting August 4, 1936. They signed their charter on October 4, 1936 with 21 adults and 17 children attending. The members were: Mr. & Mrs. J.A. Moore, Mr. & Mrs. S. A. Moore, Fred Greens, C. C. Hickey, M. L. Lawrence, W. V. Selig, C. V. Atkinson, Mrs. N. L. Roe, Mrs. Joe Eversole, Miss Juanita Eversole, Mrs. E. C. Ship, Mrs. Sadie Donaldson, Miss Irene Alford and Mrs. C. E. Ellis. The church met in many places until their first building was built in 1937. Some of their meeting places were the First Methodist Church, the Broadway School Auditorium, the Labor Temple and the Presbyterian Tabernacle. The present church was made possible by a
donation of $50,000 from R. W. Burnett. The building was dedicated on Aug. 17, 1937 and their first misister was Glen Hutton.

First Christian Church of Longview: This church was organized in 1875 by 12 charter members. The congregation met in a schoolhouse until a frame sanctuary was built later that year on land deeded to the church by the Texas & Pacific Railroad Company. James P.Holloway, a prominent area landowner, served as first pastor. A new church building, erected in 1906, was replaced with a brick sanctuary at this site in 1936. The church continues a long tradition of supporting numerous ministries by offering various worship and outreach programs and activities to the community.

First Church of God in Kilgore: It began meeting in 1939 in members homes. In 1940 a church was built.

First Chruch of the Nazarene of Longview: 1935

First Cumberland Presbyterian of Longview: 1935

First Lutheran Church of Longview: Abt. 1936

First Methodist Church of Gladewater: The First Methodist Church of Gladewater had its beginning on Oct. 1, 1922 in the home of Mr. & Mrs. J. A. Godfrey. The Rev. H. T. Perritte from the First Methodist Church of Longview supervised the organization.  Those present were: Mr. & Mrs. J. A. Godfrey, Gordon Godfrey, Wilson Godfrey, Mr. & Mrs. C. V. Rhodes, Mr. & Mrs. N. E. Porter, Mr. & Mrs. G. A. Cox, Mrs. John Jeter, Mrs. Jeff Johnson, Mrs. Carl Everett and T. M. Wadsworth. Other charter members not present were: Mrs. Lillian Hendrix, Mrs. Tom Cole, Mrs. Sam Kay, Mrs. J. W. McComic, Bonnie Cox, Ruby Cox, Mr. & Mrs. C. A. Magrill and the lay preacher E. A. Hearne. By 1923 there were 45 members. The Lyle Jeters were early additions, with Mr. Jeter being elected Sunday School Superintendant in 1924 and holding this office until his death in 1948. Mrs. Jeter was a devoted & generous leader in the church for 50 years and served 26 of those years as the communion steward. For 10 years the church was in the Winona Circuit, sharing a pastor with 2-5 other churches. A ministerial student, Rev. J. L. Willis was the first pastor. He preached every first Sunday in Gladewater, however Sunday School services were held every Sunday. A small one room frame building was built as the churches very first sanctuary and was located just south of the Brodway Elementary School on land donated by the Godfrey family. The First Methodist Church of Longview donated a semi-pipe hand-pump organ. Sometime later a tin plate canvas of the town netted $150 and a piano was purchased. In 1931 the oil boom hit Gladewater and the First Methodist Church was bursting at its seams. A fill time pastor and a larger church became a necessity. The present church site at the corner of Quitman & Ferry was purchased. In 1933 a modern, 7 room brick parsonage was built. In 1935 the red brick, split leverl church with cathedral stained glass windows was built, costing $19,000+. The building fund was generously helped by the oil well drilled on the old church ground. The dedication ceremony was in 1937 with Mr. & Mrs. J. A. Godfrey donating a walnut grand piano. In 1949 an educational building was added, being completed in 1951. It provided a modern fellowship hall, a kitchen, sunday school classrooms, a pastors study and other office space. Radio broadcasts of the Sunday morning services began in the early 1950's. In 1954 the church joyfully celebrated the paying off of the church debt and burned the cancelled note and air conditioned the church. In
1957 $35,000 was spent on improvements by enlarging the sanctuary and remodeling the parsonage. This raised the property evaluation to nearly $275,000. In 1966 a dedication service was held to celebrate the clearing of all church indebtedness. Pastors that have served the chruch are: J. L. Willis, Dr. W. K. Strother Sr., John W. Shoemaker, J. N. A. Rider, J. H. Malone, Erwin Jackson, J. C. Thomson, C. L. Williams, C. L. Bowen, Joe C. Shaw, M. R. Turner, L. Eugene Harris, Compton Riley, Clyde E. Thomas, Joe S. Strother, Donald R. Box, Bryant Young, James A. Brannen and Conrad W. Winborn Jr. These names go into the 1970s but no list is available for past that time period. The church grew from 45 members in 1922 to 655 in 1971.

First Methodist Church of Longview (Once known as the Methodist Epispocal)

First Presbyterian Church of Kilgore: In 1840 to 1849 it was called the Old School Presbyterian Chruch and services were held in a gin house. In 1849 it was Gum Springs Presbyterian Chruch and was at Danville, located on land that was purchased from Haden Edwards and 5 acres donated each from Edwards and C. W. Scott. At that time there were only 2 Presbyterian families in the area, the C.W. Scotts and the S. S. Barnetts. In the fall of 1849 Scott and neightbors built a log house and an occasional sermon was held by a Methodist or Cumberland minister. Rev. J. M. Becton made an appointment to preach on the first Sunday in October of 1850. The following Monday the church was organized and C. W. Scott moved that it be named Gum Spring after a large spring in that area. Rev. Becton was their minister for about 2 years. A Rev. Robert
Hamilton Byers was the minister from 1855-1857. In 1857 the Log church was destroyed by fire and another building was builted under the direction of S. S. Barnett, W. H. Leach, Meshach Barber & Joesph D. Dickson. In 1933 this building was repaired and the cemetery was spruced up by Mrs. Eliza Barber Griffin, the youngest member of the Meshach Barber family. In 1874 it moved to Kilgore and was called the New Danville Presbyterian Church. In 1934 it became the First Presbyterian Church of Kilgore. Built as a result of the 1930s oil boom, this sanctuary replaced an earlier structure at the corner of South and Rusk streets, where oil wells surrounded church property. Reflecting the Gothic style of architecture, the building features a large stained glass window and a tri-partite Gothic-arched entry.

First Presbyterian of Longview: This church was established by nine resident members of the Old School Southern Presbyterian Church as a mission in the new town of Longview in 1872. The first church building was erected on land donated by the Texas and Pacific Railroad in 1874. The Rev. James H. Wiggins was installed as the first full-time pastor. The congregation helped establish two mission churches in the area by 1894. A new church building was constructed in 1900 and a third at this site in 1940. The congregation continues to sponsor outreach and missionary programs in Longview and in other parts of the world.

First United Pentecostal Church of Gladewater: (This was taken from the Gladewater Mirror, May 17, 2000)-First United Pentecostal Church Celebrates 80 Years - The roots of the First United Pentescostal Church reach back to 1920, when Reverend Jessie Havard conducted a revival in the Rock Springs School House, located about 3 miles from Gladewater off the Old Tyler Hwy. From the Rock Springs revival the congregation began having services in the Friendship School building.  Later they met in the homes of the believers. Charlie Pounders donated the land in the Friendship Community to build a church building and suggested naming it "Mars Hill" Church.  Jim T Warren, a local resident, had a log wagon and a good team of mules.  He cut the timbers and hauled the logs to the saw mill to be made into lumber for the new building.  The men of the community who were favorable, joined together and the building became a reality in 1921. By the late 1930's, some of the people had moved into Gladewater and others were driving to Gladewater to the church that had been started in town.  Shortly thereafter a building, formerly used as a cafe, on the corner of North Main and Gay Avenue, was rented.  They continued having services at this location while the "Mars Hill" building was being torn down and the materials used to build the present building at 200 Melba Ave.  The floor joists used in the "Mars Hill" church are the same used in the present building, built in 1941. Reverend L J Hosch, Sectional Elder of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ was the overseer for the construction of the building.  The Pentescostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ and the Pentecostal Church, Inc, merged in 1945 , forming the United Pentecostal Church.  Among the former Pastors of the local assembly were, U A Massey, Eldredge Lewis, Marshall Davis, M E Precise, L L Stevens and J T Warren.

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