History

History from 1987-1998
written by Iona Pollock
Iona was a special lady and a wonderful storyteller. She had wonderful memories that she liked to share. (I think you will enjoy reading her memories of Prairie Hill)
History of Prairie Hill Church of Christ
Beginning 1887

A Church of Christ that eventually became the Prairie Hill congregation was first organized in 1887, when 14 hardy souls banded together and met for worship in the Branch School that was located on the A.L. Branch farm.  It was located 1/2 mile south and 1 and 1/4 miles west of the current building, which is on
old 81 hi-way.  Some of those who helped start that congregation were:  Uncle Willie and Grandma Hunter, Mr. & Mrs. W.L. Deaton, Mrs. Mary Wilkerson, Mrs. Pallie Wilkinson and U.G. Wilkerson.  Bro. U.G. Wilkerson and his wife would walk each Sunday, from Comanche, as he as one of men who did the preaching.  In 1906 Bro. Edd Maddox held a meeting with 37 being baptized.  In 1907 the parents of Fannie Jane McFarland McMasters Batey moved near the Branch school and began worshipping with this
group.  Later, for few years, they met in the Prairie Hill school building which became Meridian in about 1927.  In the spring of 1925 Bro. John Kinder gave one acre of land to the church, to construct a building on.  This was located a little north, and across the hi-way from the school site.  While this construction was
going on, the men built a brush arbor under the old Oak tree that still stands against the south boundary of the property.  The members met there while the men built a 24 X 40-foot structure.  Bro. John T. Lauderdale of St. Jo, Texas was preaching for the group then.  As soon as the construction was completed, he held a two-week meeting, at which time several were baptized. Dovie and Sarah May Willeford, Vivian, Laverne, Willie, Hazel and Della McFarland, Iona Pollock along with others, were baptized in a stock pond on the George Schick property in the Empire Community.  Total cost of the new building was $644.75.  With no electricity or natural gas available, they used a large wood and coal stove for heat in the winter and cardboard fans in the summer.  The windows had no screens and flies were bad
until Shorty Bogart donated $25.00 to buy screens for the windows.  Bro W.J. McFarland paid for a water well to be drilled on the property.  Not being able to support a preacher to reside there, for 13 years different preachers came and went.  Earl Smith of Murray, KY was the first full-time preacher hired for
$10.00 per week, plus his room board in the home of W.J. McFarland.  That was in 1938 and the same year a room dwelling was built just north of the church building, for the preacher’s home.  During the early years the women sold sandwiches and baked items at farm sales in the area and used the money to help
purchase the first benches or pews for this building. Almost each summer, a two-week meeting was held with the baptizing taking place in the Branch tank, many times at night by the light of cars.  The visiting preacher always stayed with a member.  With very
little money in circulation, the visiting preachers were sometimes paid with vegetables, egg, fruit, chickens and maybe cured meat or good sorghum molasses.  Most of the summer meetings were held outside amid the bug problem from the lights, but those were the greatest times of all, with a lot of baptism as results  
At one time there was a small house in the back area where a widow lady lived with her own children and also kept several orphan nieces and nephews. In 1948 two classrooms were added and in 1950 two others were added, along with an additional room and modern bath onto the preachers home.  In April 1957 construction was started on the present building  On May 4 1958, Haskel T. England held the first service in the new church.  Don Hicks was the local minister at the time.  In 1962 the old parsonage was sold, moved away and a new brick home was
built for the preachers home.  The old church building would seat 100 and the current one seats 300.  It also consists of a library, 10 classrooms, and a ministers study, press room, nursery, 3 restrooms, a teachers workroom, pantry, kitchen and fellowship room.
Prairie Hill has sponsored a number of children from the Tipton Children’s Home.  For several years they kept two children for two weeks each summer, which was their vacation time.  Their home mother would send a list of clothing needed for that child for the following school year.  The church ladies sewed many of the girls garments but the boy’s items were always purchased.  Some of the Tipton children were:  J.W. Owings, Virgil Lee, Auther Chandler, Barbara Beggs, Roxie Garrett, Randy Blackwell, Hershel Pollock, Lettie Soto, Layla Shenwary, Jennifer Dockery, and Pat Tolan.
In September 1974, Prairie Hill organized a school of Bible and Preaching under the oversight of the elders.  Jerry Hurst was the minister then the director of the school.  Ministers from different
congregations volunteered their time to come and teach many Bible courses, with good attendance from a number of other places.  It was held each Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. from September through May.  In 1976 The Duncan Westside congregation took the oversight of the school and it was moved
there.  Mario and Marilyn Pineda came each Saturday from Oklahoma City during the 3 years of school and both graduated with Marilyn being the first lady to graduate from the Bible school.  The Prairie Hill elders hired Mario to work with the local congregation and on June 12,1979, they moved their little family into the preachers home.  At this writing, 1998, they are still working in this capacity. In 1981 a different roof was  put on the church building.  The men of the congregation did most of the construction work on both the church buildings and the preacher’s home.
This congregation contributes regularly to nine different projects  For a number of years, the Ladies Class has supplied the Meridian Nursing Home with Bibles, Lap Quilts, Pot Holders, Neck Pillows, and Bed Jackets.  They have made several quilts and given where they are needed.  A pantry is stocked to help supply the Tipton Home and Westview Boys Home.  Along with giving to needy people from time to time. Five local men grew to manhood in this congregation, later becoming gospel preachers.  They are Elmer Willeford, Royce Blackburn and Vernon Williams, all now deceased,  Auther C, Jones, now 80 years of age, who lives in Newkirk, Okla, Larry Jackson from Duncan, who preaches at the Terral, Okla.
Congregation.  [Buddy Aldridge who grew up at Prairie Hill is now a gospel preacher and lives in Kansas.  Barry Haynes has become the latest to begin preaching.  He serves as Youth Minister in Dallas]
Iona Pollock, [History updated 1998]

Ministers Who Have Done Local Work

Bro Baugh 1934
Melvin Vaughm 1934
Bro. McDoagle 1934
Bro. Griffin Oct 1934
Bro. Manseur Oct 1934
Roy Neal (Gas City) 1934
Jerry Thompson (Velma) Nov. 11, 1935-36
Bro. Frazier May 1, 1936
Earl E. Smith full time 1937
A.N. Kennedy (of Hugo) March 1937
R.O. Webb 1939-Nov 1942
Claude Clevenger (part time) early 1939
Marvin McKeever 1943
B.L. Bryant. 1944
B.L. Bryant 1945
Virgil Bryant 1945
Granville Jones 1945
Richard Romine 1945
Virgil Bryant 1946 -1947
Kenneth Mansur 1948
Norman Keener 1949-50
Haskell England 1950-52
Bert Perry 1952 -1954
Don Hicks July 1954 – Oct 1959
Loren Gieger Jan. 1960 – 1962
Vernon Williams 1962-1965
Loyd L. Hatfield 1965-1967
Johnny Cannon July 1967 – Sept. 1968
Art Smith Dec. 1968 – Dec 1969
Johnny Baker Feb. 1969 – Feb. 1970
M. Lee Peters Feb. 1970 – Apr. 1972
Larry Jackson and others fill in
part time
 Jerry Hurst June1972 – Apr. 1977
Wayne L. Zuck Nov. 1977 – Apr. 1979
Mario Pineda June 1979 – Present

MInisters Who Have Held Gospel Meetings Beginning in 1925

Minister – Year
John T. Lauderdale 1925
M.O. Daily 1926
Albert Smith 1927-28
Louis Stewart 1929-30
Harvey Fike 1931-32
Floyd Spivy 1933-34
Forest Waldrop 1935
Willard Collins 1936-39
J.A. Warran 1940
Willard Collins 1941
Forest Waldrop 1942
Joe Laird 1943
R.O. Webb 1944
Billy Ray Tittle 1945
E. Debs Smith 1946-48
Paul Johnston 1949-50
Earl Smith 1950
Paul Johnston 1951-52
G.W. Allison 1953
Floyd Spivy 1954
Tom Pickard 1956
Haskell England (in new building 1958
Auther Jones 1959
Floyd Spivy 1959
Earl Smith 1960
Dick Marcear 1961
Don Hicks 1962
Auther Jones 1963
Dale Brooks 1964
Paul Johnston 1965
Haskell England 1966
Joe Laird 1967
Paul Johnston 1968
Don Hicks 1969
Loren Gieger 1970
Jerry Hurst 1971
Johnny Baker 1971
Haskell England 1972
Allen Harper 1973
Paul Johnston 1973
John Cannon 1976
Loren Gieger 1977
Haskell England 1978
Paul Johnston 1979
Ron Bussey 1980
John Cannon Sr. 1980
Bert Perry 1981
Johnny Baker 1981
Paul Wilson 1982
Haskell England 1982
Williams E. Jones 1983
A.L. Harbin 1984
Paul Johnston 1984
Mack Lyon (Area Wide Meeting 1985
Johnny Baker 1986
William E. Jones 1987
Mack Lyon 1988
Avon Malone (Area Wide Meeting 1988
Jim Bill McInteer) (Area Wide Meeting) 1990
Delbert McLoud 1998
Ronnie Quaid 1999
Those Who Have Served As Elders


Cheston Branch              
Earl McMasters
Ike Pollock                     
James Cottrell
Jack Roe                       
Randall Garrett
David Clanton
Carlis Sheppeard
Kenneth Haynes             
Allen Miller
Delbert Reed