Eastside History

 

No one can have a real knowledge of a church such as Eastside without a knowledge of its history and without going back to the establishment of the church in Duncan. Eastside had its roots in that first assembly of the Lord's people approximately 86 years ago. The only representative of the Restoration Movement at that time in Duncan was a Christian Church that met on Pecan Street. However, there were a group of Christians meeting in the Empire area, southwest of Duncan, in a little red schoolhouse. In about two years a new schoolhouse was built, a mile north, and a mile west, of the old one and this location was called Center Point. The church began to meet there in 1909 and continued to do so for several years.

 

Meanwhile, in Duncan, some Christian families had appeared and they met regularly in the courthouse from 1910 to 1922. From 1917 to 1919 this group grew considerably because many from the Center Point group moved into town as the oil boom took hold. Several individuals in the Eastside church and other congregations will remember the names of some of these families: Vosses, Chasteens, Andersons, Finleys, Burnetts, Branscums, Nighs, Sheets, Coxes, Taylors, Wilkinsons, Prices, Armstrongs, Millers, McPhersons, Chicks, Clouds, Meeks, Burks, Caruths, Pribbles, Ridleys, and Schicks. Some of these families met in Duncan, some at Center Point, and some at both places.Among the first group of elders in the Lord's church were: L.W. Pribble, M. R. Ridley, George Schick, and E. S. Armstrong. Some of the preachers who held extended meetings in the area were: C.R. Nichol, J. M. Childrens, Warlick Wilkinson, and A. W. Young. As the group meeting in the courthouse grew larger, the idea of erecting a building in which to worship seemed practical. E. S. Armstrong, who served both as preacher and elder, donated a lot which he had purchased at the corner of 14th and Main and in 1923 the first meeting house was completed. The original building at Westside was modified several times to accommodate the swelling church, but growth continued.

 

The 1940's brought an organized, diligent effort to handle the growth and at the same time extend the influence of the church in the community. The result was the beginning of the Oak and A Street Church (Eastside). This was done in cooperation with the 14th and Main (Westside) congregation, now known as the Chisholm Trail Church of Christ.Eastside's first assembled meeting was January 2, 1949. One hundred eighty-nine people assembled for that first meeting. The first song by the new group was "Watch and Pray" and was led by Chet Norton. The first scripture reading was John 8:32, "And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." Serving at the Lord's Table that first Sunday were: J. W. Walker, V. K. McMasters, Horace Wright, Joe Johnson, J. C. Wilkinson, Clayton Fowler, and Near Calamine.Bill Guymon served as the first minister for the church. Elders were: J.M. Walker, Joe E. Johnson, Bruce Ridley, M. L. Keener, and Near Calamine. Deacons were: Clayton Fowler, W. M. Branch, Russell Johnson, Ray Ridley, Horace Wright, V. K. McMasters, John R. Cook, and Chet Norton.In November of 1949, the first wedding ceremony was performed, that of Alex and Billie Branch. The second wedding was that of Herschel and Betty Thomas in June of 1950. Near Calamine served as first Bible School Director; Raymon James as Church Treasurer; Joe Laird conducted the first gospel meeting at Eastside and Scotty Norton, son of Chet and Bonnie Norton, was the first person baptized at Oak and A.

 

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