How The Gospel Came To Lightwood
Very early in the year of 1939 a man of the Lightwood community peddled eggs to homes in Montgomery. In at least one home, a Christian woman had her radio on, listening to a Gospel preacher. The egg peddler was standing, listening; so the lady invited him to be seated and listen. She asked the man if there was a Church of Christ in his community, and the answer was no. She then asked him if he would like for a preacher to be sent to the community, and of course, the answer was yes. He agreed for a preacher to be sent to his house for the meeting. When the time was set, the egg peddler visited his neighbor, Mr. J.V. Guy, Sr. He told Mr. Guy about the Christian woman, and the preacher being sent to his house. Mr. Guy was very anxious to talk to someone, as he had been listening to the same program. He immediately opened up his home to the preachers. Mr. Guy said he had been searching for the truth all his life! He was 72 years old and was raised in a Primitive Baptist church, but he could never make up and find an experience to bring to church to connect with that denomination. He told the egg peddler to tell the lady that his home was open to the Gospel, “The Bible”, And he gave directions to his house. The preachers that came were Rex Turner and Leanard Johnson. (The first Gospel preachers in the Lightwood community.) Joe Greer of Montgomery helped arrange for the preachers to get there, so we also owe Joe gratitude for being so helpful in the beginning of the Church at Lightwood.
Every Saturday night for several weeks the preachers took turns in bringing a lesson. Several homes were involved. Mr. J.V. Guy soon accepted the Gospel and was baptized. These meetings lasted into the summer. In late July, and early August, two-weeks of tent-meetings were held on the grounds of, what is now, our old Church building. Rex Turner did the preaching. On Saturday night, the last of the tent-meetings, Zora Guy obeyed the Gospel. And on the following Sunday afternoon, George Guy, Mae Mershimer and Zora Guy were all baptized. George and Mae accepted at the water.
The land was donated by Milton Mershimer, and the first assembly of the Church was held on August 13, 1939, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Guy, and continued meeting there until a building was finished in the early part of 1941. With help from sister congregations, Mr. J.V. Guy, George Guy and Milton Mershimer completed the building.
The original members were the following:
Frank Brady (He obeyed many years before)
In May of 1940, J.S. Brown from Montgomery held a tent-meeting and the following obeyed:
In the Summer of 1941, H. C. Green held a week’s meeting in the building and started some classes in the Fall of that year in some homes. These ran on into the Spring of 1942. During his meeting and classes, the following obeyed:
George W. Mershimer
Mrs. Jessie Cornell
During the Summer of 1942, Leanard Johnson held a meeting and the following obeyed:
James Turner was the first regular preacher at Lightwood, starting in 1943. There were meetings every year, some held in tents in other parts of the community and some held in the building. Several brethren from Montgomery helped in teaching the Gospel in the community. Joe Greer, Lucian Hilyer and James Lynsey were just a few men from different areas who would meet with the group of Lightwood. During the years from 1944 to 1952, several obeyed the Gospel, namely:
In the Summer of 1956, Jim Massey took a busload of young people to Mississippi for a youth camp. Several obeyed the Gospel there. Among them were Mary E. Guy and Betty Guy. Reginald Anthony preached for the Lightwood congregation during the years of 1954 to 1958. Some time during the years of the late fifties to the eighties, the following were baptized:
Jerry Don Thomas
Mary Helen Mershimer
The following came from Cold Springs:
Mrs. Ora Hood
The following came from Rockford:
The following came from Wetumpka:
The following came from Stony Point:
Michael Brock preached some before, but became a full time preacher in February 1982. During that time, 11 were baptized in ’82, 3 in ’83, 6 in ’84, 5 in ’85, 8 in ’86, 7 in ’87, and 9 in ’89. Total: 49
Later, Stan Taylor became our pulpit minister starting in 1990: 7 in ’90, 7 in ’91, 6 in ’92, 8 in ’93, and 7 in’94. Total: 35 Stan Taylor preached for us until 2014, and many were baptized even though we lost count.
Our history is special, because it shows how much impact one person can have on the world. What if the Egg Peddler hadn’t gone to the house of that Christian Woman? What if that Christian Woman hadn’t invited him in to listen to the broadcast? What if she hadn’t been listening to it? What if the preachers refused to go out of their way JUST to talk to two men? The Lightwood church of Christ averages about 100 people on Sunday Mornings, and we also have a new building now, due to growing problems (a good problem to have, if you want to call it a problem). Many would never have heard the Gospel if it hadn’t been for those few people.