History of the Whitehouse Church of Christ
Information regarding the inception and history of the church was provided by the recollections of older members. Throughout the years there have been many men who preached for Whitehouse on a regular basis and the church owes these men a debt of gratitude.
1937—Marks the beginning of the church in Whitehouse with a “gospel meeting” held outside in the school yard. Eris Ritchie brought the lesson and Victor Warner led the singing. A congregation was formed because of this meeting and the dedication of other Christians living in Whitehouse.
1938—The church met together in a café building located on Railroad Avenue, next door to the Mercantile. Some of the first members were M.H. Harris, Muggie Mitchum and Bertie Mae Ray. Later the members purchased land located at 201 Highway 110 and Wiley Tress erected a frame building where the current Fellowship Hall stands. The building had electricity and gas but no plumbing or water.
1940—Victor Warner was the only person qualified to teach and he also led singing whenever needed. Eston Mitchum led prayer and read scripture. Eris Ritchie, Walter Lee Tackett and Fuston Tackett helped with the preaching each week. Mitchell Stripling worked with the youth and taught classes.
1944 to 1945—Darrell Metcalf preached for Whitehouse.
1948—Verdell Vaughn preached for several weeks. He enlisted the help of some men form the Teaselville church, Elmer Harris and Robert McKeethan who alternated leading the services on Sundays.
1957-58—George Verga preached for the church at Whitehouse and it began to grow again. There was a need for a building. Jake Massey, who was a member of the church contracted for the job. The church met at the Whitehouse School in the interim and the doors of the new building opened in March 1958.
1960—Homer Harris came to preach and stayed for nearly seven years. Many wonderful events happened at the Whitehouse church during the 60’s.
1968—Don Sykes preached at Whitehouse while teaching the Bible chair at TJC.
1969—Fuston Tacket preached at Whitehouse for three and a half years.
1972—Homer Harris came back to preach and stayed for another seven years. The church really began to grow. For the first time the church was able to hire a full-time preacher. During this time Mack Bynum and Ira Wilson were appointed as Elders. Bob Headley, Scotty Rouse and Virgil Draughon were appointed as Deacons. When Mack Bynum’s health prevented him from continuing as elder, the offices had to be dissolved and the church went without Elders until 1990.
1981—D.L. Thompson came to Whitehouse and the construction of a new building began. Everyone worked together on the project. Paul Hancock, Roy Jenkins and I.W. Spruell who were retired from construction work acted as the contractors doing some of the work themselves and subcontracting the rest. After the first of the year the church moved into the new building.
1983—Brad Dudley came to preach. During this time A.W. Reed (the father of Claudia Headley) donated the money for the sign in the front of the building.
1985- J.C. Tate came to preach on February 16 and was preacher for over 10 years. During this time, six elders were appointed. They were Richard Batten, Wes Burks, Darrell Holifield, Art Etter, Bill Faulker and J.C. Tate. Deacons during that time were Lee Coleman, Willie Cotton, Bob Headley, Aubrey Mormon and Doug Henegar. The Church added extra staff during this period of growth. Mark Lowe worked with the young married couples and Jim Bell was the congregations Youth Director. During this time, the Church purchased 8 acres as a possible future building site. The site is located on the 600 block of Hwy 110 across from the Speedy Pantry.
1996- Steve Mize was preacher.
1997- Dean Roberson was preacher.
1998- LaVega Parker was preacher.
2000 to 2008- Doug Dudley was preacher. During this time, the church had three remaining elders. They were Wes Burks, Darrell Holifield and Richard Batten. There were no deacons.
2008- The Whitehouse membership had become depleted with the moving of so many members and the church was in desperate need of help to survive. In October, seven men met to discuss plans for the future of the Whitehouse church. It was suggested that they make a request of for help from the West Erwin congregation. The request involved asking some of the West Erwin members to become a permanent part of the Whitehouse church to build up the membership and assist with the work. It was unanimously agreed to ask West Erwin for assistance. Four men from Whitehouse met with the Elders at West Erwin and presented the request. The West Erwin Elders responded my agreeing to send twelve families to permanently work and worship with the Whitehouse church and build the membership.
2009- March 29th, 2009 the West Erwin church commissioned eight families to come to Whitehouse and start a new work. April 5, 2009, ten families from West Erwin placed membership with Whitehouse and the two church families became one pledging their commitment to the Lord and to each other.
2009-2010- Preaching was done by members of the congregation with occasional visiting preachers.
2011- On March 13, 2011, it was formally announced that Jay Lockhart will be coming to Whitehouse Church of Christ no later than May 29, 2011.
2011 - On May 13, Jay Lockhart started as the full time pulpit minister. Though he and his wife Arlene, just moved into their new house on May 17, Jay was at the "helm" as though he had been there for some time on May 18.
2012 - May 6-9, Whitehouse church hosted a Gospel Meeting with Jay Lockhart as the key speaker. The attendace was 200+ each day and the parking lot was overflowing. A great time at the Whitehouse Church of Christ. On October 21, the church had a "Friends and Family Day". There was 300+ with a catered BBQ meal after.
2013 - April, the church closed on the purchase of 24 acres on highway 346. This will be the location of the church's new building. Our average attendance has grown to over 160 each Sunday. Also, Jack Dodgen was brought onboard as our Associate Minister.
2013- August, With the help of 42 brothers and sisters in Christ from Mississippi, we had a triple header. First an Out Reach where over a two day period, visited 1730 homes in Whitehouse. Second, hoested a Four day Gospel Meeting titled "Consider Our Savior" with guest speaker, Chad Ramsey the minister of the Gloster Street Church of Christ in Tupelo, Mississippi. Third, hosted the VBS on that Saturday when not only for the kids, had two bible classes for the adults as well hosted by Russ Crosswhite.
2014 - January 26, We added two new Elders today: Ernest Bennett and Jerry Mitchell. They accepted their charge and the congregation accepted theirs. This is a great step forward in this church's new begining.
2014 - May 9: A "red Letter" day for the Whitehouse Church as work officially starts at the new building site located at 1313 E. Main in Whitehouse, Texas.
2015 - August 17: Received the Occupancy Permit from the city of Whitehouse. It has taken awhile. Many delays do to weather. Good delays do to the blessed growth of God's church here creating the need to add a second floor and balcony before construction really got fully under way. There are a few things that need finishing and the move will start in about a week to 10 days.
2015 - August 30: We are moving into the new building. With the help of many of the congregation along with Abels, everything was moved from the old church location as well as the old office location. With a family atmosphere, organized chaos became an organized move as areas start to take shape with in the new building.
2015 - September 2: Though the Fellowship Hall is not ready or either any classrooms are either, the congreation had their first meeting in the auditorium. Spencer Shaw (grandson of Dr. Jay Lockhart) delivered the first lesson from the pulpit.
2015 December 13: New Deacons: Jimmy Carty-Benevolence, Joey Coker-Involvement, Daniel DuPree-Worship, Eric Figueroa-Building & Grounds, Mark Frick-Electronics/Media, Mike Harris-Fellowship, Blake Lockhart-Security, Melvin Maples-Finances/Greeters, Jeff Parrish-Building & Grounds/Ushers, John Shaw-Youth
2017 October 15: Restruscture of deacons and added to: Jimmy Carty-Benevelence; Joey Coker-Security; Daniel DuPree-Worship; Eric Figueroa-Technology; Gerald Floyd-Oasis; Mike Harris-Fellowship; Seth Hudd;eston-Grounds; Todd Kempton-Missions; Richard Light-Involvement; Blake Lockhart=Decurity; Melvin Maples-Finance/Greeters; Jeff Parish-Building & Grounds; John Shaw-Technology; Tim Ross-Building
2017 November 25: Dr. Jay Lockhart announces his resignation as pulpit minister and elder.