Mar 032015

The first known meetings in the Evant area for the church of Christ were in two places: the old Cow House School building northeast of present day Evant, and the old one-room school building at Henderson Point. When the Henderson Point building was torn down, some families started meeting in the school auditorium. Some of those early members were: the Hills, Burneys, Elams, Gazaways, Epplers, Christians, Miss Ollie Preston, the Scotts, Newtons, Shaws, Singletons, Baizes, Carters, Faubions, and Flatts.

In 1928, a frame building was erected three blocks west of the square in Evant, consisting of an auditorium and four classrooms. What served as the fellowship area for the 1928 church was an old oak tree. Underneath this landmark tree, picnic tables were set up to serve meals and Vacation Bible School refreshments. Young people often used it as a gathering place. In 2011, the old tree was cut down, but what a shame those old branches could not talk!

An early church member, Eleanor Henderson, said, “We didn’t have a paid preacher. Esto Newton came on horseback. On Sundays, we had classes and communion. The Christians and Newtons were good singers. I remember going by wagon to a camp meeting at Turnersville, and camping there in the wagon.”

Our current brick church was built in 1965 and the 1928 church building was sold and moved. Among those families instrumental in the new church construction were: Kincheloe, Shave, Horton, Henderson, Sheldon, Smith, Lee, Johnson, Preston, Faubion, Slone, McKinley, Mitchell, Sugg, Harrington, Webb, and Atchley.

During the mid-1950s, before the church could afford a full-time preacher, Abilene Christian College students would come on the weekends to do the preaching. Some of those were Charles Hodges, John Gibson, and Joe Barnett, who returned on numerous occasions throughout the years to hold meetings.

Like most churches, over the years there would be times when the church would have large attendance and be very active and then there would be times when the attendance would be small.

Preachers were: Charles Hodges, John Gibson, Joe Barnett, O.O.O. Newton, Marvin Porterfield, Jon Jones, T. R. Bankhead, Marvin Rowland, Joe Wolf, Melvin Allen, Roy McGaugh, Boyce Edwards, Herman Beauchamp, Allen DeSpain, Pat McIntosh, David Boren, Mickey Chambliss, Joe Carrizales, Mark Kirby, Jon McCormick, Jess Whitlock, and William Vann.

Submitted by: Letha Sheldon, Cheryl Slone, and Calvin Burks.

Mar 032015

Known to most of us as J.D. Tant, Jefferson Davis Tant (1861-1941) preached all over the nation, and made his home not so far from us here in Evant. You can read the entire historical article (in .pdf format)  here.

A few notes of interest follow:

  • In September of 1886, J.D. Tant preached at the Bee House Meeting in Coryell County. Twenty-one were baptised that day. Among those was J.M. Tuttle, a successful preacher in New Mexico for a number of years. At this meeting, J.D. Tant decided to debate for the first time.
  • In November of 1886, a debate was set with W.A. Jarrell at Bee House in Coryell County. Six hundred people attended the first night. At that meeting, it was announced that Jarrell was sick, and that he asked the debate to be postponed for one  month.
  • In December of 1886, J.D. Tant debated with W.N. Leak instead of Jarrell, who was still sick. J.F. Grubbs moderated for Tant. There were nine baptisms from the Baptists and four baptisms from the Methodists at that meeting. This event marked the first of over one hundred debates that J.D. Tant would participate in throughout his career.
  • Beginning in 1887, Hamilton Texas was the home of J.D. Tant for nearly 15 years, the longest residence in any one place during the 80 years of his life.