|First Advent Christian Church of Hickory|
|God is Good|
Across the pages of the history of the Advent Christian Church lie the long shadows of a few faithful patriarchs who laid the foundation for the First Advent Christian Church.
In 1917, a small Union Sunday School was organized in West Hickory. Many of those attending felt the need for an Advent Christian Church in Hickory. Dr. R. L. Isbell was asked to hold a series of meetings over the period of two weeks in the YMCA building in West Hickory. Following the meetings, a church was organized with 17 charter members.
The infant congregation began holding services under the leadership of the Rev. Henry Lee Duncan of Longview. Among the charter members were; Rosa Bentley, Mr. & Mrs. Burgins, Annie Burgins, Junius Clark, Mary Clark, Rev. H.L. & Rebecca Duncan, Thomas & Rhetta Duncan, Ernest Duncan, Daisy Duncan, Hester Hart, Isma Huffman, Mary L. Huffman, and C. J. & Exie Preslar.
In 1924, Rev. and Rebecca Duncan and Charles and Exie Preslar in consideration of $1.00, deeded land in the Town of Longview, Hickory Township to the church trustees of “West Hickory Advent Christian Church”. A small brick building constructed by the church members was erected. Services continued in that church building in Longview until 1940.
The congregation was faithfully served by six pastors during this time:
-- Rev. R.L. Isbell (1929-1933)
-- Rev. Harrison Ingle (1933-1934)
-- Rev. W.F Preslar (1934-1935)
-- Rev. A.O. Turnbow (1935-1936)
-- Rev. A.C. Trivette (1936-1943)
The church building became too small to meet the needs of the growing congregation. Many felt that a larger and more modern building should be erected. Plans got underway through the faithful work of a people “who had a mind to work”. On December 23, 1935, trustees bought from the R.W. Rink Estate lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 Block A of the Hickory/Taylorsville State Hwy for the sum of $500.00. The construction of a new church building started immediately. To supplement the church finances, the trustees of the West Hickory Advent Christian Church, sold the land and church building in the Town of Longview to Longview Baptist Church for the sum of $800.00.
The first service, a prayer meeting, was held in the new building in Windy City on October 6, 1940. The congregation met on November 3, 1940 to reorganize the church. There were one hundred eight persons who gave their names as desiring to become members of the new church. The Covenant and the Statement of Faith was formally adopted at the official board meeting November 6, 1940.
In 1945, a building was built near the church, which later became known as the parish hall. The present parsonage of Cape Cod architecture, was erected in 1949. Again the church became too small to meet the needs of the congregation. In 1959 a building committee was appointed. A 30 foot extension was added to the present sanctuary, 12 new pews, new lights, a new baptistery, two choir lofts with new pews, air conditioning, and new carpet on the floor. The basement was completely rebuilt, with an assembly room for the Junior Sunday School, a nursery, four Sunday School class rooms, and two rest rooms. Adjacent to the church, a new 90 x 45 foot educational building was also constructed. The building provided an auditorium, Sunday School Office, Library, seven Sunday School rooms, a kitchen, and two rest rooms.
In 1964, the Advent Christian Church, Hickory, North Carolina, nearly 43 years old in existence, finally decided on the official name... Rev. Cecil W. Noble, pastor, announced when the church was organized, it was set up as Advent Christian Church, but had no name. At a meeting of the official board of the church, two names were presented and approved to be presented to the church. A ballot was presented to the membership on Sunday morning with: “First Advent Christian Church” and “Northside Advent Christian Church.” The membership which stood around 200 persons, voted overwhelmingly in favor of First Advent Christian Church as the official name.
Pastors to serve the First Advent Christian Church from 1940 to the present:
-- Rev. Alton C. Trivette (1935-1944)
-- Rev. Samuel E. Thurlow (1944-1947)
-- Rev. Allen B. Hodges (Interim-January to May 1948)
-- Rev. Milton G. Butterfield (1948-1954)
-- Rev. J. Ronald Schoolcraft (1954-1958)
-- Rev. Cecil W. Noble (1959-1968)
-- Rev. John Perry (1968-1974)
-- Rev. C.W. Bailey (1974-1978)
-- Rev. Vernon Burke (Interim: 1978-1980)
-- Rev. Will Barnes (1980-1982)
-- Rev. C.W. Noble (Interim: 1982-1984)
-- Rev. S. Hayden Walsh (1984-1988)
-- Rev. Floyd Boston (1988- 1994)
-- Rev. Rodney Brittain (1995 - 2000)
-- Rev. Ronnie Wong (2000-2003)
-- Rev. Albert Young (Interim 2003-2005)
-- Rev. Dennis Spivey (2005-2014)
-- Rev. David Richards (Present Interim)
Hopefully this is just the beginning...