This information was originally prepared by Olena Stover and her daughter
Joyce Royse in 2001 and the information was updated in 2011 by Chris Patton.
HCCC appreciates their efforts to preserve the history of her ministry.
Haltom City, Texas 76117
First 60 Years Of Haltom City Christian Church
Haltom City Christian Church had its beginning on July 29, 1951 when
9 people met in the home of A. J. and Alice Knarr at 3032 Field Street in Haltom
City for the Lord’s Supper and a Bible School lesson. The group discussed the
establishment of a new congregation patterned after the church described in the
Public announcements preceding the formation of the new congregation
stated, “We will be self-governing, evangelistic, and missionary minded.
Fellowship and membership will be on the un-denominational and non-sectarian
basis: wear the scriptural name of ‘Christian’; Christ will be our only
‘creed’; and the Bible our rule of faith and practice. We will observe Christ’s
ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper according to the original Christian
The following Sunday, the First Christian Church of Haltom City held
services in the Haltom Theatre on East Belknap with 18 present in Bible School
and 31 present in Morning Worship. James Mantooth, a student at Dallas
Christian College, preached the first sermon with seven people responding to the
invitation, thus beginning the charter membership of the new congregation.
James was chosen as the first minister. Bible School and Worship Services have
been held each Lord’s Day since that small beginning.
A two-week open-air revival meeting was scheduled for September 10
to 23, 1951. An invitation was extended to Bob and Edna Warfel, missionaries in
the Kiamichi Mountains, to take charge of the evangelistic services. The
Warfels accepted the invitation without promise of anything except a place to
sleep and a guarantee that they would not go hungry. The meeting had to be held
in the open air because there was no building or tent available. An
announcement was made that the charter membership roll of the new congregation
would remain open until the close of the revival. The meeting was very
successful with fifteen additions. At the end of the meeting, the charter was
closed with a membership of 38.
A congregational meeting was held Monday night, September 24, 1951,
at the revival location. At this meeting, there were 31 present, 28 of them
were members. The secretary read a letter from Bob Warfel, in which a check was
enclosed for one hundred dollars to start a Building Fund. At this meeting, A.
J. Knarr was chosen as chairman. He suggested that a permanent name be given
the church. A motion was made that the church name be changed to “Haltom City
Christian Church” due to confusion with a denominational Christian Church’s name
of First Christian. The motion carried unanimously.
During this meeting a building committee of
eleven members was appointed, of this committee W. W. Pattison was elected
chairman. About November 1, 1951, they purchased a lot on Dana Drive, three
blocks west of the Denton Highway at a price of $2,500. The congregation
immediately raised $1,000 as a down payment, and notes were signed for the
remainder of the purchase price. These notes were burned Easter Sunday morning
April 13, 1952. Some time later a large sign was erected on the lot with the
wording—‘Building Site of Haltom City Christian Church’. This lot was finally
sold and the proceeds applied on a lot at 4121 Haltom Road.
In December of 1951, Bob Warfel was called as the first full time
resident minister. Bob and Edna took a one-year leave of absence from the
mission field in the Kiamiche Mountain Mission in Oklahoma.
His salary would be $250 a month, with increases as members were added to the
church. W. W. Pattison offered his garage apartment for a parsonage for one
year. He suggested a study for the minister be built in the garage below the
apartment. The church voted to pay from the general fund the expense of
building the study and moving the minister to the field.
James Mantooth continued as part time minister
until Bob Warfel arrived on the field preaching his last sermon on January 27,
1952. Bob Warfel preached his first sermon as full time minister on February 3,
1952. There were 45 present for Bible School and 60 present for Morning
Worship. There were 5 members added by transfer.
On February 17, 1952, the congregation changed its meeting place
from the Haltom Theatre to the Birdville High School (now Shannon Learning
Center). The auditorium and classrooms were rented in order to expand our
Lord’s Day services to include a church-wide educational program. At 6:15 p.m.,
the services included Christian Endeavor for the youth and Adult Bible Classes
followed by our Evening Evangelistic Service at 7:30 p.m. Prayer Meeting, Bible
Study, and Choir Rehearsal were held each Thursday night at the home of one of
the families of the congregation. The church continued to meet there until a
building was erected on Rita Lane.
election of officers was held on March 9, 1952. Those elected were:
Elders: Ross M. Elson for a 3 year term
- W. Pattison for a 2 year term
- J. Knarr for a 1 year term
Deacons: W. H Stover for a 3 year term
Homer L. Murphey for a 3 year term
- E. Adkins for a 2 year term
- G. Martin for a 2 year term
- H. Miller for a 1 year term
Trustees: J. E. Adkins
- M. Elson
- J. Knarr
At a congregational meeting on April 20, 1952, plans were approved
for a building on Dana Drive. Later it was decided not to build on Dana Drive
at this time due to lack of money in the building fund. The church voted to
build a temporary meeting place on a lot located at 3213 Rita lane. The lot was
owned by A. J. Knarr and later purchased by the church. Bob Warfel assisted the
congregation in the construction of this building, but returned to the mission
field in December 1952, a few months before the building was completed.
At this time, Haltom City Christian Church began a longstanding
practice of utilizing Dallas Christian College ministry students and staff.
When interim ministers were needed, DCC was called upon. Ralph Steele, Walter
Birney, Bertis White, J. T. Segroves, Charles Gresham, Carrol Smith, and James
Mantooth served as interim ministers from December 8, 1952 to March 8, 1953.
Services in the new building at 3213 Rita Lane were started on
January 18, 1953 with the dedication of the new pulpit made and donated by James
- F. ‘Jack’ Kendrick served as minister from
March 15, 1953 until June 10, 1956. The first VBS was held in June 1953 with
Jack Kendrick as director.
John Ritz, a member of HCCC, preached from June 17, 1956 to July 15,
1956. Karel Desgrange began his ministry here on July 22, 1956 and continued
until January 19, 1958. DCC supplied ministers from January 26, 1958 to March
Ralph Steel came on March 23, 1958. During his ministry, the church
building at 4121 North Haltom Road was erected at a cost of about $47,000,
including furnishings. Most of the construction was accomplished by volunteer
labor. Roy Bell donated his time and equipment to install the beams in the
sanctuary. Used bricks had to be cleaned before they were laid. The building
committee was composed of W. H. Fitzgerald, Frank Dittman, W. H. Stover, Melvin
Brothers, Roy Bell, and Milton Goodner. After completion of the building, it
was dedicated on January 8, 1961. The church officers who were responsible for
this new building were:
Earl Armbrust, Lee Dickey, Ross Elson, Homer
Houston Bartley, Roy Bell, Frank Dittman,
Phillip Emanuel, Milton Goodner, W. H.
Ralph Steel continued his ministry until August
5, 1962, when the church called Will T. Winslow, who started the following
Sunday, August 12, 1962.
A strong period of growth began with Will T.’s eight years at HCCC.
An increase in membership was so strong that the group quickly grew out of the
facilities. A new addition, which included a large kitchen, classrooms, and
offices, was added in 1965. In the same year, Ruth Elson donated the church
steeple in memory of her husband, Ross.
The church continued to grow and faced a problem of fitting the
entire congregation into the sanctuary for services. Two services were
considered as was beginning a new congregation. The latter was chosen.
In 1966, sixty-five members from HCCC formed the
nucleus to begin Bedford Christian Church. HCCC purchased the lot for BCC on
Central Drive in Bedford, Texas for $8,000. The congregation later outgrew this
property and relocated to Colleyville. This congregation is now Highland
Meadows Christian Church.
In 1969, thirty-five members from HCCC helped
form a second mission congregation known as Southwest Christian Church located
in Fort Worth, Texas. HCCC continued to support this group until it was self
During Will T.’s ministry, HCCC had three
Associate Ministers: Ted Kinsel (first associate minister 1967-1968), Weldon
Gilmore (January 1969 to March 1970), and John Cary (June 1970 to 1971). As the
success of his ministry increased, Will T.’s health diminished. On July 10,
1970 at the age of thirty-five, Will T. Winslow left this world for a better
John Cary, as Associate Minister, preached until
November 22, 1970 when Clark McKinney assumed the ministry. Clark’s Assistant
Ministers were John Cary and Jerry Jenkins. Clark resigned as of October 31,
1971 to fill a newly created position as Alumni Director at Ozark Bible College.
Russell Watts was selected to serve HCCC in
December 1971, but before he completed his ministry in February 1973, the
congregation divided. Russ decided to begin a new congregation apart from HCCC
and a split in the church ensued. Over one hundred members went with Russ to
begin a new church. This church ultimately failed, and almost all the members
that left with Russ returned to HCCC. During Russ Watt’s ministry, Glen
Cunningham served as Associate Minister.
Bob Brockus, a DCC professor, served as interim
minister until July 1973 when Dr. Charles P. Herndon began a three year ministry
of trying to re-build the congregation, then down to eighty-five members.
Through dedication, the church began to grow. Mel Fife served as Associate
Minister from 1973-1974. Jerry Jenkins was ordained to the ministry of Christ
on September 9, 1973. After helping to pull the congregation up and begin
again, Dr. Herndon’s ministry ended in May 1976 so he could take a position at
Dallas Christian College.
Dallas Christian College was called again to
supply an interim minister, and a student, David Derr, served until September,
1976. David was a Timothy of HCCC attending DCC at the time.
Paul Manning was called to serve as minister on
September 20, 1976. David Derr served as Associate Minister from 1976 to 1977.
David Linkletter served as Associate Minister from 1977 to 1978. Jay Hoyt and
Dennis Long also served as Associate Ministers during Paul Manning’s ministry.
In 1979, the church had a Note Burning Service with Ralph Steele, minister when
the note originated, as guest speaker.
In 1979 the PUPPETEERS FOR JESUS was
organized. During the history of this group, many have given a helping hand:
Lynn and Carla Corn, Leon and Sarah Null, Don and Susan Olday, Tom and Judy
Snider, Troy Snider, Donna Broom, Kevin Broom, David and Donna Melton, Charles
and Barbara Williams, Mike Wells, Donna Langham, John and Margaret Meister, Bud
and Steve Ewing, and Kenny Jenkins.
The first youth to step out on faith to dedicate
their time, interest, and lives to the success of this ministry were: Rachael
Finstad, Lisa Null (Pinney), Laura Null (Perry), Denise Simons (Davis), Forrest
Ewing, and Sherry Reed (Grosenbach). They performed at many services of HCCC
and other churches like Ranger Christian Church, DeSoto Christian Church, East
Tulsa Christian Church, Rylie Christian Church, East McKinney Christian Church,
Northwest Christian Church in McKinney, Bruton Road Christian Church in Dallas,
and the Ark of Faith Church in Richland Hills. They performed at nursing homes
like Colonial Manor, Heritage, and Haltom Memorial as well as at the Camp of the
Terry Reed came July 26, 1981. In 1983 during
Terry’s ministry, a new fellowship building was constructed. This building was
designed with a fellowship hall, kitchen, choir room, guest room, and ample
classroom space. David Kautt served as Associate Minister during Terry’s
ministry. Terry left HCCC in April of 1984.
Gary Ansell answered the call from HCCC to start
his ministry on April 4, 1984. On July 27, 1986, former ministers and members
returned to HCCC to celebrate the 35th anniversary and homecoming.
David Kautt continued as Associate Minister during Gary’s ministry.
Bill Linkletter served as interim minister from
1986 until February 1, 1987. Bill and his family had been of great service to
their Lord at HCCC since joining during the ministry of Will T. Winslow.
Mark Fish began his ministry at HCCC on February
8, 1987. During Mark’s ministry, HCCC had to say goodbye to two charter
members who had continued working for the Lord throughout their lives, Ruth
Elson and Bernice Hanna. There is a plaque on the end of the educational
building for the paving of the parking area in memory of Ruth Elson. Mike
Smith, Dean Pinney, and David Massey served as Associate Ministers with Mark.
He left this ministry on July 30, 1992.
Kim Mallette started his ministry on January 3,
1993. Jay Leeck served as Associate Minister during Kim’s ministry. The front
of the sanctuary was remodeled while Kim was here. Kim left on March 3, 1997.
The elders preached until Erick Riddle came to
HCCC on August 1, 1997. He and Donna have been great spiritual examples for
this church. Erick helps the community by working with the Police Department in
the case of 911 calls that need spiritual support as a Chaplain. Patrice
Morrison began serving as worship director and continues to serve at the time of
this printing. Zach Davis served as Youth Minister, and the current Youth
Minister was Randy Grosenbach.
Erick’s ministry focused on unity and
cooperation among church members. He launched Home Bible Studies again and four
Family Fellowships. He began a Grief Recovery Support Group.
The church has commissioned the Janes family to
full time missionary work with Wycliffe Bible Translators in the Philippines and
the Ebert family to full time missionary work with Sunbelt Youth Ranch in
Under Erick’s leadership, Haltom City Christian
Church launched a new prayer ministry and created a special prayer room.
Activities were renewed for the senior citizen group. HCCC was able to retire
the note on the 20-year loan on the Educational Building.
In March of 1999, W. H. ‘Bill’ Stover went to
his reward leaving only two charter members still active at HCCC: his wife
Olena Stover and her sister Dorothy (Faught) St. John.
HCCC mourned the passing of the last two charter
members, Mrs. Dorothy (Faught) St. John in 2003 and Mrs. Olena Stover in 2009.
Erick Riddle left HCCC in Sept 2002. The Elders
were once again called upon to preach until the board voted to hire Randy
Grosenbach as Senior Minister in March 2003. Randy is now the longest serving
minister to date.
HCCC has grown in many ways since 2003. Two more
DCC students followed a long tradition of youth Interns from the College. Frank
Nichols served as youth intern until his graduation. Frank then left to serve
Grace Fellowship in Odessa, Texas. Rob Courtney served as Youth intern and gave
the youth new exuberance to do the Lord’s work. Rob Courtney was ordained into
ministry on May 30th 2010. After his Graduation from DCC Rob joined
up with Iberian Christian mission and is serving in Guatemala.
Some of the endeavors God has lead the ministry
in are the addition of two non-English services: Spanish, and Burmese. We have
also been blessed to have Dr. Alan Pickering a Pastoral counselor to provide
onsite counseling to the church membership and the community. We have offered
many seminars to the community on marriage and spiritual growth topics as well
as increased the amount of local outreach.
God has allowed us to be a church that sends out
Timothys for ministry among our membership. Seindang Theinkang a Burmese native
of the Rawang tribe was ordained on Nov. 5th 2006 as a missionary to
the Rawang people in Myanmar after his Graduation from Lincoln Christian
In 2010 Chris Birtles joined HCCC as a member,
he began classes at DCC and was ordained on July 17th 2011. After his
ordination Chris was hired by First Christian Church of Dalhart and currently
serves as the Associate minister to Youth.
The major focus for
the Church now is to focus our effort on outreach to the community with a new
energy to bring more and more people to Christ. We have met the challenge of
reaching the now diverse population of Haltom City by reaching different races
and language groups and we know God will give the increase.