Thursday, May 25, 2017

Buildings & Blessings

In 1961 the CBC auditorium was finished.  Our pastor, Joe Wolfe, moved to Nebraska to start a church.  We invited Dale Kurtz, You for Christ director in Salina Kanas, to be our pastor.  He filled that position for three years.   By 1963 we were busting at the seams, the Lord blessed us with many new families!
  It was decided that year to add onto the church and build a fellowship hall and some desperately needed Sunday School rooms..

Even though there was enough money for this new building project, the men of the church decided they would do much of the work.  Once again Dwight Abram was our only trained carpenter on the crew but Fred Hawkins, the sheriff at that time and a faithful member of our CBC, did work out a schedule so the men from the jail could come and help with the construction and learn some valuable skills.  They were a real addition to the work crew, especially when the church men were pouring the new concrete slab.

We went through a series of pastors over the next 20 years, all the while growing bigger and bigger.  We even built a two story addition for MORE Sunday School rooms during that time!

Our pastors:
1957-61 Joe Wolfe
1961-63 Dale Kurtz
1963-65 Dallas Minnick
1966-74 Ed Bateman
1975-82 Dave Bohyer
1982-85 Dave Boyher & his brother-in-law Tim Yazel
1985-89 Dave Boyher & assistant pastor Rob Matlack
1989-99 Rob Matlack
2004-05 Bob Manning
2004-Present Doug Neumann

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Hawkins Effect

In the 70's, a man came up from Dallas and taught the Old Testament Walk Through the Bible Lessons to the elders during Family Bible School time before church.  Ellis told Bert he could teach the OT Walk to the adults.  Bert was scared to death to try it so Ellis shared the teaching with him and once he learned it, Bert fell in love with it so much that he ended up teaching home Bible Studies using the material.  He taught all over the Abilene, Salina, and Clay Center area.  He had as many as 5 classes a week while he was still police chief in Minneapolis.

City law man by day and God law man by night! 

After his wife died he married Yvonne and she became his driver to all these classes.  After working all day as County Clerk and Police Chief, they would start their "night jobs."  Bert had so many requests for classes that he asked Ellis to take a class in Abilene for him and that class led to starting a Community Bible Church using the same Bible principals as the Minneapolis church.  It is still going strong and growing today.

Bert Hawkins allowed a lady preacher to start preaching after her husband suddenly died.  Bert knew that God said that men should be preachers.  Ellis said that Bert must not be as hard headed as he was because he wouldn't have allowed that, but our friends visiting recently from Community Bible Church in Abilene exclaimed, "Oh yes he was hard headed when it came to the way of salvation.  He straightened me out on that right off!"

Margarete Wallace, Bert's hard headed older sister, was the treasurer and we seldom had the money for bills so Margarete would lay the bills out on the table and say, "Lord here are the bills, we don't have money to pay them."  It wouldn't be too long before the money came in, but many times it might be the last minute before bills were due.

The people always gave, and God always provided.  Mark 12:17, "And Jesus said unto them, Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's.  And they marveled greatly at Him."

Monday, March 27, 2017

Building Blessings

The men of the church started building the first part of the church which was a small lean too attached to the main building which we now use as our library, nursery, and offices.  They didn't have money to hire outside help so as they had time and money they worked on the building.  Only one man was a trained carpenter, Dwight Abram.  They mixed concrete by hand and poured it for the foundation.  One day they were pouring the concrete in the east room and the duct work in the floor kept floating to the top so Dwight took off his shoes and socks and got in the concrete with his bare feet to work it down.  He got terrible concrete poisoning as a result and bad sores on his feet and couldn't work for several days.

Dwight was a farmer and carpenter by trade.  He had 6 children but after he sold a load of grain that first summer, he gave our pastor a check for the entire load.
It was a great blessing for us and a very unselfish act from a man who could barely afford it.  The pastor then went to every family in our little group of believers and showed them the check and by the end of that day we had enough money to buy all the lumber from the old Baptist Church. They had purchased it from the demolition of the old courthouse but decided not to build.  We were ready to start putting up walls!

While the men were working on the building one day the Harry Kejr family of Salina saw they were putting on the roof and sent a check to pay for the entire roof.  They didn't even attend our church!  Once the east side of the church building was closed in we started meeting in what is now the church library.  We had to walk through sand and construction material to get to that little room, but we were finally in our own building!

2 Corinthians 4:15 "For all things are for your sake, that the grace, being multiplied through the many, may cause the thanksgiving to abound unto the glory of God."

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Men and The Mess

Our small group of families purchased a hog pin at the corner of Rothsay and 10th Street.  We were off and running, but first we had to clear the area.  Just like we cleared the beer cans from our first meeting place, the VFW Hall; and cleared the chicken feathers from our second meeting place, Bert's chicken shed; we had to clear the manure from our future church location, a hog farm!  Cleaning up the mess before we could worship our perfect God became a theme for us.

Ellis brought his bulldozer to clear the mess.  He was bumper deep in poop for weeks.  Oh, the smell!

But before we started building, we choose an elder board to guide us.  The first elder board was Bert Hawkins, Ellis Adee, and Evan Kindall.  Later, Emery Berry, Don Boss, Cliff Seusy, Nick Dolloff, and John Pruitt were added.  All the elders were teachers of God's word.  They felt that in any decision they made should be of one accord and would not act until they had all prayed and shared about the plan.  If they had any major decisions in which the whole group should vote on, it was to be voted on only by members who were attending regularly.

Our pastor Bill Shoyer started with us at the VFW hall and continued through the chicken shed and onto our new building at the hog farm site.  In 1959 he left us to take a job in Topeka and Joe Wolfe filled in for over three years.  One summer Joe said he worked 54 hours a week at the cleaning shop, preached sermons Sunday morning and night, taught a bible study at CBC on Wednesday evening, another bible study at Bellville on Tuesday night, and a third bible study at Clay Center on Thursday night.  He was very glad when that summer was done!  Joe had been trained in a Bible Institute in Canada and later pastored several churches in Nebraska.  in 2016 he celebrated his 88th birthday and is currently retired and living in New Mexico.

During Dave Bohyer's 15 years pastoring here, the church grew so much we were going to have to go to having two services because we couldn't fit anymore chairs in the church.  Around 1980 some people from the Bennington area asked if they could start their own group which they did and met in a closed bar until they built their own building.  Dave Bohyer preached at both churches until Bennington got a preacher of their own. 

Missionary Mess

Before we left the Baptist church, the district missionary. who was in charge of the area Baptist churches, told our pastor Bill Shoyer that our church had to follow the American Baptist program and send money to headquarters to support their chosen missionaries.  Bill found that only 30% of the money actually went to the missionaries and many of them were liberals and superficial in teaching and living.  We wanted to give to missionaries that we knew personally who were strong believers in Christ and would teach it.
When Bill told the district missionary that we would not give to the United budget, he told Bill that he would make sure that Bil didn't get a preaching job in any Baptist church in Kansas.  Unfortunately, the district missionary left the meeting and drove out of town and was in a one car accident.

Acts 2:42  And they steadfastly preserved, devoting themselves constantly to the instruction and fellowship of the apostles, to the breaking of bread (including the Lord's Supper) and prayers.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Chickens, Beer, and a Trailer House

Community Bible Church owns their building.  Unlike many denominations, if they stop having services the ownership of the building goes back to that denomination headquarters.  This is another reason that CBC is an independent church.

The elder board was chosen by the new Community Bible Church before we started the building.  It was Bert Hawkins, Ellis Adee, and Evan Kindall.
The men of the church started building the first part of the church which was a small lean too attached to the main building which we now use as our library, nursery, and offices.  Only one man was a trained carpenter, they mixed concrete by hand and poured it for the foundation.  They didn't have money to hire outside help so as they had time and money they worked on the building.

One day they were pouring the concrete in the east room and the duct work in the floor kept floating to the top so one of the men took off his shoes and socks and got in the concrete with his bare feet to work it down.  He got terrible concrete poisoning as a result and bad sores on his feet and couldn't work for several days.

For a time we met in the VFW hall which later became the Virginian Restaurant at the corner of 10th Street and Rock.  It was torn down in 2016.  It cost $50 a month to rent and we had to throw out the beer cans and other things in the VFW every Sunday before church.  We had to get there early because the whole place smelled like smoke.

After a year or so meeting like this Bert Hawkins let us use his chicken cleaning shed.  Once again we had to clean it out before we could use it.  We cleaned out piles of feathers and manure to get it ready.  It was located where the current Good Samaritan Center is now on Rothsay Street.  Now that we had a building to call our own, our pastor Bill Shroyer moved his trailer house up against it so he had extra room for his family of 6 during the week.  A chicken shed and a trailer house were our little flocks humble beginnings.

Luke 12:32  "Fear not little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Is it God or Us?

Ellis and I were courting back in 1956 and both attending and helping in the Minneapolis Baptist Church.  When we first started attending there, they had a lady preacher who took over after her husband, the pastor, died.  My mother, who was a very quiet person felt that wasn't right to have a lady preacher so when they had a church business meeting, she urged my bashful father to get up and say something about it.  "We need to vote on the preacher," he said.  Soon after that Bill Shroyer became the pastor and the church started to grown like crazy with his excellent bible teachings.

So many young families were coming that the Sunday School was overflowing with little kids.  The elders decided it was time to add onto the church building.  They purchased used lumber from the old courthouse and were making plans to build when some of the older members wanted to have a business meeting.  That business meeting brought in members who hadn't attended in a long time, they discussed all those "rug rats" running all over the church and put an end to our building plans.  At that meeting Bill was also voted out as pastor.

Half of the elders and Sunday School teachers walked out with Pastor Shroyer.  We all met at Bert Hawkins house on Rothsay.  A few of us continued to meet and fellowship there as a small group of believers.  Ellis and the other men got the notion that the Bible was the word of God and they should pay attention to it.  They wanted a New Testament church and felt it was important.  Ellis said, "We aren't well organized but the hand of God is working behind the scenes"  and we started building a church group that focused on the apostles doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayer.

Acts 2:42  "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers."