History of the Benton church of Christ
The first organized meeting of the church in Benton was held in 1921 in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Naaman Duke, Sr. The church assembled in the Duke home for several weeks and then moved to a room in the Marshall County courthouse. Later a more suitable meeting place was arranged at the Benton City Hall. A lot was purchased on the northeast corner of 11th and Olive Streets, and in the later part of 1922 construction began on a building. The church began worshipping in this new structure early in 1923, and it served as a facility for the Benton church until torn down in 1969 to provide space for the new parking lot. An auditorium was constructed in 1949. A major two story classroom addition was added to the auditorium in 1960 and a separate 5,000-square-foot educational building was constructed in 1969.
The church was fully organized within the first year of its existence with the appointment of elders and
deacons. Deceased elders are: Van Thompson, Naaman Duke, B.L. Trevathan, Harry Jones, Dan Sims, Otis Gilliam, Hollis Broadfoot, William Landon, Charles Cavitt, Paul Gallenmore, Claude Morrow, Pete Gunn, Jr., Hatler Morgan, Lophus Hiatt, Clinton Yates, Taz Copeland, and A.N. Duke, Jr.. Presently the church is overseen by six elders and 23 deacons.
Proclamation of the gospel has been a vital part of the Benton church since its inception. In the first years, preaching was on an appointment basis of one or two Lord’s Days per month. The pioneer preachers were: George Long, William Etheridge, W.E. Morgan, Boone Douthitt, Stanley Jones, Adron Doran, and Joe Morris. Preachers who have served full time are: F.W. Gould, Elbert Young, J. Woody Stovall, L.E. Garner, Robert Camp, Walter Edwards, Kenneth Hoover, Don Cain, Jim Phillips, Gene Gilliland, Mike Williams, Jay Lockhart and Mark Ray.
Our first 90 years have been of great service to the Lord’s Kingdom. We pray that our future years will hold even more for us in his great work.