Cooper Church of Christ - "Searching The Scriptures"
      In  1882,  J.D. Tant  holding  a  meeting  in  Cooper  baptized  60  people into Christ, which was the beginning of the congregation that now exists there.   Shortly after the beginning, a mechanical instrument was  placed in the worship services which caused great division   and  protest  among the members.  The church was divided over this and the  church  had it's beginning in Cooper and some started the Christian  church  which  took the   property   and    assets.      With   few   in   number,   the   church   soon disbanded.       Those   early   Christians   appeared   to   lack   strength   to meet together under those circumstances.      
 
       April 10, 1910   the  church   of    Christ    in    Cooper   had    it's    second  beginning  with  a  few  people  meeting  in  the  home  of   Brother  Talley.  Those   attending   were,   Brother  and  sister  Talley,  Brother  and  sister Beasley,   J. Q.  Taylor  and  family,  J. D.  Wheeler  and  family,  and  a  few others.    Due  to  circumstances  beyond  their  control  they  had  to  find another meeting place and they secured the Odd Fellows Hall near Janes Clinic.  The first meeting was held in the Baptist church tabernacle.  The second on a vacant lot and a tablernacle was errected  for  a  week,  much like a big tent. 
 
Bro.  John  Q.  Taylor  purchased  the  lot   on   Waco    street   and  he   said  the church could use it  if they would clean up  the lot as the weeds  were as tall  as  men.   Later   a   tabernacle   was   built   on   this   land.     The   air conditioning was the great atmosphere of God and the floor was his great earth.  The church was so grateful to have a site of their own.  The church felt good about having a permanent place to worship even  though  it was very modest.  Some in the community called it the  "mule barn"  but  they were so proud none the less.  The f irst  preacher  came  to  work  with  the church in 1914 but was not hired, he just came in  and  took  over  and  the church and things were  in  an  uproar  for  the  next  year.    The  preacher being angry actually struck Bro. Taylor  on  one  cheek  and  he turned  to him the other just like Matthew taught  us  to  do.    This  preacher  finally left.
 
In 1916 the funds were sought to build a house in Cooper to worship.  One man   from  Mt.  Vernon   ( J.D. Rutherford a pharmacist  &  Jeweler)   gave $10.00 which was by far the largest amount  donated.    An  old  church  of Christ building in Charleston was moved to Cooper and it was rebuilt and finished in 1917.  J.W. Denton  from  Roxton  came  and  preached  the  first lesson in the new building.  He preached on  the  use  of  tobacco.   Brother W.L. Sweeney was the first local preacher  in  Cooper.   The  next  was  D. C. Williams  and   he  was  a  county  preacher  and  preached  at  churches  in Cooper, Klondike, Ben Franklin and Rattan.  He preached in this area for a number of years and got into debt with members  cosigning  for  him  and then he left town with them having to pay the notes.  One of  the  meeting preacher's was Tillet S. Tedlie who became a great hymn writer as well as speaker.  
 
In 1931 four classrooms were added to  the  building  and  a  baptistry  was also installed.  J. D. Lancaster preached in Klondike and also Cooper.  O.P. Ballanger came to Cooper from Kentucky  to  work  with  the  church.   He was also a medical Doctor with a degree from Columbia University of New York.  He stayed from  1934  to  1935  and  then  left  and  went  back  to  the Christian Church.  J. D. Wheeler preached for the church in 1937 without pay.   Oscar  Smith  Jr.  (38-40)   was   hired   as   the  next  preacher  for  the church.    His   father   was   minister   of   Lamar  Avenue  Church  in  Paris, Texas.   Leonard  Mullins  (40-42)  was hired and worked with the church.  Elmer L'Roy (42-46) was  the  next  minister.    The  congregation  selected J.D. Wheeler as the next preacher. 
 
The church knew that to  be  able  to  have  an  established  preacher  they would have  to  build  a  house  for  the  preacher  to  live  in  also  on  Waco street .    Work   got   underway   and   finally  it    was    finished    and   Paul Matthews  (46-47)   was  the  first  preacher  to  be  hired  that  lived  in  the parsonage.   Ollie Duffield (47-49) was the next minister followed  by  W.R. Jones  (49-51)   and  then  Billy  Cavender  (51--52) .    In  the  late  40's  J.  D. Wheeler, J.D. Lancaster, W.W. Garrison, Ralph W. Vaughn were elders and later Lancaster moved to Roxton and Barton Good was elected  to  fill  this position.  The    Deacons  were  Boyce  Bailey,  Ray  Banks,  Joe  Cregg,  W. B. Gunter and R.N. Poe.  The  last outside gospel  meeting  was  held  between the   preachers    house   and   the   church   building   with   crowds  of  300 attending nightly.  Charles Holt of Mt. Pleasant was the speaker.
 
In 1950 W.R. Jones started a building fund to build a new building  as  the current building was too  small.    The  current  building  and  house  were sold and a new colonial red brick was built at 300 West Dallas  Avenue  for $90,000.00  A new preachers home was built on West Dallas Ave.   In 1952 the Deacons were Alton Wilson,  Harold West,  Buck Day,  Delmon Dotson, Lyndol Cross, L.E. Wheeler and  Arvie  Brice.   Willie  Warren  (53)  was  the first preacher at this location.  August 3, 1953 the  attendance was  302  for Worship  and   210   for  Bible  classes  and  the  contribution  was  $405.00.  Barton Good moved to Commerce and Boyce  Bailey  and  Joe  Cregg  were elected as Elders in 1956.  In  1958  Billy  Cavender  (54-58)  was  preaching and Elders J.D. Wheeler and Ralph Vaughn resigned and W.B. Gunter   was elected Elder and he served until his  death  in  1980.    The  Deacons  were  selected  at  a  later  date   and     included    Charles   Patterson,    Buck   Day, Tommie Joe Wheeler, Nowlin Cain and Harold West.     Joe  Cregg  became ill  in 1981 and had to resign and then there were no elders for the next ten years. 
 
In August of  1992, Boyce Bailey and Elmer Joe  Holmes  were  selected  as Elders and  Jim Price  as  Deacon.   The  preacher's  house  on  West  Dallas Avenue  was  sold and a new Brick home was perchased on 6th street and later sold and a new one purchased in  West  Town  addition.    In 1 991  the building was  sold  to  make  a  new  Library f or  Cooper   and   the   church purchased   McClanahan  Funeral  Home  and  it  was  remodeled  into the current  church  building  next   to   the  Dairy  Queen  on  64  just  East  of highway 24. 
 
The following are a list of the ministers from 1958 to present day.  David Harkrider (58-60) moved to Cooper from Mineola.  James Pleasants (60-62) came from Greenville.  Joe Swint (62-66) moved to Dallas following his tenure.  Malcolm King (66-70), Bob Lacoste (70-74), Don Partain (74-77),  Elton Hailey ( 77-82), Gordon Grammer (82-86), Mark Mayberry (86-91),   Elton  Hailey   (91-93),  Shane  Carrington  (93-98),  Ken  Peden  (99-2000), David Beckley( 2001-2002), Nolan Gann 2004- 2005), David Jones (2006- 6 months),  Noel  Bailey  ( son  of  former  Elder  Boyce  Bailey)  was hired June 2008 and  is  the  current minister.    There  are  currently   no Elders at the church in Cooper. 
 
 
 
 
 
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