THE HISTORY OF RIVERS HILL
Where did this Church get its name? The land was purchased from Mr. Will and Mrs. Sally Oliver, but the oldest person that lived on the “little hill” was named, Mag Rivers. Therefore, Rivers Hill was just the perfect name for the Congregation. The Church, of course, belongs to Jesus Christ.
This congregation began in 1959 under a tent erected across the street on University Avenue where a car franchise (Chandler Motors) was located at the time. Ironically, the owner (Lawrence Chandler) is a member of the Church of Christ.
The North Lamar CoC, which is now called Oxford CoC,, located at 409 North Lamar in Oxford, believed that it was time for the whole town of Oxford and surrounding communities to be exposed to the Gospel.
The late Bro. J. V. James was very instrumental in that work. He (along with others from Oxford CoC) and our own Bro. W. Wiley traveled to Potts Camp, MS and secured a tent and erected it for the services to be held August – September, 1959. It was during this time, the first Gospel meeting was conducted. The late Bro. A. J. Colston was the first minister to preach. He preached about 4 weeks; at this time Bro. William Whitaker (deceased) of Florida preached a few weeks. When the weather became cold, the meeting ended until the following summer. After a small number had obeyed the Gospel and got baptized, a small dwelling home was purchased on the property where the Church now stands.
Some of the first to be baptized were: Sis. Sally Porter, Sis. Louise Johnson, Sis. Dollie Hull, Sis. Lillian Smith, Bro. & Sis. Gerstle Brown, Bro. & Sis. Will Carr, Bro. & Sis. Charles Carr, Bro. Buddie Hull, Sis. Opaline Kelly, Bro. Douglas Hill, & Sis. Annie Q. Smith. All of these members are deceased with the exception of Sis. Opaline Kelly, Bro. Douglas Hill, Bro. & Sis. Charles Carr & Sis. Annie Q. Smith. Bro. Ransom Wirt was hired as the first Minister of the Congregation. Baptisms were held at the Congregation in Water Valley, just a few miles south of Oxford.
As the Church continued to grow, the old house was torn down in order to build the building where we now worship. During the months of construction, we rented a few rooms from the owner of the little green house just to the left of this building. Our dedication was held in November 1961. Minsters came down from various places to share in this victory.
Bro. Wirt continued to work with the Congregation until 1962. When he was no longer able to work, in came Bro. T. L. Harper (deceased) from Abilene, TX. He was hired to work with the Congregation until he moved on in 1966 or 1967. For the next few years, Bros. W. J. Braddock, Lloyd Rhodes, Little Jordan, Ransom Wirt (all deceased) worked wih the Rivers Hill CoC. In 1970 Bro. Lorenzo Jones came to work with us. He happens to be the oldest minister that has worked with this Congregation and is still alive and well today. Other ministers that have served here at Rivers HIll include: Bros. David Wright (deceased), Robert Jones, Rayton Siangina, Russell Pointer, J. R. Edmonds, Robert Birt, Marcus Welch, Benny Walls, Charles Ray, William Todd, Frankie Doss, and Sherod Bryant.
Unto Him be glory in the CHURCH by Christ Jesus throughout all ages
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2 John 1:9
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