Rudy Taylor, who attended Oklahoma Christian College – now Oklahoma Christian University – in 1964-65, recently wrote a small book about a pioneering congregation in rural evangelism.
“A Kind Remembrance – Stories of a Little Church in the Hills of Oklahoma Where a Brush Arbor Meeting Touched the Hearts of Future Generations,” gives a century-old history of Timber Hill Church of Christ, located in four miles west of Bluejacket.
The book is only 67 pages but tells the story of a young, self-taught evangelist, AC Williams, who came to the farming and mining community in 1921 to hold an evangelistic meeting in a country schoolyard. There were no members of the Church of Christ in the community, so Williams, 21, saw the fields as white until harvest.
After two weeks, dozens of people had made the 2 mile hike to Big Cabin Creek where baptisms were being performed. Williams’ teenage brother Lawrence helped out by leading the vocals and doing his share of dips.
After AC Williams left the community to preach to congregations across Oklahoma and Kansas, Lawrence stayed in Timber Hill and became the preacher. Two of the converts, Les Taylor and Charles Walker, built a small building which was the congregation’s meeting place until lightning in 1962 burned it down.
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A new building was constructed a mile away, and it remains today. Services are held weekly, led by various part-time ministers.
But the story Taylor tells in his book is one that leads to legends in the community of the Church of Christ. The two carpenters, Charles Walker and Les Taylor, were the parents of Ross and Grace (Walker) Taylor, who sent their children to Central Christian College and Oklahoma Christian College.
With these spiritual roots, their children sent their children to Harding University, Abilene Christian University, Pepperdine University, Freed-Hardeman University, Bethel College and many other colleges where they are diverse in many avenues of church leadership, missions, and other elements of the Lord’s work. around the world.
If the brush arbor experience at Timber Hill hadn’t happened, then Ross and Grace Taylor might never have become Christians – nor Donna (Taylor) Mitchell, Terrel Taylor, Rudy Taylor, Shirley (Taylor) Helms and Karen (Taylor) Harmon.
Add the names of their children to the church ancestors, and the list surely runs into the hundreds.
The reason author Rudy Taylor wrote the book was to help celebrate the congregation’s 100th anniversary and to give the younger members of his family, and many other church members, an update on their timeline for spiritual and family reference.
Although he kept some books for personal distribution, they are not for sale. Taylor gives them to anyone who might refer to this hilly northeast Oklahoma community as a spiritual base: where their parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents were baptized after hearing the gospel preached at a gospel meeting in 1921.
Taylor is a former OC student from the 1960s, as is his wife, Kathy. They now reside in Caney, Kansas, where they publish newspapers with two of their adult children. They can be reached at [email protected].
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Filed Under: Bluejacket Books Christian Colleges Church Foundation Church History Church Planting Culture Evangelism Features Gospel Meeting Oklahoma Reviews Small Churches Timber Hill Church of Christ Top Stories