The History of the Conway Church of God
The church had its beginnings back in 1943, when Olive Hyder wrote the State Overseer expressing the need for a Church of God in Conway. The State Evangelist's tent was sent on July 5, 1943. The Lord gave Revival!
Rev. J. B. Cole organized the church on August 8, 1943. The eight charter members were: Woodrow Leigh, Claude Hyder, Olive Hyder, Mary Lois Hyder, Mary Wofford Baker, Estelle Floyd, Leona Holt, and Betty Ruth Lee.
Rev. E.W. Hunter came as the church's first pastor in 1943. Times were hard during this period with World War II in progress; therefore, it seemed impossible to many when talk began about purchasing property and building a church. God's people were determined and on February 17, 1944, they purchased two lots from Borroughs and Collins Co. for $400.00. The war made it hard to obtain lumber or building permits. Brother Hunter was able to obtain lumber from several places and hauled it to Conway. He and Brother Hyder worked on the building during the day and others would help in the afternoon. The ladies and children helped by carrying 2x4's, shingles, nails, and by providing food and water. So even in the midst of neighborhood opposition to the holiness movement and hard times, God's people pressed on. In a short time they were able to move from their tent to the comforts of their first church building. The roof was added to the church on July 4, 1944, and the first service was held July 30th with dinner on the ground.
Rev. H. R. Giles came to Conway in 1946 as the church's second pastor. He stayed for 10 years during which time a Sunday School Department was added.
Rev. Paul Brady came in 1956. The parsonage was remodeled during his administration.
Rev. J. A. Belt came in 1958. During his administration the Ladies Auxiliary held their first dinner and earned money to purchase hardwood flooring for the church and furniture was also purchased for the parsonage.
Rev. Robert Taylor came in 1959, from Iowa. The church was able to purchase another lot on September 11, 1959 from Hoyt E. Davis for $480.00. New living room furniture was purchased for the parsonage.
Rev. F. W. Black came in September 1962. During his administration, the church built a new parsonage and a new church. The old parsonage was sold and construction began on the new church. When finished it seated approximately 268. It was furnished with oak pews, pulpit furniture, and hardwood floors. The choir and the front of the church were paneled in oak. Central heating and air were installed. The educational department measured 28x72 with hardwood floors, ten classrooms and a kitchen. It was dedicated on April 4th.
Rev. A. L. Stone came in 1965 from Florida. Rev. M. R. Shaw came in 1970. On March 21, 1974, the church purchased two lots from Mildred T. Johnson for $7000.00. Construction began on a new fellowship hall. Rev. Black returned in 1974 for a second term at Conway. With the rapid growth, more classroom space was needed; therefore, the fellowship hall was turned into six classrooms. Construction began on a new fellowship hall that presently serves the church.
Rev. Bobby Wynn came in August of 1978. During his administration some major renovations took place. In 1978 a new roof was added to the parsonage, a walkway was added from the church to the educational building, and a children's church was started.
Rev. Bill Johnson came in July of 1987, followed by Rev. Bobby Duncan in August of 1988, and Rev. James Goude in January of 1992. Under the ministry of these men the church grew and God's Spirit continued to be poured out in a great way. During Rev. Goude's administration three tithe records were broken in an eighth month period.
In March of 1998, Rev. Leon Parker came and the church purchased over 40 acres of land on Cultra Road for $640,000.00 on which they planned to build a new church.
Rev. Stuart Jacobs came in March of 2003. Under his administration construction began on phase one of the new church and was completed in October of 2006. He established the position of church secretary in July of 2005 as well as introduced and incorporated the Elder's Program into the church. This program allowed us to have a scriptural operating church giving oversight to the rapid growth God has blessed us with.
We are growing for the Lord and we give Him all the praise and glory for the way He has blessed and helped our church through the years. We also acknowledge the debt we owe to those early pioneers who suffered and sacrificed, that we might have a Church of God in Conway, and for the way they nourished it through the years with their faithful support and prayers.