Clayton, NM Assembly of God Church Celebrates 75 Years!!

0
142

Pictured at the very top Pastors Randall and Cindy Floyd

A Short 75 Year History of Clayton Assembly of God Church

 

Two elderly ladies living near Clayton, NM – Mrs. Bill Tower and Mrs. Joe Myers – had prayed for an Assembly of God Church to be started in the Clayton area. At the 1945 Assembly of God Camp Meeting at Mountainair, NM, a young lady, Gaye Boyd was also praying for an Assembly of God church to begin in Clayton. Her husband, Loyd Boyd, was in the military at the time, and she wanted the church started before he came back home. Rev. Thad Ward, and his wife, from Memphis, TN, were also attending the Mountainair Camp Meeting and made it known they were looking for a church to pastor. They heard Sister Boyd’s testimony and several weeks later contacted the Boyd’s and made arrangements to come to Clayton. They looked for a place to hold the services in town but found none. The Boyd’s then offered their home as the first meeting place. With the Boyds, Sister Tower, and Sister Myers, there was a total of nine families that met each Sunday morning for worship services, Sunday dinner, and fellowship each week. Midweek services were held in different homes.

When they had raised enough money to purchase land, three lots were purchased at 1005 South First Street, now US Highway 87. Brother Boyd staked out the place on the property where they were to build the basement for the church. Brother Earl Thompson, a member of the Clayton church, had a brother-in-law who worked for the Oklahoma highway department. He brought over some machinery when he wasn’t working on a Saturday and dug the basement for the church in four hours, without charging the church for doing the job. They placed the dirt from the basement on the lot next to the site and the people prayed that someone would want it so they could get it out of the way. In a few days the New Mexico Highway Department came by to see if they could purchase the dirt for a road work project and were told if they would haul it off they could have it. The highway department willing did so, providing the church a great favor. The church then hired a man with a team of mules and a wagon to bring rock to the site for the basement foundation and walls. Contractor Moss Shields built the foundation and forms for the walls, while the men of the church mixed and poured the concrete, building part way and then installing windows in the basement that are still visible at ground level. Sister Boyd’s father, V. D. Leavitt, donated his labor, constructing the roof, sloping it to serve as the floor of the future sanctuary. A parsonage was later built (in the area of the current south parking lot) by the members of the church with help from Rev. Vanzant, Rev. Statser, and Rev. Shipley.

In 1960, Rev. Dale Webb, pastor of the church, sketched a drawing of the upper sanctuary for the contractors, Scott and Son, from Albuquerque, NM. The upper level was constructed of cinder blocks and bricks. Church members donated much of the labor, helping cut the expenses of the church expansion. This tradition of donating labor to the church continues to this day. The church met in the basement until they could afford to build the sanctuary level and complete it. Once completed, the congregation moved upstairs for services and remodeled the basement level to be used for Sunday School. Rev. Raymond Hudson, District Superintendent for the New Mexico Assemblies of God and eventually the General Secretary of the A/G, was the guest speaker for the sanctuary dedication service. Over the next few years, the church added the kitchen and baptistery, followed by the restrooms, Pastor’s office, and the entry/foyer. During this time frame, Brother Loyd Boyd built altars and pulpit for the church. Seating for the church was then purchased from a local theater that was being converted into a bowling alley. Pastor Webb and Bro. Boyd picked out 200 seats, purchased for $3.00 each. The Women’s Ministry group reupholstered the seats, and Gordon’s Body Shop assisted in the repainting of the chairs.

A few years later, Rev. Ed Murphy, pastor of Clayton Church of God built new altars, a communion table, and a new pulpit for the church. The altars and communion table are still in use today. Member Cora Kite donated the double glass doors still in use on the south entrance of the church, and Martha McDonald donated the baby grand piano.

In 1999 the church purchased a Solitaire double wide mobile home for a parsonage and placed it in the back of the church. The old parsonage was torn down to make more parking room. At the same time, they purchased an old garage and lots next to the church on the north side. In 2002 they sold the old garage building and made more parking for the church.

The church has since undergone a major interior remodeling. The basement level has had several walls removed to increase the space of the fellowship hall. Interior windows were installed in the sanctuary. The entire lower level, including the entry, foyer, restrooms, and kitchen have received new tile. The sanctuary has had new chairs and new carpet installed, along with a new audio/visual equipment booth built, and various doors have been updated to provide not only a new aesthetic quality, but also to provide for the practical application of privacy and protection in the offices and nursery.

As we celebrate the last 75 years of ministry, may we, the members of Clayton A/G in 2021, be grateful for the foundation that has been left to us, and may we build a “skyscraper to God” that is worthy of the legacy we now celebrate. And while this history seems to speak much about a building and furnishings, may we never forget that all of these are simply tools that have been used to touch hundreds of lives in the past, and may they be used to touch thousands more in the future until Jesus comes!

The following is a list of the twenty men who have served this church and the community of Clayton during the last 75 years. Current pastors, Rev. Randall and Cindy Floyd, have the longest tenure having served for the last 16-1/2 years.

 

Thad L. Ward 10/6/1946 to 1951

  1. O. Shipley 1951

John K. Pratt 1951

Nick Kovac 1951

  1. W. Bourne 1951 – 1956
  2. N. Suhl 1956 – 1960
  3. Dale Webb 1960 – 9/1964

Jerry Roberts 9/1964 – 1/1969

Joe Henegar 1/1969 – 8/1972

Leroy Hessler 8/1972 – 3/1974

Dan York 3/11/1974 – 2/1/1979

Willard Richardson 3/5/1979 – 12/20/1979

Dave Laughlin 1/25/1980 – 12/1983

Randy Simms 12/1/1983 – 5/23/1984

Norman McCutchen 1/29/1985 – 7/21/1986

David Caley 10/6/1986 – 9/6/1990

Paul Haden 10/16/1990 – 1/1998

Ed Wolfard 2/2/1998 – 11/19/2001

Leroy Henson 2/3/2003 – 1/18/2005

Randall Floyd 3/1/2005 – Present

75th Birthday Special Services:

Saturday Oct. 2: 6pm-Community Sing

Sunday Oct. 3rd: 10am and 2pm-Celebration Services

Clayton Assembly of God Website

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.