A Brief History of the Church in Chester, WV
The establishment of the church of Christ in Chester dates back to the year of 1936, when in September, A.E. Wickham conducted a Gospel Meeting under the sponsorship of the church in East Liverpool, Ohio. The church met in a vacant, remodeled room above Arner’s Funeral Chapel from 1936 to 1939. In January 1939, a portable building was purchased for $75.00 from the Board of Education. In the spring, it was moved to Chester and the church began meeting on Louisiana Avenue. In 1951, a building was erected on Virginia Avenue. There was extensive remodeling and enlarging done to the building in 1966. In 1986, a multi-purpose building was constructed on the property located on California Avenue. In 1996, the congregation did a complete rebuilding of its facilities and added additional offices and classrooms. This enables the congregation to use the building more effectively in a number of areas.
One characteristic of the church that has been outstanding is the strong leadership that has been produced through the years. Growth has been supervised by a number of faithful elders assisted by capable deacons. The church has also produced a large number of faithful gospel preachers who have given their lives in serving God. Several have become part-time preachers and quite a few of our young ladies have married gospel preachers.
Several ministers and their wives have served this congregation over the years. The first located preacher was Oliver Johnson. In 1945, Denver Cooper and his wife, Florence moved to work with the church here. In 1949, Jess and Gladys Nutter moved back to Chester to work with the church. Cecil and Helen Dotson served here from 1956 to 1961. Tom W. and Martha Butterfield served from 1962 to 1964. Frank and Rose Higginbotham moved to Chester in 1964. Jeremy and Karen Main moved from Moundsville to Chester in 2005. Jeremy served as the associate minister alongside Frank until 2009. Frank and Rose continued to work with the congregation until he passed in 2013. In 2016, Rico Brown, his wife Latisha, and their daughter Laila, moved to Chester from Florida to serve as our minister.
The congregation continues to be characterized by its friendly, loving atmosphere.