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Eighth and Lee Church of Christ spawned during the waning months of World War II.  The congregation was the second offshoot from Lawton’s original church, Sixth and Arlington.  There were 129 present for Bible Study that first Sunday, August 5, 1945.  At one point attendance had reached a record of 633 for Bible Study and 656 for Vacation Bible School.  Brother A.L. Harbin, a missionary in Singapore was employed as the first minister of the congregation.  Brother Walter Bryant did the preaching until Harbin’s arrival.

By the end of December, 1945, the attendance was averaging 202.  Early the next year elders were chosen as follows:  Lawrence Giles, Marion Boyce, Eddie Christmas, W.A. Logan, and Joe Donley.  The first deacons selected were:  Jim Campbell, Roy Waggoner and Bill Reed.
The first building was less than two years old when fire struck it in April of 1947.  A new building was begun in June of 1947 and dedicated in the autumn of 1947.  During the construction and repair of the building, members met at the bottling company plant at Summit and South 11th streets and at the Lincoln Elementary School Auditorium as well.

Attendance would continue to steadily increase, and thus providing the nucleus for two more area congregations, Northwest and College (University).  Even still the congregation eventually outgrew the building and two services were held on Sunday mornings, until a new auditorium was completed across the street.  The new completed building was dedicated in July of 1959.  As the numbers were still on the rise, soon members went out to assist in the establishment of two more congregations:  Western Hills and Sullivan Village.

Eighth and Lee has sponsored missionaries in Africa and Nebraska as well as assisting other around the world.  For many years they sponsored radio and television programs.  They have assisted several children homes, youth camps, and church colleges, both collectively and individually.  They have sponsored singing schools, lectureships, and teachers’ training sessions as well.  They have also assisted in the area wide campaigns here in Lawton, as well as operated a School of Biblical Studies.

One of the most outstanding programs of the congregation has been the winter’s men and boys’ training class.  Some of the ministers who have emerged from these classes are George Bennett, Jerry Hurst, Joe Stettheimer, Virgil Trout, Cecil Bunch, Dan Reddick, Clifton Ditmore, John Cain, Bennie Henson, Lowell Donley.  There have also been dozens trained as song leaders from this class.

It is our fervent prayer that God will continue to bless this group of Christians in the future as He has in the past and that this congregation never remove itself form the narrow path of God, ever.  The future is bright because God is King.


HERE IS A LIST OF MINISTERS PRIVILEGED TO SERVE WITH THE SAINTS AT 8TH AND LEE
A.L. HARBIN – First minister 1945
Preston Cotham
Austin Varner
Allen Harper
Robert Lyles
M.L. Sexton
Robert Gregg
Byron Denman
Toney Smith
Leon Jones
Dave Rogers
Dave Dugan
Steven Patterson – Current

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