On July 1, 1964, a group of Christians that had previously worshiped with the 4th Street church in Cullman, met for its first service as an independent congregation. One hundred and four people (104) were present for this Wednesday night meeting. Richard Weaver preached the sermon the first Sunday. The contribution that Sunday was $619.14.
Until a full time preacher could be secured to work with the church, a number of men spoke on an appointment basis, including Farris Smith, Bill Hall, Johnny Collins and Doyle Banta. In the fall of 1964, Gene and Mary Jane Frost moved to Cullman and worked with what would become the South Cullman church for eight years.
For the first 2 ½ years, the church met in a building rented from the city of Cullman and located on Highway 31 at Sportman’s Lake Road. The building was partitioned for class rooms but space was insufficient. The high school Bible class met next door in the front of a feed and seed store managed by one of the members.
In the summer of 1966, a bond issue allowed construction to begin on a new building located on our present property (2244 Main Ave SE). However, before it could be completed and because they needed the property to accommodate a new industry, the city asked the church to vacate the property. The city helpfully offered the auditorium at City Hall for use until our building could be completed. The first service was held in the new building the first Sunday of January, 1967.
In August of 1972, O.C. and Frances Birdwell moved to Cullman to work with the South Cullman church. The next year the first elders and deacons were appointed. The first elders were Doyle Bullard, Everett Chandler, Charles Hale and Cecil Romine. The deacons were Verley Calvert, Hubert Gilbert, Herbert Howell, Freddie Moehring, Herbert Shannon and Wayne Stewart. Hubert Gilbert also served as the treasurer for over 40 years.
The Birdwells worked with the church until 1980 when Bill and Marinel Cavender moved to Cullman. Being blessed with growth during those years, in 1983 the land north of the parking lot was purchased and the classroom wing was constructed in the winter of 1984.
In 1990, Jeff and Jean Smith came to work with the congregation and to train under Bill Cavender. Jeff was an engineer that had worked for Corning and was just beginning to preach. The Cavenders were in Cullman till 1991 and Jeff and his family worked with the congregation until 1992.
When the Smiths left there was a period of several months before a new preacher could relocate. Roscoe and Betti Knight were moving back to Cullman from the Tampa area and Roscoe agreed to preach until Bob Dickey arrived. Roscoe continued to preach and teach part time until they moved in 2005 to be closer to their family in Arkansas.
Bob and Charlotte Dickey worked with the South Cullman church from 1992-1996 followed by Mason and Louise Harris from 1997-2006. During his last few years here, Mason moved into semi-retirement and Mike and Paula Waters filled the void. In July of 2006, Jim and Paige Deason moved to Cullman to work with the church.
Several men have worked alongside Jim Deason through a preacher-training program, including Will and Joanie Dilbeck, Jeremy and Laura Pascall, and Nick and Katie Woods. All three families are currently preaching the gospel on a full time basis.
Over the 40 year history of the South Cullman church, in addition to the original elders ten other men have served in that capacity. They are, Bill Cavender, Tommy Day, Jim Deason, Duane Derrick, Neil Hayes, Ron Kochik, Tim Loveless, Newman McClellan, James Metcalf, Randy Parris, and Ancil Wallace.
Present elders are: Jim Deason and Tim Loveless.
A number of men have served as deacons: Don Bonner, Dexter Campbell, Tommy Day, Nolan Dooley, Steve Foshee, Mark Gorley, Neil Hayes, Seth Hayes, Gary Hollingsworth, Clyde Holloway, David Kelley, Tim Loveless, Todd Matlock, Randy Parris, Randall Reese, Donnie Rice, Micah Rice, Whit Rice, Leonard Romine, Louis Romine, Mike Ryan, Barry Slatton, Brian Smith, Brandon Swann, Mike Tucker, Bo Waldrep, Ancil Wallace, Jeff Warnke, Mike Waters, Lance Weaver and Larry Weaver.
Present deacons are: Dexter Campbell, Neil Hayes, Seth Hayes, Gary Hollingsworth, Joey Legg, Wesley Moore, Donnie Rice, Micah Rice, Whit Rice, Barry Slatton, and Bo Waldrep.