Dr.Robert H. Givons
Central Christian Church
Central Christian Church was established by brother Hamilton C. Dodson, a pioneer preacher who lived in Red Oak, Georgia. Dodson Drive is named for Uncle "Hamp" Dodson as he was affectionately called.
In 1893 Mr. H.C. Dodson saw the need for a church at the present location of Central Christian Church. He walked from Red Oak, Georgia to preach at a young boy's funeral here in this community and while here he spent the night with Mr. M.M. Wells. A church was discussed and Mr. Wells decided to give the property for the church. When some of the denominational churches heard a Christian Church was being established, they tried, to come in and change its name. Thanks to the strong faith of Mr. Wells they could not do this. In the deed for the land, Mr. Wells stated if Central Christian Church ever ceased to function as a Christian Church the property would go back to its original owner.
The arbor was erected in one day by the people for their first meeting place. From this came a small, one room building with a small flat wood burning stove and hard benches and was located on the southwest corner of Bryant Road (now Dodson Drive) and Campbellton Road. Mr. Dodson continued to preach in this brush arbor through the summer and then in the school house which was located near the brush arbor.
Central Christian Church was officially organized with twelve charter members. During that year a building was erected in the present site. A small part of the original building is enclosed in the present structure. The first members of Central Christian Church were Mr. Jo Willis and his daughter, Mrs. Morgan Farnell. Following these first charter members came B.A. Wells, Jim Wells and their families.
Over a period of 73 years, the church building has been remodeled and rebuilt some three or four times until today it is a nice brick structure.
Brother Al C. Peacock was baptized by Brother Dodson in 1910, during a revival meeting at Central. He was challenged to give his life to the preaching of the gospel by Brother Dodson. Brother Peacock had a close relationship with Central through the years. He preached at Central Christian Church from 1929-1936 and then from 1947-1962, a total of 22 years.
In the early 1970s Atlanta grew rapidly. Many people chose to move to the suburbs and smaller towns. Attendance at Central Christian Church dwindled to the 30s. An effort to replace a minister who had left failed until in 1973, Denver Sizemore agreed to become the minister on a part-time basis as he also was a Professor at Atlanta Christian College.
At this time the church debt was $10,835.25. It was decided by the elders and deacons to begin a drive to retire this debt. One of the men of the church said that he would donate one month's payment of $360.00 when the church raised two other monthly payments. The church immediately accepted this challenge so that by fourth Sunday in November, two extra payments had been given and this man, true to his promise, paid the third extra note. The effort to retire the debt continued through 1974 until by September, Brother Tom Nelson, treasurer, was able to make the final payment retiring the debt completely. We thank God for His blessings and we thank the faithful members of Central Christian Church for their dedicated giving to God. We also want to thank First Christian Church, College Park, Georgia, and the Community Christian Church, Pulaskin, Virginia.
Bro. Sizemore was a man committed to evangelizing the incoming black residents to this racially changing community. He strongly believed that with strong preaching, teaching, and personal evangelism, the church could be revived. In 61/2 years, the members who were there banded together, called at almost every home in the community, inviting the people to come. A weekly newsletter was sent to inform people what was happening. Mrs. Helen Sizemore cong. Mrs. Helen Sizemore conducted Vacation Bible School every summer. A Tuesday Bible class was held for children, in addition Sunday School classes for various grade, as well as Wednesday and Sunday evening classes for every age group.
We thank God for His blessings upon the efforts of these faithful Christians who dedicated themselves to reviving the congregation and making it the 'soul saving station'God intended it to be.
In 1979, Dr. Denzil D. Holness, was called to serve us. Under his leadership, Central continues to be a 'soul saving station' in this community and to bear faithful witness to its distinctive historic heritage.
In 2018 after many years of faithful leadership and dedication to Central, Dr. Denzil D. Holness retired.
After many years of being our Associate Pastor and Youth Minister, in 2018 Dr. Robert H. Givons became our new pastor.
Ministers who have served at Central: Al C. Peacock, 1929-1936 and 1947-1962, total of 22 years. Jack Hyder 2-18-70 - 8-26-71; Jack Belffern 12-08-71-12-10-72; Denver Sizemore 1 01-73 - 1979;Denzil D. Holness 1979- 2017 and Dr. Robert H. Givons 2018 - present.
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