History

According to the local newspaper, Sebring Daily American, and WPA Church Records in the Florida  Archives, the Sebring church of Christ had its' beginnings on June 4th, 1926 when A. R. Hill arrived from David Lipscomb College to become the preacher. The services were held at the Open Air Theater at 30 East Center Street which was donated to the church  by the Public Corporation of America who owned a chain of theaters in the south. This was behind the Whitehouse IGA grocery store, which now stands empty. A.R. Hill preached until June 1927 when he was succeeded by D. Ellis Walker, also of David Lipscomb College. He preached at this site until they moved the services to Park Hall at Tuscawilla Park on South Commerce Street from 1927 to 1930's. His sermons were printed in the local paper weekly.





It was reported Friday, October 23, 1931 in the Sebring American newspaper, J.O. Barnes (Joseph Olesley) of Lake City would occupy the pulpit during the winter season. He was the author of "The Gospel Messenger", a religion periodical at Lake City.

The Hall burned down in the 1940's presumably from a graduation prank in 1947. It was never replaced, and Sebring City Hall at 368 South Commerce now occupies that space.

From verbal history, the congregation first consisted of three families in the 1930's. They were the Tubbs', Wolfe's, and Gore's. The Piety's soon joined the congregation. They met at a building (reportedly the Woodmen of the World or American Legion bldg.) in back of the IGA Grocery Store on East Center Avenue.The property was sold, and the building moved. The space is still empty to this day.

In the 1940's the families went for a short time to the congregation in Avon Park.

In 1943 they met for a few months at Harvey Piety's home. (Harvey was then the Clerk of Courts and AJ Tubbs, another member, was a County Commissioner).  In 1945, the Sebring congregation bought an old school house located in Desoto City and moved it to the site at the corner of South Orange and Nasturtium.  Older members remember having the children's classes in a garage and also in the back seat of an automobile.

In 1961 a building was erected which stands to this day.  In 1989, the congregation purchased property and built on Fairmount Drive (now Sebring Parkway) and expanded in 1998 to its present state.

Preachers:
A.R. Hill - June 4, 1926 - June 1927
D. Ellis Walker - June 1927 -
Joseph Olesley Barnes - October 1931- Winter 1932

Ken Joines
Frank Parker - February 1972 - December 1978 - Orange Street Location
Dale Spung - July 29, 1984 - March 4, 1990
Jack McGee
Bryan Naugle - July 2003 - April 2006
Jason Waller
Kevin Patterson - August 2012 - Present



Thank you to the Sebring Historical Society and Leon Tubbs for their contributions to this article.

This page is continually being updated as new information is uncovered.
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