That Others May Believe
The El Dorado Springs Church of God (Holiness) came into being just over a century ago, when a few believers felt the call of God to step out in faith and give of their labor and resources for the construction of a church building. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Craig were the first pastors.
The first church was erected in 1905, in the 400 block of South Ohio Street. Many of the church members rode horses to church or came in wagons of all sizes. The clapboard building had hitching posts in the front, which would soon fill to capacity with horses patiently waiting for their owners to return from worshiping.
R. C. Oldham came as pastor in 1913, and remained until the mid-1920’s. Pastor David Englund took over until the mid-1930’s, when R.C. Oldham returned until 1943. Then Pastor Englund accepted a second pastorate and served until 1946.
When Pastor Charley Mitchell came in 1947, the church felt the need for more space, and by the time Pastor Mitchell left in 1950, the building had been enlarged and basement Sunday school classrooms were added. Pastor John Fezzell served next from 1950 to 1952. Pastor Sam Williams came to the church in 1952, beginning a pastorate that would span 22 years.
In 1960, the church voted to build an entirely new structure just to the north of the old building. The people gave money, labor, and other resources, believing that God would be glorified and more people would come to know Jesus. The old building was demolished and the space used for a much-needed parking lot. The hitching posts were no longer sufficient. The new church was a big improvement with nice pews, a furnace and an air conditioner. There were Sunday school rooms in the basement, and it seemed that the new church would be large enough to serve the congregation’s needs until Jesus came back. But in the late 1960’s, classroom space was at a premium, and two new rooms were added to the back of the church building. More and more people were coming to know Jesus, and classroom space eventually took over a house next door and even the old parsonage across the street!
In 1974, Pastor Williams’ failing health forced him to retire from full-time ministry. He handed over the reins of a thriving church to Pastor Richard Beckham. Within a year, attendance on Sundays was pushing 200, and the church was presented with a choice – either turn people away or take another step of faith and build again. The church voted to move across town to the 1600 block of South Park Street and build a new building. The people were so unified and caught up in the vision of what God was doing that they all banded together to clean the mortar off old bricks, a process that involved young and old working together.
The new building had a capacity of 400 with a balcony, baptistery, fellowship hall, nursery, and 12 Sunday school classrooms in the basement. The first service in the new building was held on March 13, 1977. The following year Kenneth Smith assumed the pastorate, and under his leadership the church experienced steady growth for sixteen years. In 1994, Pastor Joe Trussell came to El Dorado Springs after serving for many years as a missionary to Bolivia.
By the spring of 1997, with weekly attendance swelling beyond 400, a second Sunday morning service became a necessity. On March 2, 1997, the 8:30 a.m. service was started. Sunday school classes were being held in every available space, including one in the El Dorado Christian Day Care building and one at the El Dorado Christian School.
With the dawn of a new millennium came new growth, along with new challenges. The sanctuary was growing more and more crowded. Once again, the people were faced with a choice: turn people away or step out in faith once again, "That Others May Believe." More than 90% of the congregation voted to build again. People pledged their time, efforts, and finances; and they gave sacrificially. The first service in the new building was held on December 25, 2005, and the dedication service was in March of 2006. We thank God for His blessings, and we look forward to others coming to know Jesus here.