A History of the Hayesville Church of Christ
Sometime around 1960 a group of believers came together and began worshiping in Hayesville. They first met in the old Presbyterian building which they rented. This group was helped by Dr. Bob Rigdon who would come from Sylva and preach. In 1961, the current land was purchased from Irene Eller. The Trustees at that time were: Claude T. Kitchens, Carl D. Moses and Jerry Moses, Carl’s son.
D.F. Boyd, an elder at the White Hill Church of Christ in Spencer, TN, and the father-in-law of Claude Kitchens raised money and built the current building. In 1968 there were only 6-8 people attending, and Brother Moses, who was also the school principal, seemed to be holding everything together and doing most of the teaching. It was that year that Bob Bryant moved to the area. Bob contacted congregations in TN, TX, & AL and got support to hire Bill Wilkerson as the 1st paid minister in about 1970. When Brother Wilkerson arrived, there were only 2 families, the Bryants and Carl Moses family. The Bryants had two children. Carl had 2 children by birth who were adults by this time and had adopted 2 Cherokee indian children. V.P. Black and Earl Godwin came and held meetings. Right away Brother Wilkerson converted Freda Burrell. Freda was in a wheel chair and took care of her sick husband. Whenever she was admitted to the hospital, he would have to be admitted also. Freda begin to talk with her son, a Baptist preacher, and to tell him he was wrong. She gave Brother Wilkerson names of people with whom to study resulting in 16 baptisms. One of the times she was in the hospital she told Brother Wilkerson to go back and talk to a man. Freda said she had talked with him and he was almost ready to be baptized. Brother Wilkerson did talk with him and he was baptized along with others in his family. The man thanked Freda and died 6 weeks later. Attendance grew to around 60 by the time Brother Wilkerson left around 1972. In 1972, J.R. Ballentine came to Hayesville fresh from International Bible College (now Heritage Christian University). By this time Carl’s son, Jerry, had become involved with a non-institutional group and began to teach his father some of their thoughts. Some of the congregations supporting the congregation here supported children’s homes and other things with the Church treasury. Brother Moses decided this congregation was too small to divide over such an issue. He left and began the Warne congregation. After Brother Balletine left in 1974, other preachers
included David Bugg(‘75-‘78), Tony Couick(‘78-‘80), and Wayne Holland(‘81-‘82). While Brother Couick was here the nursery and preachers office were added to the front part of the building. In 1983, Carl McLeod became the preacher and stayed here 23 years before he died. Carl was a graduate from Mt. Dora Bible School in Florida, where he lived. In the late 80's, he started losing his sight. He kept getting worse. Finally, an Atlanta doctor found a tumor which was causing his problems. For the next 15 years, he continued to preach, visit, and study with others even though he was blind. Carl had tried to resign because of his blindness but the congregation would not let him. He was eventually diagnosed with brain cancer. Carl continued to minister to the members even from a nursing home bed. Fred Crane filled the pulpit while Carl was unable to preach and after his death. In 2007, Steven Morris was hired. He was a graduate of Memphis School of Preaching. In January 2010, Robert Seibert was hired to work with the congregation here at Hayesville. Robert is a graduate of Heritage Christian University and has experience as a children’s, youth, education, and pulpit minister. Robert and his wife, Monya, adopted 6 boys in 2004 and have a daughter also. Since Robert has been here, the congregation has become more active. In the past year and half, they have been involved with activities on the square, had floats in parades, had the first vacation Bible school in 20 years, possibly ever, and started a seniors’ ministry that sings at the Clay County Nursing Home each month. Minister Seibert says, “As the story continues we look forward to the great blessings God is seeking to bestow upon us. “
2 Chronicles 16:9a
“For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His...