About The Stony Island Church of Christ

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The history of this congregation, now called the Stony Island Church of Christ, was formerly the Cornell Avenue Church of Christ, dates back to the 1920's, to the congregation meeting in the old Capital Building, at the corner of State and Randolph Streets, in "The Loop". That congregation purchased property at East 72nd Street and Cornell Avenue, and on a Lord's day in March of 1928 held its' services at the new location. From that day forward most of the members continued to meet there, calling themselves the Cornell Avenue Church of Christ.


Seventy-second and Cornell continued to be the meeting place of the congregation till December 1950, when the building at that location burned. Services were then conducted for a time in the South Shore Y.M.C.A. building, at 1883 East 71st Street. On February 20, 1952, ground was broken for the construction of what is the mid-section of the completed structure. It was occupied in May of 1954, and served as a temporary all-purpose unit, with capacity for nearly 200 persons where 253 persons actually had been crowded in on one occasion.


In August and September of 1957 preliminary work was done on the main auditorium. Further construction was resumed in April of 1958, and the auditorium was occupied July 19, 1959, though not quite finished. On September 13, 1959, special dedication services were held. The new unit seats, a total of 489 persons in permanent pews, with an average of more than 18 inches per person, 286 in the auditorium properly, ten in the nursery, besides having beds for babies, and 193 in the balcony and has room enough for extra chairs to bring the maximum seating capacity up to 600 or more. It is fully air conditioned for the summer and fully heated for the winter. The main Bible School unit was also constructed and adjoins the present units.


The first Elders of the congregation, appointed in 1930, were J.D. Clemens (1930-1948), Ernest E. Hayes (1930-1965), and H.A. Rowland (1930-1958), and W.E. Prichett served a short while. At subsequent intervals appointment was made of Thomas W. Rogers (1946-1959), W. H. McCorkle (1950-1962), Ernest N. Taylor (1955-1977), Howard C. Gurganus (1957-1960), Wendell G. Terry (1962-1971), Robert W. Busbee (1964-1967), Lawrence Anderson (1970-1974), Samuel Lee (1960-1982), John W. Davis (1977- 2008), Wilbur Williams and Russell May for a while, John Driver (1977-2000), Izell Coleman (1985 - 2004), Herman L. Jackson, Jr. (2004 - present), Willie C. Burnside, Jr. (2004 - present).


Evangelists who served the congregation one year or more include: F. L. Paisley, L. C. Sears, W. S. Long, John Allen Hudson, Ralph Wilburn, Harry R. Fox, Sr., Robert E. Box, Farrell D. Walters, Robert H. Anderson, Cecil N. Wright, John R. McRae, J.H. McCaleb at various times, Donald Taylor, Vernon Boyd, Norman Adamson, James Stephens, Charles Dalton, Lawrence Anderson, Sherrill Cox, Raymond Myles, Aaron Herren, Waymon Stewart, and presently James Carter.


Some of the brethren who grew up in the congregation and became preachers of the Gospel are: Robert H. Anderson, George Pope Gurganus, L. Daniel Harless, Samuel Walter Larkins and Oscar Smith.


The congregation's facility now being the most ample in her history, hopes to use them to the glory of God and the good of man. Her aspirations are to be a genuine church of Christ (Romans 16:16), with the scriptures as her only rule of faith and practice (II Timothy 3:16,17).


She welcomes and invites people of all faiths to her services, bidding them however to renounce all things of human origin and cling only to "the faith once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3), of which Jesus Christ is "the author and perfector" (Hebrews 12:2).




Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.
Romans 16:16