Welcome! Thank you for visiting our web site. Our place of worship is located one block off of Highway 31 in Athens Alabama. If you are in our area, we would welcome you to come and study God's Word with us. We hope this web site can serve as a place for you to visit and study about our Creator. There is coming a day, which no man knows, when we will all be judged according to God's Word (John 12:44-50; Matthew 7:13-27 and II Timothy 2:15). We strive to worship God according to the pattern, which has been set forth in the New Testament. During the period of time when institutionalism and the social gospel ran through local congregations in Limestone County, Eastside stood against it and still does today. We are very happy to help in preaching the gospel in the United States and foreign countries.
The following is a short history of our congregation and our work in our community. Carl Richter, one of the original members, has supplied much of this information on an audiocassette. Eddie and Mary Ann Ball transcribed the audiocassette and I want to say a special thanks to all of these individuals.
In 1944, Eastside, then known as Sunset, began in a small 25' X 30' building on a small lot across from the present Champion Chevrolet, on Clinton Street, in Athens, Alabama. The building was built by Mr. Ward Russell and was used by Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists and other denominations until 1944. It was at this time, Mrs. French called and asked A. J. Rollings to discuss the use of the now empty building. Mrs. French told Bro. Rollings she had done all that she could and had worked for 25 years, and there was no progress being made in the "church" and wanted to know if he would take over and do some good work. Bro. Rollings responded that it wasn't the habit of the Church of Christ to take over a denomination, but that he would hold a gospel meeting in the building. He also explained to Mrs. French, if a congregation was started in the building only Christians would have a part in the worship service and that no outsiders would be allowed to participate in the services of the church. Mrs. French and the others agreed, so Bro. Rollings held a Gospel Meeting and Everett Alexander lead singing. The response from a two-week meeting was favorable to start a new congregation. In October of 1944, a new congregation started worshiping God. They called themselves Sunset Church of Christ. Mrs. French attended regularly.
Carl Richter was asked if he would take his family and work with the new congregation. Carl responded that he was willing and would do the best he could. At first there were about 24 member and not many of them were men. Carl Richter invited young men to come and preach at Sunset. Some of these young preachers were Irvin Lee, Charles Chumley, George Williams, Robert Hendrix, Billy Noles, Mac Owens, Irvin Russell, Clifford Bullington, M.A. Creel, Bennie Lee Fudge, Everett Alexander and others. The congregation continued to grow and new families joined in the work.
After some time, the elders of the Rogersville Cumberland Presbyterian Church asked the members of Sunset if they wanted to buy the small building for $1,100.00. However, the congregation declined due to the size of the building and lot and returned the next Sunday to find new locks on the door.
In 1945 the Sunset congregation began meeting in a back room of Athens Bible School's building. Bennie Lee Fudge began preaching for the congregation and the growth continued. In 1948 the name was changed from Sunset to Eastside. After meeting in Athens Bible School's building for 14 years, the congregation built a building on their current lot at 110 French Way in Athens. The new building is less than a mile away from Athens Bible School. It was constructed in 1959 and is still being used to this day. The original auditorium is now the foyer and classrooms and a new 700-seat auditorium was built in 1968. At one time, the congregation numbered almost 617 people. Though the congregation faced many issues, such as the support of human institutions (schools, orphanages, papers and missionary societies) the congregation stands against the support of human institutions to this day.
Today Eastside has a great Bible Class Program where all students high school age and younger study the Bible from Genesis to Revelation every three years. After three years, the cycle starts over and a little more detail is covered each time. By the time one of our young people graduates high school they will have studied the Bible from cover-to-cover three or more times. We hope this helps our young people go into the world ready to give a defense for the hope that is within them (1 Peter 3:21).
We are about 275 members strong now. We have five elders who oversee the congregation as described in Acts 14:28 and I Peter 5:2. These men are Albert Burns, Ralph Gregg, Wayne Holt, Bill Murrell and Freddy Richter (son of Carl mentioned above). We also have several deacons as you see listed to the left who work under the oversite of the elders at Eastside. Our goal is to grow and work for the Lord's Kingdom.