A BRIEF HISTORY OF PASTOR BARRY MAULDIN OF THE CHURCH OF GOD (7TH DAY) IN CLAREMORE, OKLAHOMA....Barry's roots begin with his great-great grandpa, Tom Marrs. Tom lived around the Shawnee, Oklahoma area. In 1910 he was at a bus stop. He looked over and saw a magazine laying on a bench. He walked over and picked it up and began to read. The magazine was the "Bible Advocate", the monthly magazine of the Church of God (7th Day). Tom went home to his wife Maggie and their children, and told them they should be worshiping on Saturday the Sabbath. Pastor Barry's parents Mike and Marsha Potter Mauldin began their life together in Shawnee. They were blessed with two boys, Barry and Brett. When the boys were still in grade school, Mike's job transfered him to Tulsa. They didn't know anything about the area, but chose to move to Owasso, Oklahoma, a surburb of sorts, of Tulsa. Their first Sabbath in Owasso, they didn't know where to attend services on Sabbath. Mike remembered his couisn Robert Hendershott, attended the church in Claremore. So that is where they decided to attend their first Sabbath. How ironic is this, Pastor Barry, attends his first Sabbath Service, after moving, at the Church of God (7th Day) in Claremore, and now he is the Pastor of the same church. He has been the Pastor at Claremore since September 14, 2014. It will be two years this September. Pastor Barry had been coming to Claremore for a few years, bringing us a message on the second sabbath of the month. We were without a pastor. After graduation from LifeSpring School of Ministry, he felt God calling him to come to the Claremore church. The church in Claremore has truly been blessed. I believe both the group and Barry have been blessed. We appreciate Pastor Barry very much.
LOCAL CHURCH HISTORY . . . . The Church of God (7th Day) has been at its location for over 60 years. The church actually began in Inola, a little town south of Claremore. Brother John Henry Hinds came to Braggs Indian Territory in the 1890s from Indiana. He read into the 7th day Sabbath in about 1901. He moved to Inola in 1905, and started having a Bible study group in members' homes, with most of the members being his own family members. A group of the Church of God was already meeting in Inola. It wasn't very long before the two groups came together as one. In the year of 1920 the group established the first Sabbath School at the Logan School house a few miles south of Inola, Oklahoma. They continued as the Church of God, renting places to meet in on the Sabbath. J.H. Hinds joined the Church of God and became a licensed minister in 1924. He became the first and only pastor of the Inola Church of God.
In the early 1940s the church decided they needed a building of their own. A chapel was built on Elder Hinds' land, at the corner of "C" street and the alley. Not long after the constructed on the building started, most of the church members moved away. Many to Claremore. The chapel in Inola was finally finished and dedicated. But with the members leaving and moving away, the chapel was left empty and no longer being used. By 1947 the only ones left of the church, were Elder Hinds and his wife Emily Alice Clark Hinds. Who were both up in years.
In 1943 the group in Claremore organized a Sabbath School and went by the name of the Church of God in Claremore. The group met in rented buildings for Sabbath School. Elder Kenneth Walker and his wife Jewel and their son, Philip, were already living in Claremore. Elder Walker became the pastor of the church in about 1947. He remained the pastor until about 1950. After Elder Walker left, a member of the local group, who was a school teacher, became the groups lay pastor, Brother Sam Poff. He had attended the church in Inola. Elder Clyde Maher pastor of the Tahlequah CoG filled the pulpit for the group in Claremore, from time to time as well as Brother Poff. In July of 1948 Elder Hinds passed away. The Claremore Church of God purchased a lot on 10th street half between Dorothy and Seminole Streets. They planned to build a place of worship. In November of that year, the Oklahoma Conference of the Church of God voted to move the chapel from Inola to the lot in Claremore. There is a fifteen mile distance between the two towns. The chapel was moved on Thanksgiving Day 1948.
Elder Kenneth and his family remained until 1950. Lay-pastor Brother Sam Poff took over from Elder Kenneth. Him and his wife Clara were members of the church in Inola, later joining the group in Claremore. They lived at Mazie, Oklahoma about 5 miles from Inola. He was a school teacher. In February of 1952 Elder Ross Johnston and wife Maudie Adams moved from Phoenix, Arizona to become the pastor of the Church of God (7th Day). Elder Johnston continued as pastor, moving to Inola in 1957. In About 1958 Elder Ross became the District Overseer for the district and the headquarters were in Joplin, Missiouri. Elder Robert Burge was the pastor of the Joplin, Missouri COG7 and traded places with Elder Ross for about 18 months. In the 60s, Brother Paul Karr became a lay-pastor along with Brother Sam Poff for the Claremore group. In 1973 Elder Ross retired and went back into evanglism. Elder Robert Norvell, his wife Clem, twin boys Johnny and Jimmy and daughter Valrie moved to Oklahoma from Arizona. Brother Bob attended the Inola group as a boy. Bob trained under Elder Ross and took over the pastoral duties of the church in 1974. Their youngest son Joseph was born in Claremore. Elder Bob remained as pastor until 1977. He then moved his family to Texas to become the pastor of the Conroe, Texas COG7.
The Claremore Church of God has had many ministers over the years. After Elder Norvell, Elder Daniel Davila came to be the Pastor. The Davila family left in 1979. Elder Royce Splawn, was the next Pastor in 1979. He had his family moved to Claremore from Texas. He was the pastor from 1979 to 1980. Elder Vernon Dickenson and his family came from Oklahoma City, to became the pastor in 1981 to 1983. Elder Hugh Butrick moved from OKC to became the next pastor 1984 to 1986. Elder Roy Johnson moved from Wisconisn to become the pasor 1988 to 1990. Elder Victor Novak 1990, Elder Hubert Weekes came in 1991. Elder Hubert was the pastor for about a year. The family remained in Claremore for a few more years. Elder Roy Johnson came a second time 1992 to 1994. Elder Marvin Keim came in 1996 to 1999. Elder Keim had retired to the Family Farm in Canada before moving to Claremore. Brother Tim Hinds, who grew up in the local church, felt called into the ministry. He was hired as the lay-pastor. Brother Tim and family left in 2006 to become the Youth Pastor at Spring Vale Academy. In 2009 Elder Ivan Burrell from Fairview, Oklahoma aproached the local board. He had been in retirement for many years. He wanted to become the part-time pastor in Claremore. He was hired in March of 2009. He had cancer but had been in remission for about 3 years. Not to long after he was hired, the cancer was back. He had to start treatments at a Cancer Treatment Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He passed away in August of 2010 from his cancer. A local member, former Sunday Church pastor, who converted to the Sabbath, Brother McClintock joined the church. He never desired to be pastor. He spoke a few times and sang very well. He delivered many messages in song. After his wife passed away he wasn't with us very long. He later passed away.
After the passing of Elder Burrell in 2010, the local church board assigned Sister Patricia Johnston, the job of getting speakers for the group most Sabbaths. She did a great job. It might be a minister of another COG7 congregation, a minister in training or a local board member, some times even a local member of the church. Most Sabbaths we did have a speaker for the worship service. This continued until August of 2013.
At the end of 2014, the local board had a new sign made and installed on the corner of the church property at 10th and Dorothy Streets. Over the years the church group bought the two lots past the church toward Dorothy Street. So they now owned half the block on 10th. Pastor Barry started the project of stepping stones. One of his first messages and children's story was about stepping stones. The first ones set were a total of 8. Pastor Barry awarded one to each child in the church, which he placed in the flower bed at the front of the church. On each stepping stone is the name and birthdate of each child in the congregation up to the age of 12. Now as each new baby is born into the congregation, he adds a stone with the baby's name and birthdate and places it in the flower bed. Very nice tradition. Another challenge Pastor Barry started a scripture memorizaton challenge in 2014. He challenged the adults first, to memorize verses and recite them before the congregation. The first challenge was one verse, the second 3 verses, then 5 verses and last 10 or more. At the end of the challenge he awarded the person finishing the challenge a certificate of Completion and a home made loaf of bread, baked by him. The first one to finish this challenge was Sister Amber Rincker. Then he challenged the children to memorize one verse. They were awarded a certificate of completetion and cookies baked by Pastor Barry.
A remodeling to the sanctuary was done in January of 2015. With the help of local board members and their families, the walls were painted. Two banners on either side of the pulpit area were hung, containing the 10 Commandments. New carpet was installed and the pews were re-covered. The church now has a brighter and updated place to worship. The church had the funds to go ahead and start renovations to the chapel. Fund raisers and donations, as well as little church banks were passed out to fill with change and turn in when they were full. The local board thought it would take awhile to raise the funds for this project. Just at the beginning of December of 2015, Pastor Barry spoke to the congregation and reported that we had almost met our goal. He made the comment how nice it would be if it could be paid in full by the end of the year. God does answer prayers. The funds were collected and the remodeling job of the Chapel is paid in full. It was so exciting to hear Past Barry report that to the congregation. There has been many ups and downs, but the little group is still meeting at 512 East 10th Street, in Claremore. The highest attendance the church had was 90 back in 1978. We now average about 45. Come and visit with us. Everyone is Welcome!
Below you will find a brief history of the church organization:
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF GOD (7TH DAY) . . . . . . . The church began through advent believers in Michigan and Iowa. The two distinctive doctrines were the Second Coming of Christ and the Seventh-day Sabbath. In 1863, the Michigan group extended its influence into the eastern and central United States through a publication called The Hope of Israel. The General Conference (headquarters) of the church was organized in 1884 and incorporated in Missouri in 1899. Its offices were located in Stanberry, Missouri until 1950, when they transferred to Denver Colorado.
The general conference of the church established a Publishing House for printing the church literature in Stanberry. Midwest Bible College for the training of ministers of the church, was opened. Later in about 1972 the Publishing House was moved to Denver, Colorado, where the church headquarters had moved in 1970. The Ministerial Training Center followed, but many years later.
The church magazine The Hope of Israel, moved from Michigan to Iowa, then later to Missouri. After several name changes, it is now known as the Bible Advocate. More than a 150 years later, the publication continues to be published. You can also read it online. The Publishing House continues to publish doctrinal tracts, special pamphlets, and Adult Sabbath School Quarterlies.
The church recognizes more than 200 congregations in the United States and Canada. The church has affiliated ministries in more than 39 countries outside of North America. With missions and contacts included, the worldwide fellowship exceeds 300,000 members. Each national church is considered autonomous and is regarded as a sister-conference. Through the agent of God's grace, the church offers warm-hearted fellowship and willing support of people everywhere who trust and obey the same Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. In serving people, the church finds relevance for its Bible-centered message and its God-inspired mission.
As of 2007 the church had 39 International Conferences. Here is a brief list of countries that have conferences today: Argentina, South Australia, Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, D.R. Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, India, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, Trinada and Tobago, Ugunda, United Kingdom (England), United States and Canada, Uruguay, and Zambia.
The General Conference of the church began having camp meetings every other year, open to people from all over the United States to get together and fellowship, plus conduct church business. A Ministerial Council was implemented, where the ministers of the church come together to study and discuss doctrinal changes of the church. What year this began is unknown to me. For many years the General Conference Camp Meeting was conducted either in Stanberry, Missouri or Denver, Colorado. Years later the General Conference meetings began being held in different states. This gave more members the opportunity to attend, that never could before.
The General Conference Camp Meeting of 2007, the church celebrated their 150th year of operation. Since general conference convention meetings are held on odd number years, the conference celebration year was in 2007. It took place in Overland Park, Kansas. There was a record number of people in attendance, approximately 1,300 on Sabbath. Record number of attendees from various countries. In 2008 the conference set up an anniversary cruise for the members of the church. It was to the Bahamas.
This is just a brief history. For more a more detailed one, you can contact the General Conference offices at firstname.lastname@example.org, snail mail: General Conference of the Church of God (7th Day), P.O. Box 33677, Denver, CO 80233, Fax: 303-452-0657 or call 303-452-7973.
Note of interest: The General Conference Convention 2015 was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 29-July 4. The convention had approximately 1,200 in attendance on Sabbath. This was a very important year for the conference business sessions. Admendments to the Conference By-laws were presented to be voted on. It took to long to get through just what the changes would be, that the vote did not take place. They have been carried over to the next convention, which will be in 2017. The Conference has a new President, Elder Loren Stacy, of California, he is the former Chairman of the Executive Board, and six new Executive Board of Director members. The Executive Board has twelve members. Six stayed on, and 6 new members were instated. This is the Executive Board as of the Convention this year: Brad Ciavarella, Samuel Holland, Dennis O'banion, Larry Zaragoza, Mark Caswell, Wayne Hrenyke (Reneck), Manuel Salazar, Joshua Gutierrez, Jose Hernandez, Paul Romo, Ruben Marquez, Sr., and Greg Lincoln. Former President Whaid Rose and Editor of the Bible Advocate Calvin Burrell both resigned this year. Elder Burrell had taken over as the Missions director a few years back as well as being the editor of the Bible Advocate. Calvin will remain as the Missions Director for at least another year. The Conference has a new Bible Advocate Editor, Elder Jason Overman, pastor of the Jasper, Arkansas congregation. He is the Managing Editor of the local Harrison newspaper, in Harrison, Arkansas.