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The Churches of Hinton

by Mrs. Marie Main Wornstaff  
 (printed in Prairie Lore,
published by the
Southwestern Oklahoma Historical Society,
Vol. 5 No. 3, January 1969.)

In 1902 the Catholic families of the area around Hinton instituted services. The families living north of Hinton attended Mass in a store building in east Bridgeport, later services for all families were held in the log home of the JAMES DOUGHERTY family south of town. 

Later services were held in the Odd Fellows located where the Boston sale barn in now. Still later the service was moved to the school house. 

The first Mass celebrated in Hinton was said on August 26, 1904 by the REV. VANDEN HENDE. The Altar Society was organized at this same time. 

Soon the church was built. It was dedicated on February 15, 1906, by BISHOP THEOPHILE MEERSCHAERT. Mr. and Mrs. JOE DEBANO was the first couple to be married in the new church. 

During 1956 and 1957 a complete remodeling of the church was carried out. Brick veneer was placed over all the exterior. At the front and rear the bricks are extended out on both south and north sides, a spire was installed, the sacristy and the interior were redecorated and chimes were installed. The Lutheran church in the Hinton community was founded in the spring of 1902 when several families went together and purchased a plot of land in the canyon east of town. On November 20, 1902 the REV. D.F. LEHENBAUER, then of Union City, preached the first sermon in the home of HERMAN CONSTIEN, SR. 

In January of 1903, under the leadership of Pastor Lehenbauer, the Trinity Congregation of Canyon was organized. Land on the east side of Devil's Canyon was chosen as a building site. 

At that time there was a federally established town, containing a post office, some businesses, and residences in the canyon (1). The stage coach route passed through this settlement which was named Canyon City. 

The establishment of Hinton finally caused the abandonment of this town. 

In 1905 seven families living on the west side of the canyon decided to form another congregation for greater convenience. So on April 16, 1906, St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Congregation was organized in the home of HERMAN CONSTIEN, SR. under the leadership of J.G. JUNGKUNTZ, then of Apache. He became the first resident pastor. All the families joined in this new project. 

In 1908 three lots were purchased on the southwest corner of Hinton by this congregation. A building was purchased from the Baptist congregation and moved to the site. The church was dedicated on October 26, 1908, where the GEORGE SNYDER, JR. home is now. 

In August 1947 this building was torn down to make way for a new church. This building was located diagonally across the street from the original one. On May 3, 1948 the new church was dedicated by the REV. ALVIN A. WALTER. This is a brick building with full basement. The sanctuary is simple but beautifully decorated. 

The first Methodist church services in Hinton were held on Main street in a building later occupied by the Jim Glen Saloon. This was in 1902. Later services were held in the Tin Shop. 

In November 1902 the REV. R.O. CALLAHAN, circuit rider for the Bridgeport Circuit, held a series of revival services in Hinton and then actually organized the Methodist Church in Hinton. 

In 1903 the Baptist congregation had completed their first church building. They invited the Methodists to meet on alternate Sundays in their building until the Methodists could complete their own building. 

The plot for this new church was purchased from MR. and MRS. A.J. ARNOLD, grandparents of A.J. Arnold who is presently employed by the Davison Motor Co. The corner stone was laid on Thanksgiving Day 1903. The dedication service was held on November 27, 1904, by the REV. E.B. COLE of El Reno. The congregation of the Christian Church, under the supervision of ELDER J.T. SPURRIER, held services in the new Methodist church from November 4, 1904 until their own building was completed and dedicated on August 26, 1905. The ladies of the two churches joined to work for the good of their churches during the time both groups were using the one church. They called themselves The Busy Maids and Matrons. 

The church was added to and remodeled in 1914 under the pastorate of the REV. H.M. JAMES. 

In 1942 the present, again remodeled church, which has rock veneer on the exterior, basement, redecorated sanctuary, and added class rooms was finished. The REV. ASA STEIGER was pastor at this time. 

In the summer of 1904 A.C. BRAY met with Elder J.T. Spurrier and talked of holding a meeting with the idea of establishing a Christian Church in Hinton. In August a revival meeting was held in Lane's Hall. After this meeting it was announced that a church would be organized. The members again met in Lane's Hall the second Sunday in August, 1904, from which the actual organization was made. 

Services were held in the Methodist Church at the invitation of the pastor and congregation until the Christian Church was built and dedicated on August 26, 1905. The Rev. J.T. Spurrier was the first pastor. 

Life was made interesting for the town when on June 29, 1905 a 640 pound bell was delivered to be hung in the belfry of the new Christian church. It was set out in front of the post office until the members could haul it to the church. In the night the heavy bell disappeared! The postmaster jokingly accused members of the Catholic Church and the REV. C.W. MORRISON of the Baptist church of spiriting the bell away. But, on further search, guess what? Yes, it was found in the ante-room of the Methodist Church! The guilty persons explained that the Methodists were just going to try it out for six months--just to see if it was worth the money. (A likely story--). 

In 1915 a basement was constructed underneath the building. 

In April of 1926 the four lots adjoining the original two were purchased. In the spring of 1941 the building was extensively remodeled; two Sunday school rooms and an entry room were added. The outside of the building was covered with white stucco. Re-dedication services were held April 27, 1941. 

A house to be used as a parsonage was moved in and placed directly south of the church in 1947. As has been mentioned before, the Baptist congregation, under the leadership of the Rev. C.W. Morrison, held the first religious services within the town of Hinton. 

Before this, services were held in a new barn belonging to MR. W.B. ATCHESON, five miles west of town. This is now known as the O.T. WEATHERS farm. 

The new buildings in town were being built rapidly, so the service was moved into one of these until a site could be purchased and a building erected. This was between October 23, 1902, and June 20, 1903 when the new building came into use. 

An amusing aside to the furnishing of the new church has been related by MRS. LUTHER BROWN, daughter of the C.W. Morrisons. Since everyone had been so generous in helping with the furnishings of the new church, Mrs. Morrison said she was going to write to the Montgomery Ward Co. and ask if they would donate the carpet for the front platform, telling them of the little church in the new town of Hinton. The pastor jokingly said, "I'll eat all the carpet you get from them." He had to take back his words a short time later when a roll of carpet was delivered for the church. (Privately, I don't think the Rev. Morrison ate the carpet, it was needed too much for the new church.) 

On August 30, 1904 the Caddo Baptist Association was organized at the church in Hinton. Thirteen churches of Caddo County were included. 

In 1908 this building was purchased by the Lutheran Congregation and a new church was built. In January 1909 the congregation began worshiping in the larger church. The members were especially proud of the new pews after using the home made benches for so long. 

This building has been used until the present time, but in 1946 plans were made to build a two story brick Educational Building and eventually a new sanctuary. The Educational Building was ready for occupancy on January 1, 1902. Ground breaking for the projected new sanctuary was held on August 21, 1960. The congregation hoped to be able to hold services in the church late in 1961. Actually on December 10, morning service was held in the as yet not finished church. 

The Pentecostal Holiness Church was established in May of 1925 by the REV. F.E. STARK. The first report to the district conference was made in August of that year. The pastor was MRS. MARY TOLBERT. A building was purchased and placed at the site on north Broadway. Since that time it has been much improved, decorated inside and shingles placed on the outside. The Golden home south of the church was purchased in 1961 to be remodeled and used as an educational building. 

A gospel meeting by the Church of Christ members was held in the empty lot west of the Inez Ryker Produce on west Main Street in Hinton in August 1938. The church was organized from this meeting. A group of ten or eleven people met in the American Legion Building or in the school house for worship during the next month. 

At this time MR. G.W. BIRD rented a hotel building on east Main Street. He and his family lived upstairs and the church service was held in a downstairs room until October 2, 1940 when the building one block east of the Christian Church was purchased from MRS. ADA V. DOYLE and remodeled. Services were held in this building until the first Sunday in July, 1953, when the congregation moved into the new stone veneer building which had been built on south Spencer Avenue. This contains a sanctuary, four classrooms, a dining room, and a full basement which contains a kitchen. The first time the group hired a full time minister was in July, 1961. 

(1) Postal records reveal the post office of Canyon, Caddo County, was established February 6, 1902, with WILLIAM N. JACKSON as the first postmaster. The office was discontinued September 30, 1905, and mail sent to Hinton. Ed. (back)

Caddo County Churches

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