In the fall of 1914, Noah Smith, his wife Bessie and two daughters Rella Joy and Opal moved to Sullivan. Finding no meetings of the church of Christ taking place, he began to look for members of the Church living in the area. He learned that three sisters, Mary (Mattie), Dulcena, and Fannie Purvis and a brother, Josiah Hoke were members. They soon began worshipping in their homes. The following constituted the charter members: Noah Smith, Bessie Smith, Allie Hawbaker, Frank Murray, Ella Murray, Mattie Purvis, Dulcena Purvis, Fannie Purvis, Josiah Hoke,Violet Blackwell, Lavern Cain and Doris Smith.
As the congregation grew, they could no longer meet in homes, so they met in the afternoon in the First Baptist church building and the First Presbyterian church building for quite some time. More members were added, including Herman Rose, his father and his sisters, Mary, Hazel, and Goldie. Later a hall was rented from Mrs. O.L. Todd which was located above the Corner restaurant, on the Northeast corner of the square in Sullivan (This is now the home of the Sullivan Pharmacy). They met in this facility for several years.
As the congregation continued to grow, it became necessary to look for larger quarters. A larger room was rented from Mrs. Todd, over the Index Notion Store. After that, another room was rented which was the Modern Woodmen room, which became the Hamilton Clothing store; then the Fashion Shop, and is now standing empty.
In 1929 or 1930, the church bought a building on the Dr. Peters farm, north of Sullivan on route 32. This building was torn down and moved to Sullivan and rebuilt by James Cook. It was located where the Southwest corner of McDonalds restaurant is now located. This was the location of the first permanent meeting house of the church of Christ in Sullivan; corner of Monroe St. and Van Buren.
In the early 1950’s the Meeker property at West Jackson and Grant Streets was purchased to be the site of a new building. The old Meeker home being torn down; was built in the 1870’s. The new facilities were completed in 1952 and are the present meeting place for the Church.
The new building was built by members of the congregation. Almost all the work was done at night and on Saturdays. Bert Cain was very instrumental in the construction. Much of the window and door trim was hand made by Bert. The congregation members used materials from the Meeker home which helped to cut costs.
In 1968 and 1978 tragedy struck as the building was damaged by smoke, fire and water. On both occasions the Lord blessed us with the ability to replace the damage and the fact that no injury or death occurred as a result of the fires.
During 1986 the congregation, again using volunteer workers, has made major renovations to the building. With the congregation presenting ideas of what they wanted a renovation plan was put together which included four phases.
Many evangelists have held meetings for the church through the early years. They include but not extensive: C.C. Parker, W.E. Ballanger, Daniel Sommer, E.M. Zerr, D. Austin Sommer, Edward Buttram, W.G. Roberts, Robert Edwards, H.D. Leach, C.R. Turner, W.C. Ketcherside, A.L. Gepford, Robert Duncan and others
Through the years there have been many changes in the congregation. We have mentioned a few of the physical changes but let us also be reminded of those changes in individual lives. Some have died physically, some have moved, some have died spiritually and many new faces are seen as through the years souls have been converted by the gospel. One thing truly can be said of this congregation; it loves and teaches the truth.