Saturday, August 26, 2006

Clarification on History of Fairlawn (VA) Church

The recent AGBM commendation for Lester Kennedy as Pastor of the Year may have given an incorrect impression about the history of the Fairlawn Grace Brethren Church in Radford, Virginia, which Kennedy pastors. Pastor Roy E. Glass of Clayton, Ohio, who once pastored the Fairlawn congregation, sent along the following clarification, beginning with this excerpt from The Brethren Encyclopedia:

From The Brethren Encyclopedia Vol. 2, pp 1079

Radford, VA, Fairlawn Grace Brethren Church

It was organized in 1947 with one hundred members, among them persons from the DeHart, Terry, and Sutphin families. The congregation has had three locations: Pepper Ferry Rd., Lee Ave., and Mills Ave. The newest structure was built in 1982. Pastors of the congregation were K. E. Richardson, C. C. Hall, R. E. Glass, and A. Harold Arrington. In 1982 there were one hundred members. AHA/DFD Cong. Records

Roy Glass comments:

"Contrary to the above, there were only two locations. The Lee Street mentioned was our residence while living there. K. E. Richardson was the founding pastor. He lived in Roanoke and made this long trip every week while getting the church started. He oversaw their first building. At the time he was a ‘motor car’ [street car] operator in Roanoke in those early days—at the close of the War. Other details regarding K.E. Richardson’s ministry can be found in the Encyclopedia.

"I was the third pastor at Fairlawn from 1969 to 1979. The church at that time was averaging about 300. I then went to Troy, OH, where I served for about 10 years.

"Les [Kennedy] is a great friend of mine and I was pleased to see the honor bestowed on him. However, he was not the first or founding pastor at Fairlawn."

Thanks, Roy, for helping us to keep the history straight.


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