From tiny baby steps to giant leaps of faith – that seems to describe the history of East Tenth Street Church of Christ.
What a blessing it would be to the late Eldorah Pugh if she could see how far her dream and vision have come!
The first tiny step was the mid-40's when a children's Bible study began for those in what was then known as the
Hornertown section of Roanoke Rapids. A little later, a Ladies Aid was formed which was the forerunner for our
dynamic women's ministries at the present time. Eventually, an interdenominational service was held on Sunday
afternoon conducted by various ministries in the area.
When John J. Langston became the minister of First Christian Church, he began to hold services at Pugh's Chapel
on a regular basis and led this small, but dedicated group of worshippers to form Pugh's Memorial Christian Church
in 1947. He was succeeded by Lewis Styons who, by then, had become minister at First Christian.
William F. Ambrose was the first full-time minister of the church beginning in 1950. It was during his ministry that the
name was changed to East Tenth Street Church of Christ.
Clyde P. Wheeler followed Mr. Ambrose and his two ministries spanned a total of 44 years (1952-57 and 1960-1999).
Eugene Brockley served between the ministries of Mr. Wheeler. Upon Mr. Wheeler's retirement, the present minister,
Dave Chapman, came in 1999, and his ministry continues to the present time.
Mrs. Pugh would never have dreamed that the small piece of land which she and her husband donated to the tiny,
struggling congregation on East Tenth Street would be one of the prime locations in Roanoke Rapids. On that lot,
a small chapel was built in the 1940's by men in the congregation and the community, and it served the church well
until the new sanctuary was completed in 1954.
The chapel then became classrooms and was later remodeled into
a fellowship hall after a two-story educational building was added in 1963. The "old, green building," as the chapel
was called, was sold and moved to make way for another dream and vision many had had for years – a state of the
art fellowship hall dedicated in 1993 and later renamed for Mr. Wheeler at his retirement reception.
Recent improvements include closing in the area between the education and fellowship buildings which provided
much needed expansion of our ministry and toddler rooms as well as our music facilities. Cosmetic improvements,
as well as needed safety precautions, were completed with added stone work and porch rails at the front of the
sanctuary in 2009. Plans call for repair work on the sanctuary windows in the near future.
Additional property has been added through the years which gave more parking space as well as room for future
But the heart and soul of East Tenth Street Church of Christ has been and still is its people! From the dreams of
those early visionaries who had very little in the way of material things but hearts rich in faith, to those who carry on
the legacy today, East Tenth Street Church of Christ stands as a testimony to the faithfulness of God's promises to
His people. To God Be The Glory! Great Things He Has Done!
Mrs. Eldorah Pugh, front and center.
Original building built in mid 1940's;
present sanctuary, completed in 1954.
Adult choir, 1952: Madeline Bowan,
Margaret Smith, Virginia Sewell, Majorie
Shearin, Aleane Carawan, Eleanor Davis,
Louise Berry, Donna Jean Wheeler, Earl
Hale, Reginald Berry, David Shearin,
Sunday School classes, 1953.