Our History

 
 

First Assembly of God had very humble beginnings.

 Two Christian families, the Paul Kiefaher and William Andrews families, who were then on farms near Husecamp, invited Rev. Glenn Renick to Hannibal for a revival.  They rented a large store building on North Main Street and paid one month's rent ($35.00) for it.  There were two people of like faith in Hannibal. Thirty-five people confessed salvation during that 1928 winter revival.

Rev. Renick remained as pastor of the church which then moved to a private building on Webb Street.  The building partitions were removed and room was made to seat nearly one hundred.  Services were held there through 1929.  In the summertime the congregation moved to the tent where revivals were conducted and the congregation grew. 

 The Park Theatre, which was later known as the Masonic Temple and is now torn down to become a parking lot, was rented for meetings with child evangelist Dolores Dudley.  The building seated 1500 and was often packed with people being turned away during the two week meeting.  Too large to move back to Webb Street, with Sunday School alone over one hundred in attendance, the theatre was secured for services from October 1929 through 1932.

The current building was sold to the Jewish congregation so the church of God building was rented in the interim.  The lot at Tenth and Lyon streets was purchased and an open air Tabernacle was erected on the lot in 1935 followed by construction of the basement. The church construction was completed and the building dedicated on June 10, 1936.

In 1964 Rev. Renick resigned and was followed by Rev. Spencer A. Weddle.  During 1965 ground was purchased on North Missouri Avenue with $10,000 down for a new parsonage.  Rev. Weddle resigned in 1966.

Rev. Robert Hembree was selected to follow.  Under Rev. Hembree's pastoral leadership the congregation built the parsonage.  Rev. Hembree resigned in 1969.  Rev. T. T. Ward was chosen in February 1970.  The vote was taken to build a new church and ground was broken in the spring of 1970.  The present church was built from 19070 to 1973.  Moving day was Palm Sunday, April 15, 1973.  The congregation met at Tenth and Lyon Streets and moved to 1901 Missouri Ave in a police escorted parade.  On moving day and the following Sunday, Easter, the Sunday School record for attendance was broken.

In the spring of 1976, the Lord impressed Brother Ward to build a Christian School which would give quality education in a Christian environment.  School began in August 1976, and in September, 1976 Brother Ward went to be with the Lord.

Rev. John Eller was elected pastor in February, 1977 and resigned in February, 1981.  Two associate pastors served under Rev. Eller. Rev. Richard Price was the school principal in 1977 and Rev. Charles Gould, who was the school principal from 1978 to 1981.

In March 1981, the congregation voted to call Rev. Randall Mahurin as pastor.  He resigned on February 7, 1988.  Three associates served under Rev. Mahurin. Rev. David Brown served as the Youth Pastor from January, 1982 to July, 1983.  Rev. Andy McCrory was Youth Pastor from January, 1984 to October, 1985.  Rev. Tim Leathers was Youth Pastor from July, 1986 to December, 1987.

Rev. James Geil was elected Pastor in April, 1988 and resigned in October, 1989.  Rev. Dennis Thorne served as Youth Pastor under Rev. Geil until November, 1988.

In April, 1990 Rev. Gerald Begley was elected. Rev. Rod Renoldson was Youth Pastor from September, 1990 to April, 1992.  Chad Smith, CBC intern, served as Youth Pastor from May 30, 1993 to August 25, 1993.  Pastor Begley went on to be with the Lord in 2006.

Pastor Aaron Gravett served from 2004 to 2012.

In the Summer of 2014 Pastor Brandon Hampton was elected.  Since 2014 the church has been debt free, entered into numerous remodeling and growth has begun. New foyer, offices and sound systems as well as other equipment with a change of direction has renewed the strength and direction of Hannibal First.