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From Oatmeal to Battle Axe, some congregations’ names stand out in the crowd

Fifty or so Christians meet every Sunday morning for worship at Cloud 9. This side of heaven at the Cloud 9 Church of Christ in Sierra Vista, Ariz., that is.
About 850 miles away, members of the Oatmeal, Texas, church gather after eating a healthy breakfast at their own homes.
The singing at the Solo church in Covington, Tenn. is usually four-part harmony, and couples who marry at the Battle Axe church, Greenville, Texas, don’t fight any more than the average husband and wife.
Congregations with unusual names dot the landscape acrossthe United States.From the Old Time church in Round Rock, Texas,to the Getwell church in Memphis, Tenn., some church signs justdemand a second look.

The Getwell congregation is located at 1511 Getwell Road. But its story begins,rather than ends, with the renaming of that street and the history behind it.
Church member Brenda Smitherman said the road used to becalled Shotwell Road,and was home to the area’s Veteran’s Administration hospital.
“Right after World War II, we had all these soldiers cominghome from war, and they were checking into the hospital on Shotwell Road. It just didn’t soundright,” she said.
So the city changed the street’s name, and the church wasfounded later, in 1950.
“People ask, people chuckle sometimes, some people evenmisspell it ‘Get Well’,” Smitherman said. “But it’s a great story.”
As for the Cheap Hill congregation in Champmansboro, Tenn.,church secretary Teresa Krantz wants everyone to know the budget is being metand the bills are always paid on time.
Cheap Hill is named after the community it is a part of,Krantz said. Its founding members were some of the areas first bargain hunters,as the story goes.
“The most common story is that once folks got here to settlethe area, they were able to purchase supplies for such a small amount ofmoney,” she said. “The owner of the general store was so kind he didn’t chargethem as much as he would normally. And so came the name.”
Bill Yarbrough, one of four eldersat the Cloud 9 congregation, said that church’s name was inspired by the nameof his investments in another state before buying property in Arizona.
“When I bought the 150 acres here about 40 years ago, wekept calling it ‘Cloud 9’ after our apartments where we used to live,” Yarbroughsaid. “I was interested in evangelistic work, so I set aside two acres for achurch building site.”
As he developed the area around it with the Cloud 9 name, itseemed only fitting that the Cloud 9 Church of Christ was built and dedicated.
“I’m asked about the name all the time,” Yarbrough said. “Itis pretty unusual, sure.”
No special Valentine’s Day celebration is planned at the Lovers Lane churchin Steubenville, Ohio. The church secretary, who is single,said she hopes husbands and wives mark the occasion, though.
At the Candlelight church in Houston, meanwhile, Jon Rhodes says thecongregation is fully lit for its services, and has been for the 20 years he’sbeen a member.
Do you know of an unusual church name, or perhaps one with ahumorous story behind it? E-mail us and let us know at [email protected].

Filed under: Partners Staff Reports

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