Founded 1893 "Come Grow with Us ... in Christ"
Ayden Christian Church
Ayden was incorporated in 1889. Carolina Christian College was opened here in 1893 and in that same year, Ayden Christian Church was born. The church was begun in the college building by Peter Stephen Swain, a ministerial student. At its beginning, it had 32 members, many coming from the Rountree area. Soon thereafter, lumber and brick were collected to build the first Christian Church in Ayden. The first building was constructed in 1904 and dedicated in 1907. In 1915 six classrooms and a balcony were added to the front of the church. Just ten years later, in 1925, money was borrowed to build a religious education plant with sixteen classrooms and a church school auditorium at the rear of the sanctuary.
Various times of decline and growth were experienced, and several record setting Sunday School classes were evident from pictures in the church archives. Recent years have seen steady growth in membership and worship attendance, and music and youth ministries have been expanding. A decision was made in 1974 to build on the corner of Pitt and Second Streets. Plans and construction moved quickly, and the new building was completed and dedicated in mid-1975. Then near mid-1984, a drive was initiated to build a new addition at the rear of the current structure. Funds were raised in record time and work soon began. This new addition was completed in mid-1985 and dedicated at the annual Homecoming held in November of that year. It contains five new classrooms plus nurseries, three bathrooms, a kitchen and fellowship hall. Significant is the fact that all indebtedness was paid off before the Homecoming. Construction is complete on a new family life center, a 10,000 square foot facility that includes additional classrooms, youth activities areas, a large kitchen and a new, covered entrance to the church.
Among the several noteworthy ministers having served the church is the Rev. Gilbert Davis, an official at Brite Seminary of Texas Christian University. The church has four Timothy's, one of whom is the Rev. Dr. James B. Hemby, President of Barton College. The book, the One-Hundred Year History of Ayden Christian Church, 1893-1993, written by Stephen Sudor, O.D. is available in the church library for those interested in reading more about the rich history of Ayden Christian Church.