We, Dan and Laura Rosecrans with The HUB of New Mexico Christian Internet Radio Station at thehubnm.com , asked Pastor Randall Floyd, Pastor of the Clayton Assembly of God Church, how his church came to be in existence. We felt this was a great historical New Mexico story to post and an encouragement to others that with a little help from many – a GREAT thing can happen. Thank you Pastor Floyd for an incredible story!
By Pastor Randall Floyd:
Two elderly ladies who were living in the county near the town of Clayton, NM, Mrs. Bill Tower and Mrs. Joe Myers, had been praying for an Assembly of God Church to begin in Clayton.
Unbeknownst to the ladies, at the 1945 Camp Meeting at Mountainair, NM, a young lady, Gaye Boyd, testified one night at the Camp Meeting services that she was praying for an Assembly of God to begin in Clayton, NM. Her husband, Loyd Boyd, was in the military at the time, and she wanted the church started before he came back home. They had previously lived in Clayton and attended the Baptist Church. She had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in an Assembly of God Church in Joplin, Missouri where her husband was stationed for a while. Loyd Boyd served time overseas and returned in 1946. He and Gaye returned back to Clayton.
Rev. Thad Ward, and his wife, from Memphis, TN, were at that Mountainair Camp Meeting Services and said they were looking for a church to pastor. They heard Sister Boyd’s testimony and several weeks later contacted the Boyd’s and made arrangements to come to Clayton. They looked for a place to hold the services in town but found none. The Boyd’s then offered their home as the first meeting place.
After contacting Sister Tower and Sister Myers, the elderly ladies that had been praying, nine families began meeting each Sunday morning for worship services. They all brought dinner and had fellowship before returning to their homes in the country. The midweek services were held in different homes each week. At one of the midweek services Brother Loyd Boyd received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
The little group began raising money and when they had raised enough to purchase land, three lots were bought at 1005 South First Street, now US Highway 87.
Brother Boyd staked out the place on the property where they wanted to build the basement for the church. Brother Earl Thompson, a member of the Clayton church, had a brother-in-law who worked for the Oklahoma highway department. He brought over some machinery when he wasn’t working on a Saturday and dug out the basement for the church in 4 hours and didn’t charge for the job. They placed the dirt from the basement on the lot next to the site and the people prayed that someone would want it so they could get it out of the way. In a few days the New Mexico Highway Department came by to see if they could purchase the dirt for a road work project and were told if they would haul it off they could have it. The highway department obliged the church.
The church then hired a man with a team of mules and a wagon to bring rock to the site for the basement foundation and walls. Contractor Moss Shields built the foundation and forms for the walls. The men of the church mixed the concrete and poured it. They went up part way and installed windows in the basement. Sister Boyd’s father, V.D. Leavite, donated his labor and put the roof on, sloping it the way it needed to be to serve as the floor of the future sanctuary.
The old, original parsonage (no longer standing, but visible in one of the pictures provided) was built by the members of the church with some outside help from Bro. Earl Vanzant, Bro. Staster, and Bro. Shipley.In 1960 Rev. Dale Webb came on as pastor of the church and he sketched a drawing of the upper sanctuary for the contractor crews of Scott and Son from Albuquerque, NM. The upper level was constructed of cinder blocks and bricks. The church members donated all the labor they could to help cut the expenses in the expansion of the church.
The church met in the basement until they could afford to build the sanctuary on top. They continued to meet in the basement until the sanctuary was finished. They then moved upstairs for services and fixed the basement up for Sunday School rooms. Brother Raymond Hudson ministered at the dedication of the upstairs sanctuary. Around this time Brother Loyd Boyd built altars and pulpit for the church. Later a kitchen area was added to the rear of the church and a baptistery was installed upstairs. Then they added the restroom areas and a Pastor’s study, and the entry of the church on the front side.
The seating for the church was purchased at the local theater that was being converted into a bowling ally. Bro. Webb and Bro. Boyd went and picked out 200 seats to fill the auditorium. They were purchased at $3.00 each. The WM’s reupholstered the seats and the body shop repainted them.
Rev. Ed Murphy, pastor of the Church of God in Clayton, built new altars and a new pulpit for the church. One of the members, Cora Kite, donated glass doors for the front of the church. The baby grand piano was donated by Martha McDonald. The church then purchased an organ.
In 1999 the church purchased a Solitaire double wide mobile home for a parsonage and placed it in the back of the church. The old parsonage was torn down to make more parking room. At the same time they purchased an old garage and lots next to the church on the north side. In 2002 they sold the old garage building and made more parking for the church.
Some of the Pastors and the dates they were Pastor are: Thad L. Ward in 1946, O. O. Shipley in 1951, John K. Pratt, Nick Kovac, C. W. Bourne, H. N. Shul 1956-1960, Dale Webb in 1960, Jerry Roberts, Joe Henegar in 1970, Leroy Hessler in 1970 -1972, Dan York 1972-1979, Willard Richardson 1979, Dave Laughlin 1979-1983, Randy Sims 1983-1984, Norman McCutchen 1984-1986, David Caley 1986, Paul Haden 1990-1997, Ed Wolfard 1998-2001, Leroy Henson 2002-2005, and Randall Floyd 2005 – present.
Over the years there have been numerous Evangelists and Missionaries that have spoken to Clayton Assembly of God. Those that can be remembered by the oldest people here are as follows: Steven Sutherland, Allen Wolford, James West, Ed Rimer, Gwen Kovac, Tommy Crider, Ken George, Jerry Savage, Larry Boyd, James Rowton, Gary Wilkes, Bill McCann, Herman Porter, Jerry Cryer, John Harke, Ray Dodge, Randy Payne, Glen Meldram, John Harke, Don Carver, Richard Cordova, Mark Henegar, Paul Savage, Earl Vanzant, H. H. Rogers, Mike Dickenson, Mike Eddy, Bro. Newton, Darrel Padget, Stan Rutkowski, E. J. Stone, Crest Cunnings , Brother Eldridge, and Casey Stafford.