It was a cool December day back in 1956 when my father stood up to preach. You may remember a building very similar to the one in Middlebourne, WV. It was the typical design of the era: white wooden slats, black roof, and tall steeple with its bell tower ringing out before each service. A lot was occurring in his life: married in June of that year, his wife just recently expecting their first child, and working in the accounting department along the banks of the Ohio in St. Mary's, WV. Denver Haught spoke that day on what would be the first of many such Sundays.
The next year, 1957, Dad was preaching in Ohio and various locations in Tyler and Wetzel counties: places with names like Dale, Alvy, St. Mary's, Friendly, Middlefork, and Bens Run. It wasn't long before every Sunday was filled and my father and mother and little family were traveling to a different location each Lord's Day. I can remember my mother's talking about these travels. She said that by the end of the month she could quote the sermon.
Jobs changed, and the family moved to Paden City and then to Middlebourne, WV. Dad continued to preach in the area and work as an accountant. By 1968 the family had grown to four children. Dad was working for the Olin Corporation in accounts payable, a job he would hold for twenty years. Four years later, his preaching was no longer to be done circuiting between locations, but he began located work at the Burt church of Christ, about six miles from Middlebourne. In six short years, with a "part-time" preacher, the congregation doubled to almost seventy members. There were many times when chairs had to be brought into the auditorium to hold the crowds.
In the fall of 1978, my father left accounting for the challenge of full time preaching. His first work was Sistersville, WV. After almost five years, the family moved to Sandyville, WV, where they were to work for the next nineteen years. The church in Sandyville also grew during his time there. Dad was instrumental in beginning the West Ripley church of Christ in Ripley, WV, as well as encouraging young men to become gospel preachers.
In the spring of 2002, Mom and Dad semi-retired to Romney, WV, to be closer to some family members and work with the church there. After 4 years, Dad received a call and, at the age of 71, moved to begin full-time work with the West Ripley church of Christ.
Fifty years of service are encapsulated into these few words. The gospel was preached and many were baptized into Christ. Praise God!
The children have grown, and there are now grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Another Sunday will soon be here and both sons will probably be in the pulpit themselves, and perhaps a grandson or two. His daughters and grandchildren will be with their congregations, teaching Bible classes and worshipping God. Many things have changed, but one thing remains, this Sunday Denver Haught will again arise to share the good news of Jesus the Christ. As long as his mind is clear and his body able, that is where you will find my father, until God calls him home. 5450 Mulberry St., Stephens City, VA 22655.
(Editor's note: Brother Denver Haught will have preached for 50 years next month. He and his wife, Dorotha, now reside at 112 Winters Dr., Ripley, WV 25271. This article was written by their son, Doug, with help from their other son, David. Their daughter, Deirdra Miller, helped finish it.)
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