History of Abundant Life Texoma
(formerly Abundant Life Temple)
Abundant Life Temple was organized as the Durant First Pentecostal Holiness Church in 1939 by Lee Hargis and J.B. Woodard with nine charter members. The first church facility was a tent and “tent” pastors included Virgil Gaither and Raymond Bullard.
In 1942, the “Rock” church was built at first and Liveoak streets. “Rock” pastors included Marvin Hamm, Alvin Smith, Garland Garrison, David Thurman, and Arthur Smith.
The present facility was completed in 1963 and “Abundant Life Temple” was born. Former pastors included Edgar Gourd, Ray Stewart, Ed Philpot, Randell Drake, Douglas Lott II, Jim Zenger and Timothy Cox. Pastors Chuck & Stephanie Barrineau came to ALT in April of 2012.
From the time of Pastor Gourd, the congregation increased in numbers. A “Prayer Band” was formed and is functional to the present day. A great emphasis was placed on prayer with prayer warriors staying around the altars as people came to be prayed for. During Pastor Gourd’s term, the church burned, destroying almost everything. Services were held in the Durant City Hall until the church was rebuilt. At this time, a new building – the Annex – was added to the church as a separate fellowship hall.
Pastor Ed Philpot became pastor at ALT in February 1967. He immediately got involved in the community becoming involved in community organizations and meeting city leaders. He also insisted that ALT begin organized Sunday school classes for all ages and then later – after hiring a Music Director – had graded choirs for the youth and children. The first choir robes were purchased from the Waxahachie Bible College – purple iridescent with gold satin collars - $5.00 each!
During Pastor Philpot’s pastorate, the church burned again. Arson was involved this time with the fires set at the piano and organ in the sanctuary. The annex was used to have two services on Sunday mornings and one on Sunday evenings until the church could be refurbished. The present baby grand piano was bought at that time and the organ had to be replaced along with the song books damaged from the smoke. Most of the damage was caused by smoke.
Also during Pastor Philpot’s tenure, Teen Talent became a part of the norm for ALT with many youth and children being involved with talent. These activities were some of the best ways that the church grew during this time. People were especially interested if their child was participating in activities. Other events included Easter and Christmas Musicals / Plays and children’s plays in the fall of the year. Rev. Randell O. Drake was hired as Music Director while Pastor Philpot was pastoring ALT and was a big part of keeping the choirs, plays, musicals and many other things going. When Pastor Philpot retired, Randell Drake was voted in as pastor in 1991 and continued the work Pastor Philpot had begun. During Pastor Philpot’s tenure he served as a Conference Board Member. The children and teens were very active in conference youth camps, retreats and Talent Competitions.
Bell choirs also became a hit as ALT was one of the first churches in this area to incorporate them. They played for various community events along with competing and winning in many Teen Talent competitions.
In 1986, ALT added the Gladys Darrah Chapel to the church facility. The chapel is now used by the youth each Wednesday night. Abundant Life has been known for its great youth groups over the years, with many members continuing in ministry following graduation from high school and college.
In 1996, an addition to the front of the sanctuary was constructed giving more seating space and extra classrooms, new restrooms and a new nursery to the building.
In 2015 the church’s name was changed to Abundant Life Texoma to reflect Pastor Chuck’s vision for reaching as many people as we can for Christ in the Texoma region. A massive renovation project was completed and the church was RELAUNCHED with a fresh new approach!