In the summer of 1914, a camp meeting opened a few miles east of Lawson, led by a man who was known locally as Uncle John Clevenger. Each August, for five years, a camp meeting was held, drawing great crowds.
On on September 1, 1918 this group was formally organized by the Reverend Clevenger as the Canaan Hill Church of the Nazarene. Charles W. Davis was appointed as the congregation’s first pastor.
For the first five years, starting with a charter membership of twelve, meetings were held in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Will Stout. During this time plans were made for a permanent house of worship. Two sites were offered for this and the one on Will Stout’s farm was selected. J. M. Clevenger then gave an acre of ground across the road for a parking lot.
The church was dedicated late in 1923 by Dr. J. B. Chapman, general superintendent of the Nazarene body. For many years the church was heavily in debt but was finally paid off in 1944. Unfortunately the church burned in 1945.
Plans for building a new one, as the money could be raised, got under way immediately, and the new church was dedicated on February 25, 1951. It was equipped for every church activity with a full basement with a modern furnace and four Sunday School class rooms. Movable partitions made it possible to have church dinners there.
This church grew both in membership and accomplishments. A well was built and in 1955, a four-room modern parsonage, complete with a full basement, was built on the half acre donated on the south side of the road. Services were held morning and evening every Sunday.
By the early 1960s the congregation was outgrowing the second building so it was decided to replace it with a new building. The second building was torn down on June 17, 1963. An attractive and neat brick church was built on the original church plot. The main floor contained the sanctuary, an adult classroom, and a pastor’s study. The basement had a well-equipped nursery, four classrooms, and an auditorium-dining-kitchen area. The first service in the new building was held on October 26, 1963 and the formal dedication was on April 19, 1964.
In 1968 the parsonage and basement were enlarged and the church celebrated its Golden anniversary on June 23 with three services and a potluck meal at the noon.
First – Charles W. Davis (one year)
- C. Norton (3 years)
- Homer Jolly (one year)
- J. Martin (3 years)
- L. Askins (one year)
- J. Martin (6 years)
- Bertha Davidson (2 years)
- C. Freetag (9 years)
- Emma Hamilton (one year)
- Dean H. Wessels (4 years)
- Paul McGrady (one year)
- Keith Bottles (2 years)
- W. Gates (2 years)
- Marvin Appleby (2 years)
- Vernon Swin (2 years)
- Phil Riley (4 years)
- L. Brown (two years)
- Marvin Carlson (4 years)
- Darrel J. Kroez (1971)