Central Church of Christ Deaf Ministry

L-R: Billy Leavell, Owen Pryor and Leander Moore, October 1966, Central Church of Christ, Nashville.

I am eager to learn about deaf ministries among Churches of Christ in general and particularly at Central Church in Nashville.  Does anyone have any leads for research in this area?  I am aware of Light for the Deaf (periodical) and the national workshop and camp.  Central’s deaf ministry began in the 1940’s with Owen Pryor (above) playing a key role in preaching and teaching.  Billy Leavell succeeded Owen until about 1979 at which time Frank Rushing came to Central.  Frank has been at Central since then.

I would like to investigate deaf ministry among Churches of Christ so as to situate Central’s ministry in that context.  I would also like to situtate Central’s ministry in larger and/or other contexts.  Again, if you know of any leads, I would appreciate a comment or an email.  As always, save the paper!

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3 thoughts on “Central Church of Christ Deaf Ministry

  1. I met you a few years ago while you were still at the Disciples Historical Society. My wife and I are very much involved with Deaf Ministry and know both Frank R and Billy L. We would be happy to answer questions or have a conversation at your convenience. Do you still use AOL for email?

    • Yes, hello David. Thanks very much. It is good to be in touch again. You can reach me at icekm [at] aol [dot] com. I have wanted for some time to get in touch with Frank, but there is so much to do. A happy coincidence is that we worship with Frank’s daughter and her family in Smyrna. I have a couple more photos that I would like to post to this blog. I am interested in memories/oral history/reminiscences as well as in the paper trail. Sermons, periodical literature, tracts and other teaching material, also photos. One aspect of deaf ministry that hearing do not know or fully take into consideration is the syntax and grammar of Deaf English is quite different from hearing English. For the local history aspect, I am aware of three congregations in Nashville which have ministries to the deaf: Central, Hermitage and West Nashville Heights (now Charlotte Heights). It may be there are or were others. But I don’t know…hence the gap in my knowledge. What is the history of ministry to the deaf? That is what I’d like to know and write about. Thank you again, David.

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