• May 31, 2020

Minister linked to Texas history - Odessa American: Local News

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Minister linked to Texas history

Oldham cites late Ministers Keeble, Alexander as influences

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  • Minister Richard Oldham

    Lee Street Church of Christ minister Richard Oldham is a Midland native, who has been leading his church for fifteen years. He is the great-great-grandson of Maj. William Oldham, who fought with the Texian Infantry at the siege of Bexar (San Antonio) from early Oct. through early Dec. in 1835.

Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2020 4:00 am

MIDLAND Richard Oldham is a descendant of one of Texas’ founders, but his sense of history is much more attuned to the story of Jesus Christ.

Having been taught by well-known Minister Marshall Keeble of Nashville, Tenn., and Minister L.H. Alexander at Lee Street Church of Christ, Oldham loves to preach at the venerable 101 N. Lee St. church and to visit people’s homes for Bible studies at any hour of the day or night.

“I don’t care if it’s 1, 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning, I will get up and go teach it,” he said. “I love seeing lost souls give up the world and come to Christ. The Gospel of Christ is God’s only power to save. If we repent our sins, confess our faith in Christ Jesus, are baptized for the remission of our sins and are faithful unto death, we inherit eternal life.

“Brother Keeble taught me many Bible truths that I still hold onto,” Oldham said. “He taught that the one church was in the mind of God before the foundation of the world and he told us the Bible would interpret itself if we stayed with it.

“Brother Alexander meant a lot to me. He was one of the greatest Gospel ministers of his time in the brotherhood.”

Oldham said his late uncle Jefferson Carruthers, a preacher, was also very influential.

He graduated from Midland High School in 1979 and completed two years’ training in machine technology in a year at Midland College before working as a machinist, salesman, truck driver and equipment operator for a series of companies. He and his wife Karen have five children and seven grandchildren.

Oldham had been preaching for some time at Lee Street and 15 years ago became its fulltime minister. The church averages 60-75 people at its 10:55 a.m. Sunday services. His 101-year-old grandmother Helen Collier, who raised him and contributed greatly to his faith, is one of his members.

He is the great-great-grandson of Maj. William Oldham, who fought with the Texian Infantry at the Siege of Bexar from early October through early December in 1835 and established a homestead in Burleson County, in Southeast Texas, that became known as Fort Oldham because settlers often took refuge there from Indian attacks, according to the Texas State Historical Association.

The minister learned a good deal about his forebear from his aunt Laverne Oldham and cousin Veronica Walker, he said.

Milton Suggs, who has known Oldham for most of his life and is a member of his church, said they “grew up pretty wild” but eventually settled down. “We were young and out of control,” Suggs said.

“Then we started getting into trouble and found out things wouldn’t get any better if we stayed around those people. Richard is a studious and motivated spiritual person who is dedicated to knowing what God says. He lets people know it doesn’t matter where you’ve been or where you come from. Anybody can change their life if they put God first.”

Downtown Church of Christ Minister Greg Fleming said Oldham “is one of the best evangelists I know.

“Another thing that impresses me about Richard is his appreciation for salvation personally and how that plays out in sharing the Gospel with other people,” Fleming said. “He prepares well and is an enthusiastic speaker. He loves the church, especially that Lee Street congregation.”

Odessa, TX

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