Latter Day Saints follow the fundamental doctrine of the Gospel as restored in 1830 through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Saints accept the word of God as revealed in the Inspired Version of the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. The Saints continue to believe in Revelations and that each member should have a personal testimony of Jesus Christ.
Following the death of Joseph Smith in June 1844, the church split into several fractions. The largest was in Utah under the direction of Brigham Young. This group, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" became known as the Mormons. Those that did not follow Brigham Young to Utah were regrouped in 1860, reorganized, and later became known as the "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints". There were other groups; however, the two named above became the larger churches.
One of the men associated with the latter group was Apostle Lyman Wight. He became associated with the RLDS missionaries and was instrumental in converting early members of the church here in Falls County. Apostle Wight and his group crossed the Red River that separates Oklahoma and Texas. Their move into Texas brought them through what is now known as the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Rosebud, Austin, San Antonio and they finally settled in Bandera, Texas, near the Medina River. The institutional RLDS church still maintains a reunion/youth camp in that area.
The Marlin Branch, at Marlin, Texas, was organized during the time frame sometime between 1896 and 1897. The B. F. Spicer, Lon Kirkpatrick and McAlister families were instrumental in establishing the church in Falls County (Marlin, Texas being the County Seat). Many descendants of the early church members still live in Falls County and are still active participants in the local church.
Over the years the Church has carried several names, including "The Philadelphia", "Prairie View", and "Marlin Branch". In June 1988 the name was changed to the "Marlin Restoration Branch" due to a conflict with the institutional "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints". In May 2000, a group of Saints left the "Marlin Restoration Branch" and established the Live Oak Restoration Group" located at 204 Live Oak Street in Marlin, Texas. The Presiding Elder, Elder Arthur Allen, with counselor Elder Bill Saxton directs the ministry of this Group. The group operates under the rule of common consent.
The group continues to conduct regular church services and missionary activities. It supports other local outreach and missionary programs as directed by the membership.
There are several members of the "Live Oak Restoration Group" that have become members of the "Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints", but worship with the "Live Oak Restoration Group".
Members have a vision of the future. All look forward to the time that all of the fractions will become united. Emphasis is placed on the second return of Christ, the gathering of the House of Israel and the teachings on the aspects of becoming sanctified and prepared for those events as taught in the scriptures. The six principles of the Gospel include faith, repentance, baptism, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead and eternal judgement as recorded in the 6th chapter of Hebrews. The Church follows the doctrine of water baptism by complete immersion (following repentance) and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Closed communion is also practiced. (Only baptized members ot the church partake of the sacrament).
The Church recognizes the principles of revelation, which includes the call of men to priesthood (ministry). Once the presiding officer has evidence of a call to priesthood, the call of the individual is presented at a congregational business meeting. If the call is approved the individual will be ordained to the office to which he has been called. The local congregation has authority to call men to the presthood offices of Elder, Priest, Teacher, and Deacon. This is the authority until such time as the Church is set in Order.
The Group stands ready to assist those who are in need and all individuals searching to fill a religious void in their lives.
During the 103 year history of the Church in Falls County, the following have served as Presiding Elders. Elders Lon Kirkpatrick, Riley Standifer, B. F. Spicer, File Gough, J. R. Allen, Arthur J. Rock, Earl R. Allen, Norman S. White Jr., Alfred Feldman, Billy Daniel, Wesley Townsend, Wayne Drosche, Arthur P. Allen, Billy Walker and Joe Mac Hale. The present presidency of the "Live Oak Restoration Group" consist of Elder Arthur Allen and Elder Bill Saxton, Counselor.
Known priesthood, past and present, includes but is not limited to: Elders Warren Green Allen, Lon Kirkpatrick, B. F. Spicer, Riley Standifer, Albert VanCleave, R. M. Maloney, J. R. Allen, J. M. Clevenger, C. E. Swanner, Arthur J. Rock, Arthur P. Allen, Wayne L. Drosche, Clyde Toon, Billy Daniel, Bill Saxton, Billy G. Walker, L. L. Spicer, Wesley Townsend, Joe Mac Hale, Bill Henderson, Norman S. White Jr., and Alfred O. Feldman.
Priests: File Gough, L. Kirk, Lee Gough, W. J. Birkhead, Frank Allen, A. B. Dunham, Bobby Ballew, Arthur Greathouse, Kenneth Toon, Curtis Allen, Howard Walker, M. B. Reneau, Fred VanCleave, James Spicer, Willie Blann, Billy Peeler, David Kilgore, Tom Edward Allen and Steve Nehring.
Teachers: E. W. Hartman, B. C. Robinson, John G. Allen, Norman Sikes, Raymond Brown, Alfred Spicer, Walter Shelton, Allen Brunson, Herman W. Forster, Michael Ray, and Dan Fairman.
Deacons: Clayton Walker, Tommy Walker, Monroe Malone, Clifton Stone, James Peeler, Robert Nehring, Billy Crabb, Eddie Moehlmann, Johnny Lee Allen, and Charles Paladena.
High priest: Earl R. Allen
There may have been changes in Priest Hood callings, but the information furnished above was taken from the Historical Records of the "Marlin Restoration Branch" and the "Live Oak Restoration Group".
Submitted by Elder Arthur Allen
The "Live Oak Restoration Group" met in their chapel at 204 Live Oak Street, Marlin, Texas, on August 19, 2001 with Elder Arthur Allen, presiding assisted by Elder Bill Saxton, counselor to the presiding elder.
Also present were Apostle P. James Buchman, member of the Quorum of twelve Apostles, and Evangelist Edmund Dan Gough both from the "Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints".
During this meeting a move to accept the "Restoration Branches" Resolution was made by Elder Bill Saxton and seconded by John Smock. After appropriate discussion a call for the vote was made and the majority of the voters approved the Resolution. The approval of this resolution brought a new designation for the group, "Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Marlin, Texas, Branch".
Current Group Officers will continue in their present office until the next business meeting.
Officers are as follows:
Presiding Elder - Arthur Allen, Elder
Counselor - Bill Saxton, Elder
Secretary - Laura Huseby
Treasurer/Bishops Agent - Bill Saxton, Elder
Church School Director - Laura Huseby
Adult Class Teacher - Laura Huseby
Women's Leader - Tonya Roses
Editor, Remant - Arthur Allen, Elder
Music Director - Sharon Cantrell
Assistant Music Director - Laura Huseby
The "Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Marlin, Texas, Branch" is now affiliated with the "Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" with World Headquarters in Independence, Missouri. Let it be known to all, now and in the future, that our new designation does not mean that we are a part of a new church in Falls County, but the same church that was organized during the period 1896-1897 time frame, having been set in order under the pattern designated by God in his scriptures.
Submitted by Elder Arthur Allen