Brief Sketch Of The Life Of Pervie Nichols
Pervie Nichols was born in Glen Allen, Alabama, October 18, 1912. He was the brother of the illustrious Gus Nichols of Jasper, Alabama. Pervie was baptized by C.F. Cannon in 1930. He married Mary Evelyn Evans on June 2, 1942. They had two children, Janice Lynn and Mary Ann. He began preaching in Jasper, Alabama in 1939, and was trained at Freed-Hardeman College. He served churches at Oakdale, Mobile, Alabama, 1941-1943; Sylacauga, Alabama, 1946-1950, Central, Macon, Ga.; Greenville, Miss., Jordan St., Pensacola, Florida, Belvedere, Jackson. In his years of work he served as editor and publisher of Way of Salvation, a 12-page monthly; He was a member of editorial board of Mississippi Christian, Power for Today, Gospel Advocate, Firm Foundation, and the Gospel Defender.
Bro. Nichols wrote booklets: "The One Baptism;" "Four Questions Concerning Baptism;" and "How to Find the New Testament Church."
He held several informal debates, converting some opponents. He worked in radio: Mobile, Ala., Sylacauga, Ala., Greenville, Miss., Macon, Ga., Pensacola, Fla., Albany, Ga., guest on others. In television work, he began the first regular TV program thought to be conducted among churches of Christ while at Macon, Ga., early 1952. Other stations, Pensacola, Fla., Albany, Ga., and Jackson, Miss., guest on others. Through radio and television work he converted many, including denominational preachers and church officials. Work is mostly in mission fields including Ill., Pa., and Canada. Has established several congregations. He baptized his father at age eighty-two. The training received from his brother, Gus Nichols, proved most valuable in his life.
Though overshadowed somewhat by his brother, Gus, Pervie was a great gospel preacher in his own right, and served the Lord faithfully all his life. He is buried very near the Nichols family in Walker Memorial Cemetery, Jasper, Alabama.
Evangelist Pervie Nichols Dies
Brother Pervie Nichols, who preached the gospel for forty-five years, died July 11,1984, at the age of seventy-one, after a long bout with cancer. Born near Jasper, Alabama, October 12, 1912, to Mr. and Mrs. William Calvin Nichols, he was the ninth of twelve children, two of whom died in infancy.
"THE GREAT DEPRESSION"
About the time Pervie finished school, the great depression hit. He felt keenly the responsibility to farm, at a stave-mill, a saw-mill, and then in the Civilian Conservation Corps ("C.C.C.") Camp. He could give any task assigned him his very best effort, and spread cheer while doing it.
Upon Pervie's return from the C.C.C. camp, brother T. G. "Cap" Loftis, of Fayette, Alabama, gave him a job in his cafe. Whether Pervie washed dishes, cooked, served customers, or swept the floor or sidewalk out front, he joked with the other employees, the customers, and the owner, making friends, and putting all in his presence at ease.
After that job, Pervie hitchhiked to Jasper (about fifty miles) and his oldest brother took him in and helped him find employment. Pervie was so likeable, and such a hard worker, that he made his own mark, earning the respect of the business community, and making a host of friends. While living with his brother he preached his first sermon in 1939.
His brother, a firm believer in Christian education, wanted Pervie to attend Freed-Hardeman College, making him the same offer made to his own children: "I will help pay all I can, and will 'go on your note' for the balance - but you will have to pay the debt after you get out of college." This was despite the fact that one of his own children was going that fall to FHC!!!
Mary Evelyn Evans, of Jasper, became Pervie's wife on June 2, 1942, and was truly an asset to him in his work for the Lord. She was supportive of him in every way possible. In 1970 the doctors found she had cancer, but she kept going for eight years before succumbing to it February 15,1978. In her honor Pervie established the Evelyn Nichols Memorial Library at the Midway Church of Christ, Rt. 3, Jasper, Alabama. He and Evelyn have two daughters: Janice Lynn (Mrs. David) Thomas, of Jackson, Mississippi, who presented them with three grandchildren; and Miss Mary Ann Nichols, of Nashville, Tennessee.
PREACHED IN MANY PLACES
Pervie preached in Mobile, Selma, and Sylacauga, Alabama; Macon, Georgia; Greenville, Mississippi; Albany, Georgia; Pensacola, Florida; Belvedere in Jackson, Mississippi, and at Clinton, Mississippi. In 1975 he came back to Jasper, Alabama, where he preached at the Midway church. While there he helped start the Poplar Springs church about fifteen miles away, and continued to preach for that new congregation until his death.
In his preaching Pervie made very effective use of visual aids, using chalk-boards, charts, flannel-boards, and such aids with telling effect.
Almost every place they lived, he conducted regular radio programs, and was a guest speaker on numerous other broadcasts.
He held several informal debates and converted some of his opponents, and also some denominational officials.
Pervie Nichols was a PIONEER in television preaching, having begun a TV program early in 1952 at Macon, Georgia. This is thought to be the first regular program conducted by our brethren in the state of Georgia; and it may have been the very first time in history that any gospel preacher utilized television to preach the word. (I should like to hear from any reader who knows of any earlier gospel sermon of TV.) He conducted regular TV programs in Pensacola, Florida; Albany, Georgia; and in Jackson, Mississippi, where his program ran for seventeen years. He had a weekly Cablevision program in Jasper at the time of his death.
WRITING AND "MISSION" WORK
"The Way Of Salvation," and "The Bible Way" were two papers which he began, both of which he edited and published himself. He also wrote for other religious journals, including Words of Truth, The World Evangelist, The Mississippi Christian. Power For Today, The Gospel Advocate, The Gospel Defender, and The Firm Foundation.
Titles of tracts Pervie wrote and published include "Four Questions Concerning Baptism," "How to find the New Testament Church," "The One Baptism," "Bible Miracles Versus Frauds," "No Forsaking The Assembly," and possibly others.
Pervie published the Highers Bingham Debate, one of the fines discussions on benevolence and church cooperation.
Pervie preached in many mission meetings, often at his owr expense. Labors of this kind took him into Illinois, Pennsylvannia and Canada, and possibly othel areas. He helped establish at least ten congregations.
On February 27, 1982, Pervie married Ira Nell Ellis, who had been a close personal friend to him and Evelyn when he preached in Macon, Georgia. Nell was a great blessing to him and his work and besides his two daughters and three grandchildren, she and he four children survive him. Other survivors include one sister, Mrs. W. T. (Zella) Windham, and one brother, Titus Nichols, both of Jasper, Alabama.
Nell's own personal concern for the spread of the gospel is indicated by her plans to give Pervie's large library to Alabama Christian School of Religion. She also has agreed for a Memorial Scholarship Fund to be started in his honor at the Memphis School on Preaching. Readers are invited to send contributions in his memory to the Pervie Nichols Memorial Scholarship, Memphis School of Preaching.
-Edited From The World Evangelist, Vol. 13, No. 2, September, 1984 pages 1, 17
Directions: From Birmingham, Alabama head northwest on Hwy 78 toward Memphis. About 40 miles from Birmingham you will arrive in Jasper, Alabama. In Jasper you will need to take the Hwy 5 exit. Proceed up the ramp and turn right on Hwy 5 (Ninth Ave.) About 3/10ths of a mile Hwy 5 will bear to the left toward Haleyville. Continue to the left on Hwy. 5 for about a mile and the Walker Memory Garden Cemetery will be on your right. Go into the cemetery and approach the cemetery office. From the cemetery office head straight for the mausoleums in the middle of the cemetery. Just before the mausoleum you will find the graves of the Nichols family.