History of the Restoration Movement

Flavil Hall Nichols


The Life Of Flavil Nichols

Flavil Hall Nichols was born near Carbon Hill, Alabama, February 2, 1919. He was the third child, and first son of Gus and Matilda Nichols. Named for a gospel preacher from Hall’s Valley, Georgia, Flavil Joseph Hall (1876-1952), it seemed with the environment of his influence that preaching was to be his life’s work. He preached his first sermon at the age of fifteen.

For a time, brother Nichols studied in Hal P. McDonald’s Business College in Jasper, Alabama. He later attended Freed-Hardeman College for two years, graduating with his AA degree in 1939. After beginning the third-year preacher track, brother Hardeman called him in and told him of a work in Tuckerman, Arkansas that needed a preacher. He felt Flavil was more than capable of handling it, and excused him from the remainder of the third-year studies to take the work. Later, he continued his studies for a time at Alabama State Teachers' College (now the University of North Alabama), and later at Bevill State Community College. In 1962, he finished a Dale Carnegie Course in salesmanship.

While a student at Freed-Hardeman, he met Mary Hardin of Rector, Arkansas. After graduation, the two of them were married, November 28, 1939. They were blessed with two children, Jimmy Mardell born May 3rd, 1951, and Peggy Jean (Champion) born December 15th, 1952.

Within a short time after preaching his first sermon, Flavil Nichols was preaching regularly. In March of 1935 he reported to the Gospel Advocate that he had preached somewhere every Sunday since the previous October. He included among the locations as Manchester, Dora, Gorgas, Eldridge, Berea, Oak Grove, Flat Creek, Bethel, and Winfield (all in Alabama).

In 1937, he and his father attended the first annual lectures program at Freed-Hardeman College. Except for one year, due to inclement weather, he attended the lectures for around seventy-five years, and would have continued had his health allowed. A highlight of every year of his adult life was his annual trip to Henderson, Tennessee for the Lectureship.

During his time at Freed-Hardeman as a student, he preached most Sundays, and sought every opportunity possible to preach gospel meetings, and at other locations as time and opportunity afforded itself. Over the years of his labor, he preached in more than twenty states, two foreign countries, and on fifteen different brotherhood Lectureships.

Among the congregations of churches of Christ he served was the church in Tuckerman, Arkansas, from 1939-40; Fayette, Berry and Hamilton, Alabama, 1941; 4th Street in Tuscumbia, Alabama from 1942 to 1946; Fairview church of Christ in Birmingham, Alabmaa from 1947 to 1949; Belview Heights in Birmingham, from 1949 to 1952; the Ridgedale church in Chattanooga, Tennessee from 1952 to 1957; the Allen and Edgewood church in Jackson, Tennessee from 1957 to 1962; the 7th and College church in Mayfield, Kentucky from 1962 to 1967; the East Walker church in Sumiton, Alabama, from1967 to 1977; the College View church in Elizabethtown, Kentucky from 1977 to 1983; and the Sixth Avenue church in Jasper, Alabama, from 1983 to 1989. In many of the places he preached, he conducted daily radio programs, and for four years he conducted weekly television broadcasts. He preached full-time for 58 years and continued preaching well into his retirement years on lectureship programs, in gospel meetings, and assisting churches who needed him.

Brother Nichols participated in four public religious debates during the years of his ministry. He debated Mr. Scoggins (Baptist), in 1937, on the subject of "Faith Only" and "Baptism." He also debated Mr. Pipkin (Oneness Holiness), in 1947, on "The Godhead." He was also involved in two others. Over the years he moderated in several debates involving his father.

Adding to his many talents was his very capable pen. He wrote reports on his meeting work to the Firm Foundation and the Gospel Advocate. Several articles were also published in these journals, as well as, Spiritual Sword, The World Evangelist, and other brotherhood magazines. In the later years of his father’s life, he served as associate editor of Words of Truth. After the passing of brother Gus Nichols, he served as editor until May 1976 when Bobby Duncan (1934-1999) took on that role. He continued to be an associate editor of the paper until 1983 when he became sole editor. He served in this role until May 1989. Several books were published while he served as partner in the Nichols Brothers Publishing Company.

For a number of years brother Nichols served as Director of the annual Gus Nichols-Words of Truth Lectureship at Sixth Avenue church of Christ. He also served on the Board of Directors for the children’s home at Childhaven, Cullman, AL. He was also a member of the Board of Trustees for Faulkner University (formerly Alabama Christian College), Montgomery, AL.

On January 15, 2004, sister Mary Nichols passed away and was buried in the Circle of Honor next to Flavil’s parents in Walker Memory Gardens, north of Jasper. The two were in their sixty-fifth year of marriage.

For the last years of his life, brother Flavil lived in northeast Huntsville, with his daughter Peggy and her husband Don Champion. He thoroughly enjoyed his opportunities to be near one of his grandaughters and two of his great-granddaughters.

Brother Nichol’s health declined over the last couple of years of his life, passing away at around 2 pm on Saturday, the 28th of April 2018. A family visitation followed on Monday the 30th from 4:00-8:00 pm at Kilgore-Green Funeral Home in Jasper, AL. The funeral was Tuesday May 1st at 11:00 am at Sixth Avenue church of Christ in Jasper. Burial followed, between his wife and his parents in the Circle of Honor, Walker Memory Gardens.

Only eternity will see the extent of good this man and his family have given the cause of Christ. No finer spirit could be found in a man than that which dwelled in Flavil H. Nichols.

-Scott Harp

Sources: Preachers of Today Vol. 1; vol. 2, p.316; Vol. 3, p.302; Vol. 5, p.198; Freed-Hardeman Lectures 1989, p.253; 1990, p.191; 1997 Dedication p.2; Florida School of Preaching Lectures, 1997, p.439;

Audio Of Flavil Nichols Funeral, May 1, 2018

Directions To Grave

Walker Memory Gardens lies just north of Jasper, Alabama on Hwy. 5. When entering cemetery, make your way to the office. In front of the office is a fountain. This is called the circle of honor. Flavil and Mary are buried next to his parents in the circl of honor.

GPS Location
33.861251, -87.295322

Walker Memory Gardens

Gus Nichols
January 12, 1892
November 16, 1975
Matilda Nichols
March 29, 1894
October 6, 1991

Mary F. Nichols
March 7, 1919
January 15, 2004

Flavil H. Nichols
February 2, 1919
April 28, 2018

Photos Taken 07.07.2018
Webpage produced 07.08.2018
Courtesy Of Scott Harp

Special Thanks: To Flavil's daughter, Peggy Champion for assisting me in the production of this webpage. She has been most helpful in this process.

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