History of the Restoration Movement

Calvin E. McCord


C. E. McCord1 (1 1A brief biographical sketch and song appear in Gene Finley's, Our Garden of Song, pp. 331-333.) was born November 26, 1885. to Marcus L. and Thaley Cunningham McCord. He was reared on a farm in the Palatka community where he was born, six miles northwest of Corning, Arkansas. He attended the common schools of Clay County.

He was married by a justice of the peace at Doniphan. Missouri on March 12, 1906, to Ethel Foster. They had twelve children.2 (2 Katherine McCord married Lawrence Wilson (a preacher and singer). also this writer's uncle and son of L.M. Wilson of the Brakebill community. August 2, 1930. Before his death in 1947. Lawrence and Katherine had three children: Glen. L.C. and Carole Sue. Glen has served as a very popular song leader and deacon at the Knight Arnold Church of Christ in Memphis. Tennessee. Glen's son, Larry, is also a minister of the gospel.)

C. E. McCord was baptized by Joe H. Blue in 1907 at Success, Arkansas. He was a charter member of the Palatka Church of Christ and was instrumental in its establishment, growth, and development.3 (3 "Death Claims C.E. McCord; Teacher. Elder and Preacher," Pulaski County Christian (January 1971):1, 4.)

McCord, usually remembered for his song writing and leading was also a preacher. His first effort to preach was at Delaplaine, Arkansas, in 1920. That year he conducted five meetings which resulted in a total of 75 people being baptized. He also preached for Pocahontas, Maynard, Reyno, and Ravenden Springs in Randolph County.

But C. E. McCord was generally known for his musical talents. In 1914 he began the study of music with Will W. Slater. He graduated from Eureka Normal School of Music taught by S. J. Oslin in 1917. McCord conducted his first song service for a gospel meeting in 1915.4 (4 Pulaski County Christian.) and had his first spiritual song published in 1916. More than forty hymns have now been published.5 (5 Typed copies of McCord's 60th anniversary announcemenl in this writer's possession.) McCord used his musical talents in hundreds of gospel meetings.

In 1952 McCord became an insurance agent for Farmers Union Mutual Company. Fifteen years later McCord and his wife resided at Lillie Rock having retired from the insurance company and public ministry. They sent invitations to family members and friends to join them March 12, 1967. as he and his beloved Ethel "celebrale their 60th wedding anniversary."6 (6 Ibid.)

Song director, singing school instructor, songwriter, elder, teacher, and preacher, Calvin E. McCord died December 21, 1970. Memorial services were held in Little Rock, December 23, by Goebel Music and Bill Baker, and in Corning. December 24, by Carroll Trent and Boyd Morgan. His body was laid to rest in the Corning Cemetery.

-Dr. Michael L. Wilson, Arkansas Christians:A History of the Restoration Movement in Randolph County, Arkansas 1800-1995, c.1997, Delight: Gospel Light Publishing Co., page 288-289.

Directions To The Grave of C.E. McCord

C.E. McCord is buried in the Corning Cemetery, Corning, Arkansas. Several miles north of Paragould is the town of Corning. On Hwy. 62 in town, turn north on SW 2nd St. The road will take you into the cemetery. Go through gate and take the first right. Go a little over halfway toward the railroad tracks and head into the lot on the left. The McCord plot is in the middle. Grave is facing the railroad tracks.

GPS Location
36.412706, -90.577110

Calvin E. - November 26, 1885 - December 22, 1970
Ethel B. - March 17, 1890 - April 28, 1974

>Photos Taken 11.14.2014
Webpage Produced 02.25.2015 
Courtesy of Scott Harp

*Special thanks to Tom L. Childers and Charlie Wayne Kilpatrick for assisting in the burial location. They, along with your web editor, took a trip into northern Arkansas to find the graves of gospel preachers of yesteryear in November, 2014. We traveled together three days and located the final resting places of nearly forty preachers and their families. It was a great trip. Many of the personalities we researched were chronicled in Boyd E. Morgan's book, Arkansas Angels, or later in Dr. Michael L. Wilson's book, Arkansas Christians: A History of the Restoration Movement in Randolph County, 1800-1995.

Note: As a child, my grandmother always said that the two coldest places on earth is the railroad tracks and a cemetery. The day we visited C.E. McCord's grave it was extremely cold weather. Walking through the cemetery and looking for the McCord family plot was

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