Herald-Dispatch file photo In a 1988 photo, Stevens Church Supply Co. employees Shirley Hart (with brush) and Charles Graves put the finishing touches on one of the company’s pews.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the 298th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes. The Lost Huntington feature will move to Tuesdays, beginning Tuesday, Aug. 6. 

HUNTINGTON — Over the years, churches as far north as Michigan and as far south as Louisiana were furnished wooden pews by a former Huntington firm, Stevens Church Supply Co.

Cecil D. Stevens, his father, Clinton Stevens Sr., and his brother, Clinton Jr., launched the company in 1965. At first, they advertised in a few church magazines, but soon their work became well known through word of mouth.

"I've been in the church business all my life," said Cecil D. Stevens, who worked at the former Ackerman Lumber Co. during summers when he was in junior high school.

He worked for the now-defunct Huntington Seating Co. for 12 years but left to start his own company. He first located at 313 Adams Ave., then moved to 213 3rd Ave. and finally moved to 558 3rd Ave. in 1972.

In addition to pews, the firm made pulpits, communion tables, altar rails and "everything in a church that's made of wood." The company also refinished church furniture and even installed padding on pews. The company, the only manufacturer of church furniture in the state of West Virginia, obtained most of its lumber - oak and poplar - from the Muth Lumber Co. in Kenova.

According to records in the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office, Stevens Church Supply went out of business in 1991.


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