Delta Stories - Life of Richard Nathaniel Hogan
Richard Nathaniel Hogan was one of the greatest and most multi-talented ministers in the Church of Christ. Not only was he a strong supporter of education, but Richard Hogan was also a fierce critic of those Church of Christ institutions across the South that resisted desegregation. From his early childhood in rural Arkansas to becoming a world traveler, Hogan demonstrated a strength of faith to all those he encountered.
Richard Hogan was born in Monroe County, Arkansas on November 30, 1902, and was the third child of Willie and Emma. Sadly, his father passed away when Richard was only five, and the family moved in with Emma Hogan’s parents. Their names were Nathan and Francis Cathey. Nathan had served in the 12th U.S. Colored Infantry during the Civil War and moved his family from Tennessee to Arkansas after the conflict ended. Young Richard’s grandparents were devoted followers of the Church of Christ at Blackton and the young man attended school nearby. Because the Delta was a difficult place for African Americans during this period, his mother decided it was best for the young man to move. At the age of eight or nine, Richard was sent to live with Brother G.P. Browser of Silver Point Christian College in Tennessee to become a minister. He later moved to Louisville, Kentucky. While living with Browser, Richard became known as the “boy preacher” and began to conduct sermons at the age of fourteen. His first church was at Silver Point, Tennessee.
Before turning eighteen, Hogan married Maggie Bullock on November 28, 1920, in Maury, Tennessee. They would eventually have four children. Over the next twenty years, the family moved many times from Arkansas to Detroit, Michigan. In 1933, he helped start two Churches of Christ in Arkansas at Marvell and Wabbaskea. The dynamic minister often spoke at large revivals to both black and white audiences. This sometimes-upset segregationists, who Hogan severely criticized. However, he refused to participate in the civil rights struggle during this time, and instead focused on education. While in Oklahoma, he trained several preachers for the Church of Christ.
In 1938, the Hogan family moved to Los Angeles, California. While living and ministering here, Richard Hogan helped start Southwestern Christian College in Texas and served on its board of directors for the rest of his life. He also created the Nigerian Foundation to aid native Nigerians, who wished to attend college in California. As before, he worked tirelessly to start new Churches of Christ around his new home. This included Figueroa Church, where he would serve as minister until his death. Figueroa grew rapidly after it was founded in 1938 and became a Mother Church for several Los Angeles churches. By 1968, there was a 1500-seat auditorium with classrooms and offices. On February 22, 1997, Richard Nathaniel Hogan passed away and was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Covina, California. #arkansashistory #ChurchOfChrist #arkansasreligion #blackhistorymonth2023
Childers, Tom. Added 12 Oct 2009. Find A Grave Memorial 42989652. "Richard Nathaniel Hogan (1902-1997) findagrave.com
Key, Barclay. University of Arkansas. “Richard Nathaniel Hogan (1902-1997)” Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Retrieved 2/14/2023. https://encyclopediaofarkansas.net/.../richard-nathaniel.../
“History of the Restoration Movement – Richard Nathaniel Hogan” 2022. Scott Harp. https://www.therestorationmovement.com/.../cali.../hogan.htm