It was all a mistake. The city of Anderson thought that the Gospel Trumpet Co. in West Virginia made trumpets so they invited them to take up residence here. Trumpets? The only trumpets the company sounded were loud announcements about God. They were a religious printing company.

But Anderson’s incentives helped them to settle here in the late 1800s and from them a huge part of Anderson’s economic and social growth began. The Gospel Trumpet Co. eventually evolved into Warner Press.

This summer, the Church of God camp meetings are celebrating 100 years in Anderson. This is more than just a century of meetings by Christians in fellowship. This is 100 years of growth for the church and for Anderson.

From the Trumpet came the Church of God’s international headquarters and annual worldwide camp meetings bringing in tens of thousands of visitors each year to Anderson. From there came 15 Church of God churches just in Madison County, not to mention all those around the world. Anderson Bible Training School — now Anderson University — sparked from the Trumpet’s settlement here. Missionaries are drawn to AU and the Church of God and the experience they gain from these organizations change lives internationally.

The number of employees associated with the Church of God (Church Ministries, Warner Press, AU, Churches of God, etc.) and the annual budgets of these entities have significant financial impact for the city of Anderson. The growth and development of congregations in the community have provided spiritual support to many in the community. Also, the number of retired employees of the Church of God and the more than 3,000 AU alumni who reside in Madison County create a significant economic and professional base to the city.

That trumpet mistake turned out to be a beneficial doozy for Madison County.

If it wasn’t for that musical assumption, Church of God may have never settled and developed here. We thank them for taking the chance, for staying and for creating a huge part of the cultural and economic base as well as a draw to Anderson that still stands today.

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