This is a brief account of the formation and dedication of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), taken from documents compiled by Richard Overton and Fred A. McLemore, as well as excerpts from news clippings and written memories from Charter Members.
The first Board meeting of Central Christian Church was Friday, March 2, 1928 at the City Hall with 308 present. This meeting was organized by 19 board members and 14 teachers and officers who had resigned on the previous Sunday from the First Christian Church in Washington. On Sunday morning, March 4, 1928, over two hundred of those present in First Christian Church arose and departed. The departing group went that morning to the council room at City Hall. Three meetings were held at City Hall and then the congregation moved to the Community Gym on March 25, 1928.
Ground for the church building was purchased on June 6, 1928 at the corner of VanTrees Street and North West First Street. The name Central Christian Church was adopted, and construction on the building began in August of 1928. Money for construction was obtained through a loan from the Board of Church Extension - and many members borrowed money, signed notes and mortgaged their homes to help finance the cost of construction. In addition, a great deal of labor on the building was given by the many members of the congregation who were skilled in construction.
The first minister, Russell T. Gwyn, began his pastorate on September 1, 1928. Services were still being held at the Community Gym. By March 3, 1929, the construction on the new church had advanced to the point that services could be held in the new building, with 651 present to commemorate the first anniversary of the founding of Central Christian Church. Easter Sunday, March 31, 1929 saw a record attendance of seven hundred sixty! The church building was officially dedicated on June 23, 1929.
From The Washington Democrat, Saturday June 22, 1929:
"With 'Faith, Fidelity and Friendship' as the slogan of Central Christian Church, and with gratitude for the fine spirit thus far manifested by the bretheren of other communions of the city and by those friends outside any church, this newest church of Washington embarks upon its sacred mission of holding aloft the spirit of the Master, along with others in this community. It believes that so long as it reveals the Christ in its activities it has a place among the churches of this city and to the extent in which it does this it will succeed."
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