A BRIEF HISTORICAL TIMELINE OF

Grace Fellowship at South Park

REIDSVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA

 

1886

-Rev. J. P. Barrett was sent to Reidsville by the N.C. -Virginia Conference of the Christian Church Denomination to report back concerning the building of a Christian Church in Reidsville. It looked promising but it was not until 1911 that Rev. L.I. Cox was instructed to investigate the prospect.

 

1912 – December 5th

-Rev. L. I. Cox met in the home of Mr.  & Mrs. W. R. Brown with a group of people interested in organizing a Christian Church in Reidsville.  Interest ran high, contributions were received, and a committee was appointed to purchase a site for the proposed church.  

 

1913 – February 24th -Church property was purchased on Montgomery St.  from J. P. Pipkin.  In April, the first Sunday School and Worship Services were held in the Reidsville Seminary located on Lawsonville Ave. Rev. L.I. Cox, the first pastor of the church, served part time as did the subsequent pastors until 1924.  On July 14th in the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Brown, 13members signed the charter of the Reidsville Christian Church

.  (This number later increased to 31 as shown on the charter.)

 

1915 – November 15th

– The first church building was completed.  Membership increased to 63. The first services were held in the sanctuary which at that time had only a sub floor for several months before it was finished.  The sanctuary was heated by two large wood stoves.  The first musical instrument in the Church was a reed organ.

 

1922 -The church basement was completed, a heating plant was installed, and the debt of the first building liquidated.  A dedication service was held April 30th

.

 

1922 – 1924 – Church name changed to First Christian Church

during the pastorate of Rev. J.A. Ledbetter

 

1924

– The first full-time Minister Rev. R.A.Whitten was called in November.

 

1926 –The first parsonage was built across from the cemetery on Montgomery St.by the men of the church and completed May 31st

.    

 

1931

– The Christian Church mainly a southern denotation and the Congregational Church which traced its roots to the Pilgrims in Massachusetts, merged to form the Congregational Christian Church denomination.

 

1937

– The house next to the church was purchased for use as a parsonage and the first parsonage was sold.

 

19411949 – The

first Missionaries supported by the church were Rev. and Mrs. Preston S. Hendericks.  During the 1940’s the church continued to grow.  In a 1948 report to the annual conference, the active membership of our church was 625; active membership of the Sunday School was 452.  The first sermon broadcast on radio from our church was during this time. 

 

1943 – 1949 – The church added Congregational to its name to become First Congregational Christian Church

during the pastorate of Joe French.

 

1953

-A new parsonage was erected at 508 Montgomery St.

 

1957 –On June 25th

the conferences of the Evangelical and Reform Church and the Congregational Christian Church merged to form the United Church of Christ.

 

1964

-The parsonage next to the church was replaced with an Educational Building for Sunday School Classes, Fellowship Hall, and kitchen.

 

1969

-In November, the first Missionary Conference was held under the leadership of Rev. Dan Jones.   It is now an annual event with faith pledges made to support our missionaries.  Today we support 22 missionaries in 13 different countries.

 

1976

-Additional property was purchased on Montgomery and McCoy Streets for a parking lot and softball field for the youth.

 

1987 –On April 26th a committee appointed to investigate the cost of renovating the church building on Montgomery reported to the church that it would cost $260,700.    A ballot vote for renovation was taken on May 17tand the vote failed.  On August 30th

the committee recommended that the church buy 5 acres of land on Richardson Drive to build a new church building.  The congregation voted by ballot to purchase the land.

 

1988 -March 13th

-A planning committee was appointed to investigate building a new church.  

 

1990 -July 29th

– The Chairman of the Board of Deacons Edwin Gunn presented a statement concerning South Park Christian Church’s desire to join our church.

 

1991

– On November 17th, twenty-eight members from South Park Christian Church transferred their membership to our church along with the property and church on South Park Drive.

 

1992 -On February 23rd the membership voted to rescind the previous vote to relocate to Richardson Drive and to relocate and build a church on the South Park Drive property.  Members of the church pledged money to build the new building and made donations for new furniture and a new organ to help furnish our church.  On November 29th

the trustees were authorized to sell the Richardson Drive property.

 

1993 -On June 20th

a special Ground Breaking Ceremony for our new church was held on the lawn of the South Park Church property.  Cost of the new church was approximately $1.7 million dollars.

 

1994 -On May 21st a motion was made and passed to sell the Montgomery Street property to the Assembly Chapel of God.   On August 7th the first services were held in our present church building.  It was 81 years after the signing of the charter in 1913 that history was made once again as we relocated to our new church facility.  On September 18th

a dedication service and reception was held in the new church building at 1863 South Park Drive.

 

1999

– Church membership vote by more than 90% to end our affiliation with the United Church of Christ due to lack of response from the denomination over doctrinal issues.  The church becomes non-denominational and agrees to uphold our traditional faith in the Bible, the infallible Word of God.  

 

2008

-The leadership decides to combine the 8:30 Contemporary and 11:00 Traditional Sunday morning worship services into one Blended Morning Worship Service at 10:30 having both traditional and contemporary music.

 

2011

–The church adopted a new constitution and became an Elder-led church.

 

2012 – A committee was appointed to plan the 100th

Anniversary Celebration of our church. 

 

2013  -Centennial Celebration was held and included a 100th

Anniversary Logo Contest, Centennial Decorative Signs, Interviews with Church Members, a Skit Presentation of the early organizational meetings that founded our church, a Centennial Church Cookbook, a Centennial Church Directory, Commemorative Centennial Christmas Ornaments, a Centennial Choir, Establishment of a History Corridor for displaying historical artifacts and documents of our church, and a two-day Celebration Event with activities and programs on Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14.

 

 

2016 – After much thought and prayer and receiving many suggestion regarding a new church name a recommendation was presented to the Church membership to change our name.  The Church Members assembled in a business meeting on October 23, voted unanimously on a recommendation by the Elders to change the church name to Grace Fellowship at South Park

.

 

As we have briefly reviewed the history of this church and its heritage, we acknowledge God as leader in all things.  We are   thankful for all who have served so faithfully in this church during the 100+ years since its beginning.  We strive to make a difference in Reidsville and around the world through our support of missionaries both here and abroad.  God has blessed this body to share in His ministry as our forefathers did.