History of the West Dyersburg
Church of Christ
During the spring of 1949, the Church of Christ was established in Jenkinsville. Jenkinsville is a small community located approximately three miles northwest of downtown Dyersburg . A group of Christians who had been meeting with the Market Street Church of Christ in Dyersburg saw the need for a congregation in the Jenkinsville area. Consequently, on the first Sunday in March 1949, they began meeting in a small one room grocery store in Jenkinsville.
From March 6 to October 5, 1949, some important events occurred, which helped get the congregation firmly established. In May, the Market Street Church of Christ assisted the Jenkinsville congregation in a ten day meeting held by Ross Spears. During this meeting, thirteen people obeyed the gospel and were added to the Lord's church in Jenkinsville. In August, a tent meeting was held and five more were added to the congregation. About one month later, funds were obtained and construction began on a new meeting house. The congregation started meeting in their new building in the Jenkinsville community in December 1949.
It is noteworthy to point out the stages of growth of this congregation. The first stage of growth was the construction of the meeting house in Jenkinsville as mentioned above. Another stage of growth was the construction of a new building on Highway 51 Bypass. Money for a building program began being set aside in the summer of 1967, and in the spring of 1969, property was purchased on the Bypass. On December 20, 1970, the congregation had its first worship service in the building it now occupies and became known as the West Dyersburg Church of Christ. Since 1970, the congregation has experienced continued growth which has necessitated additional building. In 1973, an educational wing was added. In 1979, a new auditorium was completed which seats about 500. In 1987, a new classroom and office annex was built. This building was built on property which was acquired in 1984. A multipurpose building was completed in 2000 that has nine classrooms and a fellowship hall, as well as a kitchen. In 2002, the present auditorium was renovated and now seats 600.
The next stage of growth was the appointment of elders on March 1, 1970. Tom Lindsey, Doug Williamson, and Arco Maupin were the congregation's first elders. Other men that have served: Joe Bennett, Gary Cutler, Harry Ferrell, Mark Johnston, Raymond McBride, Carl Mills, Steve Wellington, and Rick Crawford. Our present elders are: Tony Dement, Larry Fesmire, Purvis Lay, and Tom Eison. With God's help, this congregation will continue to grow in number and increase its influence for the cause of Christ in this area and abroad.
Several men have preached for the West Dyersburg congregation. During the first twelve or thirteen years of the congregation's existence there was preaching only twice each month. Early preaching was done by students from Freed-Hardeman College . Ralph Bruce, Gayland Boone, and Clifford Rummley were among the first men to preach at Jenkinsville. Carl Mills was the first full time minister, followed by Charles Gizer, Glen Randoph, and then Carl Mills returned to work with the congregation, followed by Ralph Griggs, Bill Johnson, Sid Dye, Jerry Sawyers, Paul Helton, Jim Chamblee, Ricky Burse, Chris Fry, and Austin Johnson. Currently, the staff consists of our minister Chuck Morris, family minister Jim Chamblee, and youth minister Jon Morris. Further, Amy Humphrey serves as our full-time secretary and Jimmy Jones works full-time in building maintanence.
In 1949, the congregation had humble beginnings, but because of the work of so many, the congregation has grown to be a strong and viable group. From the twenty or so that attended in 1949, to the near seventy in 1963, the congregation continued to grow. By 1970, there were 96 in attendance as the transition was made from Jenkinsville to West Dyersburg , in 1987, the average attendance was more than 250. Our present attendance averages about 400.
With hard work and prayer we envision this congregation reaching the lost of our community and the world. We are thankful for every family that is part of our congregation. Our motto is, "Where Families Matter.