Our history recorded the Church of Christ in Saint Louis beginning in the 1930s when Brother Adamson and his family moved to St. Louis from Arkansas and discovered that there was not a Church of Christ congregation among African Americans in the area.
The Adamson and Bickman families coordinated worship services in each other’s homes. After several months of meeting, they decided to call Brother Marshall Keeble to facilitate a gospel meeting and introduce the Church of Christ to the neighboring community. As a result of the revival, many obeyed the gospel. The new membership growth was outgrowing the homes, and a building was needed to hold worship services.
The first building for the Church of Christ among Blacks was at 4279 West Garfield. This event marked the first movement of the Church from homes to an official Church building.
AND THE LORD ADDED
Under the leadership of Brother Daly in the early 1940’s it was not long before another building was needed. The new location was on Newstead Avenue. The Church continued to grow. After Brother Daly’s ministry came Brother Henry Cheek.
After Brother Cheek’s ministry came Brother Grady. Under the leadership of Brother Grady, the membership again out grew the building. Brother Grady mortgaged his home to help raise money to acquire another building.
The building purchase was located at 3501 Francis at the corner of Evans. It became to be known as the Francis and Evans Church of Christ in 1944.
Brother Grady, with the help of Brother Douglas Greer and Brother Bickam remodeled the building making it appropriate for worship.
In 1945, Brother Green became the minister. In 1946 Brother Leroy Durley became the minister. Brother Durley labored there until 1952 when another new and very energetic minister by the name of Brother R.M. Moore became the minister.
A collaborative effort by the congregation members of Francis and Evans resulted in the need for expansion and building a new church home. Brother Moore was a man of many talents. He drew up the plans for the new structure.
In 1955, the building at 4229 West Page was completed. The dedication was a joyous and memorable occasion. The Page Boulevard Church of Christ was identified as one of the largest Black Churches of Christ in the United States during this period. Brother Moore and the Page congregation gained recognition throughout the brotherhood of Black Churches for their achievement.
Brother Moore ministered at Page until 1964; Brother Graham McGill became the minister until 1971. After Brother McGill, there was Brothers’ Maurice Elder, Artie Reed, Marshall Rose, David Lane, Warren G. Blakney Sr., Harold F. Henry, and Ernest J. Allen Sr.
TURNING ANOTHER “PAGE” OF HISTORY
During a second tenure of Brother Warren G. Blakney Sr. the Church continued to grow. The edifice of the 1950’s was becoming outdated for the 1990’s growth and again, a new building was needed.
Under Brother Blakney’s leadership, property was acquired at 4662 Delmar Boulevard. In 1994, the Church was dedicated. Turning the page of a new era, Page Boulevard would now take on the name West Central Church of Christ.
From 1996 to 1998, Brother Robert Lawrence and Brother Chris Mitchell, both from Berkeley Heights Church of Christ filled in to deliver the Lord’s word. In 1999, Brother C.L. Spivey became the minister of the West Central family and brought with him ideas of making West Central the best loved Church in the brotherhood. Under his leadership, the congregation continued to grow.
In 2007, Brother Gary Lodge became the minister and worked with the congregation. During his tenure, the West Central Family celebrated it’s 80th Anniversary.
In 2015, Brother Marvin Johnson became the minister of the West Central Church of Christ family.
Let us not forget the struggles and hardships it took to get us where we are today. It took brothers and sisters working together in unity to achieve what we see today. God has been merciful and good. Let us always remember what the Lord said, “You shall know them by their fruits.”