The life of First Christian Church, Fayetteville, N. C. began with the willingness of a group of local people to work together to build a church.  Also, the Regional Church reached out to serve the largest urban area without a congregation of the denomination.

 

On May 26, 1950, C. C. Ware, State Secretary of the Missionary Convention met with a group of 17 prospective church members from Cumberland County. This was the beginning of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), in Fayetteville, N. C.  The charter roll was opened in July with 19 members:   Chaplain Frank Gosser of Ft. Bragg served as the first minister of the congregation.  It met at the Y. M. C. A. for several weeks and then at Breese’s Banquet Hall for several months. 

 

On January 26, 1951, the church purchased the house and grounds of Westlawn, the ante-bellum home of banker-businessman, John Williams.  The building at 1505 Fort Bragg Road was purchased from Mrs. Sally W. Olive.  Renovations were quickly begun and the congregation celebrated its first anniversary in the new building on May 29, 1951.  Rev. R. Fred West of Raleigh prayed that the church would be “big enough for all who love the Lord, good enough to strengthen the weak and Christian enough to save the lost.”

 

 

 

The congregation grew rapidly in these years.  By March 1951, it included a church school of five classes, Christian Men’s Fellowship and Christian Women’s Fellowship.  

 

Soon the church outgrew the chapel in the Westlawn house and began a drive for a new building.  On May 6, 1956, ground was broken for the present sanctuary. 

 

The new building was dedicated on August 11, 1957 with Chaplain Gosser, Mayor Herndon and “the largest crowd in the history of the church” in attendance. 

 

The congregation’s close connection with the military community was reflected by the visits of Miss Margaret Westfall, a representative of the National Committee on Military and Veterans Service of the United Christian Missionary Society, and a gift from the committee to the church building fund.  Capt. Stanley Heath and the Military Affairs Committee of First Christian Church organized an annual Bragg-Pope Sunday

 

During the 1970’s the church re-examined its building needs.  The first home of the congregation, the West lawn building, was sold to a couple who moved it to Harnett Country to use as a residence.  The parsonage was sold and the money used to renovate the sanctuary.  The classroom wing was turned into office space of the minister and secretary,

On the weekend of June 16, 1985, First Christian Church celebrated its 35th anniversary with a homecoming reunion attended by over 200 people.

 

 In the 1980’s, the congregation again revisited its building needs and planned a campaign to build the present fellowship hall with 4 classrooms, nursery, kitchen and meeting areas in the “Building Together for Tomorrow” campaign in 1987.  Groundbreaking was held in September 1988.