Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Dallas, Texas is the longest continuously operating Protestant congregation in Dallas.
The church, located at 4711 Westside Drive, marked its 150th anniversary in 2013. The church is a member congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a mainline Protestant Christian denomination in North America. It is often referred to as The Christian Church, The Disciples of Christ, or more simply as The Disciples.
Located just west of the Dallas North Tollway, Central is 5 miles north of downtown Dallas and at the southern edge of the Town of Highland Park.
A small and intimate congregation, the mission of Central Christian Church is to invite individuals to a life of faith within the ministry. The church is also home to a Spanish-speaking Hispanic congregation and an Ethiopian congregation
== History ==
Organized in 1863, under the headship of teacher and preacher Charles Carlton, the congregation originally held services in Mr. Carlton’s log cabin schoolroom in present day Downtown Dallas.〔The Gospel Guardian (Dallas’ Oldest Church) Volume 3, Number 15, Page 1,11〕
The meetings were moved a few months later to the records building of the Dallas County Courthouse in downtown Dallas. The congregation met in the courthouse for about a year before deciding that they needed a meeting space of their own, separate from a government building.〔The First Hundred Years 1863-1963 Taylor Publishing Company〕
In 1867, the church built a small meeting house two blocks from the courthouse in an area that is now called The West End Historic District of Downtown Dallas.
To commemorate where the original church once stood, a Texas Historical marker was installed on a two story red brick building at 703 Ross Ave. on December 4, 1938—a building that once housed the city police station and jail.〔Dallas Morning News, 12-5-1938, p.1, Dallas, Texas〕
In 1876, the gift of an organ caused a division among the parishioners. Some members were opposed to instrumental music within the church. The Rev. Kirk Baxter and those members who desired the addition of the musical instrument began temporary meetings in the Main Street Opera House. A new sanctuary was built in 1878 on Commerce Street at the site of the former Statler Hilton Hotel building. The church adopted the name Commerce Street Christian Church.
Nine ministers served the Commerce Street Christian Church between 1878 and 1891.
In 1891, while Mr. J. F. Toof was pastor, the congregation moved to a new and larger building at St. Paul and Patterson streets and the name Central Christian Church was chartered. The church remained at this location for the next 60 years.
In 1951, Central Christian Church sold the St. Paul/Patterson location and purchased land at 4711 Westside Drive, the present day location of the church. Construction started on the Westside location in April 1952, and the new sanctuary was dedicated during a service on Sunday, May 3, 1953.〔Dallas Morning News, 5-24-1953, p 9, Dallas, Texas〕
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