A history of Central Church of Christ



1929 through the 1950’s


The Central Congregation had its beginning in 1929 with approximately a hundred and eighteen members meeting in the old Grand Theater building on Jefferson Street in downtown Huntsville.  The lot on Clinton Avenue was purchased in 1930 and the original building was completed in 1937.  Pocket change was collected during the depression to buy concrete and other materials.  Members donated materials, brought them to the site, and did most of the labor themselves.  Thus the building was constructed debt free at cost of approximately $10,000.  Over the next decade, the congregation grew and prospered.



During the mid-1950’s, Huntsville began to grow from a sleepy little cotton town to the thriving city that it is today.  By 1956, Central had grown to the limits of her building and contemplated building a new one at a different location.  Central’s leaders, determining that there was still a need for a downtown congregation, decided that Central would help start a new congregation in the rapid growing northern part of the city.  The building fund was shared with those who left Central in order to start the Memorial Parkway congregation.



After World War II, new homes and businesses sprang up in the southern part of the city.  There was a need for a congregation in that newly developing area; so around 1950, Central provided assistance and money to start the Mayfair congregation. 



During this time, the original building was renovated and two years later, in 1958, the educational complex was added.  This annex included classrooms, a fellowship hall with kitchen, offices, and library.  A second addition to Central’s facilities, a Family Life Center, was built in 1978 with special contributions and pledges from members over and above their regular contributions.



1960’s Decade of Outreach Support


During the decade of the 1960’s, Central continued to grow and to be active in helping to plant churches at home and abroad.  By 1966, attendance on Sunday morning was averaging well over four hundred.  During the 1960’s, Central provided oversight and substantial financial help to establish congregations in Keel Mountain in eastern Madison County; in Oswego, New York; and in Suva, Fiji Islands in the South Pacific.  In addition, Central provided some assistance in the establishment of the Mastin Lake and Meridianville congregations here in Huntsville, as well as making substantial financial contributions to the University church in Tuscaloosa, and in helping with the student works at Alabama and Auburn.  Central was also involved in radio and television work, including the “Herald of Truth.”  Central supported Childhaven, as well as other benevolent and missionary efforts.  Central has been involved with AGAPE from its inception in Huntsville, several of her members having served on the board.



1970 Demographic Changes


At the beginning of the 1970’s, Central saw the need to be more active in the spiritual development of her young people and added a full-time youth and educational director to the staff.


As time passed during the 1970’s, significant demographic and economic changes were taking place in Huntsville.  The nature and role of the downtown area of the city was becoming radically different.  These changes had their impact on Central. 


During this decade, a number of Central’s younger families relocated into the rapidly growing southern and eastern sections of the city and moved to congregations in those areas.  By the end of the 1970’s, attendance was averaging about three hundred.  Even so, Central continued her interest in and support of many mission works around the world and continued a strong education and benevolent program.



1980’s Major Ministry Focus


In 1979, the year Central celebrated her fiftieth anniversary, the leaders began to discuss how Central could best serve the Lord during the decade of the 1980’s.  It was realized that time and circumstances had altered the community and that many of her members were passing other congregations to get to the Central building. 


A reevaluation of the need for a downtown church was made leading to the realization that there was a need for an active outreach program to the college campuses and apartment complexes near to the church building where many unchurched young people resided.  A campus minister and a counselor for young women were added to the staff.  The Lord has blessed the effort.  This outreach has proven to be challenging yet very rewarding for this congregation, but it has reached over 300 college students, other singles, and adults. Many of these had little or no religious background; yet well over three-fourths of them have remained faithful.


In the fall of 1984, Happy Times preschool program began at Central and is still active to date.  Not only children of Central’s families attend this preschool, but many children from the community attend as well.



1990’s to Present


The Central congregation initiated and finished major additions to the building and grounds.  The entire education wing was virtually rebuilt to comply with current building and safety codes as well as be more accommodating to housing Bible classes. The Family Life Center was added on as well as a new kitchen and small fellowship meeting area.  The parking capacity was increased and a new playground for the Happy Times playschool was created.  Through special contributions this indebtedness was paid.



The future holds great things for the Central congregation!  A rich heritage of faithful service to others in the name of Christ has brought Central to a point where there is an unlimited potential to accomplish great things in the Kingdom.  Evidenced by a period of steady growth in recent years, a unique combination of talents and abilities, and a willingness to walk by faith and depend upon God for guidance and strength, the Central Congregation is poised to make a significant impact on the evangelization of the world. 



 We of the current Central family are indebted to those men and women of faith who have gone before us, are grateful for those who join hand with us today, and are excited about those who will join our number and stand by us in the future.