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Our History

HISTORY OF THE SWOPE PARKWAY CHURCH OF CHRIST

The Swope Parkway congregation was established in 1936 with approximately four members at 18th and Euclid, Kansas City Missouri. Brother Marshall Keeble of Nashville, Tennessee, held a gospel meeting in Kansas City, which resulted in the addition of many souls to the body.

The congregation moved from the Euclid location to 1919 E. 11th Street, Kansas City, MO. Brother John O. Williams was the first full-time minister. The membership had grown to about 25 members by this time and among those who first worked in this effort were  Eddie Williams, Angie Darden, Samella Dukes, Ada Hunn, Hillery Chandler, and his daughter Mamie Williams.

The membership continually increased in number, making another move necessary. A building for worship and a parsonage was purchased at 1330 Michigan, Kansas City, MO. The ministers who served the congregation during this time were: J.O. Williams, Russell Moore , Leon Carter, William S Tucker, Gene Derrick, Jimmy Richards and David Shows.

In December of 1958, Marion and Dorothy Holt and family began their ministry with the congregation. The building at 1330 Michigan was utilized for another three years. In 1961 another move was necessary and a building at 3900 Michigan, Kansas City, MO was purchased.

Under the leadership of Marion Holt, Sr. a number of programs were put into operation. Some of the programs were the visitation teams, membership zones, Willing Workers for Christian Education, the Samaritan Sisters, Kashmere Sewing Circle and The Regional Singing.  As a result of personal work classes, the membership grew and it soon became apparent that a larger building would be needed.  A building committee was selected to plan for a better facility. The committee selected the site at 5620 Swope Parkway, Kansas City, Missouri, and the present edifice was erected. The property next door at 5630 was purchased and renovated and used as an educational annex.

In August of 1977, the congregation was blessed with an assistant minister in Brother Martin Thomas and wife, Sister Edna Thomas and children. The union of the Holt and Thomas families was a compatible one and the Swope Parkway family continued in steady growth and accomplishment. Martin Thomas became the full-time minister after the retirement of Brother Holt. Under his leadership we developed the Summer Intern Program which allowed ministerial students to work with the minister and congregation during the summer months.

The congregation developed many good works. In 1972, Brother Willie Edwards had the idea for the Regional Youth Conference. The regional conference allowed young people from many congregations to come together to fellowship and benefit from the experiences and Christian training of each other.  Sister Maxine Edwards, developed an idea that provided a way for singles from many congregations to meet and fellowship. Under the guidance of Brother Marion Holt, Sr. the National Christian Singles Seminar was developed in 1977.

In September of 1995 Brother Gerald McGill commuted from St. Louis for several Sundays to preach for the congregation. The congregation hired him as the full-time ministering evangelist in November 1995. In January 1996 he moved to Kansas City with his wife Gloria and daughter Rachel.

In May of 2011, Brother Branden Mims came to Kansas City to work with the congregation after graduating from Southwestern Christian College. The congregation hired him as the full-time minister in October of 2011. He served the congregation until May of 2013.

Brother LaRon Evans agreed to preach until a minister was selected. After preaching for two years in October of 2015 the Congregatiomn decided to hire Brother Evans as the minister.

We trust God that the best chapters in the history of our congregation have not yet been experienced or written. May God continue to bless the Swope Parkway Church of Christ Congregation.