On December 20, 1987 the Park Avenue Church of Christ opened its doors for the very first worship service, yet those believers who gathered that day were part of a much longer history. For years the members of the Armstrong Avenue Church of Christ had a dream to expand its influence in Denison and a significant part of that dream included a new facility that would accommodate that vision. That aspect of the vision found its fulfillment on that winter morning in 1987. Yet, the Armstrong Avenue congregation itself had a long history in Denison dating back to the early years of the twentieth century. The origins of the Armstrong congregation are in many ways shrouded in mystery and lost in the annals of history, but this one thing is sure — when we talk about the Park Avenue Church of Christ we are actually talking about hundreds upon hundreds of believers over the decades who have laid the foundation for this great church and have invested countless hours of service to build it to what it is today.
As I sit in my office reflecting on the history of this body of Christ I can’t help but feel indebted to and inspired by all those who came before me. Through difficult times and treacherous transitions this church has, by the power of a spirit of unity, preserved and even prospered. Through the dedicated service of ministers, elders, deacons, Bible class teachers, and servants of all kinds, Park Avenue stands as a testament to Jesus’ declaration that nothing, not even the gates of Hell, will be able to overcome a church built on the confession of Jesus Christ as Messiah!
And that indeed has been what has held us together after all these years – the enduring truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. This truth is really part of our DNA. This reality is what we are all about. In a sense our name really says it all – regardless of where we meet, we are the church of Christ.
Church – an assembly of people
of – belonging to
Christ – Son of God, Savior
As long as we remain faithful to who we are I suspect that many more histories of this church will be written. I anticipate that many more hundreds of people will continue to build upon that foundation set over one hundred years ago. And I hope that the generations that follow will come to feel the same sense of indebtedness and inspiration I feel today.
Preacher, Park Avenue Church of Christ
June 4, 2014