History of Dalraida church of ChristHow the congregation of the Lord's church began at Dalraida
The Church in Montgomery
This history of the church in Montgomery can be traced back to the early 1800's. One of the earliest congregations established in the Montgomery area was in downtown Montgomery. The Catoma Street church of Christ came about as those heard the Restoration preachers. Those who believed began a bible school and when the building off Catoma Street came up for sale they took advantage of it and bought it. They used the rooms in the basement for classes and the auditorium for church worship services. Read More on Catoma Street's History
The congregation of the Lord's church that now meets at 3740 Atlanta Highway had its beginning as the brainchild of the leadership of the Catoma Street congregation. The Catoma Street congregation had been the mainstay congregation in downtown Montgomery, but with growth in the eastern part of town, it was time to consider planting other congregations in those areas. The leaders of Catoma Street decided it would be good to plant another congregation further eastward.
"The Studio" - Dalraida's Beginning
In the Summer of 1953 there was no church of Christ east of Capitol Heights. Howard Foshee, who lived on Camellia Drive in Montgomery’s Dalraida area, helped lead these plans. He saw his home community as a good place to establish a new congregation.
With a promise that Catoma Street would send men to fill the pulpit three Sundays each month, a group of about 25 persons met on the first Sunday in July 1953 in “The Studio” at the rear of Brother Foshee’s residence on Camellia Drive. He had furnished it with chairs, a Lord’s Table and pulpit furniture.
We met in “The Studio” for two years, eight months. If someone showed up for two services in a row, it was assumed they wanted to belong. Quite a number were added to our group in those early months.
Dalraida’s First Church Building
In 1954, Brother Foshee purchased four residential lots at the corner of Hickory Drive and Hilltop Road; the plan being to build a meeting house there. Attendance at the end of 1954 was 75-plus. Bible school, Sunday nights, and Wednesday nights were attended almost as well as the Sunday morning worship hour. The Studio was packed, but nobody complained! In the spring of 1955, when we set about making plans for a building, it developed that plat restrictions hindered building a church on Hickory Drive; so Brother Foshee sold the lots at that location and gave Dalraida church a 95’ x 200’ lot on the Atlanta Highway. Construction began in September.
The new building was finished in February 1956, and we met in it for the first time on the first Sunday of March. Our first full-time minister, Brother Earl Hilbert, began his work in September. Growth was steady and things were GOOD!
Expanding on Wings and a Prayer
1980 was a banner year! Members’ interest was sky high, and our auditorium was over-flowing, averaging about 350 in attendance each Sunday. We set about to find a way to expand. The plan eventually adopted had its origin with Brother Rufus Taylor and used the angular-wing concept on the east and west sides. The new wings were finished in the spring of 1981, at a cost of about $190,000. We didn’t have to make a mortgage—just a note here and there, and we paid it off before the end of the year. In 1984, Dalraida squared-up its property lines at a cost of about $16,000, making the church own approximately ten and one-half acres.
The nurseries were added in 1984, allowing a gain of about 75 seats in the auditorium.
The Here and Now
As we entered 1990, numbers were growing, approaching 400 in attendance each Sunday. On April 15, the elders presented their final proposal including plans and an estimate of the cost for a new building. The general contract was awarded to Bill Pemberton’s firm. Diversified Builders, and he agreed to fulfill it on a cost-plus basis, which saved us a great deal of money.
We moved into the new building on March 10, 1991. It was a historic day for Dalraida! What a thrill it was to worship in such a brand new, spacious facility with exposed beams and padded pews. And the acoustics! WOW!
In July 2003 we celebrated our 50th anniversary and a new addition, built by Mike Taylor’s firm, MTS Construction, which housed the fellowship hall, staff offices and youth facility. The new addition was financed through bonds purchased by the members and was paid off within 4 years.
With the strong leadership that prevails, and the love and unity which is so prevalent, it is our hope that the church here will continue to press forward and accomplish great things in the Lord’s Kingdom. The Dalraida Church of Christ continues to be blessed with a loving and growing membership who are dedicated to the Lord and obedient to His Word.
Excerpts taken from “History of the Dalraida Church of Christ 1953-2003” by Jeff Powell and Bob McKee. Download Dalraida's History