On April 7, 1952, nine men, Henry Boyd, Robert S. Brady, Oliver Cook, Sr., James A. Dillon, Sr., Jack Hennessee, Dr. B.C. Smoot, Clyde Winters, J.D. Womack and Noel Womack, met in the office of the J.D. Womack Company to discuss the feasibility of establishing a congregation in the Westwood section of the city.
A second meeting was held two weeks later, April 21, 1952, at which time a general meeting was scheduled for May 12, 1952, at 7:30 p.m. at the Boyd Nursery building on Morrison Street in Westwood. It was also suggested at this meeting that a letter be requested from the Elders of the Central congregation that this new congregation in no way represented a faction or split from the Central Church and that its establishment was being made with their approval.
Approximately 70 residents assembled at the May 12th general meeting. Henry Boyd, serving as chairman, advised those present that the F.C. Boyd family had offered property for the construction of a church building, if the decision were made to proceed. Ministers of the Central, East End and West Riverside congregations gave words of encouragement. Five men were appointed to serve as Trustees: J.A. Dillon, Sr., Chairman, Henry Boyd, Treasurer, Clyde Winters, Secretary, R.S. Brady, and J.D. Womack.
The Westwood church met for the first time the following Sunday, May 18, 1952, in the Boyd Nursery barn then located across the street from the Church’s present location. John High, a popular local funeral director and member of the Central church spoke at the first service. Hulon Flatt served as song leader. Robert Brady made the announcements. Noel Womack served at the table assisted by Herman Mitchell, John Deadman, Cecil Prater and David Ray. Prayers were led by J.J. Walker and Hillard Molloy.
Within a week, on May 24th, the trustees arranged for Stanley McInery to move from the Morrison church to become Westwood’s first minister. He began his ministry with Westwood June 1, 1952, and served until October 9, 1955. Westwood’s first baptism occurred early in his ministry when Ramsey T. Boyd, son of Tallman and Sara Boyd, was baptized, August 7, 1952.
Plans for a building were drawn and ground was broken for construction on July 28, 1952. Under J.D. Womack’s supervision, a beautiful colonial style brick edifice was constructed and completed by the end of the year. The first service in the new building occurred December 28, 1952.
By 1957, the membership had grown from 135 to 228 and by the fifth anniversary of the first meeting, the balance on the building debt had been retired in full. Construction was completed on a two-story classroom wing in 1964.
In January 1974, the Lynwood Smith property, a spacious home now used as the minister’s residence, adjoining Westwood’s property was purchased. A beautiful covered picnic pavilion was completed in 1981 and is often used for church picnics and group fellowship activities. The pavilion, as well as, an adjoining ball field is also used extensively by many local community groups throughout the year.
In January 1995, an auxiliary building to house our bus and general storage was completed.
In March 2002, a 70 X 116 building for classrooms, fellowship hall, kitchen, walking track & play area was completed and is now in use.
In 2010, an auditorium expansion was completed to accommodate growth in attendance. This added additional seating for 100+.
Over the last several years we have remodeled the youth room, created a chapel, young adult room and coffee shop. During 2020-2021 the auditorium and foyer has been completely remodeled with new paint, lighting, audio and video system. A new security system has been installed. A new ladies restroom has been completed upstair and the men’s restroom is currently under construction. The outside of the building has also undergone some updates.
Pulpit ministers who have served Westwood over the years include:
J.A. Stanley McInery 1952-1955
Ed Enzor (Interim) 1955-1956
Bob Brooks 1956-1958
Dwight Bell 1956-1958
James Vandiver 1963-1973
Harold Jones 1973-1976
Dr. Perry Cotham 1976-1982
Mark McInteer (Interim) 1982-1983
Paul Roberts 1983-1991
Harold Jones 1991-2000
Lee Perkins 2000-2003
Harold Jones 2003-2006
Coy Hathcock 2007-2015
Richard O’Connor 2016 – Present