A church is both a building and its people, and Christ Church has been blessed with both in abundance since its beginning.
Early in 1956, the Associate Board of Stewards at West Market Street Methodist Church, with help from Duke Divinity students, made a house-to-house survey in the Starmount/Hamilton Lakes areas to determine the need for a new Methodist Church. June 20, 1956 Reverend Mel Harbin was appointed by the Western North Carolina Conference to serve as pastor of the new church.
The wives of several of the Stewards were asked to furnish an apartment for the Harbins in the Lindley Park Apartments. The task was completed and the Harbins were welcomed the last week in June.
July 1, 1956 - A large group met in the Sternberger School auditorium and 71 persons (65 adults and 6 youth) indicated a desire to join the new church. The following Sunday, a church school was organized and later that month a choir and Woman's Society of Christian Service were formed.
Saturday, August 11, 1956 - The new congregation was officially organized with 145 members, and the next day the name Christ Methodist Church was selected from members' suggestions. Later that month a parsonage at 113 Forestdale Drive was purchased.
Charter membership was closed with 246 charter members on September 16. Forty are still members.
November 4, 1956 - The congregation learned that West Market Church had purchased 12 acres of land south of Sternberger School between Holden and Wedgedale for Christ Church.
June 8, 1958 - Ground was broken for the first building - to include classrooms, offices, kitchen and fellowship hall. The city began construction of Christ Church Drive. First services were held in the new fellowship hall May 10, 1959. The final payment was made on the education building in June 1966. The church school already had outgrown the building and Sternberger School was needed again for several classes. The education building was dedicated on January 29, 1967.
The Forestdale Drive parsonage was sold in 1968 and a new home purchased at 1513 Alderman Drive.
Ground was broken for the sanctuary building July 14, 1968. There had been considerable study, thought and discussion whether to build a sanctuary or additional education facilities and to face the sanctuary toward Holden Road rather than Wedgedale as formerly planned. The sanctuary was consecrated May 3, 1970.
A new parsonage was completed on the church property at 401 Wedgedale in September 1972. The senior minister moved into this home and the associate moved from an apartment into the Alderman Drive parsonage.
Plans for a new building were presented to the congregation and approved by the Administrative Board in November 1986. Ground was broken for a $1,250,000 addition on January 4, 1987 to contain a chapel, music rooms, administrative wing and additional church school facilities. The new facilities were consecrated November 20, 1988, including the Columbarium. The chapel furnishings and stained glass windows, all of which had been given as memorials, were dedicated the following month.
Ground was broken February 11, 2001 for the new construction and renovation project at an estimated cost of $3.2 Million. Renovation included some classrooms, all restrooms, and work in the hallways of the fellowship hall wing of the building. The heating and air conditioning systems were redesigned. The new construction includes a formal front entrance and a new fellowship facility. This includes a new kitchen, fellowship/dining hall and a new parlor. The floor space is designed to be flexible, allowing for division into smaller classrooms. The new facilities were consecrated on March 17, 2002 with most of our surviving senior ministers present.
This covers our physical growth history. Our programs and outreach are a second part of our history.
A church sponsored Boy Scout troop was organized in January 1958.
A thru-the-Week Kindergarten began in September 1960 and continued until kindergartens were put in the public schools. There is now a Childhood Enrichment Center and Kids Ahead, an after school program.
In the early sixties, the congregation sponsored a surgeon, Dr. Ernest Sundaram, head of the Clara Swaim Hospital in Bareilly, India. He visited the church several times while doing advanced study at Duke before returning to India.
A Lay Witness Mission was held in October 1967. Organization of sharing groups grew out of this and continue to meet for study and fellowship.
Christ Church members began participating in delivery of Mobile Meals in 1975. The fourth Tuesday of each month is Christ Church day for this. In 1995 members began delivering meals to residents at Aldersgate Retirement Community one week every sixth week.
The first women to hold the offices of chairpersons of the Administrative Board and Council on Ministries were elected in 1975.
On April 22, 1977 a flea market and auction held by the congregation netted more than $15,000 for a pipe organ fund. May 1 the Administrative Board voted to enter into contract with C. B. Fisk of Gloucester, Massachusetts for building a pipe organ. It was delivered after church services November 1, 1981 and the 25,000 pieces were unloaded by church members. The Fisk craftsmen began assembling the organ the next day. Saturday night several members and the pastor and his wife vacuumed and dusted the sanctuary to get ready for services the next day. A number of pancake suppers and breakfasts and more flea markets were held, and many church members and people outside the congregation contributed to the Pipe Organ Fund to pay for this quarter of a million dollar instrument. The pipe organ was played for worship services the first time on Palm Sunday 1982. The consecration of the C. B. Fisk Pipe Organ, Opus 82 was held at the morning service October 17 and inaugural recitals were presented that afternoon and evening.
May 14, 1977 the church drew city-wide acclaim for the presentation in the sanctuary of the church drama "Noye's Fludde". It has been presented eight times with about 250 adults, youth and children involved in each production.
A group for over 60's, the XYZ's began meeting for food and fellowship in June 1977. In 1988 it became the Prime Timers. They meet monthly for dinner and take occasional trips.
The music ministry was enhanced by the gift of a set of handbells and the organization of a bell choir in April 1979. There are now three adult handbell groups and Youth in Music and Arts at Church (YMAC) for 7th - 12th graders offering handbells, drama, dance, visual arts, instrumental music, etc.
The church began sponsoring refugees (mostly Asian) for resettlement in the United States in December 1979. So far we have sponsored 102 individuals - 36 families.
In early 1980 Christ Church United Methodist Women began volunteering at Friends Homes at Guilford. Many there use canes or walkers and need assistance in going through the cafeteria line at lunch. Every Monday two members carry trays for the residents.
Church participation in the CROP Walk began in 1982. Many church members have walked and in the nineties Christ Church was in first or second place in Greensboro in the amount of money raised. The congregational phase of the Bethel Bible Series began in 1983 and continued for several years. In 1990 the Disciple Bible Study began at Christ Church. Over 500 have participated in Disciple 1, 2, 3, and 4. In the fall of 2000 Christian Believer series began. In the fall of 2001 the Alpha Bible Study and Companions in Christ began. The first class of Stephen Ministry was held in 1991. About 150 have been trained and twenty-one remain active - each having a two year commitment. In 1998 Christ Care groups were formed.
The first team of youth and their counselors went on a summer mission trip to St. Paul's in Robeson County, NC in June 1984. Trips to James Island, Johns Island and Edisto, SC and Wilmington, NC have followed. The group went to the North Carolina mountains in 1998 and 1999. In July 2001 the first youth mission trip went out of the country - to the Bahamas.
Church involvement with Habitat for Humanity began in 1988 with the formation of two sheetrock teams. In 1991 church teams participated with other Methodist churches in building a Habitat house. In 1993 Christ Church raised the necessary money and built a house alone. In 1995 we joined with Westminster Presbyterian and St. Matthew's United Methodist and in 1997 St. Timothy's helped Christ Church build a house. Another home was completed in early 2000 by Christ Church partnering with Guilford College, St. Matthew's and St. Timothy's United Methodist Churches. In late 2001 a home was completed with Christ Church partnering again with St. Timothy's. Guilford College and St. Matthew's. Christ Church members and Greensboro College students, faculty and staff began building a Habitat House in October 2003. Christ Church has two cooking teams that meet monthly to prepare lunches for Habitat teams.
In 1990 Harold Pitts was appointed to a team from the Western North Carolina Conference to go to Bolivia to study problems and needs there. Mission teams have represented Christ Church in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002 and have poured concrete, painted and wired at the multi-purpose sports arena at Tio Rancho, started a children's library and continue to supply it with books, updated the computer system in LaPaz, dug a foundation and started building a church, dentists have gone and pulled teeth and taken care of other dental needs as conditions permit, taken thousands of toothbrushes and dental hygiene classes provided. Supplies and consultation were provided for a kindergarten in the Santa Cruz region of Bolivia. A sewing machine was taken which is being used to teach sewing classes. Eucalyptus logs were stripped and installed to build a fence, children's health and hearing screening done. Adobe bricks were made, crafts taught and various sports coached for youth and adults.
Christ Church has a covenant relationship with three agricultural missionary families - two in Bolivia and one in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We also have a covenant relationship with Bread for the World
Greensboro Urban Ministry began semi-annual food drives at area grocery stores in 1992. Christ Church members volunteer at Friendly Center Harris Teeter, and each drive we have led the other stores and churches with non-perishable items collected.
Sixteen stitchers put in thousands of hours over a twelve-year period to make the beautiful needlepoint kneelers around the altar at Christ Church. They were dedicated April 9, 1995.
In the spring of 1996 the Puppet Ministry began with four adults participating. Church members contributed for the purchase of about forty puppets.
Early in 2000 a task force was commissioned to research a possible new worship service featuring different types of music and a more casual atmosphere. The first New Horizon service was held in the Fellowship Hall on September 9, 2001 with about 250 in attendance.
Christ Church has come full circle. In 1994, thirty-eight years after its own sponsorship by West Market Street Church, Christ Church helped form a new church in the Adam's Farm area, St. Timothy's. Our associate minister, Rev. Ken Carter was the organizing minister. In June 1998 Rev. David Hockett, another associate at Christ Church became pastor of St. Timothy's.