From a small meeting of people gathering in an abandoned blacksmith shop on South Street, the Winchester Church of Christ in Christian Union was first organized.
In the fall of 1936, Rev. Russell Bowman held a revival meeting in his blacksmith shop and it served as a place of worship for the following year (1936-1937). In 1937 the congregation purchased a lot and work began on the building of a new church facility. After much prayer, planning, and sacrifice opening services were held that fall in the new building.
In 1945 a house on the adjoining lot was purchased for use by the pastor and his family. the next major step was the addition to the church of a full basement and the enlargement of the sanctuary both required by the steady growth of the congregation.
In July 1956 the congregation decided to start raising funds to add a new stone front to the old frame structure, a wing that further enlarged the sanctuary, Sunday school rooms, and an office. Dedication services were held on Palm Sunday for the new addition.
In the fall of 1974 and spring of 1975 the entire church was remodeled. Electric heat was installed, carpeting and paneling were added, and the ceilings lowered giving the sanctuary a completely modern look. Aluminum siding was put on and the basement completely refurbished.
During these years the church was privileged to have the following men serve as pastors: George Belcher (1939-1943), S.G. Williams (1944-1946), Melvin Maxwell (1947-1952), Paul Brown (1953-1954), Leonard Fitts (1955-1957), Lloyd Miller (1958-1961), Jack Norman (1962-1966), Bob Barth (1967-1972), Dan Tipton (1973-1980), and Bob Trimble (1980-1982).
Our present pastor, Dan Harrison, came to Winchester in July of 1982. As the church has grown it has been necessary to add additional staff members. Marilyn Roades came on board after the completion of the new building in 1988 as the first paid secretary of the church. About five years later she became the director of lay ministry. Juanita MacQuarrie joined the staff as church secretary in August of 1993 and Bill Benner assumed responsibilities as pastor of Evangelism and Discipleship in September of 1996. Each of these staff additions allowed the church to minister in more ways to more people.
The staff additions would never have been necessary if the congregation hadn’t been willing to take a huge step of faith and begin fundraising in 1987 for the construction of an additional 8,910-sq. ft. of building. It was necessary to purchase several additional properties for the construction of the 66′ and 135′ building housing a new sanctuary, Sunday school classrooms, restrooms, and office space. The new building was connected to the existing sanctuary and the entire structure was bricked to aesthetically blend the two buildings into one.
The next major step of faith was taken in March of 1997 when the congregation purchased property directly across the street from the church. This site had previously been the home of the public school in Winchester for many, many years before the building was closed in the fall of 1989.
The old school building has now been demolished and replaced by a large parking lot. The remaining gymnasium and four and a half acres provided the church vastly expanded opportunities for anticipated growth and ministry.
In 2005 the church sought a new opportunity for growth in children’s ministry. The initiative was moved forward by the hiring of a children’s pastor and building a new Children’s Ministry Center on the vacant school land.
A small army of volunteers makes possible a vast array of ministries to infants, children, teenagers, and adults of all ages. It is our goal to help everyone involved in our church experience the personal relationship with Christ, significant relationships with each other and a custom tailored ministry responsibility that fits their spiritual gifts, passion, and personality.
God has blessed us tremendously and we give Him all the praise and the thanks for everything that has been accomplished. He alone is able to transform hearts and lives so He alone is worthy to receive the glory and honor that is due His name.