The History of the Fort Avenue Church of Christ
The Fort Avenue Church of Christ is located in the beautiful Lynchburg, Virginia. It is one of three local Churches of Christ in Lynchburg. Below is a very brief account of the history of it’s founding, and it’s beginning is similar to how many churches start; with a core group meeting in humble and simple places to achieve the goal of spreading the gospel to the area of Lynchburg.
The Fort Ave. C.o.C. began with a handful of committed believers who met in homes and store buildings from 1938 to 1951. William Echols began the church in his home, then Mary Trent later hosted meetings in her home. A few years later, a woman named Nell Noell advertised in the newspaper and found Mary Trent who had become the last remaining member for several years. Their faith in the message of the Christ and the teachings of scripture drove them to unite and to reach out to the Lynchburg community. Over the years, the small group advertised in the newspaper, hosted a radio show, and held “Gospel Meetings” to call people to faith in Christ. Other churches supported the small group and helped them to arrange for weekly preaching. In 1952, the church bought its first property, a meeting place able to seat 50. By 1961, the church had grown, so they built a larger building on the corner of Fort Avenue and Sandusky Drive, where they meet to this day. By 1971, the church was self-supporting, but as it aged, there were years of growth, disunity, and decline.
In 2012, the church began to form a new vision, seeking to re-establish its roots of evangelistic fervor and commitment to service, faithfulness, and unity. The church developed a plan to commit itself to a discipleship that called for all members to know their Bible and to be able to explain their faith and beliefs. Programs were developed for young children, and the church began to form plans for a determined outreach to local colleges. New plans were developed for using the church’s website and other tools to advertise its programs and work to the community. In 2013, the church also decided to support a missionary, making plans to help other churches to form and grow. The Fort Avenue Church of Christ is set on committing itself to growing in faith and knowledge, while also maintaining a spirit of love and open-mindedness toward all who seek truth.
Thanks to the perseverance of the founding members and their willingness to work, Fort Ave. is what it is today. Since the plans of 2012, God has been bringing individuals from different places and have begun to build Fort Ave. back into a church that is purposed for being gospel centered, gospel preaching and a gospel family. Just over the past several months, God has brought many talented and enthusiastic individuals to Fort Ave. We believe we are seeing the beginnings of God moving for His glory, using the church of Christ, in Lynchburg, Virginia.