Praising God, Proclaiming Jesus,
Drawing People to the Cross.
The Church of Christ in Washington has roots going back nearly 180 years. In 1830 seven individuals who strove to adhere to the teachings of the Bible and examples of worship and discipleship began meeting together in Washington, IN, creating the Bethany church. In 1912, several families left Bethany to join the Old Union Church, south of Washington.
In 1915, some of the men at Old Union thought the cause of Christ would be best served by locating a congregation within the city of Washington. The trustees of the Presbyterian church offered to sell the property located at NE 1st and Hefron Streets. Three men primarily responsible for the purchase of the old building were Andrew Miller, James Colbert, and A.C. Wise. On October 1, 1916, twenty-two people from Old Union and Bethany met for the first time as the Church of Christ in Washington. The first preacher was O.M. Davis from Bicknell. In December 1916 Thad Hutson held a two-week gospel meeting. Through the years the congregation was served by many faithful men and women. Several generous donations helped to maintain and remodel the building, eventually adding a baptistry in 1941. In 1955 the church hired its first full-time preacher, Robert McIndoo from Terre Haute, IN.
In September 1962, several families planted a second congregation in Washington. They began meeting in the National Guard Armory and took the name North Side Church of Christ. Jerry Wier served as a preacher there. In August 1964, the North Side church purchased property in the Wilson Heights addition. A building was constructed, and the first meeting there took place on March 13, 1966. The name was changed to the Wilson Heights Church of Christ. Raymond Shepherd and Don Jett faithfully served as elders of this congregation. Don also served as the preacher through the early 70s. From 1975 to 1979, Jerry Jett and Bryan Walden shared preaching duties. Bob Waggoner then filled the pulpit until 1981 along with Bryan Walden.
Through the years, several families in both congregations (Wilson Heights and 1st & Hefron) felt the cause of Christ could be best served by combining to form one congregation. Through the efforts of the leadership of both congregations working together, the decision was made for them to meet together. February 1, 1981 was the first worship together. On March 8, 1981, Robert Pitman, Justin Roberts, and Bryan Walden were appointed elders. After alternating locations of worship, later that year a decision was made to conduct all worship services at the Wilson Heights (present) location based mostly on location and condition of the structure. We then became known as the Washington Church of Christ. After combining, Bill Barbee (preacher at 1st & Hefron) took over full-time preaching duties for the church.
Plans then began for an addition to the existing structure with the help of Mylar church Builders of Crawfordsville, IN. Construction began in September, 1985, with the dedication held on June 8, 1986. Gene Carrell was the guest speaker. From 1981 to 1987 Justin Roberts, Bob Pitman, and Bryan Walden continued to serve as elders, with Bill Barbee serving as preacher. In April 1987 Tim Sensing was hired as full-time minister after Bill left for chaplain duty in the Army. Justin Roberts moved to Jeffersonville in the fall of 1987, and C. Ira Price became an elder, serving until 1993. Bob Pitman stepped down as elder in 1994, and his son Joe Pitman, Virgil Wininger, and Bryan Walden served as elders till 2010. Bryan Walden and Drew Myers served as elders from 2009-2013. Coy Taber was added as an elder in February of 2013 and Bryan Walden retired as an elder since 1981 on March 24, 2013. Bryan and Kay have moved to Spring Mill Bible Camp in Mitchell, Indiana to serve as caretakers. Drew Myers and Coy Taber continue as elders today.
It is pleasant to think of the Lords work in Washington over the last 180 years. We have seen good times and trials. However, let us remember Luke 9:62 "But Jesus told him, Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God." We must continue to focus on Christ and Him alone as we move into the next chapters of our life as a body. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witness to the life of faith, let us strip off EVERY weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2a)
Robert McIndoo (1st & Hefron)
1962 - 1966
Jerry Weir (North Side)
1966 - early 70's
Don Jett (Wilson Heights)
1975 - 1979
Jerry Jett & Bryan Walden
1979 - 1981
Bryan Walden & Bob Waggoner
1981 - 1987
1987 - 1993
1994 - 2000
2001 - 2007
2008 - 2010
2018 - Present
A majority of the history noted here was compiled by the late Ira Price (1923-2006). The latest edits by Christopher Wiles were in August 2017.