History of the Helton Drive Church of Christ
On November 6, 1976 a small group of Christians who had been worshiping at the East Florence Church of Christ made the decision to start a new work. At that point in history it was quite common for large, well-established congregations to peacefully split off into a new congregation at a different location. Such was the case which marked the beginning of the Helton Drive Church of Christ.
Approximately 65 people made plans for this new work. They began meeting in a warehouse originally known as McDaniel Window Factory located on N. Patton Street. The store "Molly Z's" is now located at this site. The group met at this location for two years before a permanent building was built.
This work started with no established treasury. Members brought their own lawn chairs to sit on for services. After a few months they took up a separate collection to purchase 50 folding chairs. It was difficult to heat and cool the metal building. At times during the winter it was so cold they met at Charlie Hunt's house on Bower Drive. Being a warehouse, it was not uncommon for a mouse to run along the floor during services.
Soon a search was made for land, preferably on Cox Creek Parkway. One of the members, Joe Wedington, offered three acres on the northern end of Helton Drive for below market value. This land was purchased and a building was designed which would seat approximately 350 people and cost an estimate of $200,000. Construction was completed and the first services of the Helton Drive Church of Christ took place on May 7, 1978. There have been eight full time preachers beginning with Steve Patton on March 6, 1977. He was followed by C.A. Burcham, Bill Hall, David Hartsell, Jeff McCrary, Lee Wildman, and Ken Chapman. Our current preacher is Wiley Deason, who began working with us September 2017.
For sixteen years the men held monthly business meetings to make any decisions necessary until elders were appointed in October 1992. The first elders were Tim Holt and Charles Daniel. In January 1993 the first deacons were selected. They were Mel Ambrose II, James Beavers, Joe Brewer, Steve Graham and Wayne Molitor. Through the years there have been additions and deletions to this list for various reasons. Currently the eldership is made up of Mel Ambrose II and Tim Holt. The deacons are Darran Alexander, Melton Ambrose Sr, Shane Bailey, John Beckman, Mike Clements, Bryan Hamilton, Jeff Huggins, Joel McCord, and Terry Randolph.
The Helton Drive Church is autonomous, not being affiliated with or governed by any other congregation. Its sole purpose is for Christians to fulfill the commandment for worship and edification and to spread the gospel. The treasury is maintained from contributions collected from the members each Sunday. Financially, the gospel is spread by supporting individual preachers around the world. At this time support is provided to many international and domestic ministers. Money is sent directly from this congregation to the individual preachers currently located in Canada, South Africa, Argentina and the Czech Republic. The domestic work includes men in Alabama as well as in Nebraska, Mississippi and Oregon.
At the local church, Bible classes are arranged for all ages. Middle school, high school and college devotionals are held monthly in members homes as well as various Bible studies for adults. There are currently two personal work groups that meet weekly. Also two gospel meetings are held each years in the Spring and Fall with guest speakers.
Many changes have taken place in the last several years; however, the goal is still the same, to seek and save those who are lost.
--by John Beckman