The Foundations of Willowdale Church of Christ
The first meeting of the Willowdale church of Christ was held on November 13, 1949 in the home of one of the members with 13 people present. They continued to meet in this home for several months until a lodge hall was rented for a meeting place. During the early stages of this congregation, they were assisted by the brethren in South Bend.
The church began to experience growth and plans were made to erect a building for their place of worship. In early 1952, a lot located at the corner of Willowdale and Bender was purchased by the church. Construction of the building commenced, and the first services were held in the new facility in January 1953.
The church continued to grow over the next decade, and by 1963 was able to assist the establishment of a congregation in Goshen, Indiana. By 1965, it became necessary to begin two Sunday morning worship services. Plans for a larger building began in 1968 when the congregation purchased six city lots located between Willowdale and Olive Avenue.
In October 1969, ground was broken for the present facility, consisting of an auditorium with seating for 350 people, 18 classrooms, a minister’s office, library, printing room, kitchen, and fellowship hall. The first worship service in this facility took place in September 1970 with dedication services held on September 13, 1970.
The congregation at Willowdale has been blessed to have the following men serve as ministers:
Doyle Earwood (1949-1960)
Paul Himes (1960-1962)
Webb Hall (1962-1968)
Earl Cook (1968-1971)
Carroll Harkness (1971-1973)
Charlie Cochran (1973-1975)
Michael J. Scholten (1975-1979)
Ray Caudill (1980-1988)
Rod Chizholm (1988-1992)
Bill Meyers (1992-2009)
Rob Berghorst (2009-present)