HISTORY OF SOUTHGATE CHURCH OF CHRIST
In early 1944, members of the Fairground Road Church of Christ gave serious discussion to the need of a congregation in west San Angelo, for there was none at that time. After the need was definitely established, it was determined that a congregation should be located in the Santa Rita Addition. A group of three lots on the corners of Colorado and Jackson Streets were purchased. The Fairground Road congregation took a special contribution. The balance of the need was acquired when Brother Reuben Stanley secured a loan. They were ready to start building.
Almost all of the work done on the original building was done by volunteer labor. The women worked right alongside the men, even down to finishing the pews. They completed the project in late 1945 at a cost of $35,000. Appraised value of the 300-seat structure was $75,000. This new congregation was known as the Santa Rita Church of Christ; however, as time proceeded and San Angelo grew in a southwesterly direction, the name "Santa Rita" was changed to "Colorado and Jackson" in 1958.
Having begun meeting in the Robert Massey clubhouse with only 19 charter members, growth for the new congregation was very encouraging. Early work by this congregation was done at the Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Carlsbad. As a result of this work, 69 were baptized and in two years a full-time minister was secured for that work. Another project of the church in its early days was to help build a church building for the Hispanic brethren on Ben Ficklin Road.
By 1956, the church had grown to where the original building was too small. The corner lot across Jackson Street from the original building was acquired for a new auditorium. The contract was let on March 17, 1957, and on February 18, 1958, the formal opening of the new building was held with Don Morris, then-president of Abilene Christian College, speaking at a special afternoon service. The new building could accommodate 800 worshippers and included two offices, library, conference room and two nurseries. The original auditorium was remodeled for classroom space.
In June of 1982, the Western Hills congregation merged with us, bringing our membership to 500. We outgrew the Colorado & Jackson Street location, so in 1985 we purchased 38.5 acres on Highway 277 and Country Club Road. Blueprints were drawn up for a new 1,000-seat auditorium (expandable to 1,700 seats). Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on July 31, 1988. Construction of the new facilities took 14 months. Sunday, October 8, 1989 was our first Sunday as Southgate Church of Christ.
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