Around 30 AD Jesus told Peter and the other disciples that on the rock of faith he would build his church (Matthew 16:18). The church Jesus established then exists today in congregations of the churches of Christ around the world, in so much as they follow what was laid out in the New Testment. We at West Columbia are one of many striving to do so. Each congregation is autonomous, yet they are remarkably similar. That is because they have no creed book but the bible; no earthly central organizations or head--only Christ.
The church of Christ in West Columbia probably began meeting in 1938 or 1939 in the home of Carl and Lillian Dillard. In 1940 Mellie Hare, Blanche Richbourg and Edith Hite were baptized, followed in 1941 by Blanche Amick and Rosa Lee Brazell.
In 1942 the church began meeting in the home of Tillman and Mellie Hare. After three years the brethren purchased two houses on Meeting Street and remodeled one into a place of worship where Floyd Wright was the preacher for several years. When he left, brethren in other congregations helped carry on the work.
In 1956 Ralph Henley came to preach and began a building program. He stayed two and one-half years, during which time the auditorium on Augusta Road was completed and the church grew considerably. Brother Jim Woodruff succeeded Brother Henley and stayed three years. During that time the educational building was completed and more growth was experienced.
Brother Woodruff was followed by W.G. Gantt who remained six years. C.R. Franks was the minister from 1970 to 1979 and was followed by Dennis Johnson. Harvey Allen, a recent Freed Hardeman graduate, served as assistant minister and worked in youth activities for a time during the tenures of both Brothers Franks and Johnson.
In 1985 Dennis Johnson returned to India to replace his father in missionary work and Rudy Senn, the son of the late Doc and Vera Senn, returned to West Columbia from Tennessee to take up the work. Rudy moved on to North Carolina in 1989 and Ernie Richards came, with his family, to do the work of an evangelist here in West Columbia.
Renovations were made to the building beginning March 1, 2003 and for the next nine months, the church met at the American Legion Hut on Naples Avenue in Cayce. The original buildings were about 50 years old and had served us well. We hope the new building, built from the shells of the two older buildings, will serve us just as well for the next 50 years.
Ernest J. Richards, Jr. resigned August 7, 2005 after almost 16 years of preaching God's word at West Columbia. Especially wanting to reach the lost, the church started looking for an evangelist with a zeal to do so.
The Lord blessed the congregation with a gifted and zealous man in the person of Scott Parker who, with his lovely wife Tricia, left his home town of Denver Colorado to do the work of an evangelist here in South Carolina, starting Sunday January 1, 2006. However, Satan again buffeted the church and after just a few months, in May of 2006, Scott resigned.
Once again the church successfully weathered the storm because their faith was in the Word of God and sought an evangelist to help them seek and save the lost.
The church needed sometime to build back up. Faithful brethren preached. Everyone worked. Evangelists were interviewed.
Once again we're looking for a sound man whose faith is in Christ and in the power of His word, to work with us to build up the Lord's church here in West Columbia.
We pray the Lord will continue to bless the work here that we may add many more souls to Christ and build up the souls of those here ...
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God,