How we began…Our Church History
In December 1938, a group of interested people began meeting in the home of Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Gilbert with the thought of becoming a Baptist church.
On May 14, 1939, the Levi Baptist Church was formaly organized with 28 charter members. Rev. J.L. Muskelly was called as pastor on July 11, 1939. Five days later, they purchased a lot at 4412 Highway 51 South. A building was erected and their first service was held on Easter Sunday, 1940. Bro. Miskelly continued to pastor until October 21, 1945.
In 1946, Levi Baptist called Rev. Oliver Pittman as pastor. Under his leadership, the church organized two missions. These were Barton Heights and Longcrest Baptist Churches. They had outstanding developments under his guidance.
In November 1951, Rev. Ira Metts assumed pastoral duties at Levi, serving until August 1959. Under this leadership, the church continued to grow both physically and spiritually. To meet the needs of the growing church, bonds were issued in 1955 and an educational annex was erected.
On September 1, 1959, Bro. John T. Brown began serving as pastor. To meet the need of the rapidly growing area, the church voted to move from its old location. In February 1962, Levi Baptist Church purchased 7-1/2 acres near Westwood School. This was only 3/10 of a mile from the old location. The church again issued bonds in Novemver 1962 for $270,000. This was to cover all the existing debts and to build a new sanctuary. The name was changed to Westwood Baptist Church in keeping with its location. A four bedroom brick parsonage was constructed along with a sanctuary that seated over 700 people, educational space for 50 in the nusery, 80 beginners and 200 adults. The old property continued to be used for some Sunday School departments until it was sold. During Bro. Brown’s ministry, the church received 553 new members and made great progress in all aspects of its ministry.
Day of dedication was held on September 15, 1963 for the new church named Westwood Baptist Church. Former pastors, Rev. Oliver Pittman and Rev. Ira Metts were present. A great day was held by all! On January 31, 1969, Bro. Brown resigned to assume duties elsewhere. The church began the task of searching out for God’s man to fill the pulpit.
On July 20, 1969, Rev. James More was called as pastor. Under his direction, Westwood grew strong in their visitation, witnessing, and bus ministry. With change facing the community of Westwood, the church felt God’s leadership to purchase 18 acres of land on Church Road in Nesbit, Mississippi for building a new church. Construction began in 1973. Since the church locations were now changed, the name of the church was to become Church Road Baptist Church. On July 3, 1974, Church Road was incorporated on these 18 acres. Shortly after this event, Rev. James Moore resigned as pastor to accept duties elswhere.
On July 5, 1975, Rev. Nick Harris accepted the call as pastor. Under his guidance, the church Sunday School grew and new plans began to build a new sanctuary to meet the needs that existed for more Sunday School rooms and a larger auditorium. In 1977, we began meeting in these new buildings. Bro. Nick continued to serve the church until January 1983 when he accepted a call to Ovilla, Texas.
On July 10, 1983, Bro. Randy Mobley became the new pastor of Church Road. Due to his love for God’s people and his desire to see them grow, we have truly been blessed. May we continue to grow in God’s grace and love as we have in the past years. We have a great heritage for which we can be thankful.
In 1999, the Church body voted to build a new multi-purpose building. The building was completed and a dedication service was held on August 22, 1999. The new building has classrooms, a nursery, and a preschool area with seperate restrooms, a large kitchen, a storeroom and a large activities area. There are also four offices and two large restrooms with showers. This new addition has been a tremendous blessing and has allowed every age group to have a variety of activities, meals, and banquets along with special programs.
Our prayers are that God will continue to lead and guide us and that we will be the “LIGHTHOUSE” in DeSoto County to bring the lost to Jesus Christ.