Thanks to the diligent efforts of the Elders at Jackson Heights Church of Christ, Florence, Alabama, the Southwest congregation was organized in the fall of 1981. With seventeen in attendance, on October 18, 1981, Southwest Church of Christ held its first worship service at the home of minister, Steve Rook. Steve and his family labored tirelessly to carry out this mission work grounded in His word. While meeting at numerous locations from ’81 to early 1984, the congregation grew to 40-50 attendees; when, with continuing financial support from Jackson Heights, Southwest purchased land, constructed a building and began worshiping and working for the Lord at 750 Courthouse Road on April 1, 1984. The building was small, with the auditorium doubling as classrooms by using folding partitions, but everyone was happy to have a place to call home. From the early days of Southwest’s inception there was a special closeness among its members; and that closeness would remain the strength of the congregation throughout the years. This closeness and strength drove attendance to 70-80 by December 1986 when the new education wing was completed. Additional pews were added to the auditorium in 1987 and in 1988 attendance occasionally broke 100. 1989 was a year of many events. We saw a decrease in our attendance, however, due to the strong foundation and close relationships that had been formed by Brother Rook and the dedicated members of Southwest, the downturn was short-lived. During that same year, our first Elders were appointed, which illustrated the growth and maturity of the congregation. Unfortunately, Steve Rook, the founding minister of Southwest left to work at another congregation in the brotherhood in late 1989. Even though all these things happened in 1989, with the leadership of Southwest set up according to God’s plan, the body was ready to move into the 1990′s with a revitalized dedication and devotion to the work of the Lord and service to the community.
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