HISTORY OF THE CARVER ROAD CHURCH OF CHRIST
History of the Carver School Road Church of Christ
(Formerly "The Castle Heights Church of Christ")
(Formerly "The Greenwood Ave Church of Christ")
A Brief History - Lest We Forget
The Carver Road Church of Christ in Winston-Salem, North Carolina came into existence in 1945 in a storefront building on the corner of Wheeler and First Street. Gospel tent meetings were held throughout the city and many souls were baptized under the preaching of Evangelist, David Shows Sr.
A migration of Christians from the Capernaum Church of Christ of Clemmons, NC and the Redland Church of Christ in Advance, NC, together with a number baptized in meetings formed the first Church of Christ among black brethren in Winston-Salem, located on Greenwood Avenue in 1946. Some of the old pioneers who helped to foster the start of the church were Jasper Dulin, George Stringer, Alfred Williams, Shirley Studevant, Alex Eccles, William Clingman, John Evans, David Shows, and Charlie Revel. These men served as trustees of the congregation.
The church became the Greenwood Ave. Church of Christ when it purchased a home at 206 N. Greenwood Ave. From 1950 to the early 1960's, the congregation was led by Elders Lewis Wharton, George Curlee and Emmit Cloud. The congregation labored in this building for almost two decades before it sold the property to the Gospel Tabernacle Holy Church in 1964. In 1964 the Greenwood congregation moved to a new location at the intersection of Carver Road and Highway 311. The building was located in the Castle Heights community and became known as the Castle Heights Church of Christ.
Elders serving the congregation at that time were Emmit Cloud, Nick Shelton and Frank Dulin. Deacons were Ollie Carpenter and Julius Bray. Serving ministers were David Shows Sr., Charles Hancock, Eugene Lee and Nathaniel Miller. Many things happened during this period.
In 1978, Cloys R. Cecil succeeded Nathaniel Miller. The congregation continued to grow with numerous changes being made. Two worship services were initiated due to the size of the congregation. The need for additional classrooms as well as a larger sanctuary arose quickly. Additional land could not be purchased at the present location and the efforts were set in place for future expansions. In 1977 the brethren evaluated several expansion programs and decided to purchase 7.5 acres of land on Carver School Road, approximately 2.5 miles from its former location.
The cost of the land was paid for in full in 1978 and a new facility was erected on the property in 1982 at a cost of $1.5 million dollars. The congregation moved into the new edifice in June 1983. This new building had a unique design that had a seating capacity of 800, twenty-eight classrooms, kitchen and fellowship hall, minister’s study, secretary’s office, leadership’s office, nursery and library. In 1996, the current building was paid for in full.
Brother Cecil continued to serve the church until his retirement in 2001. Under his leadership, with the elders, a utility building and a shelter were constructed on the property. This building is also used as a clothing bank for people in need. Zones were initiated for the entire body and covering all residents. A prison ministry was implemented along with Bible studies in the Cleveland Avenue area. Classes were also conducted in the convalescent homes.
An academic elementary school was started in 1992 with grades K through 5th. A new building to house the school was constructed on the present property in May of 1997, completed in January 0f 1998. A charter school, which is the middle school grades 6th through 8th, was established in September of 1997. A gymnatorium and kitchen were added to the school building in 1999. Brother Simon Johnson served as director of the school.
After brother Cecil’s retirement, brother Harvey Drummer began his tenure as minister, serving from December of 2001 till August of 2004. He and the elders implemented a program to have classes for visitors immediately after morning worship services for those interested. Classes were also available Monday through Saturday. Many souls were baptized with a total of 104 added to the church in 2002.
A senior citizen living facility was built on Lansing Drive near the church building. It was dedicated on 08 August 2004 and is known as Quality Independent Living facility. It has a capacity of 42 units. Brother Leroy Nelson began serving as its director.
Brothers Bernard Revels and Richard Jones served as ministers on a rotating basis in 2004. Brother Revels began serving as interim minister until another minister could be located to fill the position as full-time minister.
In July of 2005, brother Jefferson Caruthers officially became minister, locating his family of wife and seven children in August of that same year. One of his first tasks was the implementation of a leaders’ class to form a team of leaders to work with the congregation and continue its forward expansion of ministry and work.
In October of 2006, deacons were added. These included Bernard Terry, Moise Burgess, Micheal Curry, Joe Wilson, Roscoe Burgess and Larry Kendall. They began serving with deacons Jimmy Gadson and Roy Oliphant. Brothers Leroy Nelson, John Foxworth and Walter Weathers were also installed and served along with brother Caruthers as shepherds.
In 2006, the congregation began support of brother Caruthers in a radio program that airs twice weekly: Sundays and Thursdays. Brother Cloys Cecil continues to run his school for preachers, started in September of 2005.
The school that began with K-5, now has grown to include grades up to the twelfth grade. Additional land was purchased, and a new building erected under the leadership of brother Simon Johnson aided by a city capital campaign.
Brother Caruthers also saw the need to purchase a house next to present properties for the purpose of extension of the church’s family ministries. He and the shepherds proceeded to purchase the home, which is now known as the Kuriakos House (meaning, of the Lord), with sister Felecia Caruthers serving as its director. The Kuriakos house mission is to minister to families, however constructed, to provide strength, peace, spirituality, and security for all members. The house also is a part of our mission to grow the number of members ministering to one another. Many members use their God given gifts and abilities to introduce life skills to other members.
With expanding ministries, programs, and numbers in 2007, it became apparent that present facilities were not meeting the needs of the congregation. Together, the minister and shepherds, with the support of and encouragement from the church, began a building project that would house educational and family recreation rooms.
The new building, added to our present structure, was completed in 2009. It includes upper level classrooms, an elevator, community and church pantries, an expansive commercial kitchen with complete basketball floor and gym facility which can be converted into a carpeted banquet facility. It has proven to be a great benefit to the church.
In 2009, the church experienced encouraging growth in baptisms, the greatest number in six years. Additional programs were added consistent with the church’s expanded floor emphasis. New deacons, George McNair and Troy Chisolm were ordained. An additional shepherd, Grady Crosby, was approved of the congregation in 2009, to be ordained in January 2010.
Since 2009, the leadership has changed through relocation of brothers Grady Crosby and Troy Chisolm and the retirement of brother Leroy Nelson. In January 2017, brother Roy Oliphant began serving as a shepherd and elder for the church. In addition, brother Mario McKennon (wife, Kayla) became part of the ministry team in 2016. In 2017, brother McKennon began serving as youth minister and assistant to preacher-shepherd, Jefferson R. Caruthers Jr.
In 2012, in an effort to make provision to train men in the ministry, the Carver Road Church of Christ purchased a home across from the building at 5035 Lansing Drive. The building is known as the Diakonia (Ministry) House. Interns in ministry spend a couple of months in the summer training with brother Caruthers in the work of preaching and teaching. The first ministerial students to spend a summer in the building were Andrew Braxter and Jason Mills, Southwestern Christian College ministerial students.
In 2017, in an effort to increase the number of trained and recognized ministry workers in the church, brother Caruthers implemented a class to certify both men and women ministry leaders. These attended several classes over a course of a few months. Their efforts and participation served as a basis for his Doctor of Ministry project: A Curriculum and Model for Training and Local Church Certification of Ministry Leaders at Carver Road Church of Christ. The participants in this class are now recognized as certified ministry leaders for the Church. The class will continue as a developmental aspect of the congregation.
The present minister and shepherds, brother Jefferson R. Caruthers, Jr., (Minister-Shepherd), brother John Foxworth (shepherd), brother Roy Oliphant (shepherd), and Walter Weathers (shepherd) work with the deacons, teachers, ministry workers and all members work to encourage evangelism, spiritual church growth, community healing, and to leave a legacy for generations to come.
We are truly grateful for the efforts of those both living and deceased, who gave of their time and gifts to the church. We continue to carry the proud heritage of those who give their all for the cause of Christ.