Belt Line Road Church of Christ
The Belt Line Road church of Christ had its first service September 4, 1955. The church was called Sowers church of Christ until the Sowers community was annexed by the city of Irving in 1960.
The church was originally sponsored by First and Delaware Church and began with 82 members, two elders, four deacons and one full-time minister. This church was the first congregation in Irving to have both black and white members at that time.
Harold Fite was the first minister, followed by Dick Powell, Webb Fry, Flavil Yeakly, Jr., Russell Bankes, Wess Whitt, Jim Williams, Fayne Bass, J.L. Johnson, David Tappe, Kyle Kiser and Dan Flournoy. These ministers were assisted by a number of Christian brethren who served as counselors, youth ministers, and educational directors. Don Hatch is currently our preaching as well as Christian Development minister at Belt Line.
Belt Line Road has assisted eight young men at the Preston Road School of Preaching: Bernard McGrath, Danny Lightfoot, Hack Coop, Robert Dodson, Mark Milburn, Bill Taplin, Mark Petterson, and Paul Martin. Robert Dodson and Danny Lightfoot were from this congregation. Most of these men are now preaching. From the Brown Trail School of Preaching, we have assisted Jerry Monholland, Willie Gley, Roddy Covington, Jimmy Young, John Lewis, Bill Burk, Joe Carrizales, Jody Durham, Stuart Tullis, James Haynes, Frank Botello, Wilfredo Alvarenga, Larry Evans, Josh Turner, Aaron Balderas, Douglas Alvarenga, Daniel Page, Matthew Bailey & Terry Laurence. At this time, we support Dan Keele's work with the Navajo Nation in Kayenta AZ.
Brother Leamon Crouch and Fred Hann served as the first elders of this congregation. Belt Line now has a dedicated group of experienced elders and deacons assisting in specific areas of work here.
The land for the meeting place of the Belt Line Road church of Christ was donated by Sister Elizabeth Stovall who attended regularly until shortly before her death at age 101.
Since 1955, the buliding has had four additions, completed in 1957, 1962 and 1975. The present main auditorium will seat 400 people with excellent classroom facilities available close by. A minister's home was purchased across the street from the church building in 1956 and has since been converted into a classroom, annex and fellowship center. In 2005, a new home was purchased on W. Pioneer Drive, where the Hatch's now live.
In addition to the on-going work at Belt Line, this congregation has helped establish churches in the Bear Creek community and in Dauphin, Canada.
A Look Back to the 1950's...