In June, two families met in a small meat market on McKinney Avenue near Hall Street to organize the North Dallas Sunday school. Three months later, the Sunday school became North Dallas Christian Church, and started out with an annual budget of $800.00. W.K. Carnes, a layman, pastored the church for two years at a salary of $50 a month.
The growing congregation moved from the butcher shop to a small church near the same location thanks in part to $900.00 raised by the Ladies Aid Society. The new building was completed in January while Grover Steward was pastor.
The congregation moved north to Herschel Avenue at Douglas Avenue and changed its name to Oak Lawn Christian Church. To help pay off the mortgage on the new building, the church blocked of square-foot lots and auctioned them off to the congregation for $10 apiece. With each lot purchased, members received a miniature plywood church to suspend from the chapel ceiling. When the space was filled, the congregation knew it had met its goal.
Oak Lawn Christian Church and University Park Christian Church merged to become Preston Road Christian Church and purchased a lot at the corner of Preston Road and Glenwick Lane. Five years later, the church moved into a new building at that location with a new pastor, Dr. Patrick Henry, Jr.
Growth once again forced the church to move, and two families made gifts to purchase the 12.7 acre site at Northwest Highway and Airline Road. The congregation moved in January of 1950 and adopted a new name – Northway Christian Church.
The Goodrich family gave the church a pipe organ and Emmet G. Smith, a professor at Texas Christian University, performed a dedication recital.
The congregation moved into a new sanctuary in April after more than a year of construction. Dr. Patrick Henry Jr. continued as pastor for another three years, before retiring in 1977, when Dr. Don McKenzie became Northway’s new pastor.
Despite the addition of an 8:30 am worship service, the 275-seat sanctuary was constantly over capacity. As a result, the congregation began to study long-term solutions to keep up with growth.
The current sanctuary, offices, adult classrooms and parlor were completed after the congregation raised approximately $3.2 million. The church celebrated the past and future with a worship service that started in the old sanctuary and finished in the new.
Following Dr. McKenzie’s retirement, Dr. Douglas B. Skinner was called to become Northway’s new senior minister.
Enhancing its commitment to children and to its worship life, Northway added new nurseries near the sanctuary, constructed an 80-seat Music Suite for choir rehearsals and church gatherings, and completed a renovation of the sanctuary.
Northway celebrated a century of ministry with a weekend of festivities, highlighted by a sermon from Dr. Patrick Henry, III, and the presentation of a four-part commissioned music piece, I. On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand; II. Prayer for Unity; III. Bound for the Promised Land; and IV. The Church’s One Foundation, composed by Lloyd Larson.
Seeing a need within the community, Northway renovated and expanded areas within the Children’s Building and South Wing of the Dr. Richard English Education Building used by the Northway Christian Day School. At the same time, Northway began a major restoration and renovation of the Sanctuary pipe organ, which was completed in early 2013.
Northway is approached by Highland Park School District (HPISD) about selling a portion of the church property.
Highland Park Independent School District trustees voted Tuesday to purchase 4.6 acres of land from Northway Christian Church to build a fifth elementary school — the first to be built in the district since 1949.
Northway announced the calling of Rev. Virzola Jo-Nan Law as its new Senior Minister, making her the first woman and the first black minister to serve in this capacity. She succeeds the Rev. Dr. Douglas B. Skinner, who retired in April after serving Northway for 20 years.
Rev. Virzola Jo-Nan Law is installed as the Senior Minister of Northway Christian Church.
Due to the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic, Dallas County issues a stay-at-home order for residents to stay home and for non-essential business to cease onsite operations. Northway enters into the new space of online and livestream worship, virtual gathering, and administrative staff working from home during the shelter-in-place response to the pandemic.
Letter excerpt from Rev. Dr. Andy Mangum, Christian Church (Discipes of Christ) in the southwest:
As the nation discusses re-opening businesses and easing gathering restrictions, congregations are beginning to consider similar decisions…Government agencies have the authority to tell churches when they can re-open. A congregation should not resume face-to-face worship before federal, state, and local authorities deem it safe.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, re-opening and returning children to schools has proved to be quite the undertaking, and Northway Christian Day School has been no exception…There are new policies, restricted class sizes, and additional costs to keep teachers, staff, and students safe. For the 2020-2021 school year, enrollment was restricted so NCDS could follow the recommended number of children/sq. ft., resulting in approximately 30 less children.