The History of North Highlands Church of Christ
On May 12, 1929 (Pentecost Sunday), a group of believers in Fort Wayne, Indiana, worshiped in the second-foor meeting hall on Berry Street just west of Harrison Street. W.A. McKim was their minister, and through the congregation’s labor and God’s blessings, the infant church bought its own building on Washington Street, within one-half block of the YMCA, and designated their group “Central Church of Christ.”
Although the fellowship expressed rapid growth, the depression restricted the young church’s ability to meet their obligations, and the meeting place was changed to the property at Lewis and Harmer Streets. Harry Thompson became their evangelist in 1933 and was followed by R. Lowell Megorden in 1942. At the close of World War II, he was succeeded by Harry Barr.
During the immediate post-war years, the church evaluated relocating in the northwest area of Fort Wayne. In 1950 purchase of the lots on the corner of Sherman and State Streets was completed and the membership erected a temporary structure.
Darris Hamilton ministered with the congregation in 1952, and the church grew spiritually, physically and financially. The need for more adequate facilities became apparent. Ground was broken on Archer Avenue for the construction of a new building in 1955. The worship auditorium was dedicated to God and the church was re-named “North Highlands Church of Christ”, on September 11, 1955.
Joe Ellis served as minister in 1959 when the education wing was completed and dedicated on August 14, 1960. Charles Branum became the Associate Minister in July, 1962. Robert Yawberg was called to be the Minister on October 1, 1964. The church developed in leadership, stewardship and discipleship. Charles Branum began his radio ministry with Toronto Christian Mission in August, 1969.
In 1981 North Highlands added a new and larger sanctuary/worship center and fellowship hall. The original sanctuary became classrooms, and later was converted into a gymnasium.
PLANTING SEEDS AND PRODUCING FRUIT
The church's work produced other fruit. In September, 1969 several families left with the church’s blessing and support to begin a new work in the northeast part of the city. North Highlands purchased the property at 3131 Maplecrest Road, and the new church adopted the name “Christ’s Church at Georgetown.” Shortly after, several other families left with the church’s support to plant a new church in Columbia City, Indiana, and started “Columbia City Church of Christ.” Through the cooperative efforts of area churches, a senior retirement home, "Golden Years Homestead", was begun in August, 1971. Another collaborative effort was the ministry of the "Inner City Mission", which began in the spring of 1970. Many of the members and leaders felt God’s direction to establish a congregation in the downtown area of Fort Wayne, IN. On the first Sunday in January, 1974, "Broadway Christian Church" began it’s ministry. North Highlands also sent families to assist the then struggling "Cedar Creek Church of Christ" in the Leo / Cedarville area.