To state it simply, we are a group of Christians who have fully dedicated ourselves to worship and actively work as a congregation according to the teachings of Jesus Christ and His apostles. We wear no name but Christ’s, yet we do not claim to have attained to everything that name represents. As members of the church of Christ (Romans 16:16), we do not claim to know all things, but we do take the Bible as our sole authority and guide for every practice. Therefore, we strive to be just what men of the first century were – Christians only.
We are fully convinced that the disciples of the first century were not members of different denominations, but were united in one body, practicing one faith, under one authority–the one Lord (Ephesians 4:4-6). To belong only to Christ is something altogether different from belonging to just any one of the over 400 religious bodies in our country (see Matthew 15:6-13).
We urge all to join in being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:3-6). The only way we can answer Christ’s prayer for unity (John 17:20-21) is to let the Bible be our only guide. We do not claim to be infallible in this, and therefore welcome anyone who can teach us the way of God more perfectly (Acts 18:25-26). But we do believe that God’s word is truth, therefore infallible, and consequently it does matter what one believes. We strive to speak where the Bible speaks and remain silent where the Bible is silent. If we would all do this, all human traditions, sectarian names, creeds, and organizations would be set aside and Christ would be glorified.
The church that Jesus built is the manifestation of God’s wisdom, not man’s (Ephesians 3:10-11), and He is its only head (Ephesians 1:22-23; 3:15). Therefore, His church is not dependent for its external existence on the succession of an order of preachers or popes, neither is it dependent on synods, councils, mosques, conventions, and/or denominational headquarters. Jesus said that the life principle of His kingdom is in His word, the seed of the kingdom (Luke 8:11; 1 Peter 1:22-23). In any place and at any time that men let their hearts be led by the word of God, the church of Jesus Christ will flourish.
What Should a Visitor Expect?
First, expect a warm and friendly welcome. Many will introduce themselves to you and you will be asked to fill out a visitor’s card. We will not call on or embarrass you in any way. As a visitor, you are our honored guests. It is able to make one wise unto salvation and has been given by inspiration to teach, to reprove, to correct, and to instruct in righteousness unto perfection (2 Timothy 3.15-17).
Second, we strive to do all things decently and in order according to the Bible pattern. You may expect a calm and orderly (1 Corinthians 14:40) though fervent worship to God. We engage in a service that is biblical and scriptural in nature and practice. This includes congregational singing (Ephesians 5:19), prayer as lead by one of the men of the congregation (1 Timothy 2:8), observing the Lord’s Supper on Sunday (1 Corinthians 11:23-33; Acts 20:7), free-will offering of the members of the congregation (1 Corinthians 16:1,2), and gospel preaching that is designed to reprove, rebuke, and exhort those who hear (2 Timothy 4:2).
Lastly, you can expect a sincere response. Our endeavor is to worship God “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). You can expect to have an ear given to you if you believe that the truth has not been spoken or followed. If we find we have acted contrary to God’s will, we will repent and follow God.
In 1937, some Christians from the Shiloh and Jerusalem Churches of Christ began to meet in the IOOF Lodge Hall over Smith’s grocery to start the Church of Christ in Dexter. Brother Calvin West and brother J. F. Williamson alternated preaching for the new church. In 1940, a frame house was built on the Northeast corner of Stanley and North Mulberry Streets. In 1950, the frame building was moved to the East end of the lot and a new church building was erected. There was a full size basement which had a furnace room, two bathrooms and five class rooms. There was a nursery and baptistery as well as the auditorium on the ground floor. In 1954, an addition was added to the East end of the auditorium with two class rooms extending on the North end. That building was bricked in 1962, air conditioned in 1964, and new carpet installed in 1969. The first frame building was used for several years as a preacher’s home and later as class rooms. A preacher’s home was purchased in 1968 at 45 Hickory Hills which served several preachers while they ministered for the church. This building was sold in August 1978.
In 1971, three acres of land was bought on North One Mile Road just South of the hospital. The present building was erected on that land in 1975 and the church met for the first time in the new building the 1st Sunday in 1976. Our building has a library, three offices, and auditorium with 650 seating capacity, 17 classrooms, 2 nurseries, 4 bathrooms, a work room, 4 heating and cooling rooms, sound room and a fellowship room. Beside the 3 acres of land first purchased for the site of the church building, two other land purchases were made, the last being in 1977 which brings our acreage here to a little over 7 and a half acres. In 2001, the current Fellowship building was completed.