THROUGH THE YEARS WITH FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN DANVILLE
Rev. Curtis Smith was the first pastor of First Christian Church of Danville, from 1843 – 1847, with an enrollment of 125 people. The original building burned in 1860 during the disastrous Washington’s Birthday fire that almost destroyed the entire town. With the difficult war years ahead, it would be 1865 before a new building had reached completion. By 1867 this new church at 4th and Walnut Street was ready for its dedication. Dr. Samuel Ayers was virtually the only regular minister until Rev. J.S. Kendrick moved to Danville from Winchester in 1891, joined the church, and began to preach. He preached from 1891 to 1899.
Rev. Henry Clay Garrison was pastor from October 1, 1899–1916. A forceful leader and good preacher, he is given much credit for the growth of the church into the new century with membership at 500 by 1910. In 1912, excavation began on a new church, which was completed in two years. The old church building was sold and made into apartments.
PASTORS WHO SERVED FIRST CHRISTIAN FROM
Rev. Horace Kingsburg 1916–1918
Rev. William Henry Smith 1918–1920
Dr. Madison A. Hart 1920–1940 and had the longest
tenure of any preacher
Dr. Charles Stephenson, 1940 to June of 1943,
when he was granted a leave of absence to serve as
a chaplain in the US Navy. He returned in
January 1946, and resigned in 1947.
Dr. Thomas J. Liggett 1943–1945
Dr. Frank Rose 1947–1951
Rev. James Lollis 1951–1959
Dr. Lloyd Channels was pastor from 1960–1966.
The beautiful new church at 462 West Main Street was a three story, buff brick, stately structure with a domed roof. Fire destroyed this downtown Danville landmark on March 16, 1965.
After this tragedy, church services were held throughout the community, including Danville High School, until a new church could be built. In 1966 the congregation purchased five acres on Lexington Road as a site for the new church. Membership during this interim period had grown from 645 to 761.
The first morning worship service at the new church on Lexington Road was held on September 8, 1968, with the official dedication on November 24, 1968. With a Colonial architectural style, the sanctuary could seat 650. The organ, from the Moller organ company, had 18 ranks with 1086 pipes located behind arched window frames in the front of the church.
Pastors during this period included Dr. Lloyd Channels (1960-66), Dr. Ivan Shelburne, Jr. (1966-76), Dr. William H. Hammonds (1977-1985), and Dr. Norman Hagley (1986-2000). Rev. Caroline Bloomfield joined the staff as Associate minister from 1988-2003.
Ground was broken for The Christian Life Center on the 150th anniversary of First Christian Church on November 21, 1993. The Christian Life Center provided a gymnasium/community dining facility with a seating capacity of 450, a walking track, and a community meeting room seating 50.
On August 1, 2001, Dr. Lance Perry became Senior Minister at FCC and Rev. Kristi Stuckel joined the staff as Minister of Youth and Christian Education.
On June 22, 2004, Dr. William (Bill) Curwood became the Interim Minister.
On June 1, 2005, Dr. Gerald (Jerry) Lee Shepard began as Senior Minister.
On September 20, 2015, Dr. Mickey Anders became the Interim Minister.
On April 10, 2017, Rev. Joseph (Joey) Pusateri began as Senior Minister.