kASHMERE GARDENS CHURCH OF CHRIST

We Are God's Lovebank

      Our Mission


  Reaching the lost
Retaining the saved
Rejoicing in and magnifying the Lord
  
The History of the Kashmere Gardens Church of Christ

In 1957, the Kashmere Gardens Church of Christ under the leadership W.A. McGilbray, held its first service that amassed interracial worshippers of over 400 persons.

The original church building was situated on a 60 by 200-foot lot. The one story white frame structure contained an auditorium with a seating capacity of 300, five classrooms that were not connected to the main building and a minister's apartment.
After W.A. McGilbray, Herbert Beck served as interim minister. Frank Melton was selected as the next minister and worked with the congregation for a time. He was followed by Wilton Cook.  In the early 1960's,  during Wilton Cook's ministry, a new church building was built. A newer parsonage was also built at 4305 Leffingwell and Cook, his wife and 10 children moved into the new parsonage. The congregation, during this time, enjoyed a thriving membership.

Reflections of this time includes yearly New Year's Eve celebrations, picnics once a year after Vacation Bible School and well attended Sunday and Wednesday Bible classes. Some of the notable women during this time was Idell Warren, who directed the Youth Chorus and taught the Ladies Bible Class, and Willie Mae Walters.

Following the ministry of Wilton Cook, A.J. Adams was selected as the next minister. Under his leadership the following men were appointed as elders: Bennie C. Elliott, Erie Nealy and William Taylor.

In 1982, John Whitley became the minister. The congregation continued with the good works that had been started previously, i.e., supporting missionaries and mission works in Nigeria (Ok on Pong), Lake Charles, LA (Carl Gaines), High Point North Carolina (Clifford Davis) and sponsoring the work at Prairie View, Texas. Initially, the Prairie View work was overseen by the Jersey Village Church of Christ, followed by the Fifth Ward Church of Christ and ultimately accepted by the Kashmere Gardens Church of Christ.  Several members of Kashmere Gardens held the work at Prairie View very dear and asked that a building be built. There were sisters Byrd, Ragston and Cos. Bennie C. Elliott was a motivator as well. This commitment led the way to establishing a permanent work of the church of Christ in Prairie View.

Mr. Davis was a homeowner who lived next door to the church and had been approached about purchasing his property should he decide to sale. Mr. Davis came to John Whitley and said, 15 years ago, I promised that if I ever decided to sale I would give the church first refusal, and I am thinking of moving to the country?" John Whitley, along with the elders, discussed this and they obtained the property south of the church building on Leffingwell.  The church owned property across the street from the building which they had purchased from the City of Houston. It had 21 pine trees on it and the brethren were thinking of ways to clear it for parking. After much discussion, several brethren, who had equipment right for the task: Joe Rasberry, Albert Lee, George Middleton, T.C. Chapman and others started to work. The sisters prepared a few Saturday meals and the brothers did the manual labor. Together, the property was cleared.

In 1983, the Kashmere Gardens Church of Christ helped sponsor the Crusade for Christ. It was also during this period of time that the growth of the congregation required going to two morning services.   One of the Kashmere members, Sidney Harris, told Whitley of a young preacher who was a coworker and a student at Texas Southern University. It was determined that this qualified young man, John Brandon, would become the congregation's Youth Minister. John Brandon would later become minister to the work in Prairie View, Texas.  As John Whitley made plans to retire, he heard about Willie B. Williams who was invited to accept the Kashmere Gardens work. Williams accepted and became the next minister. Willie B. Williams remained for a while and after his departure Walter Lee served as interim minister until the third building was built in 1993.  The building which is currently standing (at the corner of Cavalcade and Leffingwell) was built on the same location as the previous building. During the construction of this building, worship services and classes were held under a tent for over a year. As this transition was occurring, the membership continued to grow.  Melvin Herndon was selected as the next minister and served a little less than a year. After his departure, Clifton Foster served as interim minister until Richard L. Barclay was selected in August 1995 coming from East Cotton St. Church of Christ in Longview, Texas.

Richard and Shirley Barclay had two sons, Christopher and Reginald. During Richard Barclay's ministry, the staff grew to include one full time assistant minister and Education Director (Maurice Davis), a part time minister (Marv Thorn), a Youth Director (Jeremy Johnson) and several part-time employees. There were over 15 functioning ministries/committees. The mortgage note to the church was paid off during this time and a Note Burning Ceremony was held on December 9, 2001.

In March 2006, Richard Barclay informed the congregation that he had accepted a work in the Atlanta area and he, along with Shirley, moved shortly thereafter. Maurice Davis and Marv Thorn remained as ministers to the congregation. Shortly after this, Marv Thorn resigned his position as assistant minister and Maurice Davis remained at Kashmere Gardens.

In January 2007, the church selected Maurice Davis to serve as Interim Minister for a year while the church underwent a period of stabilization and healing. Throughout that period of time, Maurice Davis was instrumental in helping the congregation to rebuild internally and move forward. The following events were establashed and reimplemented during this time:  Teacher's Recognition Banquet, the monthly Men's Business meetings, an Evangelism University Training, a successful Friends and Family Day, the yearly Black History Program, the Seasoned Saints Banquet, and the formation of a Women's Ministry.
 
In March of 2008, the church selected Winfred Frazier to serve as Minister.  In an effort to continue the rebuilding process, among other works that were already being accomplished at his arrival, the following ministries have been developed:  Building A Better Life (Benevolence) Ministry, Education Ministry, We Care (Visitation) Ministry, and the Evangelism Ministry.  

The purpose of developing these aforementioned ministries are twofold.  First, to provide opportunities for members of the congregation to develop an unbreakable bond of fellowship, through collectively serving Christ and increasing spiritual knowledge of the Word of God and secondly, to provide a venue through which Brothers can develop before the eyes of the congregation into men who will be both ordained and accepted to serve the congregation as Elders and Deacons.   The forward and upward direction of the Kashmere Gardens Church of Christ is to bring people to Christ who will develop into Christians who in turn will bring others to Christ.

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What to Expect at Kashmere Gardens 

 A church that loves to praise and please God in song, prayer, preaching, teaching and giving of our material means and ourselves.
 A church that teaches the Bible truths from the pulpit and in the classroom.
 A church that has an accepting and loving atmosphere.
 A church that is warm and friendly.
 A church that is committed to family.
 A church that ministers to all ages.
 A church that is hoping you and your family will join us as we share the hope that is in Christ and our servant hearts with others.


 Worship Experience at Kashmere Gardens 

We realize that not everyone is familiar with the way we worship God, so this brief introduction will guide you so we may be able to experience uplifting and authentic worship together when we meet.
 
Opening Song & Prayer: Our opening song, greeting, offering of opportunity to make a prayer request, and prayer to God in order to begin our time of worship.

Congregational Singing: The entire congregation is asked to join in singing praises to God through various songs as we are led by the song leader. You are welcome to join in, or simply listen. The song lyrics are projected in front of the Church and printed in the book racks of each pew. Visitors often notice that we sing “acappella,” or voice only. We choose not to use instrumental accompaniment in order to reflect the kind of worship found in the Bible. We hope you find our simple worship engaging and encouraging. (Ephesians 5:15-21; Colossians 3:15-17)

Scripture Reading and Prayer: Our reading of the Word of God is normally connected to the sermon. After the reading of the Word of God everyone is asked to stand for prayer as a sign of respect for God. (Nehemiah 8:5-8; 1 Timothy 4:13)

Preaching: The preacher will deliver a sermon in which various Bible passages are used to help the listeners learn more about God, and how to focus their spiritual journey through life. We believe the Word of God is powerful and wise in directing our lives for the best possible way of life. (2 Timothy 3:14-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:2-3)
 
Invitation: At the end of the sermon, life application is made. Listeners are encouraged to apply the passage to their lives. Some use this opportunity to make a change in their lives. Others come forward with a desire to be baptized in water and be added to Christ’s church, and some people ask for prayers for specific struggles. All requests are shared and prayed for. (James 5:16; Acts 2:36-42)

Offering: Christians give as a part of their trust in God, and visitors are not expected to give. In fact, visitors are asked to simply fill out a visitor card and return it to the ushers. The money collected is what the church entirely depends upon to provide for the building, the ministry staff, and all of its various services and ministries. (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5; 9:6-8)
 
Communion: Each week we celebrate communion with one another and the Lord. Men come to the front where someone will share some thoughts to help us focus on the meaning of the communion, lead us in prayer, and then pass trays containing “unleavened bread” or crackers. The bread symbolizes the body of Christ as He died upon the cross for everyone. Everyone is invited to partake of a small piece of this bread as they think about the sacrifice Christ made for us. Next, small cups of grape juice are passed. This juice symbolizes the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross. Everyone is encouraged to drink the juice as they reflect on how God loves us and was willing to offer His son on the cross for us. For convenience’s sake, everyone is welcome to place their empty cups back into the tray before passing it on to others. (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32)

Vistor’s Recognition and Announcements: All visitors are recognized through submitted visitors cards and important family news and upcoming events are shared.
 
Closing Prayer: We end each Sunday worship services with prayer. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-18; Luke 11:5-13)
 
 Our Worship is…
 A Time of Celebration
      Worship is not about us – it is about God!  The church gathers to worship God – to praise Him, to thank Him, to love Him, to obey Him, to please Him. The appropriate avenues of worship include:  singing, praying, preaching, giving and communing with our Lord in the Lord’s Supper. Through these Biblically authorized avenues we celebrate the salvation promised through Jesus Christ.

 A Time of Edification
     When the church worships as a collective body of Christ, each worshiper also experiences fellowship with one another.  As a community of believers we are built up, strengthened, edified, and equipped for greater service.  We enter to worship – we leave to serve!

 A Time of Reflection
      Worship affords a special time in the presence of God – a time to think, to pray, to study, to evaluate life, to make new commitments.  Worship with brothers and sisters in the church should always be an encouraging experience that reminds us who we are and who God is – why we are here and what we should do to further his kingdom



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