Westgate, like many other Christian gatherings, has humble beginnings. On May 8, 1955, a group of Christians first began meeting in the old VFW in Dothan (at the site of the current business called Wet Pets on Montgomery Hwy.) Shortly after this time, two lots a block away from Hwy 231 were purchased at 906 Park Ave. at the price of $3,400 and a block building was erected at the cost of about $5,000. The Park Ave. Church of Christ, as it was named, averaged about $100 a week in offerings and about 65 in attendance each week.
In 1959, the Park Ave. Church of Christ, now 100 members, finished construction on a larger building at the same site and continued to grow spiritually and numerically. In 1961, the church affirmed two men as the first elders (Forrest Thomley and Walter Sessions). One year later, John Murphree became an elder at Park Ave. The numerical growth experienced by the land-locked church continued until a decision was made to relocate to a site that would afford continued expansion.
In 1981, the present campus site was purchased and construction of the building was completed in 1983. The Park Ave. Church of Christ relocated to 617 Westgate Parkway and has since been known as the Westgate Church of Christ. We have been blessed with a long list of spiritual leaders who have served as elders, or shepherds as we now call them. In addition to the first three shepherds of the Park Ave. / Westgate Church of Christ, the following men have served our church family as shepherds:
Floyd Harden, Harold Pierce, Pierce Flatt, Ray Beeson, Harry Golden, Huston Land, Wallace Johnson, Ray Cooper, Doug Enfinger, Ansley Whatley, Philip Dampier, George Wakefield, Wayne Pierce, Mike Murphree, Joe Clements, Monte Baugh, Terry Pierce, and Steve Girton.
Today, we are also blessed with additional leadership and support from a staff. James Dean and Krista Smith have served at Westgate since 2007. Chris Jones (lead minister), Jeff Linder (youth minister), Allison Jones (children's ministry team), and Larry Eldridge (involvement and media minister) joined the staff in 2016. Our administrative minister, Jill Burkhalter, joined us in 2017 and has provided excellent service to our church and community as well.
Westgate has experienced God's leading and his blessing so that we might be a blessing to one another and our community. Since our beginning over 50 years ago, the church has grown nearly tenfold. God uses the Westgate family to support international and local mission efforts, provide relief to the widow and orphan, help to the needy, hope to the hurting, and a light to the world. We celebrate what God has done and give all the glory to Him.