In 1943, a group of Christians began meeting for worship in the Saline County Courthouse. In the fall of 1945, they bought the partially destroyed building that had been the Corner Cupboard on the corner of Carpenter and Market Streets in Benton. Reconstruction began on that building in March of 1946. On October 6, 1946, this group, joined by the Pine Haven (Bauxite) and Silica Heights congregations, met for the first time as the Northside Church of Christ.
917 North East Street
In the early 1950’s, the building at Carpenter and Market Streets was sold and property on North East Street was purchased to build a new building. On April 5, 1955, the first worship service was held in the new building.
The Beginnings of Northside Bible Camp
In the early 1970s three couples from Northside, Ruth and Charlie Garrett, Nick and Claudia Nichols, and Charles and Mary Jackson launched a summer camp for youth. What began with a few pitched tents and six adults grew larger and more successful each year. The summer camps became a focal point for the church’s youth program that continued to grow long after the original six friends retired from managing it.
Northside Builds and Expands
The early 1970’s saw a season of unprecedented numerical growth in the Northside church family. As a result, an education, fellowship and office expansion was added to the original building. This space has been invaluable, providing for Bible classes, ministry and social functions for the church and community.
Northside continues to grow.
Thanks to the efforts of Charlie Garrett, Ken Kinkaid, and a number of volunteers, the Northside Food Pantry became a dedicated part of the church’s effort to serve the community. Since its beginning, the pantry has grown to now feed approximately 350 families each month.
Northside Expands with an Outreach Building
The need for more classroom and fellowship space was realized with the addition of the Outreach Building. This building includes dedicated space adequate for the food pantry to be fully stocked, a commercial kitchen, two large adult classrooms, a Loft area for the Youth Group, and a regulation size basketball/volleyball court. The restrooms include showers which allows this space to be a certified American Red Cross Shelter for Benton in times of emergency. This building is used on a near daily basis by the church and is open and available for community use as well.
Beginnings of Northside’s Hispanic Congregation
At the beginning of 2006, the elders of Northside considered the need to preach the Gospel in Spanish due to the growth of the Hispanic community. In June of the same year, Mike Knappier coordinated a Gospel meeting with the support of the Hispanic students of the Alpha and Omega Biblical Institute of Little Rock, AR. Several contacts were made and a student from the Biblical Institute attended to the needs for a month while Fernando Toledo, the current minister, was moving to Benton in July 2006. Since then and to date, Fernando has been ministering the Hispanic ministry of Northside. Currently, the Hispanic ministry has four dedicated deacons with their families. Thanks to God, the love and grace of Jesus moves everything the congregation does.
Corin Read Christian Camp
Corin Read Christian Camp grew out of Northside’s passionate commitment to Christian camping, and the donation in 2006 of 110 acres in the Sardis Community by Melva Wallace and Dayle Ball to be developed into a permanent Christian camp. Named for their grandfather, Dr. Corin Read, who farmed the land a century earlier, the beautiful forested camp features six year-round cabins with 87 beds for campers and staff, a large open-air pavilion, an all-weather multi-use hall, a full commercial kitchen, a pool, and various permanent activities. Two more cabins under construction will add 32 more beds by summer 2021, allowing more campers during camp weeks scheduled each summer and retreats throughout the year.
Realization of a Dream – New Worship Center
God again blessed Northside with a season of numerical growth as the decade of 2010 dawned, resulting in the need for additional room for worship gatherings. The current Worship Center seats 850 and is equipped with modern technology to allow for quality live stream of worship assemblies and Bible classes.
Northside Church of Christ’s 75th Anniversary
The Northside Church of Christ values the call of Jesus to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28.20). We allow this value to be shaped by the example of the first church who made disciples first at home, then in their city, then in their region, then throughout the world (Acts 1.8).
Those values are formed by the following foundational beliefs: