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Daily Readings/ Editorial

DAILY READINGS

Scriptures to be read before the sermon on Sunday, May 19:

Monday: Luke 14:25-27

Tuesday: Luke 14:28-32

Wednesday: Matthew 10:37-39

Thursday: Luke 9:57-62

Friday: Matthew 16:21-26

Saturday: John 12:23-26

EDITORIAL

A Brief History of Sunset Ridge Church of Christ

In the spring of 1949, a group of about twenty Christians who lived in the northeast part of San Antonio, but who by necessity worshipped at Churches of Christ in other areas of the city, met to discuss the possibility of starting a new congregation near their homes.

This meeting and other planning sessions led to the establishment of the Alamo Heights Church of Christ. The first worship service was held in the Lion’s Club Building at 110 Chichester on May 15, 1949. For the next three and half years, the congregation worshipped on Sunday in that facility. Wednesday night services were held in members’ homes. Guest speakers preached on Sundays, while members conducted Wednesday night services.

In the fall of 1950, Roy Osborne was welcomed as the first full-time minister. In April 1951, a corporation was formed and bonds were issued to build a new church building at the corner of Brees and Emporia. In December, the congregation moved into the new building although much of the finish work had not been completed. In succeeding years, most of the inside work was done by members.

As the congregation grew, the name was changed to Sunset Ridge Church of Christ. To oversee the work of the church, J.D. Welch and Charles Watson were chosen to serve as elders, which they did for one year. Church membership grew to 200 by 1956. Committees were formed to carry out the work of the church. To facilitate fellowship and visitation, church members were placed in zones which were coordinated by zone leaders.

In 1958, deacons were appointed for the first time. Five elders were chosen to oversee the work of the church in 1959. Also that year, the Woodmen of the World Chapel along with three and a half acres of land were purchased. By 1960, the congregation had grown to over 300. As membership continued to increase, church programs and activities were expanded. A week-long Vacation Bible School was started and mission work was begun overseas. Monthly financial support was also provided to several worthwhile ministries and additional mission work was added both in the states and abroad.

Also in 1961, the Stanley Ross Dye Memorial Library was established in memory of Ross Dye’s son, who was killed in a farm accident. Brother Dye was the minister at that time. Early in 1964, the original church building was sold to the American Red Cross. The church continued to rent the building until they could begin meeting in the Chapel later that year. Two services were held in the Chapel each Sunday. Our present building was completed in 1965 and the first service was held on November 28 while the dedication was on December 12.

On May 19, 1974, the congregation celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. It was comprised of 265 families with an average Sunday morning attendance of 520. As membership continued to grow, new facilities were needed. In 1976, a new fellowship hall and youth room were added. Shortly after that, church leaders determined that the role of deacon needed to be redefined in terms of the actual function of those individuals in the New Testament. As a result, the elders appointed both men and women as deacons to be responsible for certain tasks.

In 1981, the cloistered garden next to the chapel was landscaped and dedicated as the Dene Osborne Memorial Garden in memory of Roy Osborne’s wife. By 1985, the congregation had increased to 405 families with an average Sunday attendance of 650. This rapid growth led to the need for additional facilities. In 1986, the Carlysle Dodd Memorial Wing was added onto the existing building. It contained classrooms, a counseling center, a library and staff offices. In 1986, the Leadership Training for Christ program was begun for our youth and children. In 1987, we purchased the property across the street, which at the time was owned by the San Antonio chapter of the American Red Cross (it was formerly our original church building). The building was later demolished and converted to additional parking. The 1980s also saw an increase in our mission work. Several trips were made to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in support of the missionary training work at Baxter Institute. New ministries of the church included the Children’s Chorus, singles ministry, new women’s ministries, Family Feast on Wednesday nights and Life Preservers.

The 1990s saw new developments as well. Small study and fellowship groups began meeting in homes on Sunday nights. Dedication of newborn children and their parents was also begun. Work with the homeless ministry in San Antonio (SAMM) was expanded to include many of our adults and teens on a monthly basis. The first community Thanksgiving service was begun to support SAMM. “Bread of Life”, a new ministry to take the Lord’s Supper to homebound members, was well received. Youth Interns were hired to assist the Youth Minister with summer youth activities. After years of study and prayer, the worship ministry of the congregation expanded in 1995 to include women. In 1999, we celebrated 50 years of ministry and service in this community.

With the coming of the new millennia, Sunset Ridge experienced an influx of several young families. Children’s Ministers were employed to assist in the spiritual growth of our children and their parents. Church members expanded our efforts to help Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio build over one thousand homes for needy families in our community. “Alpha” training was undertaken to better prepare members to do outreach work. Sunsetter Luncheons were planned for senior members of the congregation. By 2005, a Fall Festival was added to the calendar and members enjoyed fellowship through “Dinners for Eight” and Games Nights. Vacation Bible School was begun again and a children’s summer musical was added. Through a partnership with Austin Graduate School of Theology, speakers were brought to Sunset Ridge each year to teach various books of the Bible. The women enjoyed a special Valentine’s program called “Celebrations of the Heart”. In 2008, a new playground was dedicated for our children. In 2013, our congregation hosted the national Apprentice Conference. Our mission work expanded to the El Pedregal church in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and the La Noria church in Monterrey, Mexico. Our members contributed their time and effort to help other organizations like Christian Assistance Ministry (CAM), The Agape Ministry, Strong Foundation and Urban Connection. In 2014, our community was invited to join us once each month for a “Sunday Supper” meal. Our Hands & Feet Ministry was begun to do service work with our children and families; the “Glena Seale Resource Room” was dedicated for use by that group. Also in 2014, “Trunk-or-Treat” was added to the Fall Festival. In 2016, the JOY Group (ministry to our congregation’s seniors) began taking field trips and enjoying other group fellowship activities. Even though Sunday Suppers were discontinued in 2018, members from our congregation continue to make breakfast tacos each Sunday to be taken and distributed each Monday morning at the CAM Bible study. In 2018, Life Group ministry was begun to help members develop spiritual relationships with one another as well as those beyond our church.

We look forward to greater opportunities for ministry and service at Sunset Ridge Church of Christ.

John Harp

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