History Of Westover
The History Of Westover
The Independent Presbyterian Church, Inc. of Greensboro, NC was organized May 5, 1948. The official name was changed to Westover Presbyterian Church in 1964 and to Westover Church in 1994. Westover has always been an independent church, but since it was Presbyterian in its form of church government, “Presbyterian” was originally included in the name.
Two hundred seven people attended the first Sunday School on May 5, 1948. The first worship service was held at the Masonic Temple that same day. Just 4 days later, the members of Westover called the first pastor, Rev. William P. Jones. Two weeks later, the first elder board was elected to serve a three-year term.
In January of 1949, Westover purchased land on Westover Terrace and Cardinal Place. Construction plans were approved and ground breaking occurred on October 23, 1949. Much of the construction was completed by men and women of the church, many of them elders and deacons, along with others that donated their skills and abilities to assist in making this new building a reality.
On January 3, 1950, a “Laying the Cornerstone” ceremony was held and items were placed within the cornerstone, including a list of the charter members of this church and an up-to-date history. On Sunday, May 7, 1950, the second anniversary of the Church was observed with the holding of the first service in the new education building. This was a joyful time for this new church and with the completion of their new building, they began to “feel at home” on Westover Terrace in Greensboro, NC.
The church experienced remarkable growth in the 1950s, primarily due to a local crusade led by Evangelist Billy Graham. The crusade was originally scheduled for two weeks, but lasted six weeks due to overwhelming response.
A primary reason the church was formed was to send and support missionaries. When the church began in 1948, there were three missionaries supported. These three individuals were called and sent by Westover. By 1966 the church supported some 100 missionaries around the world. Today, approximately 500 people are supported. In 1948, with an attendance of 248 people, the church gave about $3,000 to missionaries. Today, the church is giving nearly $1.5M to missionaries around the world.
In Westover’s history, there have been seven pastors.
- William Jones (1948-1952)
- Merold Westphal (1952-1955)
- Frederick Evans, Jr. (1955-1964)
- Robert Pettitt (1965-1971)
- Dave Krentel (1975-1983)
- John Willett (1984-1989)
- Don Miller (1991 – Present)
In August of 1984, members approved the purchase of ten acres of land off Muirs Chapel Road. Ground was broken for the current facility on January 31, 1993 and the building was dedicated on June 5, 1994. The last worship service at Westover Terrace was held on May 15, 1994 and the first worship service in the new building was held on May 22, 1994. A continuous Bible reading began at the Westover Terrace location, with Pastor Don Miller reading Genesis 1 on Wednesday, May 18, 1994 at the prayer meeting. The Bible was carried to the Muirs Chapel Road location after that meeting and was read continuously by church members. The last chapter, Revelation 22, was read five days later on Sunday morning May 22, 1994 by Pastor Don Miller.
The Lord has continued to bless the ministry of Westover Church. Our senior pastor, Don Miller, has led Westover since January 1991. Don and his wife, Donna, make their home in Greensboro, having moved here from St. Louis, Missouri. They have two daughters, both of whom are married. Don’s strong teaching skills, his passionate communication style in the pulpit, and his tender heart for people have endeared him to the Westover family and greatly influenced the growth and development of Westover Church. Under Don Miller’s direction, the church has expanded its ministry locally and around the world.
As God continued to bless Westover with continued growth, the members voted to expand the current facility. That project, completed in 2006, has ministry space for children, youth, adults, as well as a nearly 3,000 seat worship center.
God has truly blessed Westover Church. We continue to look for creative ways to reach out to our community and the world. We’re excited about the lives He is changing, how He is stretching us, and we look forward to the years ahead.