Two historic Midland congregations have merged to create a new church that leaders say will continue its traditional missionary initiatives.
North A Church of Christ, founded in 1928, and Main Street Church of Christ, dating to 1934, have formed Downtown Church of Christ in the former North A buildings at North A Street and Tennessee Avenue. The Main Street buildings at Parker Avenue and Main are being vacated.
Co-Ministers Greg Fleming and Adam Elliott will alternate and sometimes combine preaching at 10:30 a.m. Sunday services, which about 150 people have been attending.
Referring to North A’s having started Fairmont Park Church of Christ in 1953 and the Golf Course Road congregation 10 years later, Fleming said, “If God grants us growth and we reach 300 people or so, I hope we will be planting other churches.”
North A also founded Midland Christian School and the Lee Street and Cherry Lane Churches of Christ, said Fleming, a 63-year-old Seminole native who has been North A’s minister since 1995.
“The members all see this as a good thing,” he said. “Both churches have deliberately stayed in downtown Midland and are committed to this part of town.
“Sharing this task gives Adam and me opportunities to focus on our families and more time for congregational discipleship development.”
Fleming said Concho Resources’ nearby construction of an office building and a parking garage is encouraging. “Concho’s idea is to revitalize the downtown area with people living and shopping here, not just working,” he said.
Elliott is a 34-year-old Midlander who had been Main Street’s minister since 2015. “This is an example of the whole’s being greater than the sum of its parts,” he said.
“It’s in line with God’s nature of unity rather than going our separate ways. It is God-honoring.”
Elliott said the two churches lasted for almost a century and he wants Downtown Church of Christ to keep serving Midland and the area into the next century.
“I hope a foundation is set for the next generations so our kids and their grandkids have a strong foundation of knowing God and being known by him,” he said.
“The future prospects are bright. I’m hoping to extend the family we have here to anyone who is needing to be loved on.”
Meeting initially at Midland County Courthouse, North A began as Northside Church of Christ. Its early leaders included J.D. Harvey, G.B. Shelbourne, Thornton Crews, J.A. McCall, Harvey Childress and C.C. Morgan.
North A elders and deacons who have joined the new church’s leadership are Less Roland, Lyn Fite, Jim Gray and Glenn Neimeyer.
Main Street’s founding members included J.R. McCarter, G.W. Smith, Freelin Keel, Will Cook, Noble Blanton and Chester Kiser.
Now helping to lead Downtown Church of Christ, the elders and deacons coming over from Main Street are Jeff Smith, Mark Elliott, Bill Kelton, Ever Pando and Glen Thompson.
Bob Campbell is a reporter for the Odessa American covering Religion and Lifestyle in the Permian Basin.