South Hill Bible Church began as the result of a meeting in the home of Rev. Dr. Henry A. Van Winkle on October 21, 1946. The church was officially organized as South Hill Christian Church, denominationally affiliated with the Disciples of Christ, on January 16, 1947.
Dr. Van Winkle pastored South Hill Christian Church in the home of Mr. & Mrs. Elmer Fosberg, until his untimely death on January 25, 1948 of a heart attack. Rev. Rex R. Dallas was called as pastor in September 1948.
Plans were announced in October 1948 to build the present sanctuary in memory of the late Dr. Van Winkle. Ground-breaking ceremonies took place on April 1, 1951 and the cornerstone was set on June 25th. The completed church was dedicated on April 27, 1952 and the educational wing was added in 1953.
Just as plans were getting underway for the building project Rev. Dallas passed away of a heart attack on January 26, 1951. The church called Rev. Ernest Obert in June 1951.
Other Disciples of Christ pastors, Rev. Ray Hartling and Rev. Frank Dorn, served the South Hill Christian Church. But under the leadership of Rev. Clay Cooper in the 1960s, who pastored for about 10 years, the church began to take on a non-denominational flavor. Rev. Cooper's successor, Rev. Tom Roop, helped the church to transition fully into a non-denominational church over his 6 years of ministry, during which our name was changed to South Hill Bible Church.
Pastor Rich Lee served South Hill Bible Church for 6 years in the mid-1980’s and Pastor Sonny Westbrook, who came in the fall of 1989, served for more than 18 years. Pastor Ron Lowery served from the summer of 2007 to spring of 2011. In August of 2011, we welcomed Pastor John Underhill as our Pastor.
South Hill Bible Church, which now supports more than 30 missionaries and outreach organizations, both foreign and domestic, is an Elder-led church, and the current Elder Board seeks to continue to lead the church in its original vision to be outreach and missions-minded.
The church building has also seen various changes throughout its history. During the late 1960s, Fellowship Hall was added to the south end of the church complex and is currently being expanded and remodeled. In 2001, the sanctuary, office and education wings were renovated to accommodate both the spiritual and the physical growth of our fellowship. Additional surrounding properties have been purchased and others are being pursued as we look into the future and begin to make plans for parking lot expansion and a new sanctuary.
We have truly been blessed over these many years of ministry of Spokane's South Hill. Our prayer is that God will continue to expand our influence in our community and world. Praise the Lord!
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