Parkway Presbyterian Church is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). The congregation was organized on February 29, 1912, under the leadership of the Rev. George W. Lee. The Rev. Mr. Lee served as pastor for the next 20 years, seeing the congregation through several changes in location. In 1930, the name of the church was changed from the North Winston Presbyterian Church to the George W. Lee Memorial Presbyterian Church.
In 1932, a brick sanctuary building and an educational facility were constructed at the corner of Patterson Avenue and 15th Street under the leadership of the new pastor, the Rev. Charles C. Clark. A manse was erected adjacent to the church during the pastorate of the Rev. Jeff Garrison in 1941. The Rev. Mr. Thomas C. Bryan succeeded Mr. Garrison as pastor of the church and the congregation continued to prosper in program, outreach, membership and facilities.
The Rev. Mr. Gower Crosswell assumed the pastorate of the church in 1961. In 1963, the church building was sold to the St. James A.M.E congregation. Changing its name to Parkway, the church began meeting in the Sherwood Forest Elementary School, while the first stage of the building was constructed on the current site. During this time a new manse was purchased. After years of planning, the congregation decided to install a Casavant-Freres Pipe organ, with 15 stops and 19 ranks of pipes, which was dedicated to the memory of George W. Lee upon its installation in 1971.
Dr. Harold E. Fuller came to the pulpit in 1977. Through his guidance and under his leadership the congregation grew dramatically. Existing loans were paid off on the property and manse. With growth came the demands for expanded facilities. In 1990, the church undertook a building program to erect a new fellowship hall, office space and additional educational space. The new facility was dedicated in May, 1992. Dr. Fuller retired in 1993 and the congregation was served by Dr. John Wilkerson as Interim Pastor until September, 1994.
The Rev. Dan Wilkers was called as pastor in October, 1994. Under Rev. Wilkers the congregation has expanded worship opportunities. Working together, the congregation found a new focus for its life and ministry in servanthood. This led to a restructure of the boards of the church to come into line with the mandates of scripture and the vision of the congregation. There has been an increased emphasis on serving Christ by serving those he loves locally as well as new involvement in global missions.
The mortgage on the Fellowship Hall addition was retired in 1999.
The Rev. Jonathan Freeman was called as the first Associate Pastor of Parkway in 2000 and to serve with Dan Wilkers in a leadership team.
A second Sunday Service, “”"”First Light”"”", began in the Fellowship Hall in 2001. This service’s informal structure with Praise Band and casual dress have made it a welcome alternative for those who prefer a contemporary worship service.
Sally Morris, hymn author and church musician, was called to serve as Director of Music Ministry in 2007. Rev. Freeman completed a doctorate in pastoral counseling and resigned from the church staff to work full time in counseling in 2008.
In 2009, we completed a building renovation and addition project which included: construction of columbarium, new energy efficient windows and heating and air conditioning system, exterior painting and expansion of the narthex to include elevator and accessible restroom facilities.
We’re now looking forward to celebrating the centennial of the church in 2012.
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