We know the Lord purchased the church with His blood (Acts 20:28). According to the scriptures those who obey the gospel are added to that body, the church (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 4:4). The church of the Lord came into existence as a result of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God our Lord and Saviour, thus making possible our salvation.
The history of the congregation of the Church of Christ at Kissimmee is made possible through the efforts of many dedicated Christians who worked so hard and remained so steadfast and a realization of the great need to establish the Lord's church in this area.
From information from individuals and records that were kept, the church began in Osceola County in 1947 through the efforts of Mr. & Mrs. Floyd Anderson who moved to Osceola County from St. Petersburg, Florida.
The congregation of the Lord's church in Kissimmee was first established by a small group of Christians who met from house to house. This group grew to about a dozen people at which time they began looking for a localized place to hold services. The Community Center was ured in the downtown area of Kissimmee. The first service was held in the Community Center Sunday morning, December 27, 1954. The church continued to meet in the Community Center for the morning services only and from house to house for evening services for the next several months.
In 1956, a dentist, Dr. & Mrs. J. S. Church, who were winter visitors from Hundred, West Virginia, donated the property on the corner of Old Dixie Highway and Jackson Street to build the first meeting house for the Church of Christ in this town. The members erected a building at that location and began worshipping there in 1957. At that time Brother W. M. Robins was preaching regularly for the congregation.
In 1961, Brother D. Gene West was hired as a full time preacher. The church continued to grow and it was evident more room was needed. Property was ured at 921 West Vine Street and a new building was erected. On September 12, 1965, the church moved into its building and has continued to meet at that location until the present.
Some who have served as elders in the past at the church in Kissimmee include: Brother Henry Clyde, Brother Clinton Putnal, Brother Robert Barnes, and Brother Ray Toothman. Ministers who have worked with the church here include: Brother W. M. Robins, Brother John Beasley, Brother John Arnold, Brother Gene West, Brother Blain Cook, Brother Clarence Lavender, Brother Bill Sweeton, Brother Ken Chambers and Brother Charles Wright, who has been serving the church at Kissimmee since 1977.
Most of the older members who were instrumental in establishing a congregation of the Lord's church in Kissimmee have long since gone to their reward "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; yea saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them" (Revelation 14:13).
The church today has a good working group, a sound eldership, and a group of hard working deacons. Hopefully we will have more elders and deacons in the not so distant future. It is our prayer that we will continue to grow in spirit and in number that some day we may have a home in the presence of God. More than anything else, we need to cultivate within us a desire to make sure that what we do and say is what will please the One who died for us (John 14:15).
This brief history of the church of Kissimmee was compiled by Charles D. Wright.