A Brief History
In the spring of 1948, since there was not a congregation of the church of Christ in the Oak Cliff area known as Beckley Heights, the elders of the Peak and East Side church of Christ began an effort to establish one. Brother Thadaeus Bookout was sent to hold a gospel meeting. As a driver and to read the text each night for his sermons, he took with him Doyle Goodspeed who was working with the young people at Peak and East Side. At that time, most of the larger churches in Dallas were alert to establish a church where there was not a congregation. The first services were held in the home of Brother and Sister J. B. Morris. Fred Tidwell led the singing.
The infant congregation of God’s people grew rapidly, meeting the Morris’ home until funds were raised to build a small concrete block building across the highway from the present buildings. Early members beside the Morris family were the Ardell Christians (Ardell led singing and preached some), the Ed Hunters, the David Stevens, the Chester Alfords, the McKays, the Stuarts, the Sims, the Frizells and others. We apologize for not being able to credit all who were so important at the beginning.
The first preacher was Charles Kitchens. His financial support was provided by Peak and East Side. Following through the years were Fred Tidwell, Jack Crone, Winston Atkinston (the first full-time preacher), Henry McCaghren, John Willis, and James Medford. While Brother Medfor was the preacher, a new brick structure was built at the present location.
Doyle and Quita Goodspeed and their children came to Beckley Heights in 1970 and stepped down in 2001. After this, Willie Ray Hill preached for a short while and was succeeded by Paul Day who was followed by Willie Williams and his wife Flora. Brother Richard Stevens III and Angela, his wife, are now working with the congregation. Their children are Desmond, who preaches for a congregation in Henderson, Tennessee, Tasha, Amanda, Leah, Hannah, and Dakota.
Our current elders are Charles Boyce, Calvester Carter, Doyle Goodspeed (emeritus), Richard Griffis, Tony Harris, Herbert McCullough, and Edward Taylor. Our deacons are Mytron Brown, Robert Deloach, Kendrick Henderson, Thomas Houston, Roland Jones, Boyd McCoo, Kevin Parker, Arthur Stevenson.
Elders who have served in the past are Lloyd Andrews Sr, Gene McIntyre, Azel Tipps Sr, Waydell, Nixon, Edward Hunter, C.B. McCarren, Vernon L. King, J Edgar Dobson, J.W. Mitchell. In addition, other brethren not mentioned have previously served as deacons at Beckley Heights over the years.
The Beckley Heights church has produced a number of men who became ministers of the gospel and elders and deacons of other congregations after they left the Dallas area. In addition, many faithful and zealous women have contributed importantly to the development of the church. Also, the mission efforts of the church have had results in many other nations, especially Liberia and other African nations.
A new auditorium was constructed in 2006 and the note was burnt in September of 2020. The church has ambitious plans for future building phases to meet further needs. The church has experienced healthy growth over the years with increased attendance, baptisms and new families placing membership. The growth is in both the English and Spanish speaking groups, combined.
This brief history is prepared with the help of Ed Hunter, James Medford, Ardell Christian, Doyle Goodspeed and Charles Boyce Sr. to whom appreciation is acknowledged.