Riverwood History

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you. Philippians 1:3

The Riverwood Church of Christ was established in the winter of 1952. The church first met Sunday, January 13th at the Dalewood Elementary School building. Some of the brethren who planned and worked toward this meeting were J. W. Creech, E. G. Cullum, Lloyd Scobey, Sr., Clyde Shacklett, Carrol Fitts, Carroll Ellis. At that first meeting there were 230 in attendance for Bible School and 324 for morning worship. Brother E. G. Cullum, an elder at the Trinity Lane congregation, preached the first sermon and the contribution was $352.00.

The church continued to meet at the Dalewood School building for 9 months until the new church building was ready for occupancy. Land was purchased for $14,000 and the building was constructed at a cost of $42,000.

The Riverwood Church of Christ met in the new facility at 1904 McGavock Pike for the first time on October 19, 1952 at which time Brother E. G. Cullum was again asked to preach the first sermon. In November of 1952, Boone Douthitt became the regular minister of the congregation.

Since that beginning in 1952 the following men have served as minister of the congregation:


1. Boone Douthitt (1952-1953)
2. Kirk Blankenship (1953-1955)
3. Dorsey Traw (1956-1958)
4. Charles Crouch (1958-1960)
5. James Watkins (1961-1967)
6. Bill Ruhl (1967-1971)
7. David East (1972-1980)
8. James Harris (1980-1987)
9. John Hoover (1987-1988)
10. Joe Bogle (1989-1997)
11. Mike Fox (1998-2000)
12. Tracy Moore (2000 to 2007)
13. Dustin Welch (2008 to 2016)

14. Martin Pyle (2017 to present)



During those early years a steady growth pattern indicated the need for expansion of the facilities. In preparation for this expansion, properties adjoining the existing site were purchased in 1955, 1960 and 1969. The first worship service was held in the current auditorium that seats 750 on February 11, 1962. There were 806 in attendance for Sunday School and 1200 present for the morning worship service. Willard Collins was the guest speaker at that service.

The last major expansion in 1970 was the construction of an Educational Building. The Education Building, which consists of 22 classrooms, a library, several offices, a fellowship hall, and additional storage areas, was completed at a cost of $250,000.00.

For several years, the congregation owned two other pieces of real estate, located at 1807 Riverwood Drive. They were originally built for use as foster homes for needy children. Due to changes in the State laws regarding foster care that necessitated additional full-time employees, it was no longer feasible to continue the program. That property was sold in 2018.

Mission Work


The Riverwood Church of Christ has always been interested in helping other congregations who are in need of assistance. One of the most successful mission efforts was a five-year plan to assist the church in Meridian, Miss. Two mission teams, Nancy and Bill Merritt and Lesa and Steve Kirby, were sent into the area for a 3-to-5-year time period to assist in building up the congregation in Meridian. The Church of Christ in Meridian is now an active, sound, and growing congregation .

The Present

At the present time Riverwood has three elders: Rick Binkley, Larry Borum, and Phil Sanders. These are men with great leadership ability, Biblical knowledge, and the willingness to oversee the membership at the Riverwood Church. Dedicated men who serve as deacons assist the elders by being responsible for various aspects of the church.

As youth minister, Matt Hardin provides spiritual growth for our young people through attendance at Christian camps, devotionals in members' homes, retreats, community service projects and many other activities.

The Future

Riverwood is thankful for all those who over the years have contributed so much to the Lord's causes. With the Lord's blessings, Riverwood will continue to bear much fruit in His vineyard. We do not know what the future holds but we do know who holds the future. There is every reason to believe that Riverwood's best is still ahead.