History

 

In 2002, Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church celebrated its 100th birthday.  Organized originally as Park Hill Presbyterian Church, from its inception in 1902 the congregation worshipped in a cloth-ceilinged tabernacle, moving to an old frame schoolhouse on its Dahlia site in 1903.  Although its membership included only 130 in 1908, the basement of a permanent building was begun; by 1910 the East Wing of the permanent church was completed.  Over the years congregational growth dictated the addition of several buildings: the Auditorium and Tower Building, 1918; the Education Building, 1927; the Memorial Building, 1949; the current sanctuary, 1957; Westminster Commons, 1987; and renovation of present sanctuary and pipe organ, 2002.  Current capital construction changes include the labyrinth, the access ramps and lifts to major entries, and the improved sustainability windows in the Education Building.

Many able ministers, coupled with strong lay leadership, have challenged and shepherded Montview’s congregations.  Among them, Dr. William Barrett (1922-46) and Dr. Arthur Miller (1947-67) served as pastors of vision and energy during dynamic periods of national history. Dr Barrett was known for his passionate leadership in the development of a strong Christian Education program at Montview; at the time of his death in 1946, church membership had climbed to 2200.  In 1957 Dr. Miller spearheaded the building of the new sanctuary and, in the 1960s, helped to form the Park Hill Action Committee to confront segregation in housing.  At his retirement, the church rolls had climbed to 4000. In 1974, Montview moved from a senior pastor model to a co-pastorate model: three co-pastors sharing authority and responsibility.  These ministers have ably maintained a membership of 1200-1500 during the years of a mobile society.

Education and Mission have been major commitments of this congregation.  In 1910, children at Montview attended Sabbath School while adult classes focused on faith, Bible study, and application of Christian values to develop solutions to societal problems.  This same vision and response to need informs the programs and activity within this church today for children, youth, and adults.  From Montview’s contribution to the building and staffing of Presbyterian Hospital in the 1920s to the construction of Montview Manor for the elderly in 1963; from the mission work trips begun for youth in the 50s and for adults in the 60s to the complex international trips taken today; from the Lectureship created in 1956 to the seminary professors currently teaching church school classes; from the presence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Montview’s pulpit in 1964 to welcoming visitors today from countries all over the world; throughout its storied history  Montview has sought to be faithful to its vision and understanding of the Christian faith.

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