The church that meets in the southwest part of Pueblo, Colorado has grown in the past 32 years from a group of 36 Christians, who met in a member's house, to a congregation of over 380 members who meet in a well-equipped, modern building on South Pueblo Boulevard.
After meeting a few weeks at the home of Joel and Pauline Clark on November 26, 1967, the congregation met the following week at 1640 Hollywood, where they had purchased their first building.
By 1970, attendance and membership had grown to 100 and plans were made for a new structure to house the congregation located in southwest Pueblo on South Pueblo Boulevard. The first service at the present location was held on Sunday, June 6. 1971. After additional growth, a new auditorium was constructed in 1983 and put to use in January 1985.
In 1975, Jay Edwards and Vaughn Graham were ordained as the first elders to serve the congregation. A few months later, Mike Miller, Don Skinner, Dick Tracy and Jim Wills were chosen to serve as deacons. Additional deacons added in 1979 were J.D. Allen, Mel Coy, Bob Leenerts, Joe Schiro, and Mike Wright.
Two elders, Lloyd Schardein and Joe Schiro, were added to the leadership in 1980, and in 1984, Foy Thompson became an elder. Others serving as deacons at various times during the past years were: Bob Diller, Charlie Hart, Tom Holden, Craig Reynolds, Leslie Rhodes, Gilbert Sanchez, Foy Thompson, Kevin Trapp, and Jim Wills.
Over the years, eleven pulpit ministers have served Southwest Church of Christ; they include Larry Rushing, Jim Woodard, Jerry Kendall, Bob Wille, James Snyder, Jakie Gibbs, Robert Nave, John Justin, Jerry Lawlis, Bill Stewart and Gary Aragon. Others who have served the church in various ministries have included Manuel Jaramillo, Mike Sublett, Don Deming, Jim Reyna, Jeff Hewes, Mel Kelso, Ed Barksdale, and Gary Aragon.
Jerry Lawlis became the stateside representative for Quito School of Biblical Studies in January 1998. Bill Stewart served as the pulpit minister from that time to February, 2004, teaching during the week at Bear Valley Bible Institute of Denver and weekends counseling and preaching at Southwest. Gary Aragon became the pulpit minister beginning March, 2004 after serving years as personal evangelist. Darrin Bible served as our youth minister for many years.
Southwest Church of Christ has a heart for mission work, partially by supporting Lawson Mayo in Australia, Walsenburg (Colorado) Church of Christ, Robert Reid in Abilene, Texas, Ed Wharton in Lubbock, Texas, Jerry Lawlis in Amarillo, Texas; and World Christian Broadcasting. Young people from our congregation have been through Adventures in Missions (AIM) program in Lubbock, Texas. Our AIM representatives have served in Japan, Latvia, and Brazil.
Southwest has served and is sponsoring churches for the Kent Marcum family in Quito, Ecuador since January 1988. The North Quito congregation has over 400 souls presently in attendance and is home of the Quito School of Biblical Studies.
In October 1994, Southwest Church of Christ assumed the oversight of Casa de la Esperanza (House of Hope), a children's home serving over 50 children in Anahuac, Mexico. Joe Valenuela was director from April 1995 through May 1998. Gilbert Sanchez has served as director from June 1998 to the present time. Learn more about our mission work in South America and Mexico.