Back in 1955, the corner of West Bellfort and Willowbend was a vacant lot as new houses and businesses sprang up all over the Westbury and Meyerland neighborhoods. That familiar intersection would soon become home to Westbury United Methodist Church.
The church's first gatherings were held for several months at the Bellaire Community Center and then Bellaire High School, where in October 1955 the congregation adopted plans for the first building phase to be constructed on the land. With a growing number of members, mostly made up of residents of Southwest Houston, the church broke ground in April 1957. By Christmas that year, worship was held for the first time in the new building.
Throughout the next few decades, the church expanded, opening a Day School to serve the community's families, hosting scouting programs, co-founding Braes Interfaith Ministries to address the needs of neighbors, offering Christian education and continuing to gather for worship and missional activities. The church is known for being a welcoming, intergenerational and multicultural congregation, reflecting and embracing Houston's diversity.
For 60 years Westbury UMC has been in ministry with the neighborhood and beyond. To celebrate this anniversary, the church will host a Homecoming Sunday on Sept. 13, at 10:45 a.m. in the sanctuary. During the worship service, ministers and members across the years will mark the milestone with a special reunion choir and guest preacher Rev. J. D. Phillips (senior pastor, 1996–2007). A festive, catered luncheon and program will follow at noon in Humphrey Hall. Attendees can also interact with a display on the Decade Wall, sharing their own stories within the history of the church.
As the church remembers its past and looks forward to the future, Westbury UMC strives to be "a church for all people with more than enough love to go around." It is located at 5200 Willowbend Blvd. For more information about the anniversary celebration, call the church office at 713-723-0175.
Posted on Mon, August 24, 2015
by Kelsey Johnson filed under