History of Lawrence and Marder

Lawrence and Marder History 

The Lawrence and Marder congregation was started in 1928. This was approximately 4-years after the congregation that became known as the Cedar Crest Church of Christ was organized.

In 1924, Evangelist K.C. Thomas came to Dallas from Oklahoma to help revive the congregation that had been established under the leadership of the Van Buren Church of Christ. The church, now known as the   Cedar Crest Church of Christ, rapidly grew in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. Brother Thomas and the leaders of Cedar Crest decided to establish a congregation in the North Dallas area of the city and asked members who lived in the area to assist them in this effort. In 1928, housing patterns in Dallas were different from present time. South Dallas was primarily a White area with Jewish-merchant class residents residing near the Fair Park area on South Boulevard and nearby streets.  African Americans lived in neighborhoods just north of downtown primarily in the Thomas, Hall, and State areas.

In 1928, the North Dallas Church of Christ was organized and met at 3812 ˝ Thomas Avenue until about 1941 when the government began purchasing property in the area to construct project homes. Brother Phillip Thomas and P. Thomas Brown served as ministers of the new North Dallas church. Also, K.C. Thomas served as minister of the congregation. Evangelist Robert Crawford served as minister for a short period of time.

Under the leadership of Evangelist H.H. Gray the church purchased property at 2443 Macon Street in South Dallas. The church, within a 2-year period, moved to a “V” shaped lot at 2600 Lawrence Street. A small house was placed on the lot in 1941.

In 1944, Roy Winston, an African American contractor and preacher from Oklahoma City constructed the original Lawrence and Marder Church building. The church was renovated to include classrooms and   kitchen facilities in 1957. Contractor Frank Carter constructed the original annex (educational wing) for approximately $600.00.

A new auditorium was built under the ministry of Evangelist Grover C. Washington. The auditorium, constructed by the Reynolds Construction Company, was financed via a bond issue. The Lawrence & Marder Congregation was one of the first African American congregations in Dallas to finance a building project via bonds. The auditorium was completed in 1959.

In 1974, Brother Washington, the elders and many of the members decided to relocate to Marsalis Avenue in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. This new congregation became known as the Marsalis Avenue Church of Christ.

However, the congregation at Lawrence & Marder continued to proclaim the Gospel of Christ from its South Dallas location due to the efforts of Christians including Leo Winn, Edna Baccus, Percy Johnson, Emmitt Taylor, LeRoy McMath, Haywood Finell and many others who believed that it was necessary not to abandon such an important work in South Dallas.

After years of struggling financially and loans from Leo Winn,  in  1994 LMCC retired a $60,000 obligation from Church Loans & Investment Company of Amarillo, Texas giving it clear title to all church properties near and about 2600 Lawrence Street. The church acquired additional property in the area for future use.

Since 1928, many gospel ministers have served at the historic South Dallas church including: J.S. Winston, Leon Ivory, Ulysses Turner, James Maxwell, Grover C. Washington, H.H. Gray, Roy Jackson and Carl     Haley. Evangelist Jesse Jackson served as minister from April 1988 to June 1991. On June 8, 1991, Robert E. Coleman of Benbrook, Texas was selected minister of the congregation. Brother Coleman initiated many programs during his ministry including a feeding program, back-to-school supplies/clothing give-away, and a building program. Current Lawrence & Marder facilities are the results of work initiated by Brother  Coleman.  Robert Coleman passed away on July 21, 1998. In 2003, the church completed a $600,000 renovation of its educational wing and kitchen facilities.

In August of 1998, Church Trustees and Brothers at LMCC initiated a search to replace Brother Coleman. On February 21, 1999, Grover C. Washington returned to LMCC as interim minister. Brother Washington Passed away on July 5, 2004.

On February 9, 2002, Willie Tucker was selected to replace Robert Coleman as minister of LMCC. On April 30, 2011 Brother Tucker retired and Brother Cephas Northcutt was selected interim minister commencing with the first Sunday in May, 2011.

On February 5, 2012, Shelton Gibbs IV was selected minister of the Lawrence & Marder Congregation. Brother Northcutt assumed duties as senior minister to assist Gibbs. On January 9, 2019 the Lord called Brother Northcutt home. In September 2021 Brother Shelton Gibbs IV went back to the Greenville Avenue Church of Christ to serve as one of the ministers.

On May 8, 2022, Ramón Hodridge was selected as the minister of the Lawrence and Marder Church of Christ.

The Lawrence and Marder Street Church of Christ, since 1928, has contributed to the spread of the Gospel of Christ by training and supplying ministers, teachers, leaders and workers that have established congregations throughout Texas.

I'm New

Thank you for visiting the Lawrence and Marder congregation. We know that you could have chosen to attend worship anywhere but we are glad you joined us today. 

Please complete the following form so that we may keep in touch with you about future activities.