The first record of our congregation dates back to 1882 when Reading Black’s widow deeded the land on Getty Street “to the Cause of Christ” on September 16. Between 1882 and 1900 a small wooden structure was built on the property to hold services for about 45 members.
In the 1920’s plans were made to build a brick building next to the wooden one. The wooden structure was dismantled so the wood could be used in the new construction. During this time the church met in the park (weather permitting) or in the courthouse. The brick building was completed in 1932, but by the early 1950’s the church had outgrown it and a new auditorium was built.
It was also during the 50’s that Getty Street began to support a Spanish ministry. The church constructed a building in the southwest side of town on Geraldine St. where our Spanish speaking brothers and sisters met for a number of years. Desiring that the two groups be brought together, in the late 70’s/early 80’s the two groups combined to meet under the same roof. Although the Spanish speaking brothers and sisters continued to have their own worship services, it was an important time that showed the gospel is meant for all people.
Another significant time in our history was during the late 70’s and 80’s when our bus ministry was incredibly active. We had three “Joy Busses” running on Sunday mornings and Wednesday afternoons. At times over 100 kids were picked up and brought to church. These kids lived here in Uvalde and as far away as Batesville.
Due to continued growth, additional land and the F & F Auto store (the business adjacent to the building) were purchased in 1979. Renovations to the auto store added a kitchen, fellowship hall, classrooms, and offices to the building. Even this did not last very long. Throughout the 1980’s several expansions and remodeling projects were undertaken to accommodate both the English and Spanish speaking members. New classrooms were added and the auditorium with balcony was remodeled to seat as many as 750. Membership was 464 on role, not including the Spanish congregation which maintained its autonomy or visitors.
Due to various reasons, in 2004 a major building project was begun resulting in the current building, behind the old building which is currently borrowed by Uvalde School of Gymnastics. Our current building faces Garden Street, however, the name “Getty Street Church of Christ” has stuck.
Over the years Getty street has supported many missionaries, sponsored men who attended preaching schools, sent aid to numerous children’s homes, and much more. There is no way to count all the many ways this church has been active in the community and the world. We are by no means perfect and we acknowledge that there have been some hiccups along the way, but God has used Getty Street despite our imperfections.
As significant as our history is, we remember Paul’s words to the Philippians, “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). No, we do not literally forget about our past, but we do strive to understand what God’s current plan is for us. We continue to move forward with Christ as our focus. As the Hebrew writer says, “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1-2). We have started the race, but now more importantly, there is still much work to do as the Lord guides us one day at a time. As the Psalmist sings, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).