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A History of the Christ Central Church - Cocoa, Florida
by Paul S. Roberts - September 20th 1995 - Revised Oct 17th 1997. Retyped for this format April 6th 1999. (gs)
God in His divine wisdom looked at this community and saw that His people had no place in which to worship Him.
 
In the spring of 1939, God brought Carl and Georgia Mae Colson and their son Clayton down from Gainesville Florida.  Tom and Allie Mae Cain and their two daughters Carolyn and Jane were also brought down from New York City.  Tom and Carl contacted other members of the Church of Christ in this community.  Together they made plans to locate a place in which they could worship God. The community Church building at City Point was secured and the first service of the Cocoa City Point Church of Christ was held there on July 23, 1939.
This old building still stands today and is located on the River Road about 5 miles North of downtown Cocoa. Those in attendance at this first service were as follows; Carl and Georgia Mae Colson and their son Clayton; Thomas and Allie Mae Cain and their children Carolyn and Janet; O.B. and Mary Goodson and their children Paul, Jerry, and Myra; J.W. and Mildred Chandler and their daughter Ruth; Ethel Beal; Fannie Bouser; Carmen Fortenberry and her daughter Jean; Elsie Warren and her daughter Myrle and grand daughter Linda. There were also 5 visitors from West Palm Beach. They were Bro. L.R. and Johnnie Brooker and their 3 sons. These 27 people made up the total attendance at the first service of the Cocoa Church of Christ. The church met at this location for 9 1/2 years. The preaching and teaching was done primarily by Bros. Colson and Cain alternating from week to week. They were occasionally assisted by other members of the congregation.
 
A meeting was held in October 1939 by Bro. John Pearl Prevatt from Dasher Bible School in Valdosta, Georgia as the Evangelist. There were 2 Baptisms resulting from this meeting; Bro. Paul Roberts and Bro. Cubic Fortenberry. Since our building had no baptistry they were baptized in the swimming pool at the old Indian River Hotel in Rockledge.
 
Because so many Navy personnel were stationed at the Banana River Naval Air Station (now Patrick Air Force Base) during the war years, the Church had a unique opportunity to spread the Gospel to many parts of the world.
 
Several homes were opened to the many servicemen and women passing through this area. The net result of this ministry is known only to God.
A lot was purchased in May 1944 for a new Church building at 5 Poinsett Drive in Cocoa. Construction was started in July 1948 and the first service was held on Jan 9th 1949. The average attendance was 100. The Church became known as the Poinsett Drive Church of Christ. It was then that this small group of Christians realized that God had placed in their hands the tools to expand His cause in all of Brevard County and to many other parts of the world. The first full time minister was Bro. Parker Henderson who served from September 1949 to November 1952.
Bro. Colson and Bro. Cain were appointed the Churches first Elders on March 12 1957. The first Deacons appointed on June 18th 1959 were Stanley Chaney, Wesley H. King, and William "Bill" Wright. Bro. Parker Henderson was the first Missionary to be sponsored by the local Church. He was sent to Bangkok Thailand. (Bro. Larry Henderson, the son of Parker and Donna Henderson, also served as Missionary to Thailand. Larry was born in Cocoa, and began his work in Bangkok on Sept 1st 1975.)
 
The Church of Christ at 5 Poinsett Drive experienced the largest growth in its history over the next fifteen years. Members from this Church started new congregations at Factory Street in Cocoa (now Fiske Blvd. Church of Christ), Melbourne, Titusville, 2 on Merritt Island, Cocoa Beach, and Rockledge. These Churches in turn have started new congregations in Brevard County and elsewhere.
The Sunday morning attendance grew from an average of 174 in 1961 to 311 in 1965. Bro. Paul Breakfield was the local minister at that time. A decision was made by the Elders that a search be made for a lot on which to build a larger building. A site was found at the corner of Coquina Drive and U.S. 1, our present location. Ground breaking was June 20th 1966. The new building was occupied on August 6th 1967. A Dedication service was held on Sept 17th 1967 to celebrate this event. The Invocation was given by Bro. Orvel Boyd. The introduction of the guest speaker was by Bro. Paul Breakfield and the speaker was a former minister of the congregation Bro. Perryman Dennison from Jacksonville.
 
The Poinsett Drive property was sold to the Cocoa Women's Club in Sept 1966.
The Church met for the next 9 months in vacant department store buildings in downtown Cocoa while our new building was being built.

The Elders of the congregation in 1974 were Thomas L Cain, Carl Colson, Glen McCallister, Walter Gilfilen and Phillip Ellenburg. There were about 170 families and a membership of 340 in attendance at that time.  Attendance fluctuated between 325 and 400.  A record attendance of over 500 for the morning service was reached in April 1973.

On Oct 4th 1975 a new educational annex was completed.  This addition provided 17 additional classrooms, a library, a teacher's work and storage room, a new office and a third floor auditorium with a seating capacity for 200 students.

Following Bro. Paul Breakfied Jr. who left in Feb 1980 to assist the new Rockledge Church of Christ, were Dwayne Andrew, Jerry Cantrell, and Sam Long. Bro. Long began his ministry here in August 1985 and continued until January 1994.  In June 1994 Bro. Don Adkins was retained as the minister of the congregation.

In June 1994 the local congregation had a membership of approximately 224.  As of Sept 20th 1995 the membership had grown to about 276.

It is difficult to recall all of the special programs that the Church has been involved in.  The following is a few of the major ones that come to mind.  Bro. David Starks was put through a Christian College at Terrell Texas and is now working with the Church in Oklahoma City.  The local Church has supported the Christian Home and Bible School at Mount Dora for over 40 years.
The Church has supported Missionaries in many parts of the world including Thailand, Germany, Bahamas, Venezuela, and Guyana.  Some of our members have been active in Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France.

The Ladies flower program has been active since 1964.  This involves the making of pillow corsages and delivering to every patient at the Wuesthoff Hospital each Thursday morning of the year.

The Church has a benevolent program that provides food, clothing and shelter for all that need it.  The Church has maintained a bus ministry, a prison ministry and a program for the deaf for over 30 years.

The educational program at the Church includes the 9AM Sunday School for all classes staffed by well qualified teachers, a nursery for the pre-schoolers and a class during the morning worship service for the young people and conducted in the third floor auditorium in the annex.

In addition to these there are many evening classes being taught in the homes of several of the members each week.  Sister Brenda Adkins is also teaching a lady's Bible class at 10am each Tuesday at the Church building.

The prospects for continued growth both numerically and spiritually has never looked better.  God has blessed His Church here at Cocoa in many wonderful ways.  Can we afford to give Him anything less than our best?