About 20th Street Church Of Christ – St. Petersburg, Florida

20th Street Church Of Christ - Saint Petersburg, FL

The 20th Street Church of Christ had its beginning in 1927. Brother Richardson and Brother M. A. Dye, who worshipped at the Ninth Street North Church of Christ, solicited the evangelistic services of Brother Marshall M. Keeble (of Nashville, Tennessee), who spent a lot of time in Florida. Brother Keeble had done a meeting 22 miles away in Tampa, therefore, it was said that he came to St. Petersburg not once, but often. It was reported that he did three tent meetings here in the St. Petersburg area which resulted in 92 souls being added to the body of Christ. The late Brother Lonnie Smith assisted in this meeting as song leader. Brother Keeble returned several times after that and held gospel meetings in the church building after things were established.

The late Brother Luke Miller was the first minister of the Twentieth Street congregation. Brother Miller divided his time between congregations in St. Petersburg, Lakeland and Tampa. He was baptized by Brother Keeble in Decature, Alabama, and led songs in may of his Gospel meetings.

The late Brother John R. Vaughner became the second minister of the congregation and served for many years. The church continued to grow during his tenure. Brother Vaughner was succeeded by the following ministers who had a part in developing this great congregation: Brothers O.L. Acker, A.E. Perkins, Jesse Burson, William Whitaker, A.W. Fizhugh, E.W. Way, S.J. Dudley, R.V. Simmons and, current minister, R.E. Smith.

During Brother Robert V. Simmon’s tenure, this congregation experienced an unprecedented growth rate. In 1962 there were 149 baptisms and  over 100 people, each year, were baptized for several years thereafter. The old church auditorium was enlarged and an educational complex added to the building. On June 25, 1989, a new edifice was dedicated which seats over 1300 souls.

The 20th Street Church of Christ is an evangelistic church and has established congregations in several Florida cities including Clearwater, Ocala, Arcadia, and Tarpon Springs, and also in Bainbridge, Georgia.  The congregation has assisted in the development of many congregations throughout the brotherhood.

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