the real Westside story
The story of Westside began in the spring of 1958. The Woodstock Park Baptist Church purchased property at 1862 Fouraker Road for the purpose of building a mission. On June 1, 1958, Mission Day was held with groundbreaking ceremonies for the first building. The mission would be called Woodstock Park Baptist Chapel. The first service in the new building was held on the fourth Sunday of December in 1958 with sixty-one (61) persons present during the Sunday School hour. The first pastor of the mission was Reverend Samuel C. Baker. In February of 1959 the name of the mission was changed to Normandy Village Baptist Chapel. In March of 1962, the mission was organized into an autonomous, cooperating Southern Baptist Church. Reverend Baker served as pastor until September of 1963.
During the next ten years, the church had three pastors. Reverend E.W. Bryant served from 1964-66. Reverend T. Paul Deaton served from 1966-69. Reverend Robert L. Staver served from 1970-73.
On July 8, 1973, the church called Reverend Harold G. Hudson as interim pastor. On August 19, 1973, the church called Reverend Hudson to be the full time pastor. Under Dr. Hudson’s leadership, the church experienced explosive growth. The name of the church was changed to Westside Baptist Church on January 5, 1977. Property was purchased on Herlong Road for the purpose of relocating in June of 1977. Buildings were built, souls were saved, and God was glorified. On the fourth Sunday of 1989, the church moved into a 2,600 seat Worship Center at a cost of $5.5 million. Dr. Hudson resigned as pastor in 1996.
On the last Sunday of November, 1996, the church called Reverend Keith Russell as Senior Pastor. When he became pastor the church had a debt of $4.5 million. The debt was retired in 2005. Dr. Russell led the church to purchase the May Vineyard and remodel the existing facilities. Once again, souls have been saved and God has been glorified.