The Rapid City church of Christ is believed to be the first congregation of the churches of Christ to be established in the state of South Dakota. Christians began meeting in March of 1949 when six to eight Christians, members of the U. S. Air Force from nearby Ellsworth AFB, started assembling together. The first meetings were at the Ellsworth AFB Hospital and the Ellsworth Air Force Base School.
Ellsworth AFB is located about 10 miles from Rapid City and the congregation began meeting in Rapid City in the fall of 1950. Services were held in a rented room at the Modern Woodsmen Hall, located on First and Kansas City Streets.
There were no other congregations in the area during those years. Charles Freeman, a minister here during the early times, relates that the members worked very hard not only to further the work in Rapid City, but to establish congregations in the area. Members of the church would drive many miles to preach and conduct worship services in the cities of Hot Springs, Faith, Sturgis, and Spearfish, South Dakota. Meetings were also held at Wall. However, the work did not take root there and they were were discontinued.
It quickly became very clear that a permanent meeting place was needed. A search for a building site was begun in Rapid City. Land was purchased in 1951 at Sixth and Flormann Street and construction of a meeting place began. The concrete block building was finally completed by 1956. It was strongly built and served the congregation well for several years, but rapid growth of attendance soon dictated that a move to a larger facility would be necessary.
A suitable building located at the corner of 5th and St Patrick Street was for sale. An agreement was made which led to the purchase of the facility which was believed to be large enough to serve the growing needs of the congregation. This location served as a meeting place until the spring of 1969. It was sold as part of the relocation to a site in northern Rapid City. The new site was near Interstate Highway I-190 and a short distance from I-90.
The building no longer exists as it was destroyed by a fire several years ago.
Continuing growth motivated the congregation to build a larger structure that would better meet their needs for worship and Bible study. The site chosen was a more central location in a new suburban development named Morningside,. The building was located at the corner of West Boulevard, North and Lark Drive, just south of the intersection of Interstate I-90 and Interstate I-190. Construction was completed on a brick building and the first assembly took place in July 1969. It serves as the present meeting site.
New construction of the I-190 interchange at North/Silver Street began in 2015 and created changes to streets in the area as I-190 access was improved. The city renamed our street from West Boulevard, N. to Nickel Street in January 2017.
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