Prepared for New Hope Presbytery Meeting at WBPC in 2008

Many blessings have happened as we have evolved into an anchor Presbyterian Church in the West Raleigh area. After World War II, the West Raleigh Presbyterian Church off Hillsborough Street responded to a community survey which cited the need for a new church in the Western Boulevard area of newly expanding neighborhoods. Over the years, we’ve gathered at three locations near Western Boulevard, which stretches from downtown Raleigh to Cary.

On Forsyth Street, the first meeting place for an “outpost” Sunday School was started in an old garage with a potbellied stove, and a greasy concrete floor, that was leased for one year for $1.00 as a total rent. On the 2nd of November 1947, 23 enthusiastic people began gathering each Sunday morning for Sunday school. Money was eventually raised for our first property at Garland and Chaney Roads, along with an old army barracks that they moved and made into a little white chapel with a steeple on top. On the 3rd of April 1949, 53 charter members were received into the newly organized church known as Western Boulevard Presbyterian Church.  In September 1953 we opened a weekday Kindergarten which has emerged into our present Western Boulevard Presbyterian Preschool.  About that time Southern Railway was retiring their train bells after the steam engines were dismantled and replaced by the new diesel engines. We were fortunate to receive one of the bells for our little steeple. The first tolling of the church bell was on “Good Friday” on April 14, 1957, when our membership had grown to about 200 people.

So the little church grew until the chapel was outgrown and in 1956 we purchased our present property on the corner of Lorimer and Kaplan Drive, still just a few blocks from Western Boulevard. The new Education Building was built and our first worship service was held on Easter Sunday, April 2, 1961. Our sanctuary was built later and dedicated in June 1977.

The renovated Sanctuary was dedicated in May 2001. In May 2005 we proudly dedicated the new Bell Tower, which now houses our old train bell that had been stored in the basement for many years. It had only been used once on this property during our 50th Anniversary but it is now rung every Sunday morning to announce our worship services.