When Marvin Ross noted that there was not a New Testament
witness within a seven mile radius of the Westlane-Grandview area in
which his family lived, he began dreaming. He envisioned a church
which would fulfill this need and, at the same time, reflect the racial
and ethnic composition of the community. With these goals in mind,
in August, 1968, he shared his concerns and dreams with men from
several Indianapolis area churches.
Thus evolved the Westlane Prayer Project. By December, 1968,
representatives from families living in the targeted area who were
actively involved in their home church programs began meeting on a
regular basis for mid-week services. Among Christian churches
represented were North Liberty, Chapel Rock, Traders Point,
Martindale, and East 49th Street. Members of the core group were
Marvin and Lois Ross, Bill and Nancy Hansell, Norma Cutrell,
Carroll and Mary Willey, Roscoe and Twyla Robbins, Doris
Bradford, and Eldridge and Mary Faith.
On April 20, 1969, Westlane Christian Church held its first
worship service in Orchard Country Day School at 615 West 63rd
Street with thirty-six in attendance. An impressive service in July of
the same year marked the opening of the charter and the dedication of
the nucleus congregation. Signing the charter, in addition to the
Prayer Project team, were Shellye and Lisa Bradford, Lisa Cutrell,
Jimmy Cutrell, Cecilia Golden, Jean Oldham, Janis Oldham, Sherril
Oldham, Donald Oldham, Jr., Michael Oldham, Stephen Oldham,
Edmond Willey, and Kyle Willey. By October of the same year the
congregation called its first full-time minister, Paul Boatman.
In 1970 the congregation, with the assistance of the Christian
Church Evangelizing Association (CCEA), purchased property on the
southwest corner of Westlane Road and Grandview Drive. A white
frame farmhouse was the church home until increased attendance and
expanded programs warranted construction of the present building.