Our roots go deep in South Phoenix...
We are the oldest church in the village of South Mountain, with our earliest community gatherings beginning 1912 when local ranchers and their families gathered for Sunday School and worship in each others homes. The Ladies Aid Society of the South Phoenix, petitioned rancher Dwight B. Heard to donate a plot of land within his newly subdivided residential area for a community center. Neighborhood House was constructed and became a multi-use facility for the area including Neighborhood Congregational Church, which was chartered in 1916. Neighborhood Congregational Church met in the Neighborhood House until the construction of the church building next door in 1945.
In 1923, land was given by the J. T. Bowles family to begin a Methodist Episcopal congregation in South Phoenix, located originally on Broadway Ave. Not as much history is available on this congregation except the various name and site changes and transitions. By the late 1950s, Grace Methodist Church was located about less than a mile west of Neighborhood Congregational Church on Southern Avenue. Both congregations were in expansion and building modes during the 1950s-60s. Grace completed their second facility, and Neighborhood was constructing an addition to the original fellowship hall and kitchen, plus a two-story education wing.
Many members from the two congregations were friends, most notably through participation in Boy Scouting, plus some other community organizations such as what is now the Roosevelt Women’s Club, formerly the original Ladies Aid Society of South Phoenix. The other significant endeavor of the Grace Church was housing a community child care center.
By the early 1990s, both congregations were declining significantly in numbers. The pastors and congregational leaders developed a plan to merge the congregations. In 1991, the newly federated congregation, South Mountain Community Church was formed. The United Methodists sold their building and moved into the Neighborhood Congregational building. Our congregation continues to be dually-affiliated (“federated”) with both the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ.