The Salado Church of Christ had its beginning on March 10,1859, when a group of thirty-six Christians from the old Darrs’ Creek congregation, led by Dr. Carroll Kendrick, met in a brush arbor on the north bank of Salado Creek, site of the present Baptist Church building, and organized a congregation which has been in continuous existence since that date.
The beginning of the congregation came about as a result of a series of events which led to the founding of the town of Salado as well as historic Salado College.
Dr. Kendrick, a physician, frontier preacher and educator, became familiar with the area during his evangelistic work as he traveled the western edge of the Texas frontier, holding tent meetings, preaching the gospel, establishing congregations and searching for a site for a school.
The village of Salado Springs had existed for a while with a United States Post Office opening in 1852.
Dr. Kendrick chose to settle in the area because of its location on a major trade and travel route and its abundance of wood, water and wild game as well as its scenic beauty.
In a short time, congregations of Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians moved into town and together with the Church of Christ began meeting in a union or non-denominational Sunday School in the College Chapel each Sunday.
Each of the four groups then alternated having all day services in the Chapel on a monthly basis.
The first permanent building for the Salado Church of Christ was erected on North Main Street in 1875. The lumber for the building was furnished by William K. Hamblen, minister for the church.
A bell was donated by Mr. Hamblen at this time and hung in the church steeple until the building burned in 1908.
The church building was replaced that same year and served as a school for lower grades in the 1873’s and 1880’s. This old bell that was salvaged from the 1906 fire now hangs in the belfry of this building.
The congregation continues a long history of local evangelism, mission programs, support of children’s homes and a variety of benevolence programs as well as its ministry of hospitality and friendship extended to hundreds of travelers and visitors who stop by each year.
A Texas Historical Marker commemorating the history of the Salado Church of Christ was placed in the church yard in 1989.