West Durham Church of God

The Church of God was organized in 1937 on Monkey Bottom's Case Street in a small plank church of rough-cut pine.

After World War II, Pastor Roland Verrico arrived to find a congregation of 23 members. His task was difficult: build membership in a town dominated by Baptists and Methodists.

According to the original cornerstone, the "new" West Durham Church of God was built in 1947 -- at the corner of Hillsborough and Knox. The small congregation worshiped in temporary quarters at the construction site while the church was being built.

At first, Pastor Verrico lived in a mill-provided house on Rutherford Street. In 1949, the church bought its parsonage at 1022 Rosehill Avenue (a Sears & Roebuck house built in 1928). "That house saw a lot of praying," Rev. Verrico died shortly after the conversation (August 2001).

Below is a photo of the church on Easter Sunday (ca. 1954).

In 1986, the new West Durham Church of God was built on Horton Road -- where you can still see the white cornerstone in the brick wall next to the doors. Today, an ABC store stands on the Hillsborough Road site (below).

(historical photos courtesy of Janie Baker)