The story of Arborlawn...
began in 1911 with the Central Methodist Church on Lipscomb Street, where the first services were held in a brush arbor. In 1951 several members left to form Westcliff United Methodist Church on Selkirk Drive.
In 1969 Central Methodist Church relocated to Briarhaven Road and was renamed Overton Park United Methodist Church.
In 2004, the lay leadership of Westcliff UMC and Overton Park UMC began talking about the possibility of sharing their resources and capacity for ministry to become one church with a common purpose and mission in the southwest corner of Fort Worth. The next year, under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Ben Disney, the two churches joined together at the Briarhaven location.
The new united congregation was able to buy the adjoining Boy Scout property. The SAM (Student & Adult Ministries) Building provided space for the youth to meet and a facility for outreach to the community.
In the process of selecting a name for the new congregation, it was decided that since Arborlawn was one of the surrounding streets, the church would take that name to honor the arbor that was the first meeting place of its mother church.
When the new sanctuary was built in 2011, the Arborlawn Cross, which is decorated with grapevines, influenced the design and decor of this sacred and holy space, as a sign to all who walk through our doors that indeed Christ is our vine and we are the branches (John 15:5).
Items brought from the old church buildings included stained glass windows from the Westcliff church, which are now in the sanctuary and the chapel; other stained glass windows from Central, now in a hallway; a cross from Overton Park; and organ pipes from Central and Westcliff.
All of the former locations are still in use. The old Central church sanctuary is now a wedding venue called The Rose Chapel; the Westcliff church building is now the Southcliff Baptist Church Annex; and the Overton Park sanctuary is now the Arborlawn UMC Family Life Center.
Arborlawn is in the process of dreaming about the future in order to help build the Kingdom of God. In short, we’re an unconventional church who discovered a valuable and unforgettable lesson along the way. The choice to do things differently often leads to wonderful and unexpected surprises. It’s now inside of us, with us and a permanent part of us. It’s in our DNA. This all means the next time we’re faced with a choice between listening to conventional wisdom or following God’s call, we’ll know what to do.