History of The Nor’kirk (the “North Church”)
The first congregational service of The Nor’kirk was held on Sunday, October 22, 1975, in the Dale B. Davis Elementary School in Carrollton, with the Rev. Earl Price presiding.
The four-acre property located at the junction of Josey Lane and Rabbit Run Road in North Carrollton was obtained by the Grace Union Presbytery in 1973 and was presented to the congregation when the Church was commissioned. The young congregation, in an effort to identify the property, erected a large, wooden, Celtic cross at the southern end of the property, prior to Palm Sunday 1976.
The Rev. Earl Price
Seventy-eight parishioners made up the charter roster when The Nor’kirk Presbyterian was formally commissioned on Sunday, June 12, 1977, with the Rev. Earl Price installed as the charter pastor.
The first structure erected on the North Josey site was procured from Highland Park Presbyterian of Dallas. During the period between April 1978 and April 1979, four temporary class rooms used during construction of additions to the Highland Park church were moved onto the site and reconstructed into a sanctuary that could seat 100 parishioners, a church office, an activities room, a nursery, and two classrooms.
The Rev. Jim Davis
Prior to Rev. Price’s retirement in October 1982, a successful campaign to raise funds to construct Phase I of a permanent building program was conducted. On July 17, 1983, the Rev. James McKay Davis was formally installed as the new pastor, and on that same day ground was broken for the new building.
The new building included a sanctuary that holds 225 parishioners, the church offices, the pastor’s study, a library, a kitchen, and two class rooms. It was officially consecrated on Sunday, July 22, 1984. The ” temporary building” was refurbished and is used for Sunday School, a “Mother’s Day Out” program, and other youth activities. It is called the “Earl Price Hall” in recognition of our first pastor.
On Sunday, May 12, 1985, the three stained-glass windows in the sanctuary were dedicated. They were designed by Dallas artist Torg Thompson, who is known for the tapestry and production at the Dallas Biblical Arts Center entitled “The Miracle at Pentecost.” He is a friend of Pastor Earl Price. At the dedication Thompson stated, “The Incarnation” (window #1) symbolizes the time when God broke directly into mankind; the Resurrection (window #2) symbolizes the forgiveness for man; and at Pentecost (window #3), man became free — that’s when the church began.”
In the Spring of 1990, ground was broken for Phase II of The Nor’kirk’s permanent facilities. The new addition opened in November 1990. This new wing included an administrative office for the education department, four preschool classrooms, and a large multi-purpose room that could be used for church dinners. The original flexible walls in the multi-purpose room have been replaced with fixed walls, to create five more classrooms used for Sunday School and the preschool.
The Rev. Dan Fullerton
The Rev. Linda Sharp served as the interim pastor from July 1992 until June 1994. The Rev. Dan Fullerton was called to serve this congregation as its next pastor, and he was officially installed on July 10, 1994. During his service a board of deacons was created, Price Hall was completely refurbished and upgraded, and small group ministries were established.
The Rev. Dr. Bill Parr
The Rev. Dr. William Parr was called as the next pastor, and his term began on Easter Sunday 2002.
On Sunday June 9, 2002, Founder’s Sunday, we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Charter of our congregation. The weekend included a “70′s” style dance in the education wing, a reception, a golf tournament, and honoring of some special members of the Kirk. Honored that year were Bernie Manley, Helen Besedick, and Kay Swartout. All three were in worship when honored. Bernie and Helen were both members of the Charter group, and both have been faithful members of the Kirk. Kay was a long-time member who served as a Deacon, Elder, Trustee, and on the PNC which called Dr. Parr.
As the congregation continues to change, we have had to add many new programs and opportunities for service. Once a month we travel down to the Austin Street Shelter in Dallas to help provide a meal for the homeless who are part of the Dallas area. During the summer of 2003 we once again took mission seriously in the form of a mission trip. While some of our youth have gone on Presbytery Mission Trips, it was time for the opportunity for families to gather and go out with God’s summons to service. In summer 2003 and the summer of 2004, members of the Kirk traveled to Albuquerque New Mexico to the Menaul School. In 2013 we began a “Sack Summer Hunger” program to provide food for family within our area who during the school year receive food subsidies. Following Tornado Season in Texas, members of the Kirk have participated in Habitat for Humanity builds. For those who are unable to work missions in the form of “sweat equity” we also have participated in the Heifer Project International.
The Lord has gifted the Kirk with an outstanding Music Program. Our choir, led by Mr. Lane Paschal, continues to grow in size as well as in skills. Our choral music is the best of modern renditions of new and old works. In addition to the choir, we have a multi-generational Orchestra under the direction of Ms. Charlotte Moellering. The Orchestra helps lead in music several times a year, and holds seasonal concerts which are open to the surrounding community. Anyone interested in joining in with the Orchestra is encouraged to contact the church office for information. At our 35th Anniversary of the Charter, on Founders Sunday in 2012, we had a special worship service with combined music provided by the choir and orchestra. We commissioned a special hymn to be orchestrated by Cindy Berry. Our theme that year was “We Love to Tell the Story.”
Our educational ministry continues to provide classes for all ages, opportunities for camp and conferences, and fellowship gatherings. In recent years we moved away from the standard VBS format to mix our old Family Camp together with VBS to create our Family Retreat. Hold at a local campsite, we spend the weekend in intergenerational study, mission, fellowship, and worship. We look forward to this program developing in the coming years.
The Nor’kirk has been honored for its ministries by a grant from Grace Presbytery for our work with the TAMS students, and a $1,000 award from Union PSCE in Richmond, VA for Effective Youth Ministry. Other programs which received recognition are our work with a ESL class and a Computer as Third language class. We are in the process of seeking to create a Community Garden for the benefit of our surround community. The Nor’kirk continues to examine the ways that it can serve Christ among His people, and within our community.