Westwood Happenings History Log








Mountain Valley Baptist votes to become a Westwood multisite campus. (July)

Corey Stewart becomes Campus Pastor of Montevallo Campus.

VBS reaches over 1400 total enrollment with average of 1,236. (June)

Mission Trips to Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, Swaziland, Mississippi.

Micah Millican accepts position at the North American Mission Board. (May)

Teresa Shaw retires as Westwood’s Preschool Minister.









Calera Campus launches on September 12 with attendance of 235.

Jason Seales becomes Campus Pastor of Calera Campus.

Matt Haines accepts call to Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, Alexander City.

Bobby Culpepper retires as Missions Pastor.











See events below.





Tim Carrigan begins as Director of Operations.






Westwood reaches 1,800 in worship attendance

Easter attendance was 3,244







June 21, 2009



Micah Millican Called as Student Pastor

The church council approved the call of Micah Millican as our next Student Pastor to begin July 1.  Micah and wife, Laurie, are coming from Orlando, Florida where he served in Student and College Ministry.  They have a son, Daniel, and are expecting another child.  Micah is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. 



June 12, 2009



Another Great VBS: Crocodile Dock

The church was transformed in appearance this week.  Fortunately, the lives of many children were transformed as well. Seventy-nine children made first-time decisions to follow Christ and a number of others were counseling with regarding a future commitment. 


The total enrollment for VBS was 1,391 which included 205 adult workers, 165 preschool, 835 children, 184 students and 2 special education participants.  The children raised $2,663 for the ministry of Jade and Shelah Acker in Africa.



April 12, 2009



A Great Easter Sunday

A great crowd was present to hear Pastor Les teach “When God Gets Personal with Our Sin”. Westwood volunteers turned out in force to work in Preschool and Guest Services.  Easter Sunday this year avoided spring break and the day was beautiful.  Members had used Invitation Cards to invite friends and neighbors to services, resulting in a total attendance of 4,369.  To accommodate an anticipated 4,000+ people, Westwood offered four worship services at 7:45, 9:00, 10:15 and 11:30 am, including upstairs worship in the Celebration Room at 9:00 and 10:15 as well as overflow seating in the Atrium.



April 11, 2009


Easter Celebration & Egg Hunt at Veteran’s Park

Some 3,000 people attended the Easter Celebration this year.  The Student Praise Band provided music for the crowd.  Four fields were set up for egg hunts for different age groups.


Prior to the event traffic was backed up all the way to Publix Supermarket and some people were in line almost an hour just getting out of the park.



December 2, 2008


Jason Seales Serves as Student Ministry Coordinator

Jason Seales agreed to fill an interim position as Student Ministry Coordinator beginning December 2, 2008.  Jason and his wife, Alicia (Browne) grew up at Westwood.  Jason left a Student Ministry internship position here five years ago to serve as a student pastor.  He recently left a position with Bethel Baptist Church in Columbiana. 



October 26, 2008


Kevin Derryberry and Westwood’s Praise Team Lead Lead Worship at the Alabama Baptist State Convention

Also on the program was Rick Burgess of the Rick and Bubba Show.



October 25, 2008


Teresa Shaw Honored for Ten Years on Westwood Staff

Teresa originally served over the children’s ministry as well.  Just as a reminder, on Teresa’s first Sunday we had 98 in the Preschool Department.  We’re now running more than 300 in Preschool.  Teresa is married to Kenneth, who serves in the Preschool and Student Ministries, and has two children, Westley, a sophomore at Alabama, and Jennifer, a sophomore at Thompson High School.



August 10, 2008


School Back In Session

School is back in session and vacations are over.  The second week of the new church year saw a record in small groups of 1,514 and 2,372 in worship.



June 15, 2008


“Get in the Game”

Westwood launched a three week emphasis called “Get in the Game” which is designed to enlist workers for the new year and to move the culture of Westwood toward a value of service.



June 13, 2008


VBS Brings Many Children to Christ

Decision counselors today dealt with a number of children.  After it was all sorted out, sixty-six children had made first-time decisions to follow Christ.  The total enrollment for VBS was 1,246, which included 336 workers, 160 preschool and exactly 750 children in grades 1-5.



May 18, 2008


Small Groups Building Dedication

On May 18, Westwood dedicated our Small Groups Building which will all Westwood’s Student Ministry to be back on campus for Sunday morning LifeGroups.  The Middle School previously met at Buffalo Wild Wings and the High School met at the AmStar Theater.  The new building contains 26 class rooms and a central Gathering Area with a small kitchenette.  Eleven class rooms will be used for Adult Bible Study on Sunday mornings.  Use will begin on Sunday, June 1.



April 6, 2008


Continue the Journey Report
This Sunday $161,653 was given on our special one day offering, bringing our total Continue the Journey giving to over $257,881.  With the constant growth of Westwood, we will probably be in some sort of building campaign for the foreseeable future.  Journey with Purpose was the name of the financial campaign that helped us to relocate and build phase one on our new campus. That fund has now been rolled over into Continue the Journey and will be utilized in the near term to fund additional parking and the Small Groups Building.  A possibility exists that these funds may also assist in the acquisition of additional land.  Our purpose as a church is to develop growing disciples of Jesus Christ.  Parking and facilities help us to accomplish that purpose.



March 23, 2008



Another record-setting attendance on Easter

Easter Sunday was at the end of spring break this year but still managed to be a record setting Sunday with 3,310 in attendance.  That number included 911 (8:00 AM), 1,206 (9:30 AM), 888 (11:00 AM) as well as 305 preschoolers at various hours.  A tent was set up behind the church to accommodate 280 during the 9:30 service in which the student praise band led worship.  Pastor Les preached in both venues at 9:30 AM.



March 22, 2008



Community-wide Easter Celebration & Egg Hunt

Westwood partnered with the city of Alabaster, Liberty Baptist Church and Iglesia Biblica de Alabaster to host the 2008 Easter Egg Hunt at Veteran’s Park from 9:00 am to Noon on Saturday, March 22.  Kevin Derryberry performed and 772 children enjoyed inflatables as well as the egg hunt.



January 27, 2008


Growth of Westwood Continues

Average monthly attendance passes 2,000 for the first time in church history as of January 2008.  Small groups surpassed 1,300 in average attendance during the month.   This includes Adult Bible Study, Home Groups, and all age-group Sunday morning classes.  Wednesday night attendance is nearly 700 and includes Preschool and Children’s AWANA, middle school and high school worship, and Renewal Worship for Adults.



January 20, 2008


Church Approves Call of Executive Pastor

Westwood approved the call of Rick Swing as Executive Pastor of Ministries.  Rick comes from Shades Mountain Baptist Church where he served as Minister of Young Adults.  He has also served Park Place Baptist in Brandon, Mississippi.  Rick is married to Linda and they are the parents of Joshua, Jordan and Danielle.  Rick played college basketball at The Citidel and was drafted by the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers in 1979 and played one season there.   Rick enjoys spending time with his family, reading, outdoor recreation, playing basketball and playing golf.



December 31, 2007



General Budget Giving Exceeds Three Million Dollars

For the first time in church history, general budget giving for 2007 exceeded three million dollars.  The $3,006,480 giving was up 15.3% from 2006 giving of $2,606,732.  Designated receipts were just over $600,000.  Current membership is 2,649 as of Dec. 31.



December 30, 2007


Largest Lottie Moon Offering in Church History

Westwood received over $45,000 for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions.  The goal was $35,000.  Funds support over 5,000 Southern Baptist Missionaries who work under the direction of the International Mission Board of the SBC.



December 12, 2007


Church Approves 2008 Budget, Small Groups Building, Additional Parking and Executive Pastor

The 2008 Church Budget of $3,500,000 was approved along with a small groups building to be built behind the current facility and will contain approximately 28 rooms.  Three areas of paved parking will be added that will almost double the number of paved spaces on campus already.  Also approved was a new Executive Staff position Executive Pastor of Ministries that will oversee all church ministries under the direction of the Senior Pastor.



November 7, 2007


Church Elects Strategic Planning Team

Westwood elected seven members to assist church leadership in setting the direction of Westwood in the future, seeking to maximize success of our mission “to develop growing disciples of Jesus Christ”, giving specific attention to staffing needs, outreach strategies, building projects, utilization of current facilities, etc.  Members include Lynn Bush, Steve Harless, John Morris, Kathy Sulver, Todd Stone, Di Wash and Mike West.  The Executive Team will also serve on the SPT. Those include Les Hughes, Darryl Collins, Matt Haines, Tim Carrigan and Jay Gordon.



October 31, 2007


739 Kids Attend Westwood’s Fall Festival: Out of this World

Westwood’s gift to the community is a fall festival which includes inflatables, Bible characters, fun booths, food and more.  This year Arby’s, Chick-Fil-A and Moe’s joined in to provide a food court.  Over 417 families attended, which included 739 children.  Our adult small groups helped by providing volunteers for every booth.  The theme was Out of this World!



August 12, 2007


Ethos Series Begins

Ethos is the name of a six-week sermon and small group series that will introduce the church to Westwood’s discipleship strategy.  The four environments are Connect with God, Grow with Believers, Serve in the Church and Live on Mission.  The church’s mission statement is to develop growing disciples of Jesus Christ.



June 15, 2007


Westwood’s Largest Ever VBS!

The total enrollment for Westwood’s VBS this year was 1,016.  This was our biggest and best yet.



April 8, 2007


An Exciting Easter

Easter Sunday surpassed all expectations with 3,244 attending worship services at Westwood.



April 1, 2007



Mountain Valley Church Launches

Westwood’s second daughter church began it’s public ministry after having met as a core group since January.  George Hicks is pastor of this mission church that meets in the Parnell Library in Montevallo. 



March 11, 2007


Westwood Calls Kevin Derryberry as Worship Leader

Kevin Derryberry is no longer Interim.  The Westwood church body overwhelmingly approved the call of Kevin as Worship Leader.  Kevin will continue to minister through Kevin Derryberry ministries.



February 18, 2007


Alabaster Boulevard Completed to Weatherly Club Drive

Only twelve months late, Gilco Contractors, Bellsouth, and the cities of Alabaster and Pelham have resolved all issues and completed the road connecting Weatherly Club Drive and the Colonial Promenade Alabaster, also connecting to Westwood.



January 7, 2007



Mountain Valley Baptist Church Begins Worship

The core group of Westwood’s church-plant in Montevallo begain worship services in Montevallo’s Parnell Memorial Library.  George Hicks is pastor.



Young Singles Ministry Moves to Buffalo Wild Wings

With growth beyond our space, Westwood’s 20 and 30-Something Singles ABS Classes began meeting at Buffalo Wild Wings in the Promendade.  The Student Ministry already uses the AmStar Theater for LifeGroups for grades 6-12.



November 19, 2006



Kevin Derryberry Begins as Interim Worship Leader

Westwood welcomes Kevin Derryberry as Interim Worship Leader.  Kevin is a contemporary Christian recording artist who will also continue a number of outside concerts through his ministry.  Kevin is widely known also from his days with the secular band Telluride and his life-changing conversion experience in the mid-90’s. 



October 15, 2006


Tim Carrigan Called as Church Administrator

Westwood voted to call Tim Carrigan as our new Church Administrator, replacing Bobby Culpepper who left to do missions work on the Texas/Mexico boarder.  Tim comes from Saks, Incorporated.



August 30, 2006



Westwood Approves New Bylaws

The proposed 2006 bylaws were approved by a 93% margin after months of work by the Executive Staff and Bylaws Team.  The entire document was reorganized and many aspects were updated after ten plus years without revision.  Visit WestwoodToday.com for a list of changes or to see the entire document.



August 16, 2006



Alabaster Boulevard Paved to Westwood

Gilco completes paving to the Westwood campus.  The link to Weatherly is still under construction.



August 13, 2006



Student Ministry Goes to AmStar, Adults On Campus

In a reorganization of the Bible Study Ministry, grades 6-12 begin meeting in 14 theaters at the AmStar Cinemas.  Adult Bible Study Classes who had been meeting there since the relocation in March move on campus.  Attendance takes a positive turn with over 1,200 attending Bible study on the first day of the church year.



June 18, 2006



Alabaster Boulevard Partially Paved

Westwood was informed late last week that we would be allowed to drive on Alabaster Boulevard on Sunday mornings.  The link to Weatherly Subdivision is expected in August.



June 9, 2006



VBS Fiesta a Huge Success

Today completed VBS 2006.  The average attendance was 715 with a high of 731.  Forty-five children were counseled about their decision to receive Christ.



March 26, 2006


Dedication Service Features Babbie Mason

The building was dedicated at a 6:00 PM concert by Christian recording artist Babbie Mason, following an open house at Westwood’s new campus.




March 19, 2006


First Sunday Service in Alabaster Boulevard Building

First services in the building were held March 19.  Parking and access was still difficult because Alabaster Boulevard was not complete.  Access is provided by the temporary construction entrance beside AmStar Cinemas.



March 12, 2006


First Sunday on Campus, Church Meets in a Tent

Without a certificate of occupancy due to problems in the city water line, Westwood has its first meeting on the new campus in an 825 seat circus tent in the front parking lot.  Twelve hundred people attended the two worship services at 9:30 & 11:00 AM.



March 5, 2006


Church Moves to New Campus on Alabaster Boulevard

Sunday afternoon was “Move Day” for Westwood.  Over 200 volunteers worked to pack donated box trucks, bread trucks, horse trailers, and even pickup trucks to relocate the campus.  All items had left the Thompson Road campus in just over one hour, giving clean up crews an early start to leave the campus ready for Evangel Presbyterian Church to occupy.



February 12, 2006



Senior Pastor Les Hughes Celebrates 5 Years at Westwood

Les and Page we honored at a reception on Sunday afternoon.  With the holidays and Darryl Collin’s anniversary, a later date to make the occasion was selected.  They actually began service on December 31, 2000.



February 1, 2006


Wednesday Night Worship, Supporting Home Groups

Westwood moves its Sunday night worship to Wednesday nights in order to strengthen home meetings on Sunday nights and to provide a significant worship event midweek.




January 11, 2006



Church and Darryl Collins celebrate 25 Years

Westwood began in January, 1981, shortly after Darryl and Sandra Collins agreed to come serve as Minister of Music from First Baptist Church in Pelham.



December 27, 2005



Church Offices Relocate to Ministry Center

In the first phase of Westwood’s relocation, the offices moved to Cloverdale Plaza into a building called the Ministry Center.  The buildings are leased and the church plans to keep offices here until able to build on the main campus.



October, 2005



40 Days of Community

Beginning October 16, the church participated in 40 Days of Community, which focused on building community in our small groups.  A number of new Home groups were begun, and our existing ABS Classes met in homes on Sunday nights for small group fellowship, Bible study, and prayer.



October 9, 2005


First MissionsFEST

Westwood hosted it’s first missions conference with opportunities for involvement being made available by the association, state convention, International Mission Board, Global Missions Fellowship, and a host of other missions agencies.  Charles Billingsley topped off the night with a concern of missions.



September 30, 2005


Construction Workers Receive Christ

On Friday, Westwood provided lunch, a “thank you”, and the gospel message to the workers at our new campus.  Pastor Les shared the gospel with Jose Luis Leon, pastor of our Hispanic work, interpreting.  Many hands were raised indicated prayer to receive Christ, and a number came forward at the end for further counseling.



August 29, 2005



Hurricane Katrina Hits Alabama, Mississippi & Louisiana

Westwood is involved in extensive efforts of disaster relief with those affected by the hurricane.  Included are drives for supplies and food, delivery efforts, feeding people in shelters and at camp grounds, sending teams to the coast for clean up efforts, financial assistance to survivors, assistance at the Shelby County Office of Red Cross in processing survivors.  The church set up a donation center in the office foyer and a POD was donated to help store the supplies between shipments.



August 28, 2005



Westwood begins Contagious Christian Study

The church-wide study Contagious Christianity begins for eight weeks, to be followed by 40 Days of Community.



August 7, 2005


First Lake Baptism at Oak Mountain State Park

Eleven people were baptized and Westwood’s first lake baptism service.  About 200 people attended the baptism and picnic.


July 31, 2005


Staff Reorganization

The Church council approved the following staff reorganization: 
1) moving Matt Haines to the new position, Pastor of Congregational Care and Involvement, 2) creation of an Executive Staff Team, and
3) reclassifying duties and title for Jay Gordon to Pastor of Small Groups.  These moves will begin immediately and be finalized by September 1, 2005.





July 28, 2005


Deacon Ordination

Ordained the following into the Deacon Ministry: Tom Bird, Mark Davenport, Mark Gillmer, Jason Haynie, Kelly Kendrick, John Perry, Marty Pike, Mike Rudd, Scott Woodard.  Stan Moody will also be ordained in the near future.


Vote to Borrow Additional Monies

The church voted to approve the borrowing of an additional $400,000 on the relocation project.  Funds will be used to complete the second floor and to make some desired improvements in other areas of the building.


July 14, 2005


Deal with AmStar Entertainment

Westwood reaches an agreement with AmStar Cinemas to lease seven theaters in which Adult Bible Study Classes will meet.


July 8, 2005


Honduras Mission Trip

Youth team begins mission trip to Honduras with Dan Moran Ministries.


June 26, 2005


Enter Lease for Youth and Office Space

In a special called business meeting, Westwood voted to lease two buildings in Cloverdale Plaza at a price not to exceed $8,000.  The buildings will be used for office and student ministry space.



June 5, 2005


Above & Beyond Offering

Westwood received a special offering to help complete the second floor of the phase one facility.  Collected in the morning was $99,350 in cash and over $45,000 in new pledges for the remainder of the campaign.  The staff laughingly referred to the offering as “The Second Annual One Time Offering”.



January 9, 2005


Ground-breaking Ceremony

A ground-breaking ceremony was held at 12:15 PM for Westwood’s relocation project.  As access to the new campus was limited, the ceremony was held at the Thompson Road campus with dirt brought from the Alabaster Boulevard campus.  To allow members who desire to see the property and to pray, a prayer walk was held at the new site at 2:00 PM.



October 26, 2004


Church votes to sell Thompson Road Campus

Westwood sells our Thompson Road campus to Evangel Presbyterian Church and agrees to lease it back from Evangel for a period of 15 months while a new Alabaster Boulevard campus is completed.



November 2, 2003


Church votes to relocate

Westwood approved recommendation to move toward relocation of our church campus pending the availability of property as well as the sale of our present facilities.  The measure also allowed the Vision Team to negotiate a contingency contract regarding the purchase of land and to negotiate for the sale of the Thompson Road campus.



June, 2003



Vacation Bible School reaches average attendance of 740 with 40 professions of faith.



January, 2002


Church Planting Partnerships

Westwood develops first partnership with a church plant and adopts Lifeway Community Church of Derry, New Hampshire.



December 31, 2000


Dr. Les Hughes is New Senior Pastor

Pastor Les begins his ministry at Westwood.