History of Westlake Chapel

A Brief History of

Westlake Chapel


On June 15, 1977, a group from the Possum Kingdom Lake Resort Ministry under the leadership of Ken Dalton and Glen Wood began a Bible study ministry among the residents of the west side of PK Lake. The group initially met in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Brinkley, but soon moved into a garage at Camp David. Due to the positive response among the lake residents, First Baptist Church in Graham agreed to sponsor an on-going mission and called Ken Dalton as the first pastor of Possum Kingdom Lake Mission on June 3, 1979. The name was soon changed to Westlake Chapel, and on Nov. 11, 1979, the members voted to build a new building. Work was completed and the first building was dedicated on February 14, 1982.


Shortly after the dedication of the first building, Roland Burch was called to be the second pastor of Westlake Chapel. Roland and Shirley had a tremendous impact on the west side during their ten years of leading the mission. By early 1985, it was clear that additional room was needed as the church had continued to grow. First Baptist agreed to underwrite the expansion and the new addition was dedicated on June 22, 1986. Health problems forced Roland to resign in May 1992, and Tim Heavin was called as pastor in September of that year.


Under Tim's able leadership, the church continued to grow and on November 19, 1995, Westlake Chapel was constituted as an autonomous church. After Tim completed his seminary education and resigned in late 2000, the church called Dan Martin to be the fourth pastor. Dan, however, remained for less than a year and resigned in February 2002. Such rapid turnover had some detrimental effects on the church as attendance declined. Roy Canada became the interim pastor and soon led the church to a more effective organization in which every member was called on to use their gifts in service to the church and community. Under his leadership the church began to grow again and the church experienced a renewed sense of fellowship and purpose.


In April 2003 Fred Teague was called to be the fifth pastor of Westlake Chapel. Fred continued to work to develop the ideas that Roy Canada had initiated. It was also during Fred's pastorate that the church began to plan for a further expansion of the facilities. Tragically, however, Fred died in November 2004. The loss of Rev. Teague was a deeply sad and difficult experience for the membership of the church. Thankfully, Roy Canada once again stepped in and led the church as interim through the process of mourning and recovery. On July 10, 2005, Westlake Chapel called Dr. Don Raney to be the sixth pastor.  In November of 2007 Dr. Raney was called to another Church.


During this period without a pastor, Dr. Al Woodard came as interim, then after him, Brother Don Richards became interim. On March 1, 2009 Westlake Chapel called Brother Gary Riley to be the seventh pastor.


From those early days of a few people meeting for Bible study in a private home to the present with 40-50 meeting for Bible study and worship in a church building, God has been faithful to the vision He planted in the hearts of people like Ken Dalton and Edgar Jones. We are truly thankful that God continues to call gifted men and women who are committed to see that vision expand. We constantly pray for God's wisdom as we move into the future, desiring to be a clear and bright beacon of God's light to the residents and visitors of the west side of Possum Kingdom Lake.