Like many churches of the time, Fairview began as a Sunday school in order to serve the needs of the surrounding neighborhood.
It was 1895, and a new iron foundry was drawing more residents to an area in northeast Winston. With Bishop Edward Rondthaler’s advice and guidance, Sr. Eva Rosalie Kester canvassed the neighborhood and found 60 children and adults eager for the Scripture. With 80 scholars and seven teachers in attendance, the Sunday school was organized on May 5 in Mr. Cicero Tise’s church called Fairview. Howard Rondthaler, son of the bishop, was the first pastor.
Since the Tise church was being rented, the Sunday school soon needed a home of its own, so in 1900 a fine brick church was built.
Fairview grew with the community. In 1908 the Sunday school attained church status in the Southern Province. Needing a parsonage for a resident pastor, the Fairview members raised the money in one week. In 1912 Fairview pioneered the Boy Scouting movement in Winston-Salem. By 1923, the congregation had outgrown its building, only 23 years old. Five families pledged $1,000 apiece, and a spacious new church building was begun. But construction was slow, and though the sanctuary was first used June 2, 1929, the Great Depression hindered payments on loans. Finally on May 15, 1938, after untold chicken pie sales, the church could be dedicated, free of debt.
By the 1950’s the times and the neighborhood had changed. But the most devastating blow to Fairview was a new north-south expressway to be built within yards of the church. A search for a new church home was begun, and in 1957 a site was selected in northwest Winston-Salem.
Construction of Fairview’s new church on Silas Creek Parkway began in 1963, and an inspiring modern edifice arose to serve as the current home of the congregation. With more recent additions of an activities building and an office wing, Fairview stands to serve its community for many years to come.