Organized on February 29, 1912 as the North Winston Presbyterian Church, Parkway is in its third building with its third name. The pilgrimage of the congregation took it to a new building in1926, relocating from its initial location at 121/2 Street and Ridge Avenue after a two year residence in the North Elementary School. A wooden tabernacle was erected at 15th Street and Patterson Avenue and, in 1930 the name of the church was changed to the George W. Lee Memorial Presbyterian Church in honor of its founding pastor.
The congregation continued to increase in numbers and a brick facility was constructed. A series of remodeling and renovation projects took place at this location under the pastoral leadership of the Reverends Charles Clark, Jeff Garrison, Thomas Bryan and Gower Crosswell, Jr. Mr. Crosswell led the congregation on its journey to the current location in the early 1960’s. While the sanctuary building was being erected, the congregation met at the Sherwood Forest Elementary School. The sanctuary building was dedicated in 1966 and the name of the church was changed to Parkway. The pipe organ, a Casavant-Freres with 15 stops and 19 ranks of pipes, is a memorial to the Rev. George W. Lee.
As a result of the change of location and name, church membership decreased to a low level. In 1977 Harold Fuller began a very full 17 year pastorate which witnessed a dramatic increase in the membership of the church. The facilities were expanded with the addition of the administrative wing and new fellowship hall, completed in 1992. Dr. Fuller retired in August of 1993 and the Rev. John Wilkerson served as Interim Pastor until the arrival of Rev. Dan Wilkers in October of 1994.
Under Wilkers’ leadership the boards of the congregation have been reorganized so that more effective leadership in service, outreach and missions. Rigorous self-study led the congregation to declare itself “A Servant Church,” which is a continuing goal as well as an identifying motif in the life of the congregation. Over this period benevolent giving has increased and there have been numerous mission teams of adults to Haiti as well as Senior High mission experiences. The building indebtedness was retired in 1999 and Harold Fuller was elected Pastor Emeritus. Rev. Jonathan Freeman was called to join the staff of the church as Associate Pastor in February, 2000. Jonathan resigned to move on to a full-time counseling ministry in 2008. Sally Ann Morris was added to the staff as full-time Director of Music Ministries in 2007.
“First Light,” an early and informal contemporary worship experience was added in August of 2001. First Light takes place in our Fellowship Hall each Sunday morning at 9:00 AM. Worship continues with the traditional service at 11:00 AM. A Sunday School for all ages is held between the two services. Our elementary aged children participate in the workshop rotation model of education.
One of our standing goals is to increase ecumenical involvement in local and international missions. Parkway is a member congregation of the Winston Salem Presbyterian Inter-Racial Dialogue. We strive to be more and more a servant church dedicated to finding ecumenical, inclusive and inter-faith partners in ministry. A pre-school program will begin in 2014. After a century of service in the Winston Salem community, the pilgrimage continues at Parkway Presbyterian.