University Heights Christian Church


Even though we have a long and storied history, we prefer to focus on the here and now. For instance, our pastor's philosophy of ministry is this: "Like Jesus, I only have three years to accomplish everything."

While we are busy loving God and others right now, we recognize that the past has value. It is especially helpful to see how God has used ordinary people in great ways over the years. A brief overview follows.

University Heights Christian Church began as a mission of the Olive Branch Christian Church in July 1913. Seven families began meeting in various homes on Sunday afternoons with M. B. Ingle, minister from Olive Branch, conducting the meetings. 

As attendance and membership grew it became imperative for the congregation to have more room. In October 1913 a room was rented over a grocery store in the Karstedt Building at 4001 Shelby Street.

Then, in 1921, a lot was purchased on the corner of Castle Avenue and Shelby Street. On January 15, 1922, the first worship service in the new building was held with Zachery T. Sweeney  preaching the sermon.

The church has met in this same building ever since, although it has undergone several changes and renovations over the years. In all, 26 ministers have had the honor of preaching here. The church's strong emphasis on teaching the Bible and supporting missions has been evident throughout its long history.

While there have been numerous highlights over the years, two of the most significant were helping start two churches: Southport Heights Christian Church here in Indianapolis, and Journey Christian Church in Fairbanks, Alaska. Both are healthy and doing well.

University Heights' roots as an independent, non-denominational church come from the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement of the 19th Century. The purpose of the movement was to recapture New Testament Christianity by reading and obeying the Bible.  

While the founders of University Heights and all who have followed owe a great deal to the men behind the Restoration Movement— Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone—our allegiance has always been to Jesus Christ.

By avoiding denominational labels and practices, the hope of the movement was to create unity among Christians. Author Sam Stone aptly refers to followers as “simply Christians.” Another byproduct of following in the footsteps of the early church is an increase in evangelism. 

UHCC is governed locally and theologically conservative.