Our History


Our ministry began here in Southwest Tucson during the "great floods" of 1983. A rental agreement was signed on July 6, 1983 for the ranch house, barn, and surrounding five acres of land. The first worship service was October 2, 1983. There were sixteen hardy souls who gathered around the fireplace in the ranch house. They had the Lord in their hearts and big dreams in their heads. There were times of testing and challenge, heartbreak and joy, divisive conflicts and persistent commitment. Growth of the congregation was limited by the size of the converted ranch house which seats a maximum of 125 persons. In 1993, the church began paying off the principle on the $75,000 mortgage for the ranch house, barn, and five acres, which was still owned by presbytery.

On her 95th birthday, Nettie Evans stood during "Joys and Concerns" and presented the church with a check for $95.00 to be used toward debt reduction on the mortgage. The idea caught on, and between birthdays, anniversaries, dinners, and craft sales, the mortgage was paid off in two years. The estimated payoff was ten years.

Rev. Ray Thomas received his call in January 1995, and was installed April 2. Under Rev. Thomas' capable, loving, and tireless  leadership, many new programs were begun. The church's membership tripled in just six years. A new building committee  was  formed in  February 1996.  Palm Sunday that year was monumental with the burning of the mortgage. In June, the Rev. Ed Parsil became Parish visitor. Holy Way began giving 10% of its operating budget to missions that same year. The congregation approved the design for the new sanctuary in March 1997. The first confirmation class joined Holy Way on Palm Sunday, March 23. The building financial campaign began in June.

Groundbreaking was held May 23, 1999. The congregation formed the perimeter of the new building. There were many shovels, including shovels for the children. There were 127 resident families, and 116  families pledged to the building fund. Construction began June 1 and was completed in December. The dedication service was held  December 5, 1999 at 9:30 a.m. The new sanctuary became a reality through prayers, church dinners, birthdays and anniversaries, campaign pledges, memorial gifts, and church members promoting the spirit of fellowship and love. Everyone was keenly aware that those members who are now among the Church Triumphant were also celebrating this long awaited day with us.

Since our new sanctuary was dedicated in 1999, we have added many new members, new staff members, and new programs. We understand that our call is to gratefully and joyfully welcome new people, new ideas, and new approaches to glorify and serve our Lord. We hope that many, many generations of people will be welcomed into The Holy Way and that they will discover the awesome presence of God here. This church is built not for us, but is dedicated to the ministry of Jesus Christ in hope, faith, love, joy, and peace.