College Heights & Friendship House

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Written by Janet Mendenhall - Community Coordinator

Reflections on an Ordinary Sunday

Thanksgiving break was essentially over, the last piece of pumpkin pie halved, Grandma properly hugged, and the drive back to regular life completed uneventfully — although somewhat brightened by the magic of Bluetooth and the Pentatonix, my first sounds of Christmas. Morning broke on Sunday with the usual pre-dawn stroll, and a hint of anticipation. I had been so consumed with schoolwork and my work, that I had lost track of dates and awoke thinking that Advent was upon us, one of my favorite seasons in the life of believers. I strolled happily into the outreach where I gather each Sunday for reminders and encouragement, then stopped short. What were these fall decorations doing dangling from the ceiling, and where were the tree and advent wreath?


CH Neighborhood Interest Group Dinner

College Heights Friendship House
1518 Orange St.

2nd Thursday of the month,
6:30 PM

CH Neighbors, Business Owners, Etc.

From Grape to Pine and from North 1st to Ambler, the College Heights neighborhood has been an important part of Abilene for a century – and a vibrant part of CCC’s efforts since 2006.

While this neighborhood faces many challenges, the area is full of gifts and resources such as Hardin-Simmons University, Hendrick Medical Center, downtown churches including First Baptist, the new College Heights Friendship House, and plenty of businesses, homes, churches and small organizations. The potential for this neighborhood to become a thriving, whole community is great!

Connecting Caring Communities has made a strategic decision to focus more closely on the College Heights neighborhood as our primary location for community development, with all of CCC’s Community Coordinators relocating into the neighborhood. one of Abilene’s most historic neighborhoods. It was originally developed by Mr. W.G. Swenson, who sold the lots, laid out the streets, & brought electricity to North Abilene. The electric company he helped establish later became West Texas Utilities.

...was named for its proximity to "Simmons College," now Hardin-Simmons University. The Abilene Streetcar Company began at the college & headed south along the edge of the neighborhood, going through downtown, & then west to Fair Park (now Rose Park), & south to McMurry University.. the location of Hendrick Medical Center, currently the largest civilian employer in Abilene. Hendrick was established as West Texas Baptist Sanitarium in 1924 & has expanded through the years to become the premier provider of health care services in West Central Texas. home to many historical downtown churches including First Baptist Church. FBC’s current sanctuary sits on the original location of the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest before that congregation moved to its current location at S. 6th & Meander. FBC’s original sanctuary was at N. 2nd & Hickory. First Baptist Church also had a hand in starting Hardin-Simmons University and Hendrick Medical Center.

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