About Tonto Street

In 1934, the congregation that is now known as the Church of Christ at Tonto Street in Phoenix, was established by Brother A.L. Cassius of California. Brother Cassius pitched his Gospel Meeting tent on Magnolia Street, and the Lord blessed his effective preaching of the Gospel when several spiritual babes were born into His family through baptism. The congregation continued to meet in the tent for a few months until a move was made to a community house near the corner of 13th Street and Jefferson. Later a more private meeting place was found in a storefront building where they met for a year.

In 1936, Brother Cassius purchased a piece of property on 11th Avenue. The first real home of the congregation was erected on this lot. They continued to worship there until the mid-forties, when the brethren erected another building at the corner of 11th Avenue and Tonto Street. The congregation currently worships at this location.

During the early years of the congregation’s existence, Brother Cassius made frequent trips to the Valley to help the newly founded church. Since 1959, the Church of Christ that meets at Tonto Street has had two very profound ministers: Brother Paul Young and Brother Merlon “Mack” Thompson. The efforts of these faithful men have greatly impacted the congregation’s continued growth and spiritual steadfastness.

The history of the congregation at Tonto Street in Phoenix is richly highlighted by the names of many well known and powerful preachers:  R.N. Hogan, J.S. Winston, Levi Kennedy, and Marshall Keeble. These dedicated servants of God came to the Phoenix area frequently to hold Gospel meetings and thereby kept the Light of God’s Word burning strongly in the hearts of many Christians.

History of Tonto Street Ministers
2018 to PresentJeffrey J. Walker
1971 to 2018Merlon M. Thompson
1959 to 1971Paul Young
1958 to 1959Willie Meadows
1956 to 1958Marion Holt
1954 to 1956Vanderbilt Lewis
1953 (interim)Walter Tapp
1952 to 1953Willie Sweet
1946 to 1952Cottrey Moore
1943 to 1946Millard Elders
1940 to 1942Brother Netters
Founding MinisterA.L. Cassius