To understand the history of Westwood, you must begin in July 1979. A group of people from Suluria Baptist Church in conjunction with the Shelby Baptist Association and the State Convention felt led to start Deer Springs Baptist Church near the intersection of county roads 11 and 52 near what is now known as Weatherly subdivision. The church was led by John Feree, a local attorney who felt a strong call to evangelism and church planting.
After many months of fellowship and meeting, the church was growing spiritually but seeing little numerical growth. It was decided that the church would close and Bro. John and his wife would move back to the northwest to plant churches. God however had a different plan. Through a unique set of circumstances, a few of the church leaders investigated a vacated church building near Thompson Road. The members agreed to buy the building and start again. On January 4, 1981, Westwood Baptist Church held its first worship service with John Feree back in the pulpit as pastor and a local music minister named Darryl Collins leading worship. The church prayed for around 60 people to attend the first service, but 220 showed up! It quickly became evident that God was up to something! The church was officially constituted as Westwood Baptist Church the following Sunday, January 11th, 1981.
Westwood continued to experience growth both spiritually and numerically in it’s fellowship for many years. In May, 1982, the church called Dr. Charles Inman as pastor. Under Dr. Inman’s leadership, which lasted until 1987, the church experienced much growth and many milestones. The most significant of these was the purchase of land adjacent to the property that would lead to future education and worship space. This dream of “a Church on the Hill” would serve as the vision for the growing congregation. In January, 1986, the church opened its new education building along with the trademark 80-foot cross that would be a symbol of the church for many years.
In June 1987, the church called Gary Ashley to serve as its third pastor. His tenure from June 1987 to October 1992 saw the church continue to grow numerically as well as complete the lower preschool construction of its education building.
In April 1993 the church called Dr. J. Scotty Hogan to serve as its fourth pastor. His tenure was marked by significant numerical growth and the completion of the church’s dream to have the facilities “on top of the hill”. The church’s new 600-seat worship center opened in May 1998 and the church’s children’s building opened in September 2000.
On December 31, 2000, Dr. Les Hughes began his tenure as Westwood’s current pastor. In that time the church has continued its tremendous numerical growth. Growth and its accompanying growing pains led Dr. Hughes and the church in 2001 to form a “Vision Team” to study options for Westwood’s future. In November 2003 the church accepted the Vision Team recommendation that Westwood begin the process of relocating to a new campus. In June 2004 the church voted to purchase its current 40+ acre location and construction began in March 2005. Westwood completed its relocation and had its first worship service in the building on March 19, 2006.
In 2009, Westwood announced its plans to launch its first multi-site location in Calera, Alabama. Jason Seales was named the Campus Pastor, and the work officially launched on September 12, 2010 at the Calera Elementary School.