You should not take it apart. You can filed strip it but it probably needs more than that. Let a gunsmith clean it for you. You may be able to fire it once it's been serviced.
I think by "take it apart" he was referring to field stripping it.
Unless it is completely caked in rust, it should be fine to fire. I would remove the barrel and inspect it, but if it looks good, it should be fine.
I shot my friend's 1940s 1911 that his grandpa gave to him at the range tonight. It shot everything just fine.
Remember - guns were designed to contain explosions. A lot has to go wrong for them to not function properly.