C. E. W. Dorris Timeline

This is a provisional timeline which obviously has a lot of gaps.  It is only a bare skeleton which will hopefully grow some meat as time goes on.  I offer it here 1) to solicit input and corrections and 2) as a window into my research.  I’ve been in information-gathering mode for about three months.  I know far more now than I did when I began, but as I said above, there is much I don’t know and much, much more to read before I dare venture anything about bro. Dorris’ theology.  But for now, I’m at the point where I can begin to reconstruct a basic sequence of events.  A timeline functions for me like a skeleton.  It won’t be very long before I’ll have most all of these dates memorized; so as new information surfaces I’ll have hooks on which to hang it.  

Since it is a work in progress, I will not publish this on my Written Word page until later in the spring.


April 7, 1871               born near Portland, Tennessee

1889                            baptized by J. W. Grant

1889/1890                   began preaching near Portland, Tennessee; preaching at Brown’s School House

1889/1890                   first person whom he baptized was his mother

Ca. 1892-1896            attended Nashville Bible School

May 4, 1898                married Mary Louise Merritt of Franklin, Tennessee

May 4, 1898                began plans to begins his first paper, The Bible Student

January 2, 1899           moved to Franklin, Tennessee

January 5, 1899           first issue of The Bible Student appears (discontinued October 1902)

May 19, 1899              Carrie Louise Dorris born in Franklin, Tennessee

August 13, 1900         Carrie Louise Dorris died in Franklin, Tennessee

October 1902              ceased publication of The Bible Student to devote more energy to evangelistic preaching and teaching

April 21, 1904             Mary Louise Merritt Dorris died at 5605 Morrow Road, West Nashville

1906-1908                   West Nashville

April 4, 1908               married Luisa (or Lula?) Kerr of Maury County, Tennessee

1908                            published A Discussion Between Two Brothers

1910                            published An Interesting Correspondence

1910-1912                   5605 Morrow Road, West Nashville, Tenn.

1913                            R.5 Clarksville, Tenn. (publication info. uncertain for this edition of LoP)

1914                            5605 Morrow Road, West Nashville, Tenn.

February 1915             first issue of The Home Missionary appeared from Clarksville, Tennessee (discontinued December 1916)

1915                            R.5 Clarksville, Tenn. (publication info. uncertain)

December 1916           final issue of The Home Missionary appeared from Nashville, Tennessee (continued as Tidings of Joy)

January 1917               first issue of Tidings of Joy appeared from Nashville, Tennessee bearing Volume 3, no 1.

1917                            became an official at Life and Casualty Insurance Company

1916-1920                   5605 Morrow Road, West Nashville, Tenn. (publication info. uncertain)

November 1919          facilities of the Southern Practical Institute opened “for its friends”

January 1920               Tidings of Joy published by Southern Practical Institue, Nashville, with    C. E. W. Dorris as editor of the paper and Superintendent of the school

January 5, 1920           first day of classes at Southern Practical Institute with “35 students from five states and the continent of Africa, ages ranging from 7 to 47, of which twenty-five are boarding students…”

February 16, 1920       Southern Practical Institute closed due to epidemic influenza (as reported in Tidings of Joy, March 1920).

April 1920                   Tidings of Joy returns to C. E. W. Dorris as sole editor and publisher.  The school is closed on account of the “flu” with no definite plans to reopen it.

June 1920                    final issue of Tidings of Joy appeared from Nashville, Tennessee.    

1921-1936                   Life and Casualty Building, Nashville, Tenn. (publication info. uncertain)

October 5, 1925          first services, Central Church of Christ, Nashville.

1934                            retired from Life and Casualty Insurance Company

1937                            1101 Caldwell Lane, Nashville

1938                            Commentary on Mark published by Gospel Advocate Company

1939                            edits David Lipscomb’s Commentary on John, published by Gospel Advocate Company

November 20, 1962    Luisa Kerr Dorris died in Nashville

October 3, 1964          died in Nashville, Tennessee, age 93; funeral services conducted at Central Church of Christ, Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas C. Whitfield and S. P. Pittman



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