Given my recent blog posts about East Nashville Stone-Campbell congregational history, I feel it most appropriate to wish the Hendersonville Church of Christ a happy birthday today. Evangelist James A. Harding conducted a meeting in the village of Hendersonville April 4, 1893. Nearly two dozen souls pledged themselves to God and each other as formed a congregation. The charter, which the church still has (I hope they still do…they did in 1993) was entitled simply “Believe,” expressed their mutual commitment and was signed by each founding member.
Given my current series it is doubly appropriate since my first experience in congregational history was Hendersonville’s 100th Anniversary in 1993. In fact…I visited DCHS to see what they had on the church in the congregational files (not much). Jean Smith, a dear, dear sister, eagerly welcomed me to assist her with the anniversary book. She also patiently put up with me (that is about the best way to describe it I think!) as I asked question after question about the church’s past and listened to her tell stories.
Looking back, I suspect that experience was a truly formative one for me, one that I probably certainly did not fully understand at the time. The seeds from it, though, have sprouted as I now assist people on a daily basis with their own congregational histories, anniversary celebrations and general research questions.
As it turns out, one of the founding members at Hendersonville attended Bethany College, in the 1870’s I think, and in 1893 owned property in East Nashville as well as Hendersonville. There is more work to be done on sorting out the details and making connections…fascinating stuff! But it will have to take its place in line behind my other research projects.
Happy Birthday, Hendersonville!