Nashville Christian Churches, 1904

John T. Brown published in 1904 an encyclopedic pictorial and summative account of the Christian Churches.  Churches of Christ however was not exhaustive and underrepresented those writers, evangelists, congregations and publications opposing instrumental music in worship and Christian missionary work through agencies or societies other than a local congregation.

He provides on pp. 357ff a large and beautiful photograph of the Vine Street Christian Church along with its board of elders and a brief narrative sketch.   He concludes with a list of the other congregations in Nashville.

“There are seventeen other congregations in the city.  The following is a list:

1. South College Street [South Nashville]

2. Woodland Street

3. Tenth Street

4. Lockeland Church

5. Fourth Street [Grandview Church is first listed in the 1905 City Directory]

6. Foster Street [North Edgefield]

7. Highland Avenue

8. West Nashville

9. Carroll Street

10. Line Street [Jo Johnston]

11. Waverly Place

12. Beuna Vista [not listed in the City Directory for 1904 or 1905]

13. Nashville Bible School

Three of the eighteen are colored churches:

14. Lee Avenue

15. Gay Street [Second Church]

16. Jackson Street” [listed in the 1905 directory with the white congregations]

I compared Brown’s list to the 1904 and 1905 Nashville City Directories*.  In the list above, in square brackets, I add the names of the congregations as they appear in the City Directories.  The Directories have these additional congregations: Cherokee Park, Davis Hill, Green Street, North Spruce Street, Scovel Street and Willow Street.

I point this out only to say that both sources illuminate each other; at the same time both are incomplete and even when merged do not tell the whole story.  For example, in 1904-1905 the little mission on 12th Avenue North in North Nashville (launched from the North Spruce Street Church) was underway but it was too new for Brown and so far under the radar, it seems, as to escape notice of the Directory compilers.  There was also an African-American congregation/mission in East Nashville that no one seems to have noticed.

Also, Brown and the City Directories speak of the same congregations using different names:  Line Street and Jo Johnston are the same congregation; same for North Edgefield and Foster Street; Fourth Street is probably a reference to the mission that became the Grandview Church, first listed in the 1905 Directory; South Nashville is the same as South College Street; and Vine Street is also known as First Christian Church.

Such is the nature of the sources.

All of this to say that compiling a Name Authority for the Nashville Christian Churches and Churches of Christ requires relentless sleuthing, sifting, comparing and hypothesizing.  It has been not only enjoyable but satisfying.  Five years between revisions is long enough.  One of my 2018 goals for this blog is to publish a third revised and corrected edition of the Name Authority.

*Nashville City Directory 1904. Nashville: Marshall and Bruce Company, 1904, p. 62 and Nashville City Directory 1905. Nashville: Marshall, Bruce, Polk Company, 1905, p. 35.



3 thoughts on “Nashville Christian Churches, 1904

  1. “There was also an African-American congregation/mission in East Nashville that no one seems to have noticed.”

    Referring to Cowan Street, I assume?

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