David Lipscomb: A Bibliography

Compiled by McGarvey Ice, 9 November 2017

I list entries under three headings: BOOKS and MONOGRAPHS are stand-alone publications authored by David Lipscomb, or contain his works as edited by others; ESSAYS or CHAPTERS are materials authored by Lipscomb and published during his lifetime. These are not stand-alone publications; finally, BIOGRAPHICAL and INTERPRETIVE list biographical sketches about Lipscomb (published during his life and after his death) and scholarly interpretive works about his life and thought. I list entries under each heading chronologically by date of first publication. I note subsequent editions and/or reprintings only at the entry of first publication. In a few cases I add additional notes. Additions, corrections, and comments are welcome at mac.ice@acu.edu.  Click here to download the bibliography in PDF format.

BOOKS and MONOGRAPHS

Lipscomb, David. The Religious Sentiment, Its Social and Political Influence: An Address Before the Alumni Society of Franklin College, Tenn., delivered on the 4th of July, 1855. Nashville: Cameron & Fall, 1855. 36 p.

Lipscomb, David. Offerings to the Lord: A Tract. Nashville: Lipscomb & Sewell, 1878. 42 p.

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David Lipscomb. Offerings to the Lord: A Tract. Nashville: Lipscomb & Sewell, 1878.

[Lipscomb, David] The Standard and the Hymn-Book, with An Exposition of Its Course Toward the Missionary Society. Nashville: A. M. Sewell, 1883. 32 p.

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[David Lipscomb] The Standard and the Hymn-Book, with An Exposition of Its Course Toward the Missionary Society. Nashville: A. M. Sewell, 1883.

Lipscomb, David. Difficulties in Religion Considered. [Nashville?: Lipscomb & Sewell?, prior to 1888, possibly in 1885]. Perhaps bound with John T. Poe, What Must I Do To Be Saved? and John T. Poe, The Identity of the Church. This content may be the same as the chapter by the same name in Salvation from Sin (1913).

Lipscomb, D. Christian Unity. How Promoted, How Destroyed. Faith and Opinion. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1891. 64 p. Reprinted by McQuiddy Printing Company, Nashville, 1916. Reprinted under a short title, On Christian Unity, by Doulos Christou Press, Indianapolis, 2006.

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D. Lipscomb. Christian Unity. How Promoted, How Destroyed. Faith and Opinion. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, Nashville, 1916.

Lipscomb, D. Civil Government. Its Origin, Mission, and Destiny, and the Christian’s Relation To It. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1889. 158 p. Reprinted by McQuiddy Printing Company, Nashville, 1913; Gospel Advocate Company, 1957. Reprinted by Vance Publications, Pensacola, 2006. This material appeared earlier in Christian Quarterly Review, issues of October 1888, January 1889 and July 1889.

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D. Lipscomb. Civil Government. Its Origin, Mission, and Destiny, and the Christian’s Relation To It. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1889.

Lipscomb, D. Life and Sermons of Jesse L. Sewell. An Account of His Life, Labors and Character. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1891. 318 p. Second and third ‘editions’, actually printings, in 1891 by Gospel Advocate Publishing Company. Fourth ‘edition’ by Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, 1954.

Lipscomb, David. Notes on the International S. S. Lessons for 1895. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, [1895]. 279, 1, 34 p.

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David Lipscomb. Notes on the International S. S. Lessons for 1895. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, [1895]

Lipscomb, David. Notes on the International S. S. Lessons for 1896. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, [1896].

Lipscomb, D. A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles, with Questions Suited for the Use of Families and Schools. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1896. 249, 5 p. Printed at least four times, one perhaps as late as 1939.

[Lipscomb, David] Instruments of Music in the Service of God: An Examination of the Subject from the Teaching of Both the Old and the New Testaments. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, [1903]. This tract first appeared in a three-part series of articles in Gospel Advocate in October 1901.

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[David Lipscomb] Instruments of Music in the Service of God: An Examination of the Subject from the Teaching of Both the Old and the New Testaments. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, [1903].

Lipscomb, David. The Sabbath: Which Day Shall We Observe—The First or the Seventh?  [Nashville?: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company and/or McQuiddy Printing Company?, prior to 1910].

Shepherd, J. W. Queries and Answers by David Lipscomb, Editor of the Gospel Advocate. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1910. 458 p. Second and third editions in 1910 and 1911 respectively, both by McQuiddy Printing Company. Fourth and fifth editions by F. L. Rowe, Cincinnati, 1918 and 1942 respectively. Also a Fifth edition by Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, 1963. All subsequent ‘editions’ after the first are actually printings.

Shepherd, J. W. Salvation from Sin by David Lipscomb, Editor of the Gospel Advocate. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1913. x, 440 p. ‘Second edition’, actually a printing, by Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, 1950. Reprinted by Faith and Facts, Indianapolis, ca. 1995.

Kurfees, M. C., ed. Queries and Answers by Lipscomb and Sewell being A Compilation of Queries with Answers by D. Lipscomb and E. G. Sewell, covering a period of forty years of their joint editorial labors on the Gospel Advocate. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1921. 767 p. Apparently the first printing bears the title as above, both on the title page and spine of the book. Second printing changed to ‘Questions Answered by Lipscomb and Sewell…”. Reprinted under the latter title by McQuiddy Printing Company, Nashville, 1952 and 1957 and by Gospel Advocate Company in 1963 and 1974. The title change may have occurred as early as May 1921; the book was first noted in February 1921.

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M. C. Kurfees, ed. Queries and Answers by Lipscomb and Sewell being A Compilation of Queries with Answers by D. Lipscomb and E. G. Sewell, covering a period of forty years of their joint editorial labors on the Gospel Advocate. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1921.

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M. C. Kurfees, ed. Questions AnswereD by Lipscomb and Sewell being A Compilation of Queries with Answers by D. Lipscomb and E. G. Sewell, covering a period of forty years of their joint editorial labors on the Gospel Advocate. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1921.

Shepherd, J. W., ed. A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles by David Lipscomb. Volume I. Romans. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1933. 285 p.

Shepherd, J. W., ed. A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles by David Lipscomb. Volume II. First Corinthians. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1935. 274 p.

Shepherd, J. W., ed. A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles by David Lipscomb. Volume III. Second Corinthians and Galatians. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1936. 304 p.

Shepherd, J. W., ed. A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles by David Lipscomb. Volume IV. Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1939. 330 p.

Dorris, C. E. W., ed. A Commentary on The Gospel by John by David Lipscomb. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1939. 339 p.

Shepherd, J. W., ed. A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles by David Lipscomb. Volume V. I, II Thessalonians, I, II Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1942. 324 p.

Shepherd, J. W., ed. A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles by David Lipscomb. Volume I. Romans. Second ed. rev. and enl. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1943. 292 p. The commentaries were reprinted many times by Gospel Advocate Company, 1940s-present. In 1997 Gospel Advocate Company published a Spanish language edition under the series title Un Comentario Sobre las Epítolas del Nueve Testamento translated by Lionel M. Cortez.

ESSAYS or CHAPTERS

Introduction, Jarvis, Ida Van Zandt, Texas Poems. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1893.

“Man: His Beginning, Training, and End” in F. D. Srygley, Biographies and Sermons, A Collection of Original Sermons by Different Men, with a Biographical Sketch of Each Man Accompanying His Sermon, Illustrated by Half-tone Cuts. Nashville: [Gospel Advocate Publishing Company] 1898. pp 165-184. Reprinted by Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, 1961.

Introduction. Calhoun, H. L. and M. C. Kurfees. Instrumental Music in the Worship. A Discussion Between H. L. Calhoun and M. C. Kurfees, with an Appendix. Introduction by David Lipscomb, Editor of the Gospel Advocate. Nashville; Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1901. 48 p.

“Tolbert Fanning’s Teaching and Influence” pp. 7-111; “Address” p. 358-363; “Notice of the Death of William Anderson” pp. 443-447 all in Scobey, James E. ed. Franklin College and Its Influence. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1906. Reprinted by Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, 1954.

Contributor. Lipscomb, A. B. ed. Christian Treasures, An Exposition of Vital Themes by Earnest and Forceful Writers. Volume 1. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1916.

Contributor. Lipscomb, A. B. ed. Christian Treasures, An Exposition of Vital Themes by Earnest and Forceful Writers. Volume 2. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1916.

BIOGRAPHICAL and INTERPRETIVE

Srygley, F. D. “Life of David Lipscomb,” in F. D. Srygley, Biographies and Sermons, A Collection of Original Sermons by Different Men, with a Biographical Sketch of Each Man Accompanying His Sermon, Illustrated by Half-tone Cuts. Nashville: [Gospel Advocate Publishing Company] 1898. pp 150-164. Reprinted by Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, 1961.

“David Lipscomb Memorial Number’ of Gospel Advocate, 59:49 (December 6, 1917) contains numerous articles, tributes and memorials.

Boles, H. Leo. Biographical Sketches of Gospel Preachers, Including the Pioneer Preachers of the Resotration Movement and Many Other Preachers Through Decades Down to the Present Generation Who Have Passed to Their Reward. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1932. pp. 243-247.

West, Earl Irvin. The Life and Times of David Lipscomb. Henderson: Religious Book Service, 1954.

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Earl Irvin West. The Life and Times of David Lipscomb. Henderson: Religious Book Service, 1954.

Vaughn, J. Roy, “David Lipscomb” in B. C. Goodpasture, comp. The Gospel Advocate Centennial Volume. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1956. Ch. 3 devoted to David Lipscomb, pp. 14-40, which includes several articles by Lipscomb.

Barnett, Herman L. “David Lipscomb’s Doctrine of the Church.” MA Thesis, Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1956.

Harrell, David Edwin, Jr. “Disciples of Christ Pacifism In Nineteenth Century Tennessee,” Tennessee Historical Quarterly, 21:3 (1962): 263-274

Holland, Tom. David Lipscomb: An Example of Ethical Power in Preaching. MA Thesis, Abilene Christian College, Abilene, Texas,1964.

Campbell, Thomas L. The Contribution of David Lipscomb and the Gospel Advocate to Religious Education in the Churches of Christ, Or, David Lipscomb’s Contribution to the Restoration Movement. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, 1968.

Robinson, John Louis. David Lipscomb : Journalist in Texas, 1872. [Quanah, Texas] Nortex, 1973.

Murrell, Arthur V., “David Lipscomb: Moderate in the Middle; or David Lipscomb Reconsidered,” Discipliana 34 (Winter 1974): 43-57.

Seawright, Sandy, “Ten ‘Greatest Tennesseans’—A Reappraisal,” Tennessee Historical Quarterly 35 (Summer 1976): 222-224.

Hooper, Robert E. A Call to Remember: Chapters in Nashville Restoration History. [Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1977].

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Robert E. Hooper. A Call to Remember: Chapters in Nashville Restoration History. [Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1977].

Hooper, Robert E. Crying in the Wilderness: A Biography of David Lipscomb. Nashville: David Lipscomb College, 1979.

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Robert E. Hooper, Crying in the Wilderness: A Biography of David Lipscomb. Nashville: David Lipscomb College, 1979.

Hooper, Robert E., “The Lipscomb Family,” Nashville Families & Homes, Paragraphs from Nashville History Lecture Series 1979-1981. Nashville: The Nashville Room, The Public Library of Nashville & Davidson County, 1983, pp. 90-103.

Dunnavant, Anthony L. “David Lipscomb on the Church and the Poor.” Restoration Quarterly, 33:2 (1991): 75-85.

Dunnavant, Anthony L. “David Lipscomb and the ‘Preferential Option for the Poor’ among Post-Bellum Churches of Christ.” Poverty and Ecclesiology: Nineteenth-Century Evangelicals in the Light of Liberation Theology, Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992, pp. 27-50.

Brewster, Ben. “Torn Asunder the Civil War, David Lipscomb, and the 1906 Division of the Disciples.” MA Thesis, Cincinnati Bible College & Seminary, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1999.

Foster, Douglas A. “Churches of Christ and Baptism: An Historical and Theological Overview.” Restoration Quarterly, 43:2 (2001): 79-94.

Roberts, R. L. “Lipscomb, David” in Richard T. Hughes and R. L. Roberts, The Churches of Christ. Denominations in America, 10. Henry Warner Bowden, Series Ed. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2001: 252-253

Little, David L. “The Aversion to Biblical Interpretation in the Thought of David Lipscomb and Tolbert Fanning.” Restoration Quarterly, 44:3 (2002): 159-164.

Casey, Michael W. “From Religious Outsiders to Insiders: The Rise and Fall of Pacifism in the Churches of Christ.” Journal of Church & State, 44:3 (2002): 455.

Hooper, Robert E., “Lipscomb, David (1831-1917), Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement. Douglas A. Foster, Paul M. Blowers, Anthony L. Dunnavant, D. Newell Williams, Eds. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004: 480-482.

Hicks, John Mark and Bobby Valentine. Kingdom Come: Embracing the Spiritual Legacy of David Lipscomb and James Harding. Abilene, TX : Leafwood Publishers, 2006.

Foster, Douglas A. “The 1906 Census of Religious Bodies and Division in the Stone-Campbell Movement: A Closer Look.” Discipliana, 66:3 (2006): 83-93.

Mead, Jason. “An Abandonment of the Christian Religion”: War, Politics, and Society in the Writings of Tolbert Fanning and David Lipscomb, 1855-1876.” Journal of East Tennessee History, 82, (2010): 33-52.

Hooper, Robert E. Crying in the Wilderness: The Life & Influence of David Lipscomb. [Nashville: Lipscomb University, 2011]

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Robert E. Hooper. Crying in the Wilderness: The Life & Influence of David Lipscomb. [Nashville: Lipscomb University, 2011]

Grubbs, Shaun. The Heritage of Pacifism in the Stone-Campbell Movement: A General Study. MA Thesis, Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas, 2012.

Brown, Joel A. “Concern for the Poor in the Nashville Bible School Tradition: David Lipscomb and James A. Harding.” Restoration Quarterly, 55:2 (2013): 91-106.

 

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Nashville Churches of Christ in 1885

I have at hand Year-Book of the Disciples of Christ, Their Membership, Missions, Ministry, Educational and Other Institutions. Cincinnati: General Christian Missionary Convention, 1885.

This was not the first attempt to gather statistics, but we may regard as the first of its kind and scope.  Earlier attempts did quite well to list preachers and names of congregations. The 1885 Yearbook lists congregations in 38 American states and territories plus Canada, Great Britain, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania.  Under each state, territory or country, the congregations are listed in nearly alphabetical order by the name of the church.  At least all the names starting with the same letter are grouped together.  Not truly alphabetical, but close.  Also included are lists of preachers and descriptions of mission activity, higher educational institutions and literary output.

What sets the 1885 book apart from its sporadic predecessors is that for each congregation it also provides names of elders, Post Office [the closest thing in 1885 to an address as we know it], the frequency of preaching [tri-monthly, monthly, semi-monthly, weekly, irregular or no data provided], number of members, number of Sunday School pupils, number of officers and teachers [presumably within the Sunday School arrangement], value of church property, the amount raised in 1883 for local work, the amount raised in 1883 for missions, and the name of the regular preacher in 1884.

At 159 pages the document is by a large margin the largest and broadest such directory undertaken thus far among the Stone-Campbell movement.  However, it has significant limitations.  The compiler, evidently Robert Moffett of Cleveland, Ohio, states in the first sentence of the General Introduction that “It can not be too forcibly enjoined on all who examine this Year-Book, that no pretensions to completeness are made for it.  On the contrary, it is expressly claimed that its statistics are very incomplete.”  He cites the organizing committee’s utter lack of financial resources and serious disorganization as factors mitigating against a fuller or more accurate compilation.  As a ” work of purely voluntary goodwillI…” Moffett states, “it may well be regarded as surprising that they have accomplished so much.”

The committee relied upon the personal-informational network put in place by advocates of missionary societies to gather their statistics: “That only in States having well-established and vigorous State organizations–such as Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia–has it been possible to obtain even approximately full lists of the churches; and much less their statistics.”  In short, the advocates of the Society kept track of the churches in their area.  Some states, such as Kentucky, Georgia, Indiana, Texas and Arkansas, “there has not been the same pains taken by the State organizations to gather statistics.”  Finally, “in other quarters–such as Tennessee and the majority of the Southern and far Western states and Territories–they have been obliged to depend on individual aid–generally on such preachers as were known to them.  Hence their work must be regarded as merely a beginning.”

There are 264 Tennessee congregations listed.  None of those in Nashville are among this number.  Not Church Street or Second Christian downtown nor Woodland Street in East Nashville.  Outlying county congregations like South Harpeth, Philippi, and on out to Lavergne, Franklin and Owen Chapel are also missing.  Tucker’s Crossroads or Bethlehem in Wilson County is there, along with Bush’s Chapel in Sumner County up on the ridge and Sycamore over in Cheatham County.  But no Nashville congregations, not a one of them.

The list of preachers for Tennessee was hastily added late, after the majority of preachers were compiled into the main listing.  Of the 2620 preachers listed, here are those with Nashville addresses: R. Lin Cave [who was at Church Street in downtown], J. P. Grigg [who preached all over but chiefly in 1885 at the infant North Nashville, or 8th Avenue North congregation], David Lipscomb [a member at Church Street in 1885], William Lipscomb [listed in Brentwood, but still very close], W. J. Loos [who was at Woodland Street in East Nashville as a regular preacher], J. C. McQuiddy {who was at the infant Foster Street mission in North Edgefield], a Rawlings [who knows?], E. G. Sewell {an elder at Woodland Street], Rice Sewell [listed as Donleson, in Davidson County], and E. S. B. Waldron [listed as Lavergne, on the Davidson/Rutherford county line].  No other Tennessee city has as many resident preachers as Nashville.  One one African-American preacher was listed in Tennessee, H. Hankal in East Tennessee.

The Block River [could be Black River] church in Connersville, reported 250 members with no pupils in Sunday School; they did not report the amount spent in local or mission work. They heard preaching monthly by Joseph Hill.

The Catby’s Creek [almost surely the Cathey’s Creek] church, at Isom’s Store, reported monthly preaching by T. I. Brooks.  A congregation of 300 members, they had 25 Sunday School pupils, taught by four teachers.  With property valued at $2000, this congregation spent $100 for local work and $40 for mission work in 1883.

The McMinnville congregation, meeting weekly for preaching by George W. Sweeney, had 350 members, 125 in a Sunday School taught by five teachers.  Their property was valued at $5000.  They spent $2500 at home and $100 for mission work in 1883.  I have a neat old photograph of the McMinnville meetinghouse.  It reads ‘Church of God’ in the stone tablet high above the front door.  I will have to post it here sometime.

There are a few other congregations reporting memberships between 100-200, but in Tennessee, the Block river, Cathey’s Creek and McMinnville are the largest as recorded in the 1885 Year-Book.  The McMinnville congregation tied with Fayetteville in terms of the value of church property ($5000) and with the Memphis congregation for the amount spent in local work ($2500).  A few other churches show property valued above $1000, but McMinnville and Memphis are far and away the leaders in expenditures, as reported in this book.

7 December 1939 Gospel Advocate: The Nashville Special

7 December 1939 Gospel Advocate “Nashville Special”

This special issue of Gospel Advocate highlights with historical sketches and photographs several dozen Churches of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee, the City of David (Lipscomb).  In view of an upcoming lecture at Lipscomb University (I’m co-presenting with Christopher Cotten, John Mark Hicks and Jeremy Sweets), this will be the first of several daily posts of the photographs from that issue.  From now until the end of June I will post one photo daily.  Look for the portraits of Fall, Fanning, Sewell, McQuiddy and Harding tomorrow and the meetinghouses in alphabetical order beginning 23 May until 30 June 2013, d.v. …. You are invited to our sessions Monday July 1 and Tuesday July 2.  See the Summer Celebration schedule for time and place. Please come, I’d like to meet and talk with you.

Front Cover

Content Summary

[B. C. Goodpasture], “How Special Was Prepared”, page 1166:

In collecting the material for the special number of the Gospel Advocate we have sought a short history and a picture of the meetinghouse of every congregation in what might be called the Nashville district.  There are some congregations not within the city limits which have been so vitally related to the work in the city that it was thought proper to include them.  To this end each congregation was asked by telephone or letter to supply a sketch of its work and a good picture of its meetinghouse.  We are grateful that most of the congregations complied with our request, but regret that some did not.  Except where otherwise stated, we have used only the material that was sent in to us.  Where the type of meetinghouse and of picture permitted, the cuts are uniform in size.—EDITOR.

——-

H. Leo Boles, “General History of the Church in Nashville,” 1146-1148.  Included in this brief essay are portraits of Philip Slater Fall, Tolbert Fanning, Elisha Granville Sewell, Jephthah Clayton McQuiddy and James Alexander Harding.  David Lipscomb’s portrait graces the front cover.  The bulk of the issue are the sketches and photos of the congregations and their meetinghouses.  Boles’ task is to introduce the issue with a lead-off broad historical resume.

Rear Cover

List of Congregations, pages 1148-1167

Listed below, in the order of appearance, are the congregations featured; those without an accompanying photograph marked with an asterisk [*].  I cannot discern an organizing principle, if there was one, governing the listing of the congregations.  For their relative locations consult the map on the back cover.

Lindsley Avenue Church

Twelfth Avenue Church

Old Hickory Church

Charlotte Avenue Church

Grandview Heights Church

Riverside Drive Church

Shelby Avenue Church

Joseph Avenue Church

Grace Avenue Church

Park Avenue Church

Park Circle Church

Lawrence Avenue Church

Central Church

David Lipscomb College Church

Acklen Avenue Church

Chapel Avenue Church

Eleventh Street Church

Reid Avenue Church

Cedar Grove Church

Trinity Lane Church

Fairview Church

Russell Street Church

Donelson Church

Third and Taylor Church

Mead’s Chapel Church

Highland Avenue Church

Fifth Street Church

Seventh Avenue Church

Hillsboro Church

Madison Church

Radnor Church

Whites Creek Church

Fanning School and Church

Lischey Avenue Church

Belmont Church

Waverly-Belmont Church

New Shops Church*

Neely’s Bend Church*

——-

W. E. Brightwell, “Record Not Complete”, pages 1166-1167:

“Some congregations failed to provide a picture of their building; some prepared something, but there was a slip-up in delivery.”  Brightwell briefly recalls details about Green Street, Eighth Street [Eight Avenue, North], Jo Johnston, Twenty-Second Avenue, Otter Creek, and Reid Avenue.  Within Brightwell’s note are photographs of the Home for the Aged (overseen by the Chapel Avenue Church), Jackson Park Church and Rains Avenue Church.  He closes by asking, “What became of the sketches for Jackson Park and Rains Avenue congregations?  Gorman Avenue, Richland Creek, Edenwold, Fourth Avenue, South, Pennsylvania Avenue, Ivy Point, Dickerson Road, and possibly others within the area of Greater Nashville, failed to report, or something happened that their report did not arrive in time.”

Given Brightwell’s note, I thought it worthwhile to discern which congregations were absent.  It became readily apparent that there was no mention, at all, of any African-American congregation or preacher in the issue.  There is a list of six “Colored Churches” on the rear-cover map.

If George Philip Bowser’s 1942 directory is any indication, Nashville was as much “Jerusalem” for African-American churches of Christ as it was for whites.  In 1942 Nashville claimed six black Churches of Christ, the same as are listed on the rear cover of this ‘Nashville Special.’  No other city in America at that time, known to Bowser at least, had as many black congregations or as many members among them.  Were Bowser to describe these congregations, their establishment and growth and the great men and women who built and nurtured them, he might use Henry Leo Boles’ words which opens this ‘Nashville Special’: “Nashville, Tenn., has been called the modern Jerusalem. There are more churches of Christ in this city than in any other city of the world.  The church in Nashville, like the church in Jerusalem, had a small beginning, but it has grown to great proportions.”  If not, at least his data would support the claim nonetheless.

The rear cover, with map, lists sixty-five congregations, fifty-nine [white] and six “colored.”

——-

The congregations listed below have neither photo nor sketch in the issue proper:

Bells Bend

Dickerson Road

Edenwold

Eighth Avenue

Fourth Avenue

Gorman Avenue

Green Street

Jo Johnston

Pennsylvania Avenue

Richland Creek

Rural Hill

Twenty-Second Avenue

Watkins Chapel

Buford’s Chapel [this is an earlier name for Whites Creek church listed above]

Neely’s Bend

Pennington’s Bend

Woodson Chapel

Una

Goodlettsville

Otter Creek

Ivy Point

Fourteenth and Jackson

Twenty-Sixth and Jefferson

Sixth and Ramsey

Fairfield and Green

South Hill

Horton

——-

Neither on this map nor inside are:

South Harpeth

Philippi

Hill’s Chapel

Antioch

Burnette’s Chapel

Gilroy

Smith Springs

Pasquo

Pleasant Hill

Little Marrowbone

Chapel Hill (possibly a variant name for Little Marrowbone)

Bethel

All of these are in Davidson County, reasonably within the bounds of Goodpasture’s “Nashville district” or Brightwell’s “Greater Nashville.”

The 1939 City Directory lists a Sanctified Church of Christ at 408 16th Avenue, North and a Metropolitan Church of Christ on East Hill as a ‘Colored’ congregation.  The same directory lists Emanuel Church of Christ which I have confirmed is not a Stone-Campbell congregation.  Sanctified is entirely new to me; there is an outside chance it could be the predecessor to the Fifteenth Avenue, North congregation (est. 1955 according to the 2012 Churches of Christ in the United States).  If so then it is a black congregation…15th Ave is a plant from Jefferson or Jackson Street.  Metropolitan Church is likewise new to me.

——

Remember, check back daily for a new photograph.  Comments are welcome for memories, suggestions, etc.  Should you like to contact me privately, do so at   icekm [at] aol [dot] com.  Should you have or know someone who has photographs, directories, bulletins or other paper from any of these congregations, please contact me.

A strategy for congregational research

My Nashville research across the last ten years has evolved from an interest in Central Church (where I was then Associate Minister) to a much, much larger scope including each congregation in the county, every para-church ministry based in Nashville, and how the larger issues within Stone-Campbell history interact with local history in one city resulting in the ministry conducted on ground, in the trenches, in the congregations.  With that comes the innumerable evangelists, ministers and pastors who held forth weekly from pulpits across the city. Ambitious? Yes.  Perhaps too ambitious.  That may be a fair criticism, but the field is fertile and the more I survey the landscape and read the sources and uncover additional data, the more I’m convinced to stay the course.

In the last four years especially I have focused my efforts to obtain information about the smaller congregations, closed congregations, particularly congrgations which have closed in the last 40 to 50 years.  My rationale for this focus is that some history here is in some cases, potentially recoverable.  There are larger affluent congregations which have appearances of vitality…they are going nowhere soon.  I can only hope some one among them is heads-up enough to chronicle their ongoing history and preserve the materials they produced.  On the other hand are congregations which have long-ago closed and chances are good we might not ever know anything of them except a name and possibly a location (for example, Carroll Street Christian Church is absorbed into South College Street in 1920 forming Lindsley Avenue Church of Christ…no paper is known to exist from this church, and I can’t even find one photo of the old building, and there is no one remaining who has living memory of this congregation).  For all practical purposes Carroll Street Church of Christ may remain as mysterious in twenty years as it does now.  I’d be surprised to learn of 3 people now living in the city of Nashville who have even heard of it.

But the several congregations that closed in the 50’s-80’s (and some even in the last five years) remain accessible if only through documents and interviews.  Theoretically the paper (the bulletins, meeting minutes, directories, photographs, even potentially sermon tapes) has a good chance of survival in a basement or attic or closet.  Chances are still good that former members still live, or folks might be around–in Nashville or elsewhere–who grew up at these congregations.  Theoretically.  Potentially.  Hopefully.

Yet as time marches on there are more funerals…for example in the last year I missed opportunities to speak with three elderly folks about their memories at these now-closed churches…they were too ill to speak with me and now they are gone!  I did, however, speak at length with one woman in ther 90’s who I thought died long ago!  She is quite alive and lucid!

So from time to time I will highlight on this blog these closed congregations…closed in the recent past…with hopes that someone somewhere might look for them (I get hits on this blog by folks looking for all sorts of things, among them are several Nashville Churches of Christ).  Maybe we can stir up some interest and surface additional information.

A few days ago I posted about one such congregation, the Twelfth Avenue, North Church of Christ.  I have in the queue a post about New Shops Church of Christ in West Nashville.  There are more, several more.

Stay tuned, and remember, save the paper!

Nashville Churches of Christ History Facebook group

Nashville Churches of Christ History group is open to anyone interested in the history of the Stone-Campbell Movement in Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee. When I began the group about three years ago I said this:

I envision this community as a place to share common interest in the rich story of the Stone-Campbell Movement in Nashville. I am conducting research for a book which will highlight each congregation of Churches of Christ and Christian Churches from the 1810’s to the present…basically the entire movement from its beginning in our city until now. I envision this group as a place to share memories, photos, news and generate discussion and interest. Please join and contribute. Please feel free to contact me directly at icekm (at) aol (dot) com.

Since readership for this blog is significantly higher now than it was in 2010, let me offer another invitation.  The group is open to all. Help spread the word and generate interest. (astogetherwestandandsing…)

David Lipscomb on Voting: A Voice from 1921


Lipscomb wrote much more than this about voting and the larger question of a Christian’s relationship to civil powers.  In this compact piece Lipscomb examines the basic issues he understood to be involved in the whole question.  It appears on pages 707-708 of M. C. Kurfees, ed. Questions Answered by Lipscomb and Sewell, Being a Compilation of Queries with Answers by D. Lipscomb and E. G. Sewell, covering a period of forty years of their joint editorial labors on the Gospel Advocate. Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1921.

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VOTING.

A brother and I were talking on prohibition.  He said that if I did not vote in the coming election I would be guilty of the damnation of the drunkard’s soul.  I told him that I never voted.  Please give us your views on the subject.

We cannot now enter into a lengthened argument on the subject of voting.  We believe the Scriptures furnish a man fully unto all good works.  It nowhere tells or gives the example of any Christian voting or using the governments of earth, which in the Bible are recognized as belonging to the prince of this world, to accomplish good.  God overrules them, as he does all the institutions of evil, to bring good to his children.  We believe that God’s laws, God’s provisions, are sufficient for all the good a Christian can do on earth.  If he will do what God requires, use the appointments God ordained for his use, and leave the results with God, he will save more souls that he will by using any of the powers of earth through which to work.  I know that God’s appointments and agencies look feeble and foolish to men, while man’s look wise and efficient; and if a man walks by his own wisdom, he will follow the inventions of men; but if he trusts God, he will use God’s appointed agencies and leave results in the hand of God.  I have faith in God, so do not expect to vote on any question.  If human government banishes whisky, I will rejoice; but a man that has not moral strength to quit drinking when whisky is in his reach is not fit for heaven.  Sober men that refuse to obey God need salvation as much as [708] the drunkard, and are frequently just as willing to be saved.   A sober man who refuses to obey God does as much harm and needs salvation as much as the drunkard.

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Lipscomb expresses a fundamental principle undergirding his basic thought and approach to any question: “We beleive the Scriptures furnish…”  It follows therefore that Lipscomb will search the scriptures to find a command or example for guidance in how to address any query at hand.  He finds neither instruction for example of voting in Scripture.  He moves to a larger issue and asks of Scripture: how do “governments of earth” function under God?  First, he finds no instruction or example of a Christian using these governments to “accomplish good.”  Second, he finds such governments to “belong to the prince of this world.”  A fundamental assumption of the antagonist in the query affirms the capacity of Christians to do good by voting in prohibition, therefore saving drunk men’s souls.  Lipscomb denies not only this assertion but undercuts the entire argument that Christians ought to vote morality.

“We can do so much good by voting ___X___,” the arguments goes.  “If we do not vote this or that way on this issue or that question then the country will go to hell in a handbasket…”  Or some such.  Lipscomb brooks no ground for this argument.  Instead, when he reads Scripture to find out what the proper course for his life ought to be, he finds that human governements are all already going to hell in a handbasket, period.  He understands Scripture to teach that “governments of earth” are “institutions of evil.”  Whatever good apparently comes from them in actuality comes from God working in spite of them.  They are tools in his hand to do good for his children.

Now this is quite different from any reading of Scripture that justifies one nation, say America, as God’s chosen nation.  Where the good of humanity is concerned (say, in the salvation of a drunkard when prohibition is on the ballot), Lipscomb places his confidence in God working through Christians-working-as-Christians in the lives of those about them who are addicted to alcohol.  For Lipscomb the locus of this salvific activity is the local congregation exerting its gifts of the Spirit in the life of its community.  In other words, Christians ought to take more seriously their idenitiy as Christians in their communities and work in them with grace and purity and peace and redemption, than they take any question up for vote on election day.  So what if prohibition passes thanks to the Christian vote, yet Christians cast about with no confidence in “God’s appointments and agencies” and therefore have no meaningful redmeptive impact on their neighbors?  Can we then say that our vote saved the drunkard from hell?  Can we then say with a straight face our vote saved the nation?

For Lipscomb, one aspect of this is hermeneutical, or how do you read the Scriptures?  Lipscomb finds no command or example for voting, therfore he does not vote.   Historically, this basic approach has been pervasive in Churches of Christ.  It has not been without debate as to application, but it has been pervasive and usually it proved conclusive.   No example of voting=no voting.   Further, the larger theological point Lipscomb extrapolates from what he does find in Scripture is that “God overrules…all institutions of evil.”  Therefore when Christians start talking about salvation or damnation (whether it is saving the drunkard’s soul or keeping our nation from the brink), for Lipscomb, they had better think through their commmitments and loyalties.  About these matters Scripture is clear: God works through his body (the church) as his body works in the world; God works in spite of human governments.  God’s appointments concerning ultimate human good (salvation) center on the redemptive work of the Spirit in the church.  No Christian ought to seek the results (salvation) without working loyally and steadfastly within the means (the church) God appointed.  Really, Lipscomb asks, where is your confidence?

I thought this a challenging little piece from the past to present on Election Day.  If I have misread David Lipscomb I welcome your criticism.  For my readers who attend Churches of Christ, what has been the substance of the discussion at church lately about this election?  Has it tracked more with the querist’s antagonist, or David Lipscomb?

Name Authority for Nashville, Tennessee Stone-Campbell Congregations

Name Authority for Nashville Tennessee Stone-Campbell Congregations, September 2012

Click above to download a document listing 319 variants of time-, place- and character-names for the 227 known congregations of the Stone-Campbell movement in Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee from 1812 to September 2012.

To my knowledge my work in this area is the only such compilation, and therefore, the most complete.  The initial publication of the list to this blog was in May 2010 as a first step in my research toward a book on the Restoration Movement in Nashville.  I blogged then:

With over 200 congregations in this county, the congregational research alone will take years, perhaps the remainder of my life.  If I live to be 100 I may not finish even a rudimentary survey.  It may be too much:  too many congregations, too many preachers, too much ‘story’ to tell.

But this is where I am at the present.  I publish the list here to generate interest, additions, subtractions, corrections and clarifications.  Look it over and if I need to make changes, please let me know.

While congregational history is only one aspect of this project, this is where it all played out…on the ground in the congregations on a weekly basis.  Few congregations have attempted more than a list of preachers or a narrative of the expansion of the church building.  What I propose, as I wrote above, may be too much…too far to the other extreme.  But that fact changes not one whit the necessity of it being done.

The story of these churches in Nashville needs to be told.  I ask for your help in telling it.  look over my list; I solicit your critique. Contact me at icekm [at] aol [dot] com.

(The first version of the name authority, from May 2010, can be found here.)