Name Authority for Nashville Tennessee Stone-Campbell Congregations, 5th edition, revised and enlarged. April 18, 2020. This list comprises 440 variations of time, place and character names for 247 known congregations of the Stone-Campbell Movement in Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee from 1812 to March 2020.
The December 6, 1917 issue of Gospel Advocate was devoted to the memory of the recently-deceased David Lipscomb. It is a rich treasure of memories and tributes. To my knowledge this issue was the first to carry Lipscomb’s photograph on the cover. Similar covers followed in 1931 (the July 11 Davidson County Special Number) and 1939 (the December 7 special issue about the history of the Nashville congregations).
These three issues are of significant historical value. As primary sources they provide information unavailable elsewhere. As interpretive reflections they are a beginning point for how Lipscomb was remembered and how congregational history was recorded and carried forward. The 1917 issue, other than newspaper obituaries and Price Billingsley’s diary, is the first secondary source about the life and impact of David Lipscomb. The Billingsley diary (housed at Center for Restoration Studies, Abilene Christian University) contains a description of the funeral along with its author’s candid thoughts and impressions. It was not intended, at the time, for public reading.
The issue of the Advocate, however, is a product of the McQuiddy Printing Company and is most certainly intended to capture the mood and ethos in the air just after Lipscomb’s death and by way of the mails deliver it to subscribers wherever they may be. In point of time, it is the first published sustained historical reflection on Lipscomb’s life and ministry. The 1931 and 1939 special issues focus on Lipscomb’s activity on the ground among the citizens of Nashville’s neighborhoods. Here his legacy is as a church planter: an indefatigable, patient, faithful steward. He plants, he teaches, he preaches, he organizes. He observes shifting residential patterns and responds with congregational leadership development. To meet the needs of the emerging streetcar suburbs, he urges elders to take charge of teaching responsibilities, engage evangelists and establish congregations through peaceful migrations and church plants. The 1931 and 1939 issues are testimonies to the effects of this approach. Along the way they preserve details and photographic evidence that is simply unavailable elsewhere.
All three are available for download below.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
[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.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.
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.
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, . 279, 1, 34 p.Lipscomb, David. Notes on the International S. S. Lessons for 1896. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, .
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, . This tract first appeared in a three-part series of articles in Gospel Advocate in October 1901.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.
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.
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].Hooper, Robert E. 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]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.
Among the Churches of Christ recently (within the last 40 or so years) closed in Nashville is the 22nd Avenue Church in North Nashville.
Begun as a mission from Twelfth Avenue, North Church in the early 1920’s, Twenty-Second Avenue was always a rather small congregation and never a wealthy or affluent one.
The earliest record I can find of it in the Nashville city directories is in 1926 when it met at 1609 22nd Ave. North. The 1937 City Directory lists the congregation as meeting at 1626 22nd Avenue North. On 14 October 1932 the building, presumably at 1609, burned. In debt and poor (“our membership is composed mainly of people who have little of this world’s goods…”), they met in private homes and a former automobile repair shop on 21st Avenue until funds were raised to buy the corner lot at 1626 22nd Avenue and Osage Street. Upon it they constructed with donated labor and supplies a small frame meetinghouse. See Gospel Advocate 1933:93.
The photo below is, I assume, of the second building at 1626 22nd Avenue, North:
in 1933 the congregation had three elders, W. T. Phillips, H. V. McCool and A. B. Sweeney, with G. A. Helton serving as Treasurer. They supported, partially, a “Brother Jones” in Metropolis, Illinois and maintained a “small fund for foreign mission work” in addition to local benevolence ministry.
From 1933 to 1979 my trail grows cold.
By 1979 I understand that 22nd Avenue relocated north of the Cumberland River to 3903 Milford Road. Alas! I see from Google Maps that whatever structure existed at 3903 Milford Road, it has very recently seen the business end of a wrecking ball. Milford Road Church of Christ does not appear in the 1983 Where the Saints Meet. A Google search turns up Rose of Sharon Primitive Baptist Church using that address. Yet if Google Maps is any indication, there is no one meeting in any building at 3903 Milford Road today. I may have missed my chance to photograph the Milford Road building by a few months.
Who might have information from 22nd Avenue Church of Christ: bulletins, directories or photographs? Who could fill in any information, at all, in the forty year gap from 1933-1973? Who has a photograph of the first building at 1609 22nd Avenue? Or of the Milford Road structure? Who preached for this congregation? Where did the members go when they disbanded? Are any former members still living?
With the start of a new year and a new semester upon us, let’s take a look back at the ‘model programme’ laid out by Arvy Glenn Freed for pupils in the ‘Teacher’s Course’ at Georgie Robertson Christian College for the year 1899-1900. G. R. C. College, in Henderson, Tennessee, billed itself as a “college for the masses”…the “largest normal college in the south.”* In 1899-1900 it sustained the following departments: Primary, Preparatory, Teachers’, Scientific, Classic, Psychology and Pedagogy, Engineering, Elocution and Oratory, Medical, Musical, Art, Commercial, Telegraphy, Shorthand, Law, Typewriting, Select, Post-graduate and Review.**
Through a carefully arranged curriculum administered in a regimented daily schedule (“daily recitations in each subject of one hour each; no vacation, no holidays, no “blue Mondays,” as we have school on Saturdays…we work every day in the week.”) students were taught not only to value time but to use all of it well.***
Here is the “Model Programme of Study and Recitation of a Student in Teachers’ Course”, p. 11.
5.00 – 5.30 Toilet
5.30 – 6.30 Study Arithmetic
6.30 – 7.00 Study Orthography
7.00 – 7.45 Breakfast
8.00 – 8.30 Chapel Exercise
8.30 – 9.00 Study Grammar
9.00 – 10.00 Recite Grammar
10.00 – 11.00 Study Arithmetic
11.00 – 12.00 Recite Arithmetic
12.00 – 1.00 Dinner
1.00 – 2.00 Drills in Penmanship
2.00 – 3.00 Recite History
3.00 – 4.00 Recite Geography
4.00 – 5.00 Study Grammar
5.00 – 6.00 Study History
6.00 – 7.00 Supper and Recitation
7.00 – 8.00 Study Geography
8.00 – 8.30 Reading Pedagogy
8.30 – 9.00 General Reading
Faculty for this course could have included A. G. Freed and/or N. B. Hardeman for arithmetic; L. B. Mather and/or A. G. Freed for orthography; A. G. Freed and/or C. B. Ijams for grammar; A. G. Freed for penmanship; N. B. Hardeman for history and geography; Freed may have supervised the course of reading in pedagogy.
All citations and quotations are from The Annual Catalogue of the G. R. C. College and Business Institution. Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1899. This catalogue is for the second session, 1899-1900, and notes that “G. R. C. College” [Georgie Robertson Christian College] succeeds “W. T. C. College” [West Tennessee Christian College]. In time this institution would be renamed Freed-Hardeman College.
*Catalogue, front cover.
**Catalogue, p. 5
***Catalogue, p. 10, with emphasis on all.
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.
[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.
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
David Lipscomb College Church
Acklen Avenue Church
Chapel Avenue Church
Eleventh Street Church
Reid Avenue Church
Cedar Grove Church
Trinity Lane Church
Russell Street Church
Third and Taylor Church
Mead’s Chapel Church
Highland Avenue Church
Fifth Street Church
Seventh Avenue Church
Whites Creek Church
Fanning School and Church
Lischey Avenue 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:
Buford’s Chapel [this is an earlier name for Whites Creek church listed above]
Fourteenth and Jackson
Twenty-Sixth and Jefferson
Sixth and Ramsey
Fairfield and Green
Neither on this map nor inside are:
Chapel Hill (possibly a variant name for Little Marrowbone)
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.
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 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…)