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.)

Stone-Campbell Movement congregations in Nashville One Hundred Years Ago

Christian Churches as listed in the 1912 Nashville City Directory:



Belmont Avenue Church, Grand av n e cor 16th av.

Boscobel Street Church – r 401 S 17th

Carroll Street Church of Christ – 96 Carroll. Rev. Owen Henry, pastor; h 98 Carroll

Cherokee Park Church of Christ – 6113 California Av. No regular pastor.

Eastland Church, Gallatin rd s w cor Sharpe av.

Eleventh Street Christian Church Mission – 515 S 11th.

Foster Street Church – 210 Foster

Grandview Heights Church – w s Nolensville rd 2 s of Woodbine

Green Street Church – 146 Green. Elder J G Allen, pastor; h 132 Green

Highland Church of Christ – s s Powhattan av 2 w of 25th av S.  No pastor.

Hinton’s Chapel – e s Orlando av 2 s of Charlotte rd.

Jo Johnston Avenue Church – 1703 Jo Johston av.  No pastor.

Jones Avenue Church – w s Jones 1 s of Trinity

Joseph Avenue Church – Richardson s w cor Joseph av.

Lawrence Avenue Church – n s Lawrence av 2 w of Elliott av.

New Shops Church – 27th av s w cor Torbett av.  No pastor.

North Spruce Street Church – 1217 8th av N.

Park Avenue Church – Park av s w cor 37th av.

Reid Avenue Church – Reid av s w cor Ridley av.

Scovel Street Church – 1717 Scovel. Elder Lytton Alley, pastor; h 1035 Monroe

Seventeenth Street Church – 1700 Fatherland.  Elder H. M. Stansifer, pastor

Sixth Avenue Mission – 1801 6th av N.  Elder T. B. Moody, pastor.

South College Street Church – 805 3d av S.  Elder Cornelius A Moore, pastor; h 69 Carroll.

Tenth Street Church – 10th s e cor Russell.  Elder E. G. Sewell, pastor; h 801 Boscobel.

Twelfth Avenue Church – 1816 12th av N.

Vine Street Church – 140 7th av N.  Elder Carey E Morgan, pastor.

Warioto Settlement – Hume nr 8th av N.

West Nashville Church –Charlotte av n e cor 46th av.

Westwood Church – Hefferman s e cor 26th sv.

Woodland Street Church – 507 Woodland.  Elder R. Lin Cave, pastor, h 230 Woodland.


Church of Christ – 1308 Jackson.

Lea Avenue Church – 709 Lea av.  Rev Preston Taylor, pastor; h 449 4th av N.

Second Church – 706 Gay

Willow Street Church – South Hill s w cor Willow.  Rev A J Lawrence, pastor; h w s Willow 1 s of South Hill


Nashville City Directory 1912.  Nashville: Marshall-Bruce-Polk Company, 1912, p. 64.


The Nashville City Directory lists thirty-four “Christian” congregations; four of these are ‘colored,’ the remainder are white.  The city directories are rather consistent in locating the meeting places of the churches if not by street address then by approximate location.  For example, Second Christian Church is located at 706 Gay Street in the northern shadow of the state capital in the heart of the city.  In the southern suburbs of the city, the Willow Street congregation evidently lacks a street address; it can be located, however, by looking at the southwest corner of the intersection of South Hill and Willow Streets.  The Willow Street pastor’s residence is on the west side of Willow Street, one house south of the intersection.  The abbreviations may be tedious, but they are helpful.

Eleven pastors are listed; nine are white and two ‘colored.’  Both African-American pastors are Reverend.  While the conservative congregations shunned the use of “pastor” as a moniker for their regular located preachers or ministers, a number of these congregations rely on regular minister to do most, if not all, of the regular preaching.  Of the eleven ‘pastors’ six preach for conservative churches; all of the congregations which are indicated as having “no regular pastor” are conservative.

Of the thirty-four congregations, Eastland, Seventeenth Street, Vine Street, Woodland Street, Lea Avenue and Second Christian Churches are clearly among the Disciples.  Only Warioto Settlement (perhaps a mission?) and Westwood (perhaps a forerunner of Clay Street Christian Church?) are unknown to the extent that I do not know how to classify them…either as conservative or progressive.  In 1912 three-fourths of the Stone-Campbell congregations in the city limits of Nashville, 28 of 34, are clearly among Churches of Christ: they are all acapella and provide neither financial nor moral support for missionary societies.  However, just four congregations are listed as Churches of Christ: Carroll Street, Cherokee Park, Highland and Jackson Street Churches of Christ.  None of these four would have been considered ‘progressives’ as generally understood within Restoration Movement circles in 1912.  In fact, Jackson Street began as a conservative reaction to Rev. Preston Taylor and the Gay Street and Lea Avenue Christian Churches.

It appears, then, that unless otherwise noted the names of thirty congregations are XYZ Christian Church.  The City Directory appears to follow this policy in the listings of congregations of other denominations: unless a particular congregation’s name differs from the parent group, it is to be understood as bearing the name of the parent group.  For example, Jo Johnston Avenue Church may be understood as having as their full name Jo Johnston Avenue Christian Church (in fact, so reads the deed to the property; Jo Johnston was formerly known as Line street Christian Church, also on the deed).

That said, I have in my files a copy of a photograph of Twelfth Avenue, North, congregation’s meetinghouse.  It has as its name on the sign by the front entrance: Twelfth Avenue Church of Christ.  The photograph appears to date from ca. 1910.  Clearly datable photographs of the church buildings or other documentary evidence will afford the best way to chronicle the changing nomenclature, and thereby the separation, on the ground, of the Stone-Campbell congregations in Nashville.  Until such evidence comes to light, our conclusions about how and when the full implications and results of the division played itself out on the ground among the various congregations must remain tentative.

M. C. Kurfees remembers J. W. McGarvey

Practice of the “Fathers” on Opinions

[Kurfees marshalls quotes from the Restoration Fathers…he says that “those who did express themsevles leave no room for doubt that they all stood as a solid unit against the practice.  We now call upon this distinguished roll of reformers with their associates and successors to speak for themsevels:”].  

23. PRESIDENT JOHN W. MCGARVEY.  This distinguished preacher and educator, who has been engaged in the systematic teaching of the Bible for more than half a century, and who is now President of the College of the Bible, Lexington, Ky., has taken a prominent and important part in the discussion of the question, and we select from his writings the following passages:

it is manifest that we cannot adopt the practice without abadoning the obvious and only ground on hich a restoration of Primitive Christianity can be accomplished, or on which the plea for it can be maintained.  Such is my profound conviction, and consequently the question with me is not one concerning the choice or rejection of an expedient, but th e maintenance or abandonment of a fundamental and necessary principle. *  *  *  I hold that the use of the instument is sinful, and I must not be requested to keep my mought shut in the presence of sin, whether committed by a church or an individual.  *  *  *  The party which forces an organ into the church against the conscientious protest of a minority is disorderly and schismatical, not only because it stirs up strife, but because it is for the sake of a sinful innovation upon the divinely authorized worship of the church; and, inasmuch as the persons [236] thus acting are disorderly nd schismatic, it is the duty of allgood peole to withdraw from them until they repent.–It is universally admitted by those competent to judge that there is not the slightest indication in the New Testament of divine authoristy for the use of instrumental music in Christian worship.  *  *  *  As to the introduction of an unscriptural test of fellowship, it is enough to say that we do not refuse fellowhip with those who use the organ; we onyl refuse to partake with them in that practice and choose tp worship when we can where it is not in our way.  To deny us this privilege would be an attempt to force us into fellowship with a practice confessedly unauthorized in the Scriptures, that which there ccould be nothing more unscritural or more intolerant.–In Apostolic Times, 1881, and “What Shall We Do About the Organ?” pp. 4, 10.

M. C. Kurfees, Instrumental Music in the Worship, or the Greek Verb Psallo Philologically and Historically Examined Together With a Full Discussion of Kindred Subjects Relating to Music in Christian Worship.  Nashville: McQuiddy Printing Company, 1911, pages 235-236. 

Kurfees penned the introduction to this volume on 31 January 1911 (quite incidentally, my grandmother, Ella May Dudley Ice, was born the same day in Oberlin, Ohio).  McGarvey would be dead before Thanksgiving.  This book has a foot in to worlds in a sense.  In one sense it is part of the on-going discussion of instrumental music during McGarvey’s lifetime.  In another sense it becomes a document of memory about McGarvey.  This book was reissued a various points and is in print today.  Kurfees does not so indicate here, but he was a student at McGarvey’s feet…graduated Valedictorian of his class in 1881 from the College of the Bible.

M. D. Clubb remembers J. W. McGarvey, part 4

Tenth Affirmative

Brother Boles’ reply to my argument from apostolic ex-[page 137]ample is so weak and void of reason that I pass it by with one brief remark.  My argument gives no consequence to the burning of incense.  The ninth chapter of Hebrews plainly says that the censer (in which the incense was burned) was a definite part of the Levitical ritual which was done away in Christ.  Nothing is plainer that this.  We have very definite and positive instruction as to incense.  But singing and prayer and instrumental music were no part of the Levitical ritual–no part of the Mosaic economy–and, hence, were not included in the things which had “waxed old and were ready to vanish away.” Just here I remark that professor McGarvey admits that the early Christians continued to worship in the temple after Pentecost, as they had been accustomed to do before.  And to this agree both Prof. H. B. Hackett, a member of the American Committee of Revision till his death, and Prof. Bernard Weiss, of Berlin University.  So far as I know, there is not a Biblical authority who takes any other position in regard to the matter.  The case is too plain to admit of contradiction. 

Any one who is willing to follow the example of the early Christians in the matter of worship in the temple will have no difficulty in knowing just what they did.  To say that they did not attend that same old prayer meeting in the temple to which they had been accustomed in that past is absurd, and would never have been thought of but for the desperate need of an untenable theory.

M. D. Clubb and H. Leo Boles, Discussion, Is Instrumental Music in Christian Worship Scriptural? Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1927, pages 137-138.

M. D. Clubb remembers J. W. McGarvey, part 3

Eighth Affirmative

To sum up, Brother Boles has given twenty-eight commentaries, and what do we find?  Ten of them are neutral–that is, in the comments quoted, they have nothing to say one way or the other.  Only six definitely support the negative.  they are: Adam Clarke, Dr. Whedon, John Calvin, Moses E. Lard, J. W. McGarvey, and Robert Milligan.  I give Lard, not because he says anything against instrumental music, in the passage quoted, but because he was opposed to it, as I freely concede.

M. D. Clubb and H. Leo Boles, Discussion, Is Instrumental Music in Christian Worship Scriptural? Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1927, page 111.

Not much here as they have moved away from arguing over McGarvey and are settling in on closing out the discussion.  Boles will not engage Clubb about McGarvey again; Clubb will mention JWM once more.

H. Leo Boles and J. W. McGarvey, part 2b

Seventh Negative

…J. W. McGARVEY: “To sum up these arguemtns, you can now see that this practice is one of recent origin among Protstant churches, adopted by them from the Roman apostasy; that is was one of the latest corruptionss adopted by that corrupt body; that a large part of the religious world has never accepted it; that, though employed in the Jewish ritual, it was deliberately laid aside by the inspired men who organized the church of Christ; and that several precepts of the New Testament implicitly condemn it.” (“What Shall We Do About the Organ?” pages 6, 7.)

This is the last of fifteen quotes Boles assembles to conclude his negative.  The purpose of the quotes is to establish his case that the history of instrumental music cannot be traced back to the earliest church.  I think Boles’ inclusion of McGarvey as the final quote is a double-whammy of sorts.  It is the final quote of the authorities Boles marshalls to prove his point; it serves to underscore that McGarvey agrees with the authorities.  Furthermore, given the back-and-forth between the disputants on McGarvey’s scholarship, it is rhetorical jab.

M. D. Clubb and H. Leo Boles, Discussion, Is Instrumental Music in Christian Worship Scriptural? Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1927, pages 108.

H. Leo Boles and J. W. McGarvey, part 2a

Seventh Negative

…His next reference is to the quotation from the lamented J. W. mcGarvey.  I must say that brother Clubb does himself no honor and his own cause an injury by trying to impeach the scholarship and integrity of brother McGarvey when he says that “McGarvey was not a Greek scholar.”  All know that Brother McGarvey was a Greek scholar, and that he was very careful to state facts in writing his articles.  The venerable W. T. Moore said that he was “regarded as one of the safest and truest men in the church of Christ.” (“The Living Pulpit,” page 325.)  Again, he said: “That which most distinguishes him as a writer and speaker is his clearness; there is never the slightest confusion in his ideas.  he has very little imagination, and relies [105] almost exclusively on facts for effect.”  (Ibid., page 326.)  So it does not matter what brother McGarvey’s son says about his father, nor what any one else may say about him.  the fact still remains that brother McGarvey said: “And if any man who is a preacher believes that the apostle teaches the use of instrumental music in the church be enjoining the signing of psalms, he is one of those smatterers in Greek who can beleive anything that he wishes to beleives. When the wish is father to the thought, correct exegesis is like water on a duck’s back.”

M. D. Clubb and H. Leo Boles, Discussion, Is Instrumental Music in Christian Worship Scriptural? Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1927, pages 104-105.