Name Authority for Nashville, Tennessee Stone-Campbell Congregations

Name Authority for Nashville Tennessee Stone-Campbell Congregations

Click above to download a document listing 286 variants of time-, place- and character-names for the 228 known congregations of the Stone-Campbell movement in Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee from 1820 to May 2010.

To my knowledge this is the first such compilation, and therefore, the most complete.  The publication of the list to this blog is a first step in my research toward a book on the Restoration Movement in Nashville.  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.

The story of these churches in Nashville needs to be told.  I ask for your help in telling it.

Nashville Churches of Christ History Group on Facebook

Nashville Churches of Christ History group is open to anyone interested in the Stone-Campbell movement in Nashville and Davidson County.  Here is the first post I made a few days ago:

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 1820’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.

The group is open to all.  Help spread the word and generate interest.

Explorations in Stone-Campbell Bibliography, #9: The Art of the Books (GA and McQuiddy)

In installment #8 I looked at a few early to middle 19th century Stone-Campbell books.  I pick up here with pre-1900 Gospel Advocate Publishing Company books.

F. D. Srygley, Smiles and Tears, or Larimore and His Boys (Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1889) in bold red cloth with black floral designs on the spine and front cover.  This particular design shows up on books printed by the Southern Methodist Publishing House; they did the mechanical work for early GA books.

F. D. Srygley, Seventy Years in Dixie (Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1891) with the nice gilt letting on the spine.  Civil Government (1889 first edition and the 1913 reprint) has a similar diagonal design on the front cover.  Come to think of it, so does the 1914 edition of Seventy Years.

Celia P. R. Boswell, My Book, At the Age of Eight Years (Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1893) is a small book for a juvenile audience.

Andrew P. Stout, The Jerusalem Tragedy (Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1895) has a gilded Jesus and a black floral design which diesn’t show up too well against the dark blue cloth.

David Lipscomb, Notes on the International Sunday School Lessons for 1895 (Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1895) might be mistaken for Peloubet’s if only the spine is visible.  the next time you are in a used book store, don’t gloss over Peloubet’s too quickly.  You might miss Uncle Dave in the process.

David Lipscomb, Commentary on Acts (Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1896) in simple black cloth with understated blind-stamped designs on the covers.  The spine has minimal gilt design; somehow I think it is just what DL would prefer in a book design.

E. S. B. Waldron, The Gospel Proclaimer: A Book of Twenty Sermons (Nashville: Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, 1898) echoes Shepherd’s Handbook albeit in a scaled-down fashion.  Waldron is a good LaVergne, tennessee preacher.  There are yet many Waldrons in Churches of Christ in northeast Rutherford County.  He had other volumes and editions of the Gospel Proclaimer. One was self-published and one was published by F. L. Rowe.

This brings us to 1900.  Look for 20th century items in future posts.

I’ll tell you mine…(a post, with questions, for bibliophiles)

I nurture a few interests in my reading and book-collecting…in generally this order

–Books published by Gospel Advocate Publishing Company, McQuiddy Printing Company (both of Nashville), and F. L. Rowe (out of Cincinnati).

Festschriften for Restorationist scholars (Restorationist broadly construed here; I have a particular interest in Churches of Christ scholars publishing in and being honored by festschriften).

–Biblical and theological scholarship produced by Churches of Christ writers.

–Nashville life, history, culture…even historical geography.


Chime in…what are your collecting interests?  or at least, what tends to fill your shelves?

Save the Paper

Regular readers of this blog know that one of my research interests is Nashville’s Stone-Campbell heritage.  Judging from the folks who find my blog by searching for old Nashville churches like Foster Street Christian Church or Vine Street Christian Church or South College Street Church of Christ, I see I am not alone in my interest.  Here’s my appeal:

I am assembling information from, by and about these churches, ministers and related organizations.  Do you have paper (like directories or bulletins), photographs, sermons, postcards, old issues of periodicals like Gospel Advocate or Apostolic Times or ephemera from Nashville events like the Hardeman Tabernacle meetings or the Collins-Craig Auditorium Meeting, or the Nashville Jubilee?  Do you have photographs or postcards of church buildings?  For that matter, do you have an old map of Nashville that shows what the city was like in the 1940’s?  or earlier? Do you have clippings from the newspapers about people or events or congregations in the Nashville or Davidson County area?   Do you have memories of growing up at Vine Street Christian Church when it was still downtown?  Or Reid Avenue Church of Christ, Russell Street Church of Christ or Charlotte Avenue Church of Christ (all three are now closed)?  Would you be willing to talk with me–in person or by email or even by postal mail–to share your memories?  Would you allow me to borrow your old paper, copy it and learn from it?

Old paper is the stuff from which history is written.  And if it isn’t preserved then not only will vital data be lost but a story will be silenced.  I believe the Nashville story is a rich story, and a story worth keeping and worth telling and worth preserving.   With every funeral we lose some memory or story.  The time has come for us to assemble what remains while we can, and ensure that through its preservation the story will not be forgotten.

Check the steamer trunks in your attics, the boxes in your basements and the files in the closets.  Before you throw it away, email me.  Let’s preserve it.

icekm (at) aol (dot) com

Old Books Wanted

old-books-wantedBibliophiles of all persuasions, Stone-Campbell or otherwise, will love this.  Z. T. Winfree writes in to the Gospel Advocate requesting folks to send him their old unused Restoration books. 

My favorite line is: Do not be afraid of sending too much or too many of the same kind, for if you can spare them I can use them to good advantage.

Do you think a similar note would be run in GA or Christian Chronicle today?  If so, I might give it a try. 

Jesting aside…on my want-list are these three…a trinity of rare Campbellite books I’d love to add to my shelves.  (My want-list has dozens more…but here are three for starters):

–R. H. Boll, Lessons on Hebrews, McQuiddy Printing Company, 1910.

–James E. Scobey, ed. Franklin College and Its Influences, McQuiddy Printing Company, 1906.

–F. D. Srygley, The New Testament Church, McQuiddy Printing Company, 1910.

If you have copies you’d part with, let me know and we’ll arrange prices and details.  If you simply want to give them to me ala Z. T. Winfree, well then go right ahead…:)

Foster Street Christian Church and Grace Avenue Church of Christ

Evangelist James A. Harding was already a well-known and much sought-after evangelist among Churches of Christ when he held a tent meeting at the corner of Foster and Second Streets in 1889.  Yet, lasting eight weeks, that meeting is regarded as his longest and is arguably, with 115 responses, one of his more successful.


Although the fertile riverside soil had been broken by earlier preaching and mission efforts by evangelists among Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, the Harding meeting provided the nurture and watering necessary to establish a new and immediately thriving congregation.  Ordered under an eldership, and taught by preaching of J. C. McQuiddy, the Foster Street Christian Church erected a new brick building where Harding had pitched his tent.  McQuiddy was at the time Office Editor and Business Manager of the Gospel Advocate and later would be founder of Nashville’s McQuiddy Printing Company, member of the Boards of Directors of the Nashville Bible School and the Tennessee Children’s Home in Columbia.  He divided his time between Foster Street and another new congregation at Tenth and Woodland (later known as the Russell Street Church of Christ).


By 1890 the congregation had over 200 members and was clearly an outward-focused church.  By 1905 they were instrumental in planting a new congregation on Joseph Avenue at Scott Street (the Joseph Avenue Church of Christ) and again in 1909 on Jones Avenue at Cherokee Avenue (later the Lischey Avenue Church of Christ).  The congregation in 1910 hosted pioneer Church of Christ missionary, James H. McCaleb, for a series of lectures about his work in Japan.  By 1910 the congregation was known as Foster Street Church of Christ to differentiate itself from Christian Churches who used instrumental music and conducted mission work through organized missionary societies.


Having outgrown their building, the congregation relocated to the corner of Grace Avenue and North Third Street in October 1926.  Built to accommodate 1000 worshippers, the new church was filled to capacity the first Sunday.  At this time they changed their name to Grace Avenue Church of Christ.  By the time this building was finished Henry Leo Boles had for a decade preached the first Sunday of each month for Foster Street congregation; for twenty years yet he would continue to do so at Grace and Third. 


When Grace Avenue decided to disband in 1977, true to their heritage, they looked outward and sent their remaining members to over 20 area Churches of Christ to build up the work in those congregations.