This week Metro Archives posted to their Facebook page a fine aerial view of the neighborhood north east of the old City Cemetery. It shows the lay of the land in 1936, which is filled with residences in close proximity to each other, to light industry, with sprinkling of local commercial buildings and churches. This photograph captures a moment in time a generation before the encroaching interstate sliced the neighborhood in two, which itself (among other factors) reflected and intensified suburban flight. The object of the photograph was the cemetery as noted on the item itself. This image is from the Walter Williams collection, a fine trove of local photography. And I appreciate seeing the cemetery, but my eye went first to isolate the Howard School complex at 3rd and Lindsley, then with Lindsley Avenue Church of Christ identified, I moved west a block or so, and north a block or so, to locate the former building of the South College Street Church of Christ. In the second image below I lined the street in front of each in green. This photograph is basically oriented facing north. The Lindsley building is directly east of the green line; and South College is west of its green line.
The photograph documents what this neighborhood looked like for much of the first half of the 20th century. This was primary setting for the ministry of the South College Church, led in earnest for forty years by David Lipscomb, and served by a host of evangelists. This neighborhood is the proving ground for the Lipscomb theory of church growth by planting new congregations. All told some 37 congregations came out of South College either directly, or in time by secondary or tertiary ways. To my knowledge all of them were peaceful swarms.