Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Edgefield Baptist Church - East Nashville

Edgefield Baptist Church was organized in April of 1867.  They met on Sunday morning April 14, at Stubb's Hall in Edgefield. Thirty members gathered to worship and choose as a pastor, Rev. G. W. Harris of Virginia. Rev. W. C. Johnson of Arkansas also officiated at the first meeting.  E. Truett, G. W. G. Payne and E. H. Hill, were selected to serve as deacons. The new members has been meeting for more than a year in Edgefield homes as they prepared to bring a Baptist Church to Edgefield. Twenty of the new members had previously been members of First Baptist Church in Nashville.The first official meeting of the church was held in Stubb's Hall located at the corner of Woodland and Tulip (South Fifth) Streets. For the next several years the congregation held services at McClure's Hall which was also at the corner of Woodland and Tulip (South Fifth) Streets and may have been the same building.

“Baptist Church Organized in Edgefield.” Nashville Union and American,
www.newspapers.com/image/83327027/?terms=edgefield baptist.

In May of 1869, Ezekiel Truett, George W. G. Payne, Thomas H. Jones, George W. Strode and William A. Nelson, Trustees of Edgefield Baptist Church, purchased lots one and two in Lindsley and Winston's plan of Edgefield for twenty nine hundred dollars. The property was to be paid for over a period of five years. The lots fronted on Fatherland Street one hundred and sixteen feet and ran back along Tulip Street (South Fifth Street) one hundred and seventy feet to an alley.

A building committee was appointed and work began on the new church in the fall of 1872. The pace was slow as the members adopted a pay as you go approach. The basement was completed in late 1873 and was then used for worship services. The building was of a unique style. There were two towers, one at each front corner. The east tower has a tall spire ornamented by four finials. The west tower was covered with galvnized iron and ornamented with four finials. A flowered cross rose from the center of the roof between the towers. The church had seating for 475 worshipers. At the time the building was dedicated in April of 1875, only a few hundred dollars remained to be paid on the debt of building the new church.

A drawing of the unique spire atop the east tower of Edgefield Baptist Church appeared in the Daily American on February 23, 1888. Between 1888 and the time the photo below was made the spire on the east tower came down. The beauty and unique style of the church at 500 Fatherland Street can be seen in this image, posted by permission of Tim Kernell.  Though the spire is gone the tower finials and the cross remain.

Soon after 1900, the church members began to talk about building a new, larger church nearby. In February of 1903, church trustees purchased a parcel of land located on the southeast corner of Russell and Seventh Streets.  In 1905 the old building on Fatherland Street was sold to the Seventh Day Adventists. An agreement was reached so that both church could use the building for worship until a new building could be constructed for the Baptists. Soon after, work began on the new church.

A rendering of the proposed church building. The Tennessean, April 29, 1906.

On June 2, 1907, the new Edgefield Baptist Church was dedicated with song and praise. The church would survive the East Nashville Fire in 1916 with little damage. Everything around the church burned. There has been much change in many directions in the East Nashville neighborhood but Edgefield Baptist Church remains.  In April of 2019 Edgefield Baptist will celebrate 152 years as a church. In June they will celebrate again, 112 years of occupying the historic structure on Russell Street.

Edgefield Baptist. On the left is the historic pipe organ installed in 1907. Image is from the churh website

Edefield Baptist Church, Seventh and Russell. Image from joinmychurch.com

This link is to a later view of the old church (also shown below) on Fatherland Street. It was made about 1950 and was still occupied by the Seventh Day Adventists. The finials on the towers and the cross had long disappeared. Metro Nashville Archives


History of Nashville, Tenn. J. Woolridge, Editor, Publishing House of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. 1890

Nashville Union and American, April 16, 1867. Baptist Church Organized in Edgefield.

Republican Banner, April 13, 1867. Religious.

Republican Banner, September 11, 1870. Edgefield Baptist Church, McClure's Hall.

Republican Banner, September 14, 1873. Edgefield Baptist Church.

The Daily American, February 23, 1888. On Top The Temples.

The Nashville American, April 29, 1906. New Edgefield Baptist Church.

The Nashville American, June 1, 1907. New Church Will Be Dedicated.

The Nashville American, August 13, 1907. Pipe Organ.

The Nashville American, March 13, 1908. Installation of Organ.

The Tennessean, June 9, 1950. Edgefield Baptist Educational Building.

The Tennessean, April 8, 1967. Edgefield Baptist Church.

The Tennessean, July 11, 1975. Scars Gone But Some Remember, Hugh Walker

Photo credit – joinmychurch.com

Photo credit – Tim Kernell

Photo credit – Metro Nashville Archives

Photo credit – Edgefield Baptist Church, http://ebceastnashville.org/

Atlas of the City of Nashville, Hopkins, 1908.

Atlas of the City of Nashville, Hopkins, 1889.

Davidson County Register of Deeds, Book 21, Page 11.

Davidson County Register of Deeds, Book 42, Page 280.

Davidson County Register of Deeds, Book 317, Page 506.

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