The Nashville Establishment?

My friend, Chris Cotten, along with Mac Ice, have a significant interest in the history of Nashville Churches of Christ. Both of their blogs have wonderful pieces on that history.

Yesterday I read Chris’s piece on the “Nashville Establishment,” which identifies one aspect of the institutional growth of Churches of Christ in the middle of the 20th century. In particular, he tells the story of Comer family who funded many ecclesial and institutional projects. I highly recommend the post as a window into the “Jerusalem” of Churches of Christ institutionally, especially in the 1920s-60s.

Institutional power has shaped our history in significant ways even while we decry such power.  I wonder what Uncle Dave–David Lipscomb–would think about the ecclesiastical power and diversity of his city 100 hundred years later. I could venture a guess, but read Chris’s piece first.

Nashville Establishment? Say it ain’t so, Joe! Maybe, maybe not.

May God have mercy, as my friend Don Haymes continually prays for us.

3 Responses to “The Nashville Establishment?”

  1.   Randall Says:

    That was an interesting article. Thanks for posting the link.

  2.   K. Rex Butts Says:

    A local Presbyterian pastor asked me yesterday how our “denomination” has such cohesiveness without any central head-quarters. In somewhat of a humorous reply, I said that we did have a headquarters in Nashville but that you have to read between the lines to recognize it.

  3.   eirenetheou Says:

    The Blessed David Lipscomb was profoundly opposed to the purchase of life insurance and wrote against it on several occasions. Yet Annie Clay Tuggle testifies that when she was granted an audience with him in 1915 to find support for George Philip Bowser’s Silver Point Academy, DL immediately referred her to “my friend” Andrew Mizell Burton, and wrote a letter of introduction. Burton’s subsequent visit to Silver Point, on DL’s recommendation, led to the debacle of the Southern Practical Institute in 1920 and, eventually, to the founding and dissolution of Nashville Christian Institute. These events have shaped “race relations” among Churches of Christ into this century.

    May God have mercy.


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