Saturday, May 18, 2024

Beginnings: Our History


The New Duck River Baptist Association was formed from the Duck River Baptist Association October 8, 1945, in a meeting held at the First Baptist Church in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Messengers from fifteen churches were represented at the meeting for the purpose of organizing the New Duck River Baptist Association. Homer A. Cate of Shelbyville was elected as temporary chairman and John W. Horton of Chapel Hill was elected as clerk. Lyn Claybrook of Lewisburg moved that messengers from the fifteen churches be formed as a new association. The name "New Duck River Baptist Association" was recommended by Rev. Frank Jackson of Shelbyville and Dewey Nichols of Eagleville.

The business of the first meeting pertained to the new association’s organization. The first official action was to adopt the New Hampshire and Philadelphia Articles of Faith, the standard Baptist confessions of the day. Cate retained the moderator position, Horton the vice-moderator, Nichols the clerk, and Jackson the treasurer. The annual budget for the first year was $2,100.

Dr. C.W. Pope, Executive Secretary of the Tennessee Baptist Convention address the messengers, as did Duck River Association Missionary J.F. Goree. Both expressed their joy and best wishes to the new body.

Messengers attending the first meeting at First Baptist Church of Shelbyville in October 1945 voted to hold their first annual session on September 17–18, 1946 at the First Baptist Church of Cornersville.

The Duck River Baptist Association was originally made up of churches in the counties of Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Marshall, Moore and Warren. The association was organized in 1826. It was difficult to promote an associational wide program that would reach all the churches in this large area.

In the 119th session of the Duck River Baptist Association, 1945, one session was held at First Baptist Church of Lewisburg and the other session at First Baptist Church of Manchester. It was voted to give letters of dismissal to the following churches so they could organize an association: Bell Buckle First; Charity; Cornersvile First; El Bethel; Fosterville; Hurricane Grove; Lewisburg First; New Bethel; New Hope; North Fork; Shelbyville First; Shelbyville Mills; Short Creek; Smyrna; Union Ridge (now Rover).

Before the first annual meeting in 1946, a committee recommended C.D. Tabor as the Associational missionary. His salary was to be $1,200 in addition to two weeks vacation per year and the allowance for two weeks of revivals. A home at 509 Oak Street in Shelbyville was purchased for the Tabor’s residence.

The first annual session of the New Duck River Baptist Association was both busy and historic. C.W. Pope returned as the main speaker. His message, "Tithes, Offerings and Dedicated Things," based on II Chronicles 31:12 was effective. An offering was received for the Association’s missionary home for $85.57. Seventeen churches were represented at the first meeting. Holt’s Corner and Mt. Lebanon became co-operating churches of the association. 

Churches joined the association in the following order and year:

          1947 - Hannah’s Gap and Longview

          1952 - Big Springs, now Edgemont, sponsored by Shelbyville First and Calvary, sponsored by Shelbyville Mills

          1958 - Southside, sponsored by Edgemont became a church

          1959 - East Commerce, sponsored by Lewisburg First

          1960 - Eastview, sponsored by Calvary

          1964 - Immanuel, a split from El Bethel

          1972 - Faith, now Parkview, joined as a split from East Commerce

          1976 - Flat Creek, now Friendship, and Hickory Hill were sponsored by Shelbyville First

          1977 - Mars Hill organized as a church

          1980 - Mars Hill became Richland, (transferred to Giles Association 1985)

          1981 - Lynchburg First, sponsored by Edgemont and Unionville First, sponsored by Rover

          1983 - Farmington, sponsored by Southside;  Lakeview, sponsored by Parkview and Normandy, sponsored by Immanuel

          1985 - Singleton, sponsored by Immanuel (disbanded in 1990)

          1986 - Bethlehem, sponsored by Lewisburg First

          1991 - Twin Oaks, sponsored by New Bethel

          1992 - Belfast, sponsored by Farmington

          1994 - Caney Springs, sponsored by Unionville First

          1996 - Mount Moriah, split from Parkview

          1999 - Midland Heights, split from Edgemont and Hurricane Grove

          2000 - Fair Haven, members from First Shelbyville and Shelbyville Mills

          2008 - Chapel Hill Community, split from Smyrna

          2019 - Iglesia Evangelica Bautista Fuenta de Agua Viva

          2019 - CowPunchers Cowboy Church, Shelbyville

The directors of mission and interims are:

          Rev. C. D. Tabor from March 1, 1946 to June 30, 1964

          Rev. J. H. Harvey from 1964 to 1969

          Rev. Robert Mizell from September 1969 to 1987

          Rev. Paul Hall from the Tennessee Baptist Convention served an interim, 1988

          Rev. Harold Smith from 1989 t0 1998

          Rev. Paul Woodford served as interim in 1998

          Rev. Dan Clevenger from 1999 to 2007

          Dr. F. Murray Mathis served as interim in 2008

          Dr. Tim Key began service in September 2008

The history of the New Duck River Baptist Association is rich with stories. No doubt the Father has used the churches to advance the Kingdom and will continue to do so until He calls us home. It is our prayer that you will be a part of that rich history. Join in the advancement of the cause of Jesus Christ in our part of the world and beyond!