HIGHLIGHTS FROM OUR CHURCH HISTORY

The Fourteenth Avenue Missionary Baptist Church was founded in the spring of 1933 in the home of Will Walker. Its first pastor was the Rev. Edwin Hardison and the church was named Hardison's Chapel during its first year of existence. The first members were Maggie Chambers, Elizabeth Holder, Mattie Hardison Jones, Roxie Terrill, Grace McEwen, and Bessie Bennett.


In the fall of 1934, the church purchased a lot for $35 at 1930 14th Avenue, North. Under the leadership of Rev. Hardison, who served until 1936, the membership numbered between ten and twelve. Rev. E. N. Dozier was the church's second pastor. He served nine years ending in 1945. During that time, the church grew to approximately 50 members. The first choir was organized in 1936.

Rev. Felton Price became the church's third pastor in 1945. Under Rev. Price's 28 year tenure, the membership increased by approximately 500. Three new choirs were added and two Usher Boards were organized. The members made numerous improvements to the church under the leadership of Rev. Price. Rev. Price's picture hangs in the Fellowship Hall (which was named for him) at the sanctuary entrance in his memory and in his honor.

Rev. Daniel T. Smith, Sr., became the fourth pastor of Fourteenth Avenue following Rev. Price's death in 1973. Under Rev. Smith's leadership the Inspirational, Youth and Sunbeam Choirs were organized. The Inspirational Choir produced its first album, the church purchased additional property on the corner of 14th Avenue and Cecelia Street (the debt was retired in 1977), and Sister Jennie Pipkins (a member) willed her home and property to the church. Also, Mrs. R. H. Brock (Brock Family of Nashville) made a financial contribution to the church building fund through Mother Lena Emmons.

In September 1979, Rev. Frank S. Gordon, a graduate of Emmanual Bible College in Nashville, became the church's fifth pastor. Under Rev. Gordon's leadership, the weekly Prayer Meeting was reinstated, reinstituted Bible Study, organized a Junior Deacon Board and added two musicians. The church joined the Nashville City Missionary Baptist District Association, established a tutorial program, formed the Angelic Choir and organized the Pastor's Guild and the Nurse's Guild. In addition, the church purchased 2 ½ acres of property on Buchanan Street where the church currently stands today.

During Rev. Gordon's administration, our Scholarship Fund was established, a third Usher's Ministry was organized, Rev. Dennis R. Sweatt was ordained and appointed Assistant to the Pastor, our "Stairway to Heaven" broadcast began, the Male Chorus was organized, the church became a "Room in the Inn" ministry partner, began an annual summer enrichment program (TAP), instituted a community clothing ministry, the Fannie Hammonds "Teach Me" computer lab, bridged a partnership with the Department of Children's Services for outreach to youth and families, Greeters Ministry, and New Members Class. And most recently, our church sponsors "The AfterSchol Program 2010." This program is a year-round partnership with the Vanderbilt University, which focus is literacy development with children in grades K-8.

We have also been blessed to donate $10,000 to the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. Foreign Mission Board to fund construction of a church building in Ghana, West Africa. The name of the church is Fourteenth Avenue Missionary Baptist Church at Obasi, Ghana.

Fourteenth Avenue has truly been blessed by our Almighty God!