60 PLUS YEARS
BELL ROAD CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE
A Brief History
Nashville Bell Road Church of the Nazarene had its beginning in 1948, springing from a dream, a divine inspiration, in the heart of a youthful Trevecca student, Charles Horne. Founding pastor, Rev. Horne evangelized the community with brush arbor revivals and was warmly received by many in the community. A helpful hand was given by Smith Springs Baptist Church and other churches in the community. The total charter membership came from non-Nazarene churches.
During the ministry of Rev. Horne, one acre of rural farmland was purchased and a basement church was constructed and quite appropriately named Rural Hill Church of the Nazarene. This name was later changed to Bell Road Church of the Nazarene as the Rural Hill community blended into Nashville.
Ten years later, in 1958, this basement church was replaced by a lovely sanctuary during the ministry of Rev. Woodrow F. Moore. During that same year a parsonage was constructed on the lot adjacent to the church.
The Church began plans to expand its ministry to the community in 1976, installing a fellowship hall and day care center to the facilities. In 1977, still another building program was undertaken, adding an educational annex and kindergarten for day students. A healthy church, Bell Road looked forward to being debt-free by August 1, 1978. However, that was not to be!
On February 22, 1978, a tragic fire resulted in the total loss of church facilities, except for the parsonage. A total loss of $275,000 was covered by only $162,000 of insurance. Brokenhearted, the pastor and congregation faced the church’s greatest challenge: a church with no building, day care with no facilities and little kindergarten children with their first year of schooling disrupted. However, the Church is NOT buildings, AND God is able and His grace was sufficient for that hour. He literally worked miracles. Again, the churches of the community offered help. Hamilton Road United Methodist Church provided their lovely sanctuary rent-free for 15 months. The Jaycees of the community gave us a home for the day care, and the ministry of the church continued.
But, the church was in a dilemma. One acre was not sufficient area for a sanctuary and educational building, ample parking, and a parsonage. Again, God’s grace was all-sufficient. Six and one-half acres of land adjacent to the site of the old church became available in a miracle. Located on this strategic property was a lovely home valued at that time in excess of $50,000. With God’s intervention, property and house were purchased for $80,000, giving the church seven and one-half acres of land with over 1,000 feet of paved street frontage on Bell Road and Anderson Road.
Through the long hours of hard labor by many of the men in the church, this present building was constructed and then dedicated on May 6, 1979, debt-free. Today, the total value of church buildings and property, including the parsonage, is in excess of $1,000,000. Present indebtedness, on the parsonage, is a mere $9,000.
We give God glory and honor for His rich provisions! We also acknowledge with deep gratitude the leadership of Rev. Woodrow F. Moore and those who labored so hard to provide these facilities we enjoy today.
Shortly after these facilities were built, Rev. E. Jasper White accepted the call to pastor the Bell Road Church. Under his capable leadership the church grew to record heights. Then in the fall of 1989, in the midst of growth and success, Rev. White was called home to be with the Lord. For five months, Dr. H. Harvey Hendershot provided healing leadership as interim pastor. During this same five month span, Norma White was allowed to continue living in the parsonage and the church continued to provide her with Bro. White’s salary to help her during this period of adjustment in her life. Bell Road is a caring and loving congregation.
In April, 1990, the church called Rev. M. Bryan Russell to pastor the church. Shortly after arriving, a 1,200 square foot picnic pavilion was constructed in memory of Rev. E. Jasper White, and dedicated in July of 1990. During Pastor Russell’s ministry the entire inside of the church and educational building has been refurbished. In recent months the sanctuary platform has been extended and remodeled, moving the choir pews to the rear of the sanctuary, increasing the seating capacity.
Sixty plus years of rich, spiritual heritage. As we lift our eyes to the future, we do so in expectation of God’s continued blessing and grace. “To God be the glory, great things He has done…” and is still doing!
Who We Are
The Church of the Nazarene, from its beginnings, has confessed itself to be a branch of the “one, holy, universal, and apostolic” church and has sought to be faithful to it. It confesses as its own the history of the people of God recorded in the Old and New Testaments, and that same history as it has extended from the days of the apostles to our own. As its own people, it embraces the people of God through the ages, those redeemed through Jesus Christ in whatever expression of the one church they may be found. It receives the ecumenical creeds of the first five Christian centuries as expressions of its own faith. While the Church of the Nazarene has responded to its special calling to proclaim the doctrine and experience of entire sanctification, it has taken care to retain and nurture identification with the historic church in its preaching of the Word, its administration of the sacraments, its concern to raise up and maintain a ministry that is truly apostolic in faith and practice, and its inculcating of disciplines for Christlike living and service to others.