As an outgrowth of the Restoration Movement, particularly Barton Stone and his associates, our church — the Gallatin “Christian Church” — began in the mid-1800s. In 1870, our trustees secured the purchase of our first house of worship, pictured below and located on Green Street (now Boyers Street), behind the sanctuary of First Baptist Church. Our church worshiped here from 1870 until 1914. Some of our ministers during this time period were E. A. Elam, L. S. White, and I. C. Hoskins. Due to growth, Gallatin Christian Church came to need a larger house of worship.
Built on Main Street, the new building was completed in 1914 and, on the front corner, bears the engraving “Church of Christ A.D. 1914.” Although “Christian Church” and “Church of Christ” had been interchangeable for years, “Church of Christ” became common to designate non-instrumental churches of the Restoration Movement, especially in the South. Our 1914 facility is pictured below. The first worship service in the new building was held on Sunday, October 11, 1914, with Harold L. Olmstead preaching the first sermon. Brother Olmstead had recently become our minister, and he quickly proved to be a man of the community, as our church was a church of the community. Brother Olmstead would serve this congregation for over 30 years as a minister, and another 8 as an Elder, until his death in 1958.
The 1870 building was later sold and used for other purposes before eventually being torn down.
Historically, our church has sought to ground its faith and practice in the Bible as the written word of God. This commitment to the Bible is the basis for many beliefs, including our church’s long-standing, though not dogmatic, belief in the importance of the Jewish people to God’s plans — past, present, and future. This belief was uncommon among middle Tennessee Churches of Christ in the early- to mid-1900s. Similar-minded Churches of Christ in Louisville, KY, and Indiana provided fellowship for us in the Church of Christ family, even as fellowship was found also among Gallatin churches of other denominations.
Since the 1950s, our church has seen its ups and downs. Growth and activeness have required additional facilities to be built, or bought and renovated. Church leaders and members initiated and saw to completion the building of Christian Towers on Franklin Street, and later The Manor on Prince Street behind the Towers. Together with other denominations, some of our church members helped start Gallatin C.A.R.E.S., a local Christian benevolence agency.
Our church began a kindergarten and daycare that has grown into a full-time child care operation serving about 170 children through an Infant Toddler Care, Preschool, and Afterschool Program. Members and leaders of our church were also instrumental in starting the Cumberland Crisis Pregnancy Center.
In addition to such growth and outreach, some of these same time periods were marked by differences that resulted – though years apart and for different reasons — in the forming of two other Churches of Christ in Gallatin, one of which later reunited with Gallatin Church of Christ.
The 1900s to the present have seen several preaching ministers with distinct and various gifts in their service to God: Harold Olmstead (1913/1914-1921), T. B. Clark, W. W. Sikes, E. L. Crystal, Harold Olmstead (1929-1950), Hall Crowder (1950-1960), Neal Phillips (1960-1965), Hall Crowder (1965-1974), Julius Hovan (1975-2002), Jason Duncan (2003-2006), Noel Quinn (2007-2012), and Daniel Gordon (2012-2014).
In addition to these, several associate and/or youth ministers have served our church: David Schreiner (1967-1975), Jim Schreiner (1982-1986), Barry Fowler (1990-1995), Bill Hunter (1997-1999), Curt Cathcart (2000-2005), Daniel Gordon (2006-2012), and Byron Gibbs (2011-present).
The people, places, and events of our history have shaped us into the church we have become (see Profile). Our hope is to learn from our past and to move forward into the future as a portion of God’s people and God’s work in Gallatin.
Below are issues of Congregational History, an in-house newsletter sharing the findings of research into our church’s past.