Greenwood Church of Christ History

These pages are dedicated to the people who have made up the congregation of the Lordís church at Greenwood throughout the past and who have faithfully contended for the Faith and have held up the banner of the cross for so many years.

Prepared by: Randy Wells



The search for the history of the Greenwood Church of Christ has been a rewarding one because it helped me to understand a lot of things about this group of people and how they reached their present day status. In order to give an idea of how this congregation came into being, we must go back as far as the 1830ís, and give a brief account of the history of the Robertson Fork Church of Christ. The original Robinson Fork Church was Baptist, and a member of the Richland Creek Association. In 1824, Peter Ussery gave an acre of land to build a meetinghouse for the Robertson Fork Church. This indicates that the church was organized before 1824. By 1830, a difference of opinion amoung the members had become strong. This was evidenced by the reference in the church ledger to a majority and a minority. In October, 1830, they withdrew from the Richland Creek Association. Sometime after this, the church split. In the year of 1832, a group was organized under the direction of Wade Barret, which was the chief reason for the split. Through thorough study of the scripture he had determined that any name other than Christian was unscriptural, and there should be no creed but the Bible, and no organization apart from the church. (See section on Wade Barret). The decision to use the Bible, and it alone, was approved by the congregation, in June of 1832. In November of 1835, a man by the name of Joseph Nance was appointed as the church clerk. Although Joseph Nance never left the community of Robertson Fork, his descendants played an important part in the establishment of the church, later known as Greenwood. The reason for his appointment of the position of clerk was in order to replace William Ussery, who was moving that year. Although the destination of William Ussery is unknown, it is a strong possibility thar he moved in or around the community of Bodenham. This has not been proven by the author, but it is known that some of his descendants now worship at the Greenwood Church. In December of the year of 1835, it was resolved by the church at Robinson Fork that the brethren and sisters who lived a great distance would be advised that they should no longer worship at said church. They should meet at least twice each month for the purpose of reading the scripture, praise, prayer and admonish one another to every good work in the Lord. They should visit Robinson Fork whenever it was convenient.

In February of 1847, a letter of dismission was given to Eden Compton and his wife; and Albert M. Bearden and his wife; and Martin Nance and William T. Carter for the purpose of establishing a church at Lynnville, Tennessee. The old town of Lynnville is located about ten miles from the Robinson Fork Church. In March, of that same year, James Amis and his wife, Mary Ann, moved to Weakley Creek. It is known from the ledger that James Amis was an elder in the church at Robinson Fork as early as 1846. It was on the banks of Weakley Creek that the Church of Christ first came into being in the Bodenham Community. The Robinson Fork Church has definitely played an important part in the history of the Greenwood Church, and also, played an important part in many others in the area of Marshall and Giles Counties. Their influence even streched beyond the state of Tennessee. The Robinson Fork Church sent out three colonies of people. One of these groups of people numbered twenty-five and included two preachers. Their destination was the state of Missouri. Still another group moved to Bedford, Missouri and the other one as far as Texas. The Robinson Fork Church is still in existence, today. It is now known as Robertson Fork Church of Christ. It is now located in the county of Marshall due to the changing of boundary lines. The church building is located on a small hill and is one of the prettier country church buildings. They average about ninety in attendance at the time of this writing.

During the years between the 1830ís a great evangelistic movement was sweeping the area. In December, 1841, a preacher by the name of Joshua K. Speer reported in the Millennial Harbinger, a paper published by Alexander Campbell, that there were seventeen (17) congregations consisting of 1,376 members in the counties of Giles, Marshall, Maury, and Bedford. In the year of 1844, the Giles County Churches gave one hundred and fifty dollars to support Joshua K. Speer in preaching the gospel. This proved to be a worthwhile investment because by the year 1850 he reported in the Millennial Harbinger that he was converting an average of three hundred a year. In that same year, the churches in Giles and Lawrence Counties supported him. During this same year, 1850, we have the first recorded meeting to take place on Weakley Creek. There may have been earlier ones but we have proof of this one. Joshua Speer did the preaching and a total of 15 were converted. Although, a definite date of the establishment of a Church of Christ is not known, we do know that by the year of 1847, members of the church were living on Weakley Creek. A meeting was also held in 1850, as stated earlier. In the year of 1853, during the month of September, a man by the name of John T. Steele deeded three-fourths of an acre of land, for the sum of five dollars to William Neal, James Locke, and William Carter, trustees to Rural Hill Christian Church, and for the purpose of a school. This is not the beginning of said church, because in measuring the land they used the building as a point of reference. It is noted here that the name of William T. Carter appeared on the ledger of the Robertson Fork Church, in 1847. The sight of this building is located approximately one mile off Highway 64, on the property of Wendell Parker. During the same time that this building was used, it sat very close to the public roard during that time. Any other record of this building are not known to exist. We have no idea of how large a membership the church had but it is known that many of the members of the present day church of Greenwood are descendants of those members.

The only list of members of this church are found in a ledger kept by Alexander Campbell consisting of those who received his paper, the Millennial Harbinger. This, of course, is not a complete list of the members, but only those who received this paper and that does not mean they were members of the church. This list is the first time anyone from the community of Bodenham received Alexander Campbellís paper. This list is for the year of 1853: Christain Bringle, William T. Wood, William Neal, David R. Wilson, Isaiah Ivey, and William Blake. During that same year, there were three different families in Campbellsville receiving the paper: M. A. Morris, John F. Morrow,and James H. Campbell. In the community of Lynnville, several were taking the Millenial Harbinger. They are listed on account of many of the families later moved to the Bodenham Community. They are W. N. Hackney, W. W. Thanp, Eber Compton, B. T. Smith, A. M. Bearden, Martin Nance, R. G. Dickson, Jesse West, Josiah Dugger, C. Hackney, Wade Garret, James Locke, Alex Blankenship, Jesse Fry, Issac Compton, Susan Woldridge, S. Newlin, Robert Matthews, William Perry, John Foster, Joseph T. Carter, William Wallace, and J. A. Beale. As already stated, we know of no other records of the Rural Hill Christian Church. It is known that Martin Nance moved from Lynnville after the year of 1853 and worshipped at Rural Hill. In the year of 1870, he moved from Weakley Creek to the Goodsprings Community. He rode of distance of twelve miles each Lordís day to worship at Rural Hill until he along with the help of others built a building. They established a congregation that is still in existence today and known as the Cool Springs Church of Christ. The congregation at Rural Hill continued worshipping at the same location until a few years before 1895. It is possible that some continued worshipping there a few years after that, but the majority of people had begun to worship about two miles up the creek where the present day, Greenwood Church of Christ building is. In 1912, the land that the Rural Hill Christian Church rested upon went back to the original plot of ground formerly owned by John T. Steele. In the year of 1895, in the month March, J. P. Buchanan and his wife, Almeda, gave four-sevenths of an acre of land for the purpose of building and keeping a house of worship known as Greenwood. The church can use the property as long as it is used for church purposes, after which it is to revert to the original tract. But said trustees may remove all improvements from said lot. The trustees were: R. R. Long, R. S. Lock, and J. D. Wells. The Greenwood Church of Christ building is located in the Bodenham Community eight miles from the town of Lawrenceburg and eight miles from the town of Pulaski. It is located a distance of three and a half miles from Highway 64. The building is located on the side of a hill on the Weakley Creek Road. It is so named when it was first built as it was surrounded by a grove of large beech trees. As stated, the building was built during 1895 or before. There are no records from the years of 1895 until 1916.

For years the building was a single room with poplar siding and wide ceiling of hand-hewn boards. The pews were also hand-crafted. There have been many improvements since the church was built.

In year of 1916, a meeting was held with B. C. McCollunon doing the preaching. The following people were baptized: Leslie Kincaid, Floyd Spivey, who later became a preacher, Clarence Clifton, Larimore Clifton, Herman Murphy, Frank Murphy, Claud Richardson, and Camille Yarbrough.

In 1917, B. C. Goodpasture held the meeting with the following people being baptized: Marshall Parker, Carie Morrow, Effie Mae Carter, Ruth Parker, Mamie Henderson, Luanna Wilsford, Cable Smith, Russell Lazenby, Robby Mae Dugger, Lucille Clifton, Mary Carter, and Margaret Carter.

There are no records between the years of 1917 and 1922.

In 1923, Brother Endsley held the meeting and the following people were baptized: Pearl Parker, Eula Bell May, Margaret Carter Parker, John T. Carter, Carl Murphy, Ona Grace Murphy, Herman Clifton, Bessie Neal Reed, Newton Reed, Alma Reed, Charles Parker and Virginia Braly.

In the years of 1924 and 1925, the following people were baptized: John Holder, Ellen Holder, Robert Phillips, and Buck Kimborough.

In 1926, the list of those people baptized included: Catherine Morrow, Graydon Morrow, who is now serving as an elder, Kennard Morrow, who served as a song leader and as an elder for many years, Leslie Clifton, Elwood Parker and Cleburn Braly. The preacher that held these meetings was probably Brother J. R. Endsley.

In the year of 1927, Brother Prince held a meetingat Greenwood Church.

In 1928, J. R. Endsley held the meetings with the following people being baptized: Marcus Clifton, Arnold Petty, Willa Mae Neal, Martha Reed, Mildred Dugger, marvin Puryear, and Manyl Pullen.

In the years of 1929 and 1930, J. E. Bacigalupo held the meeting with the following people being added: William Clifton, Rufus Clifton, Mary Pullem, Grace Pullem, Charlotte Waldrum, James Gibbons, who now serves as an elder, and Florence Holder.

In 1931 and 1932, Brother Dreaden held the meeting and the following people being added: Mrs. Marshall Shrader, Kathleen Gibbons, Euell Reed, and Frank Pratt.

In the year of 1933, J. T. Harris held the meeting and the following people were baptized: Virginia Clifton, Grace Watkins, Jimmy Atkinson, Lela Mae Atkinson, and Mrs. Ora Lae Braly.

In the year of 1934, L. H. Andrews was the preacher. Mrs. John Martin and Ruth Atkinson were baptized.

In the year of 1935, L. H. Andrews held the meeting. Mrs. Lewis Neal and Mrs. Kennard (Fannie) Morrow were baptized.

In the year of 1936, L. H. Andrews held the meeting again and Frank D. Andrews was baptized.

In the year of 1937, L. H. Andrews held the meeting and Rebecca Long was baptized.

In the year of 1938, Charles Gibbons was baptized during the meeting. He later served as an elder at the East Hill Church of Christ in Pulaski. He is now serving as preacher at the Cool Springs Church of Christ. Brother Andrews held the meeting.

In the year of 1939, G. F. Gibbs held the meeting and William Thomas (Tommie) Wells was restored.

In the year of 1940, Brother Gibbs held the meeting. Mrs. Harrison Henson and Nathaniel Hobbs were baptized.

In the month of July of 1941, Ira North held the meeting. The following people were baptized: Georgie Lea Henderson, Dunker Henderson and Allen Dugger. Mr. Dugger is now serving as an elder at Greenwood Church.

In the year 1942, Ira North held the meeting. The following people were baptized: Maylon Fox, Pauline Fox, Lura Clifton, Mrs. Joe Parker, Mrs. James Gibbons, Mrs. Allen Dugger and Mrs. Luther Morehead.

In the year of 1943, L. L. Stant was the preacher and there were no additions.

In the year of 1944, E. O. Coffman held the meeting and there were no additions.

In 1945, Brother Coffman held the meeting. Wilson Neal, Alma Henderson and Martha Henderson were baptized.

From the year of 1946 through 1952, Floyd Spivey held the meetings. In 1946, there were no additions. In 1947, Martha Ann Johnson, Joe Dennis White, Charlie Wells, Charlie Methenson and his wife were baptized. In 1948, Mrs. Homer Gibbons, Herschel Byrd, Ed Neal, Mrs. Ed Neal, Mrs. Nathaniel Hobbs, and Mrs. Euell Reed were baptized. In 1949, Cecil Parker, Ethel Parker, Paula Hickman, and Will Belew were baptized. Mrs. Charlie Belew and Ben Belew were restored. In 1950, Mr. Joe Belew, Mrs. Joe Belew, Mrs. Luther Byrd, Mrs. Jennie Williams and Dorothy Parker were baptized. During this year, Greenwood had a few visiting preachers. Two people were restored. In 1951, John Williamson, Jimmie Kilpatrick, Ray Braly, Mildred Smith, Malcolm Smith, and Clifford Smith were baptized. In the year of 1952, Clint Belew, Mary Glen Belew and Robert Reed were baptized. During that same year, Emma Lea Smith was also baptized.

In the year of 1953, Delton Porter held the meeting and the following people were baptized: Mrs.John William, Judy Williamson, Faye Gaines, Billy Hugh Braly, Edward Clifton, Richard Dugger and Carl Parker.

There are no records for the year of 1954.

In 1955, Delton Porter held the meeting. Dan Smith was baptized.

In 1956, Brother Rudd held the meeting. Mahlon Carter and Clara Dean Morrow were baptized.

There were no additions in the year 1957. J. W. Roberts held the meeting.

In the year of 1958, Andy Brown held the meeting and the following people were baptized: Mrs. Charlie Wells, Miss Margaret Walls and William Earl Reed.

In 1959, Andy Brown held the meeting. The following people were baptized: Joan Holley, Roy Hedgepath, Billy Parker, Eddie Parker, Caroline Hopper. Brother Flavil Pinckley baptized Janice Gibbons and Opal Nix.

In the years of 1960, 1961 and 1962, Archie Waldrum held the meetings. Paul Morrow was the only addition in the year of 1962.

In the year of 1963, Floyd Spivey returned to hold the meeting. Joe T. Parker, William Dugger, Janet Parker and Janice Johnson obeyed the gospel.

In the year of 1964, Brother Spivey baptized Joan Rosson and Bobby Gibbons. Also, in 1964, Jimmy Golden was restored. Joyce Gray and Mrs. Jimmy Golden were baptized.

In the year of 1965, Archie Waldrum held the meeting. Janice Rosson, Lynn Johnson, Jerry Hunt, Mrs. William Earl Reed, Bubba Parker and Elizabeth Ann Long were baptized.

In 1966, Bob Murray held the meeting. Eddie Gibbons and James Kelley were baptized.

In 1967, Andy Brown returned to hold the meeting.

In 1968, Archie Waldrum held the meeting. There were no new additions in that year.

In the year of 1969, Bob Murray held the meeting. Charles Collins baptized Ronnie Wells and Lynn Caldwell during that year. in the same year, Joan Smith was baptized.

In 1970, Terrill Pitts baptized Mrs. Campbell, Mrs. Daniels, Tommy Hogan, Janelle Johnson, Tommy Coggins, Jaretha Johnson and Regina Smith. Bruce White held the meeting that same year and Timmy Smith was baptized.

In the year of 1971, Cheryl Holley and Dwight Bing were baptized.

In the year of 1973, Martel Pace held the meeting. Myron Brown was baptized.

In the year of 1974, Archie Waldrum held the meeting. Dorothy White was baptized. Dan Buie baptized David Daughtry and daughter, Sherry Daughtry and Andy Wells during that same year.

In the year of 1975, Bob Pinckley held the meeting. Richard and Sue Wright were baptized. Dan Buie baptized Mrs. David Daughtry and her son, Randy Daughtry during that same year.

During the year of 1976, Morrell Yarbrough was baptized.

There no records from the year of 1976 until 1982. The following people were known to have obeyed the gospel during this period of time: Mike Braly, Faye Braly, Lisa Braly, Peggy Wells, Mary Jane Gibbons, Faye Dugger, Mary Leigh Peppers, W. B. Long, now serving as a deacon of Greenwood, and Randy Wells. Randy Wells was baptized on July 18, 1980, and is now serving as the pulpit evangelist at Greenwood.

In the year of 1982, Randy Wells baptized Mary Alice Johnson and Dexter Houser.

In the year of 1983, Keila McGee, Stan Ralston, Gary Holley, Anita Morrow, Ronnie Wells and Martha Wells Henson were baptized.

In the year of 1984, the following people were baptized: Mike Gaines, Kay Holley, her daughters, Susan and Shannon Holley and Bubba Fuqua.

During the year of 1985, Randy Wells baptized the following people: Karon Grant, Robbie Peppers, Thomas Darnell, and Kathie Corey.

In the year of 1987, the following people were baptized: Lynn Grant, Ed and Edith Clifton , Terry Darnell, Jimmy Atkins and Debbie Hopper.

Christopher Russell Gibbons was baptized on January 6, 1991, his father , Eddie Gibbons was restored that same day.

The following men have served as regular preachers throughout the years: James Allen, Flavil Pinckley, Bill Reeves, Charles Collins, Terrell Pitts, Dan Buie, Rick Rolin and Randy Wells.

Randy Wells served as pulpit evangelist at Greenwood Church from the year of 1983 until November 1987. During the time that Randy served as pulpit evangelist approximately thirty people responded. He did missionary work at Dunoon, Scotland, Dominica, Brirish West India, and Grand Cayman. He baptized ten people while on missionary work. in the month of November 1987, Mark Johnson began preaching at Greenwood Church.

Over the years Greenwood has supported a number of mission work activities. Some of these are Korean Missions, Nova Scotia, Life Mission, Jeff Shelton, Tennessee Orphanís Home, Gene Waldrum, Canadian Mission, African Food Relief, Chris Ward Orphanís, Colen Schaeffer, Rick Rolin, Chris Ward, and others on a one time contribution.

Through the years Greenwood has helped support several individuals in pursuing religious education training at International Bible College at Florence, Alabama. Individuals receiving this support were Kent Kilpatrick, Rick Rolin, Randy Wells, Prentiss Spivey, Wayne Kilpatrick, and Keith Warren.

It is the hope of all who attend Greenwood Church of Christ that a congregation will stand until the end of time on the Weakley Creek Road.

Submitted by: Charlie Neal