A Legacy of Service – Est. 1854
The Beech Grove Church of Christ building is located on Carters Creek Pike just south of the Beechcroft Road intersection. The Maury County history publication covering the period from 1817 to 1917 states that this church was founded in the 1850s. The land to construct the original church building was donated by J. B. McMeen and named as trustees were: John J. Roundtree, William Trimble and John C. Alexander. The consideration was for love of church and school. The deed was dated April 8, 1854, and was duly recorded in the Register's Office of Maury County, Tennessee on the 30th day of March, 1859, in Book K. Vol. 2, page 45.
The first available record is dated in 1858. It indicates that membership varied between 100 and 150 during the early years. The record also notes fluctuations in the weekly contributions from lows of ten, twenty and thirty cents to highs of $3.00 to $5.00. Among the early elders were John Eichbaum, E. G. Sewell and Robert Trimble. Family names mentioned are Roundtree, Trimble, Alexander, Stanley, McKee, Jameson, Gooch, Hardison, Blackman, Merritt, Nichols, Taylor, Thomas, Smith, Foster, Kittrell, McConnico, Davis and Turpin.
During the War Between the States, many members served in the armed forces. The records indicate that during this period contributions to the Church were made in both silver and federal money. The records specify so much in silver and the balance in federal. One note states that they gave Brother E. G. Sewell a pair of boots costing $12.00 federal money. The Church was active in helping those in need. The records indicate that when Atlanta was destroyed during the war, a wagon load of corn was gathered by the members, loaded on a train at Carter's Creek Station and sent to those in need in the Atlanta area.
The early records show that the Beech Grove congregation has been involved in charity work from its inception. They supplied food and medicine to the needy. They provided monetary assistance for the construction of many church buildings, for both the black and the white. And, they contributed to missionary efforts as funds permitted. The records also show the conservative nature of this early church. Discipline was very strict and husbands referred to their wives as consorts.
The first church building was torn down in 1886 and a new building was erected in 1887 at the present location at a cost of $1,300 on land donated by Dr. Terrell. This building served the congregation until 1920 when it and a nearby school building were destroyed by a tornado. That same year, the present building was erected, and the classrooms were added in 1948.
The Beech Grove congregation has become well known in middle Tennessee, and many evangelists have held meetings at the church over these one hundred forty plus years. Some of the more well-known early speakers include Brothers E. G. Sewell, David Lipscomb, E. A. Elam, G. C. Brewer, and S. P. Pittman. In more recent years, speakers have included Brothers Alex Strachan, Paul Rogers, Willard Collins, Harold Hazelip, John Vaughan, Dan Cottrell, Marlin Connelly, Bill McDonald, and Bill Thrasher.
A number of ministers have served the Beech Grove congregation over the years. Although the names of preachers who served in the early years are not available, those who have served in recent years include Brothers E. 0. Coffman, James Jarrett, Charles R. Brewer, Bob Kerce, Harvey Floyd, Mel Dugger, Ed Cullum, James Lee McDonough, Hueston Marshall, Billy Brewer and John Hayes. Our current minister, Dr. Jim Selbe, has served the congregation since the beginning of 2016.
The Beech Grove congregation tries to uphold the tradition of a charitable and benevolent church set by the early members. Each year, we attempt to commit fifty percent of our budget to outreach programs which we define as mission work, Christian education and benevolence. Our outreach program includes mission work in Italy, Scotland, India, Australia, Ghana, West Africa and Bryson City, North Carolina. It includes contributions to Christian education at Columbia Academy and David Lipscomb University. And, it includes contributions to Potter Children's Home, Madison Children's Home, the Disaster Relief Fund, community assistance, mission trips and help to other churches. Our hope is that we can continue with this tradition of service to others in the 21st century.