History

Nashville Christian Church was established in 1888 on Lot #70 in the village of Nashville. Establishment was recorded on April 10th, 1888. The lot on which the church resides was purchased from Matthew Patterson for the purpose of building a Nashville Christian House. The Pittman House, which is famous around Nashville, sat on what is now the parking lot of Nashville Christian Church. Prior to this time, a group of people were holding church at the Green Valley School House. William Winchester, George Cornelius and Samuel McClary were chosen from the church folks to serve as the church’s first trustees.

The church has been known by the name Nashville Christian Church for it entire existence. It is the oldest continuing church organization in Brown County remaining at the same location. The building stood until 1926 when it was moved back from the street and a partial basement and a furnace was added. October 9th of 1931 the church was destroyed by a terrible fire that was thought to have started as a flue fire. November 1, 1931 the 89 members without hesitation made plans to rebuild, using member contributions and matching funds from the Irwin-Miller-Sweeny Foundation of Columbus, Indiana. The new brick building was dedicated debt free in November 1932 only one year later.

For centuries worshippers of God have desired a steeple on their earthly buildings. It is a way to draw people from distances to its doors. Often we recognize a church building by its steeple long before we actually see the church. The steeple is 65 feet high. For years the steeple was only lit during worship services, but during WWII an aviator flew over Nashville and noticed the steeple was lit. He later asked relatives who lived here if it was lit all night. When he heard it was not, he contributed money so it could be lit continually for one year. As the year ran out, the church decided to continue lighting the steeple.

The current church bell was a gift from a Methodist Church in Indianapolis who had no further use for it. This bell has been used to call us to worship to celebrate marriages and tolled for a death. It has been rung 33 times on Good Friday to signify the age of Christ at the time of his crucifixion. On the day the church burned in 1931, men took turns ringing the bell continually as a signal of the fire and impending disaster. It was a call to the community for help. So both the lighted steeple and the bell have been significant beacons to the community and even to a pilot in WWII.

In 1988 the church was renovated in preparation for the 100th Anniversary Celebration. The entire interior of the church and the annex were completely renovated. New pews, carpeting, a new organ, a new piano, and a wheel chair lift were installed in the church. In 1996, another renovation and remodeling of the sanctuary occurred. The entrance was expanded and the front steps were repaired.

Ken Kehrer was the pastor at the time of the 100th Anniversary. Ken and his family came to the church in 1985. When the Kehrer’s left in 1992, Daryl Swearingen and his wife Joyce came to pastor the church. Tim Bond came to pastor the church in 1999. At Tim Bond’s departure in 2006, Rick Clayton who had been the Worship Minister since 2006 became the Senior Minister. Rick left the church in 2012. Following Rick Clayton was LD Campbell who served as pastor until the fall of 2015. Shan Rutherford was an interim pastor at NCC from October 2015 until May 2016. Currently Patrick Glasser is serving as NCC’s pastor since May 2016.