Since being planted in 1913, God has used this congregation to accomplish much good for His kingdom, and it is our constant prayer that we will remain faithful to Him and that He will continue to make us an instrument of blessing to the community we meet in. Using the past as an inspiration we are looking to the future with confidence, faith and prayer.
1913 - River Road Church of Christ began in a small community building known as Watkin's chapel with 8-10 members. Some of the ministers during these early years were Brother Derryberry, R.W. Comer, Granville Cullum, S.P. Pittman, H.M. Phillips, Norris, Ed Craddock Clyde Miller, Howard Compton, Lawrence Lewis, Leonard Roulette, Frank Young, and students from David Lipscomb University who preached by appointment.
1947 - With membership of approximately 30, contribution averaged $25.00 per week. At this point many changes began to take place. The church hired its first full-time minister, John Beasley. Sister Lou Mayo donated some land to the church at the triangle of River Road, Gower Road, and Old Charlotte Road and the basement of the building was erected. The church adopted the name River Road Church of Christ at that time. Brother Beasley continued his labor for 6 years. The attendance and contribution doubles, during his work with the church. Brother's James 0. Baird, S.P. Pittman, G. W. McBroom, and Ray Frizzel held meetings.
1953 - January, Maurice O'Neal came to work with the congregation and the church continued to make progress.
1954 - June, the first Vacation Bible School was held.
1955 - The first mission work of the church was begun in the Carolinas, with Brother W.G. Gannett as the first missionary.
1956 - Property was purchased at the intersection of River Road, Old Charlotte Road, and Sawyer Brown Road.
1957 - In January, construction began on the present building and on July 21st the building was completed, and an inaugural worship service was held!
1958 - In October, Brother Calvin Parker began working with the congregation continued to grow. Bert Tarkington, Sterling Gamble, and Gordon Drake were appointed elders, and Robert Johnson, Lawrence Mayo, and Alfred Williams were appointed deacons.
1961 - Bert Tarkington, Sterling Gamble and Gordon Drake were appointed as elders. Robert Johnson, Lawrence Mayo and Alfred Williams were appointed deacons.
1962 - Arlen Kerce began serving as minister.
1963 - Don Northcutt began serving as minister.
1964 - The need arose to add five new classrooms and a minister's office to the existing facilities. Also, Charles Willoughby was appointed as a deacon.
1965 - Maurice O’Neal held one of the most successful meetings ever held at River Road. Thirty-five people responded to the Lord’s invitation, nineteen of which were baptized. Also during this year River Road added five new classrooms and a minister’s study in an addition.
1966 - Elder Gordon Drake and his family moved away, and Robert Johnson was appointed as a new elder. Also during this time Jack Stubblefield and Ed Johnson were selected to serve as deacons. The church continued to grow with an average of 180 in Bible Study and 230 for the 11 a.m. service.
1968 - In order to provide space for the construction of a minister’s home, four additional acres of land facing Old Charlotte Road were purchased.
1970 - Alfred Williams was appointed as an elder, James Early, Danny Gourley, Raymond (Bud) Holt, and Bobby Mullens were selected to serve as deacons.
1972 - The minister’s home was built and completed, as Don Northcutt finished his work with River Road. During this period River Road had grown again to an average of 190 in Bible Study and 240 for 11 a.m. worship service. It was also during this period that River Road started supporting many missions around the world. In July of 1972, Jackie Fox came to begin full time work with River Road. During the first year, the church grew rapidly, and plans were culminated to build a classroom addition.
1975 - The addition was completed before Fox left in 1975. That same year, Ed Boggess became minister at River Road and the church was averaging 250 on Sunday morning for the morning worship service.
1983 to 1986 - Jim Taylor served as minister. At this time the church had added new elders and deacons as well. The elders who were serving River Road at this time were Sterling Gamble, Jim Akin, Bert Tarkington, Robert Johnson, and Alfred Williams. The deacons were Ed Johnson, Charles Willoughby, Joe Perkins, John Hopper, Danny Gourley, and George Walker.
1986 to 1994 - Joe Rushing served as minister and it was during this period that Charles Willoughby and John Hopper were added as elders with Jim Akin and Robert Johnson leaving the eldership. Deacons were added as well, they included, Emmitt Jackson, Cliff Coble, Larry Drake, Lowell Hayman, and Jerry Vance with Joe Perkins no longer being a deacon.
1992 to 1996 - Dan Chambers served as minister.
1996 - The eldership changed with the passing of Sterling Gamble. The deacons at this time included Ed Johnson, Danny Gourley, Jeff Williams, and George Walker.
1999 - Tim Gentle became minister at River Road and that year Bert Tarkington passed away.
2005 - Tim Gentle finished his work at River Road and two new elders were appointed, George Walker and Jim Akin. The deacons at this time included Ed Johnson, Danny Gourley, Steve Hawkins, and Tim Butler. From August 2005 to August 2006 Ralph Griggs served as an interim minister at River Road.
2006 - Josh Barnett became minister at River Road.
2010 - Appointed three elders. They are George Walker, Randy Jerkins, and Charles Willoughby.
2015 - Jay Lockhart was appointed as a deacon.
2016 - Charles Willoughby stepped down as an elder. Bill Garland and Arthur Reid stepped down as deacons.
2017 - The eldership consisted of George Walker and Randy Jerkins. The deacons were George Coleman, Steve Hawkins, and Jay Lockhart. Josh Longmire resigned as Youth Minister.
2018 - Josh Barnett concluded his work at River Road. Then in September, Wayne Scott (Vice President of Student Services at Freed Hardeman University) began a 10-week engagement as our fill-in minister. Later that month, Randy Jerkins stepped down as one of our Elders. In November, Jay Lockhart was appointed as a new Elder. And, that same month, Jerrie Barber became our interim minister, as we began the process of looking for our next preacher.
2020 - Paul Darety became the full-time Pulpit Minister at River Road. Jerrie Barber concluded his interim ministry. The COVID-19 virus hit, and services were forced to be held via the phone service only starting in March. With the exception of three weeks in June, we had to rely on the phone service for all of our services. In mid September, we began to hold Sunday Morning Worship Service and Wednesday Night Bible Study in person with COVID-19 protocols in place.
2021 - Services went back to the phone service only for January, as COVID-19 cases surge in Nashville. Starting in late February more people were able to attend in person services as vaccinations for the virus began to rollout.
Ministers who Have Served at River Road – 1957 to present