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History of Grace

Church History - Slide Show

On February 27, 1955 a group of twenty people met in a store building on N. Washington St., in Tullahoma, and started a new congregation. Some of them were members of the Hickerson Memorial church who had a "heart" for missions and a new church work. Two months later, the group became a mission of Highland Baptist in Tullahoma. On May 4, 1955 the Grace Baptist Mission called its first pastor, Elmer Morris. By October that year, Grace had 49 members and 94 enrolled in Sunday School. Over the course of the next two years, the young Mission continued to meet in the store building but they struggled and the members of Highland Baptist, contributed over $5,000 to keep them going. With a grant of $2,000 from the Tennessee Baptist Convention the young mission purchased some land on Ovoca Road and secured a building site. Soon after that, the members of both Grace and Highland worked to construct the first unit of the building. It consisted of 8 classrooms and a small sanctuary. By 1957, the membership had grown from 20 members to 187 members so the church voted to start building the second unit of their facility, which included more classrooms. On October 7, 1957 the Grace Mission was constituted as a church and on October 17, 1957 Grace became a member of the Duck River Baptist Association of churches. By this time the church was averaging 146 in Sunday School. In the summer of 1958, the first group of deacons were ordained. Joe Armstrong, Vanis Smith, Windell Jarvis, R.E. Gilbert, H.R. Young, Bernard Daniel, and Johnnie Lightfoot. On September 21, 1960 the church began constructing a parsonage on a lot on Hillwood , which had been donated to the church. Twelve years later, in 1972, under the direction of Pastor Jewell Pruitt the church built the present sanctuary. The church saw it's most significant growth under Dr. Jerry Tidwell (1990-1993) and the membership and Sunday School attendance doubled and it was during his ministry that the Grace Outreach Center was constructed in 1992. Today, 2014 the church has over 1500 members with an average of 375 in Sunday School and 550 in worship.

Grace Baptist Senior Pastors:

Elmer Morris 1957-1958

Louis Rideout 1959-1964

Dave Smith 1965-1966

Don Wilson 1967-1969

Jewel Pruitt 1970-1973

Johnny Young 1973-1981

Russell Flatt 1982-1986

Charles Baxter, Jr. 1987-1989

Jerry Tidwell 1990-1993

Mike Gass 1994-1997

Max Brand 1999-2000

Tim McGehee 2001-present

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