In December of 1830, Alexander Campbell, on his second of six visits to Nashville, traveled eighteen miles to Franklin, preaching in at least two meeting houses. While that trip met with no appreciable results, the groundwork was laid for the Church of Christ in Franklin.[i]
Almost three years later, in August of 1833, Tolbert Fanning and Absalom Adams from Nashville preached in Franklin. Both were young men of sterling character and brilliant minds. Fanning documented this visit in the Millennial Harbinger on October 1, 1833: “The last week in August, I went to Franklin. While gone, about twenty were immersed…Brother Adams, myself and some other brethren spent a part of last week (in Franklin). We commenced proclamation there on Tuesday evening and continued till Saturday morning…We immersed seventeen for remission. Sixteen…disciples gave themselves to each other to worship according to the apostles teaching…They promised to meet the next day, at the home of Brother Anderson, to attend to the ancient order.” This was the beginning of the 4th Avenue Church.[ii]
Alexander Campbell visited Franklin a second time in 1851. Following that visit, a brick meeting house was built on 4th Avenue, called Indigo Street at the time, on a lot given by Thomas Hardin Perkins. The first service in that building was held on September 5, 1852. The church building, used as a hospital after the Battle of Franklin in 1864, stood until destroyed by a tornado in 1927. Stained glass windows from a 1914 addition were used in the new structure, built in 1928. That building stood for 50 years until it was replaced by the current church building built in 1978.
With the foundation of a rich heritage, today’s 4th Avenue Church continues to strive to glorify God and be the hands and feet of Jesus as its members serve the Franklin community.
[i] Anderson, Mary Trim, Landmarks: The Restoration Movement and the Franklin Area, Gospel Advocate Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee, 1993
[ii] Anderson, Mary Trim, Landmarks: The Restoration Movement and the Franklin Area, Gospel Advocate Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee, 1993