It’s that time of year again. Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration is here. It’s what happens when a lectureship throws a party (ok, so the name makes me laugh a little). I’ll be speaking again this year on the history of Nashville Churches of Christ along with John Mark Hicks, Mac Ice, and Chris Cotten. We’re each covering a specific topic or episode in the city’s history, combining to span a 200 year history. We will be speaking over a two day period on Monday and Tuesday (today and tomorrow) at 3 pm. It’s a 50 minute session split between 2 speakers each day so there will be limited time, but there will be lots of good information packed into the time. John Mark and Mac will speak on Monday, and I’ll join Chris on Tuesday. One of the special pieces of this session is that we get to speak in the Avalon House on Lipscomb’s campus, which is sure to get you in an historical mood. It was the house that belonged to David and Margaret Lipscomb.
The title of my lecture is Respectable “Denomination:” Nashville Churches of Christ in the 1960s and 70s. This is a historical look at the changing position of the churches in the surrounding culture from outsider to respectable player. This different outlook played a prominent role in the group’s fundamental identity and the ensuing discussions of the core value of non-denominational Christianity. To illustrate this point, I’ll be discussing the 1962 Collins-Craig Gospel Meeting, two assessments of the sect-to-denomination thesis as it relates to Churches of Christ, and two contrasting congregational histories in the Madison and Belmont Churches. Each one of these illustrations could easily command an entire hour, but hopefully I will have enough time to highlight a few points from each section and weave together a picture of Nashville churches during this time in their history.
Now that I have whet your appetite, come out and hear the lectures if you can!