A Peek Back at the Houses of Worship That Existed in Johnson City in 1908 June 13, 2016 Churches - I recently came across a listing of nine churches in Johnson City  in 1908, which was three years after the devastating downtown fire. The find reveals a lot of key information about these places of worship: 1. First Baptist Church: the "Little White Church"): E. Main Street; Rev. Clarence Hodge, Pastor; Pastorium, 111 Harris Avenue;… Continue Reading
More about the 1905 Miracle of Downtown’s “Little White Church” September 21, 2015 Churches - Recently, I wrote about a grievous fire on May 5, 1905 that decimated the businesses in the rectangular block between E. Main, Spring, Jobe and Roan streets. The amazing occurrence was when flames approached the wooden "Little White Church," but then made an abrupt diversion from it leaving the building unscathed. Many people saw it… Continue Reading
Two Evangelists Arrived in Johnson City in 1928 a Month Apart September 3, 2012 Churches - In 1928, two evangelists came to Johnson City to lead pre-announced revivals. The first one was Winston-Salem, North Carolina evangelist, Edward Fraser, who arrived on September 13 with a sermon he titled, “Weeds – Spiritual and Physical.” He rented land for his tent meeting on East Market Street opposite the Colonial Hotel (at about the… Continue Reading
Munsey Memorial Methodist Church Opened a “Club” Ministry to the Public in 1909 August 1, 2011 Churches - On Friday, March 26, 1909, Munsey Memorial M.E. Church South began a new venture that they named Munsey Club. According to J.O. Lewis, secretary of the city’s Commercial Club, several pieces of workout equipment were acquired. They included popular Whitley exercisers that were attached to the walls at regular intervals, dumbbells, punching bags and Indian… Continue Reading
Main Street’s “Little White Church” Became Central Baptist Church November 29, 2010 Churches - Wallace Britton, historian of Central Baptist Church, is working with the church’s massive archival collection for inclusion into a forthcoming book. Britton served as Minister of Education and Administration at the church from mid 1960 until late 1967. He credits the late Lona Holtz Akard, the church’s life-long historian, for archiving the church’s anthology. Wallace… Continue Reading
Cruising Memory Lane: Munsey Pool, Paul Anderson, Bob Peoples March 23, 2009 Churches -  I have many fond memories of patronizing Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church’s now defunct swimming pool and adjacent snack bar in the 1950s. It was the only indoor public pool in town, which meant you could go there year round. The cost was a mere $.50 an hour. I learned to swim at this pool from… Continue Reading
More Information on Preaching Mission’s Impressive 31-Year Run February 9, 2009 Churches - Last February, I wrote about the tri-city Preaching Mission that faithfully came to Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol annually in February for an 8-day convention between 1955 and 1986. Recently, I located supplementary material about it. Feb. 13, 1955, the inaugural day of the Mission, was typical East Tennessee mid-winter weather. In spite of this,… Continue Reading
City’s Preaching Mission Conceived in W. Market Snack Bar in 1955 February 11, 2008 Churches - An old diary that I kept in 1957 shows this entry for Feb. 10: “Today, the Preaching Mission starts out at the college.” That brief memoir reminded me of the annual February event that I attended at ETSU’s Memorial Gym for several years in the 1950s. The inspiration for the Preaching Mission was conceived in… Continue Reading
Gospel Community Loses Music Icon in Mull September 25, 2006 Churches - Area folks were saddened recently to hear about the passing of Knoxville’s blind gospel music icon, J. Bazzel Mull (1914-2006). About 1957, I routinely tuned my radio to the “Mull Singing convention of the Air” over WLAC in Nashville. The program regularly featured my favorite gospel group, the Chuck Wagon Gang. Preacher Mull, a grandson… Continue Reading