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Then and Now

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Campbellsville Christian Church is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

By The Staff

This year marks the 125th anniversary year of Campbellsville Christian Church.

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The church traces its roots to the old Mt. Gilead Christian Church that was organized in 1820 in Green County. The first Christian church meetings in Campbellsville began in October 1839. The church building was located in what is presently Brookside Cemetery. Tradition has it that this building was used for a hospital during the Civil War.

The church disbanded during this period and did not re-organize until 1884, beginning 125 years of continuing ministry in the community.

In the spring of 1884, a group of concerned Christians called a meeting on March 30 at the Methodist Church, located on Main Street. The purpose of this meeting was to organize a Christian Church in Campbellsville.

Arrangements were made to reimburse the Methodist congregation for expenses incurred on the Sundays they used their church building. Bro. W.L. Williams was chosen as preacher for one Sunday in each month.

On Aug. 31, 1884, a meeting took place at which the church board instructed the trustees to purchase property for the erection of a church building. A lot on Lebanon Avenue was purchased for $200, and Rod Jeter was contracted to construct the building.

Soon after, a frame building with an impressive belfry and Gothic windows was erected. This building, which stood at what is now the corner of Broadway and Lebanon Avenue, was in the exact location where Medicine Centre Pharmacy is presently located. It faced Lebanon Avenue. The building served the congregation for several years.

Early in the year 1915, plans were made to build the present house of worship. The lot on the east side of Lebanon Avenue between Maple and Second Street was purchased.

A floor plan, known as the "Akron Plan," with the pulpit in the corner and the seats arranged in a fan shape, was designed by a "Mr. Greene." The building, constructed by J.C. Miller, was considered one of the most unusual and beautiful in the state.

While the current church structure remains the same as it originally was, many extensive improvements have been made through the years.

From 1974 to the present, the church has purchased several pieces of property to expand parking. The Family Life Center was constructed in 1989 and the education/office building in 1998.

In 2005, a 10-year plan was announced to enlarge and enhance the fellowship, educational and worship areas. Titled "Because We Believe," the completion of the plan will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the sanctuary building and position the church facilities for growth for the next several years.

Throughout the years of its existence, Campbellsville Christian Church has been a leader in the brotherhood of Christian churches and a powerful influence in the growing city of Campbellsville. Members of the church were instrumental in planting new churches in west Campbellsville (Woodlawn Christian Church) and in Mannsville and Greensburg.

Presently, the church averages about 185 for Sunday school and 340 for worship each Sunday. A variety of fellowship, study, worship and service activities provide opportunities for spiritual growth and influence.

Current ministry staff includes Minister Joe Hatchett, Associate of Student Ministry Rodney Booe, Associate of Worship Billy Gregory and Children's Ministry Director Cari Gaddie. Randy Herron is chairman of the elders; Kimble Jessie is chairman of the church board; and Kenny Roller is chairman of the deacons.